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Thread: The new 2014 FM 3-24 Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies

  1. #21
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    Newguy,

    As much as I have criticized the COINdista doctrine and what I believe to be a misdirected focus on nation-building I should be fair and read the new version. Lots of reading backlogged, so it may take a month or so to get to it, but in the meantime you may find this report interesting and want to compare it to the doctrine to see if there are similar of different findings.

    Bill


    http://www.usip.org/publications/cou...-afghanistan#!

    •Post-2001 Afghanistan exemplifies the deleterious effects of exogenous, militarized statebuilding, which has undermined peacebuilding and statebuilding at many levels.
    •The paradox of counterinsurgency doctrine in Afghanistan is that its success depends on a high-capacity regime to put it into practice but that exogenous statebuilding prevents the emergence of such a regime in the first place.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
    Newguy,

    As much as I have criticized the COINdista doctrine and what I believe to be a misdirected focus on nation-building I should be fair and read the new version. Lots of reading backlogged, so it may take a month or so to get to it, but in the meantime you may find this report interesting and want to compare it to the doctrine to see if there are similar of different findings.

    Bill


    http://www.usip.org/publications/cou...-afghanistan#!
    Yeah, there is a little subgroup that is very very interested. What I think will be interesting is when the new FM 3-24 hits the street. It's much different then the last and it will interesting how it is thought of in comparison to the 2006 version and to the JP that just hit the street.

  3. #23
    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Default So far so good

    I am four chapters in and have been impressed by the author’s efforts to not box the JFC into a specific political solution. So far it does not appear to be a document expressly designed to promote democracy.

    I have a couple of issues that are still fermenting in my mind. One has to do with the way the document connects identity based groups with insurgents. The other is what appears to be a failure to identify which grievances are likely to result in deadly conflict and which will simply be an annoyance.

    There are other structural issues that can be corrected in other manuals. For instance, there should be a manual that specifically deals with Transitional Military Governance instead of making it a subsection of this document. I believe that it is a unique enough to warrant a more in-depth analysis. Plus it seems to assume that a political insurgency will result in the wake of an invasion. Although that has been recent experience, I am not sure that it has to be that way.

    Of course, it could be like Steve McQueen (Vin) said in the original “Magnificent Seven”

    Vin: Reminds me of that fellow back home that fell off a ten story building.
    Chris: What about him?
    Vin: Well, as he was falling people on each floor kept hearing him say, "So far, so good." Tch... So far, so good!
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 12-26-2013 at 01:43 PM.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

    Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
    ---

  4. #24
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    I did a web search to try to find the status on the new FM.

    One, it appears that the Army Irregular Warfare Center will be having a DCO session on 13 March. ( http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/AIWFC/Re...C_20140128.pdf ) Second, it looks like it will be out in March or April. ( http://defensenewsstand.com/index.ph...9pZCwyNDU4OTY0 )

  5. #25
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    Default JP 3-24 is a useful political-military publication

    Several recent and earlier items in Small Wars Journal have apparently been stimulated by the re-issue of JP 3-24 in November 2013. After skimming through it and also reading some entire pages my first attempt to describe that new JP 3-24 was satisfied by one word: ‘ turbid ‘: defined in Macquarie Dictionary as “ 3. disturbed; confused; muddled. “ and first-up in Chambers as “ disordered; muddy; thick. “

    But that description was facile and did not do justice to the people responsible for preparation and issue of JP 3-24. They would surely have been alert to defects and aware that a small editorial group could reduce any bulky committee draft to a more instructive and readily assimilated version.

    The conclusion to the Executive Summary is carefully worded. It consists of one sentence: “ This publication provides joint doctrine for the planning, execution, and assessment of COIN operations. “

    The purpose of JP 3-24 could be clarified by modifying that conclusion. It might then commence with a sentence such as “ This publication provides joint doctrine for theatre-level command and staff elements, and to assist command issue of doctrine in a format suitable for use by units in a particular military theatre.” It might also mention that the publication is not itself intended for purposeful use by tactical units.

    Nowhere in JP 3-24 is it mentioned that subliminal but major goals are to demonstrate scholarship, and achieve a wide span of socio-political acceptance at home and abroad.

    JP 3-24 is unlikely to be modified to include any of the above for that would make it less generally acceptable. Nor is it likely to be revised in the near term to become less turbid or to include anything suggested in the streams of comment that continue in SWJ and elsewhere. Nevertheless ‘ useful ‘ could be an appropriate descriptor for the new JP 3-24.

    That applies particularly because external comment may result in some useful input to other publications and instructions that are classified military-eyes-only. Hence, SWJ and suchlike even though some of their content will be or will seem to be turbid.

    There are, however, two fundamental defects in the new JP 3-24. One: it fails to address the nature, distinction and prosecution of the concept or concepts of operation that is/are currently known as COIN as a component of PO, FID and anti-guerilla operations. Two, it endorses the employment of SOF for strike/DA away from population centres and hence promotes under-use of linguistic and pop-centric training and skills which are routinely concentrated in SOF, and alternately available (to a lesser extent) in intelligence elements.

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    Default FM 3-24 is Posted on the Web

    The document is published. It is available now at
    https://armypubs.us.army.mil/doctrine/index.html . That is an internal
    site, but it will populate to the external site
    http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/Active_FM.html tomorrow morning.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrentWilliams View Post
    The document is published. It is available now at
    https://armypubs.us.army.mil/doctrine/index.html . That is an internal
    site, but it will populate to the external site
    http://armypubs.army.mil/doctrine/Active_FM.html tomorrow morning.
    You can now access it with the public link. Everyone should be able to get to it by clicking the second link and finding it on the list.

  8. #28
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    Default FM 3-24: Counterinsurgency for Foxes

    I saw this article and thought it was pretty interesting because I think it picks up what is the strength of the new FM 3-24.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/article...s_field_manual

    The new manual takes the critique seriously and makes points once understated more explicit. It notes that "counterinsurgency is not a substitute for strategy." Rather, "[t]he strategy to counter an insurgency is determined by the ends the U.S. wishes to achieve, the ways it wishes to achieve those ends, and the resources or means it uses to enable those ways."

    There is a saying attributed to the Greek poet Archilochus, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." The drafters of the new manual have embraced the fox. And this is perhaps the most important lesson of the new manual. The hedgehog's mindset is indifferent to context, misses the diversity of tools we have at our disposal, and is insensitive to evidence of (in)effectiveness. When countering insurgencies or making foreign policy more generally, a smart strategy requires foxes.
    What the United States should do to counter an insurgency is the dependent on the nature of the insurgency. Counterinsurgency is not the cookie-cutter application of tactics. An insurgency where one needs to enable a host nation in stopping influence of another state will be different from an insurgency that is regionally based with no outside support. Those will be different from other insurgencies. The context of involvement and the strategic approach matter in what tactical units are doing in an insurgency.

    It isn't about "nation building". It is about matching tactical tasks to the mission given and the tactical tasks one performs will be dependent on the context of the involvement. While that may be true for any type of operation, that is especially true when policy makers decide it is in our interest to counter an insurgency.

  9. #29
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    Default Can we win next time?

    David Ucko (SWJ author and academic) has a short article on the Swiss ISN website 'Best Practice or Best Strategy: Can New Counterinsurgency Doctrine Win Future Wars':http://www.isn.ethz.ch/Digital-Libra...g=en&id=180195

    He starts with:
    Two weeks ago, the United States Army and the Marine Corps updated their counterinsurgency doctrine, last published in November 2006 before the ‘surge’ in Iraq. The publication of the new doctrine has raised fresh questions about the role of counterinsurgency in campaign planning and strategy. Was the 2006 field manual in some way responsible for the subsequent stabilization of Iraq? If counterinsurgency succeeded there, why did it not meet expectations (some might say ‘fail’) in Afghanistan? And will the doctrine published last week allow for better results in campaigns to come?

    These questions suggest two fundamental points. First, as the most recent counterinsurgency manual states, ‘counterinsurgency is not a substitute for strategy’. Counterinsurgency theory offers a collection of insights collected from past operations, which, if adapted to local context, can help in the design and execution of a campaign plan....the second point: if counterinsurgency doctrine fails to defeat insurgencies, what good is it?

    (He ends with) In learning to answer these questions, there must be fewer assumptions about the nature of insurgency. Rather than accepting slogans like ‘winning hearts and minds’ or ‘population control’, future counterinsurgencies must craft strategies based on the local context, grievances and politics – and their exploitation by specific groups. The indispensable starting point is a strategic assessment of the situation: where does the insurgent organization gains its strength, how does it operate, and why will it win? Only through such an assessment and through a clearer understanding of our own interests and objectives will the fortunes of future campaigns improve
    davidbfpo

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    Paper on the differences between the 2006 version and the 2014 version.

    http://web.isanet.org/Web/Conference...cb4079f07b.pdf


    Throughout the two versions of the counterinsurgency manual, three main obligations are consistently associated with U.S. forces and the process of bolstering legitimacy in the host nation: suppressing the insurgency, building host nation agency and capabilities, and ensuring the pro- tection of host citizens throughout this process. These obligations are conceptualized as highly interdependent and entwined, and the degree to which U.S. forces are perceived to fulfill these obligations is believed to influence the overall process of bolstering the legitimacy of the host government and its partnership with U.S. forces. Interestingly, in the new manual the notion of legitimacy has changed in ways that impose new limitations on the scope of U.S. forces’ positive influence over the legitimacy process. Based on analytical findings, I argue that this loss of positive influence, and greater recognition of a plausible negative impact of U.S. forces, follows from a new way of thinking about local legitimacy and, in particular, its place as a military end state for U.S. forces. Ultimately, the new manual clarifies that the scope of U.S. forces’ positive influence on the quest for legitimacy is beyond the control of U.S. Armed Forces: mission objectives are at the hands of U.S. policymakers, while principal responsibility for bolstering legitimacy resides with host- nation authorities, not U.S. forces.

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