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Thread: COIN Counterinsurgency (merged thread)

  1. #541
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default "The imperfection of Human Understanding..."

    On the 28th of June, 1787, then 81 year-old Benjamin Franklin, who had been largely silent for much of the 6 weeks of the Constitutional Convention, gave a short speech to apeal for divine help in sorting out the differences of opinion regarding "Government." One could very easily replace the subject of Government with that of Insurgency and his words would be just as meaningful today as they were then:

    "The small progress we have made after 4 or 5 weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other - our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ayes, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding.

    We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which, having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution, now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

    In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understanding?"



    We too are groping in the dark; but these former insurgents did, in their quest for political wisdom, devine and capture a form of government through much debate and compormise designed to perform the role of deterring insurgency very well. The one issue avoided and unaddressed that stood at the heart of much of the debate would not be resolved until 1865, but otherwise this document has stood the test of time. Smarter guys then us have struggled with larger issues and shared our frustration in the process.
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    I mean there was a Brit battalion that was sent out to Kenya for a month to prepare for Afghanistan? Who makes this kind of weird and bizarre and criminal decision?
    Never happened! The training in Kenya might be pertinent to Afghanistan, but it is not what we term 'Mission Specific Training', it is generic field training that all light role battalions are mandated to undertake. We have never sent a unit to Kenya to acclimatise for Afghanistan, no matter how it has been reported!

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    I am talking about the best way to utilise foreign troops in Afghanistan where they are needed because the locals don't have it (at present or if they ever will). Yes, no matter how well the troops learn the language there will still a need to be interpreters and interrogators and yes some locals can be fed into the system to slowly build up local content.
    Surely the best way (bearing in mind that the Karzai Government was not under threat from the Taleban as a serious contender for national power) to use foreign forces would have been to:
    • Provide training assistance in order to grow capacity quickly
    • Provide logistical and C2 support to enable effective use of the new capacity (especially tactical and operational mobility and communications)
    • Use of SF for targeted strikes to keep the Taleban from regrouping and going on the offensive.


    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Had something like this been introduced around 2006/7 the standard and effectiveness of the British military contribution would have been many times more efficient... but no they just keep feeding raw troops into the fray and wonder why things are not going so well. As the man said, the Brits are slow learners.
    I agree in parts; but at what cost? This is a limited war, fought for limited aims with very limited means. Why raise a British regular unit specifically for use in Afghanistan when historically the most effective way to fight the Afghans is to raise a unit of Afghans (South Waziristan Scouts (SWS), Tochi Scouts et al)? The British Army realises that we have got things wrong on campaign continuity and that is being addressed. As part of that it has been decided that the 'across the board costs' of extending unit tour lengths or raising a unit specifically for use in theatre outweigh the tactical advantages that might be accrued - in other words it would be inefficient use of resources.

    Personally I think the most efficient use of resources is the Helmandi Scouts or even better the SWS option, but I doubt that the Karzai Government would go along with that. The loan service model as used in Oman is another good model - but there appears not to be any appetite for that - perhaps they wouldn't pay as well as the Omanis!

    With regards to PTSD all I can currently note is that at no time has the British Army ever exposed frontline units to extended periods of high intensity combat. Even in WW1 and WW2 formations were rotated in and out of the line in order too preserve combat effectiveness. I note too that Secretary Gates is now advocating 9 month tours in Afghanistan for the US Army with longer tour intervals inbetween.

    I think having a unit in theatre permanently (perhaps raised specifically for Afghanistan) has advantages and disadvantages. It would have been extremely difficult to do 2006-2008 concurrent with TELIC due to resource constraints. My ire is focused on the slipshod thinking and appalling mismanagement that persisted from when we arrived in 2006 through to relatively recently while operating within the constraints we had been given.
    RR

    "War is an option of difficulties"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Rat View Post
    Never happened! The training in Kenya might be pertinent to Afghanistan, but it is not what we term 'Mission Specific Training', it is generic field training that all light role battalions are mandated to undertake. We have never sent a unit to Kenya to acclimatise for Afghanistan, no matter how it has been reported!
    Well if this is incorrectly reported by the MoD itself then its kind of weird logic to take the soldiers away from home for 5 weeks to hold an exercise in Kenya if the complaint is that troops spend too much time away from home. Another sheer coincidence then?

    Surely the best way (bearing in mind that the Karzai Government was not under threat from the Taleban as a serious contender for national power) to use foreign forces would have been to:
    • Provide training assistance in order to grow capacity quickly
    • Provide logistical and C2 support to enable effective use of the new capacity (especially tactical and operational mobility and communications)
    • Use of SF for targeted strikes to keep the Taleban from regrouping and going on the offensive.
    There was an immediate need to keep the Karzai regime in power. No time to train up locals had to put foreign soldiers into the country. Now anyone with half a brain would have realised that there was no quick fix in this. By all means run a marine brigade through an area to "mow the grass" but what happens thereafter? The Taliban just pop up once again. So what to do? Keep rotating otherwise good soldiers through an environment for which they are hopelessly out of their depth or give the deployed soldiers the training they need to make an operational difference?

    How many SF would be needed for the task you mention? The black army is limited and they have already sucked in a para battalion in support so how far do you go and where does that all end?

    I agree in parts; but at what cost? This is a limited war, fought for limited aims with very limited means. Why raise a British regular unit specifically for use in Afghanistan when historically the most effective way to fight the Afghans is to raise a unit of Afghans (South Waziristan Scouts (SWS), Tochi Scouts et al)? The British Army realises that we have got things wrong on campaign continuity and that is being addressed. As part of that it has been decided that the 'across the board costs' of extending unit tour lengths or raising a unit specifically for use in theatre outweigh the tactical advantages that might be accrued - in other words it would be inefficient use of resources.

    Personally I think the most efficient use of resources is the Helmandi Scouts or even better the SWS option, but I doubt that the Karzai Government would go along with that. The loan service model as used in Oman is another good model - but there appears not to be any appetite for that - perhaps they wouldn't pay as well as the Omanis!
    It seems that the Brits can only see to what they have done before (maybe even 100 years ago). What will it take to try something different and new?

    The costs would not have been any more than those already incurred. How so? Decide to start with a brigade and apply a compensating reduction across the rest of the army. Simple maths and simple implementation. If it were possible to allocate existing battalions to such a force where they would start with a clean slate and not try to import their own regimental baggage that may be an option (but I fear not).

    To takes too long to create local units such as those you mention. And of the loan service model I would suggest (without too much of a slap in the face of the Brits is that rather than officers on such loan service the exercise would be better served by supplying "skill at arms" NCOs in both my option and yours. NCOs (and not officers) would be needed to train locals and quality Brit NCOs would be needed to lead Brit soldiers into battle. Officers are needed but are not the "glue" than makes for an operationally successful unit.

    With regards to PTSD all I can currently note is that at no time has the British Army ever exposed frontline units to extended periods of high intensity combat. Even in WW1 and WW2 formations were rotated in and out of the line in order too preserve combat effectiveness. I note too that Secretary Gates is now advocating 9 month tours in Afghanistan for the US Army with longer tour intervals inbetween.

    I think having a unit in theatre permanently (perhaps raised specifically for Afghanistan) has advantages and disadvantages. It would have been extremely difficult to do 2006-2008 concurrent with TELIC due to resource constraints. My ire is focused on the slipshod thinking and appalling mismanagement that persisted from when we arrived in 2006 through to relatively recently while operating within the constraints we had been given.
    What system of R&R and relief would be needed for troops permanently stationed in Afghanistan do you think? Currently it is a six month tour with two weeks "home" leave around the mid point, I believe? So if the main concern is PTSD surely one should know more about who and why it affects some more than others? Then one can get into the heads of the soldiers to prepare them psychologically to deal with the situations they will likely face or experience. And the disadvantages of raising such units other than that possibility of higher PTSD incidence are?

    As to the PTSD issue. If PTSD effects (to a greater or lesser degree) 30% of troops deployed into a combat zone then surely to limit the number so deployed will reduce the overall incidence of PTSD? I must look for PTSD prevalence among Aussie troops exposed to combat. I have a hunch.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Small points

    IIRC the Omani Army had, certainly in the Dhofar War awhile ago, a large non-Arab component from Baluchistan, who were mercenaries by tradition and there was historical link as Oman had once held a part of that province. The Scouts raised along the NWFP were nearly all locally recruited.

    I doubt that non-Afghan mercenaries would be welcome now in Afghanistan, although I often read that the ANA has a majority of non-Pashtuns.

    Interesting though that the UK has raised a Helmandi Scouts unit, although there is little open source information on this.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    IIRC the Omani Army had, certainly in the Dhofar War awhile ago, a large non-Arab component from Baluchistan, who were mercenaries by tradition and there was historical link as Oman had once held a part of that province. The Scouts raised along the NWFP were nearly all locally recruited.

    I doubt that non-Afghan mercenaries would be welcome now in Afghanistan, although I often read that the ANA has a majority of non-Pashtuns.
    Exactly. You could recruit Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kirgiz and they would be from an Afghan minority.

    I wonder how an all-Gurkha unit with unusual uniforms would resonate in Helmand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Exactly. You could recruit Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kirgiz and they would be from an Afghan minority.

    I wonder how an all-Gurkha unit with unusual uniforms would resonate in Helmand.
    Well maybe having Uzbek, Tajik etc troops in a Pashtun area is one small step better than having a Brit but that is not what the Pashtuns want. So if you have to pacify an area do you do it with a dope enhanced ANA contingent or some Brit kids out of Birmingham or Manchester or you can do it properly.

    As to the Gurkhas they have been there and would be my choice ahead of the average Brit unit. See here for the latest crisis on a Taliban commander being beheaded to assist with identification. Brits are about to score an own goal with this again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Malaysia? One has to ask, did the military operations of the Brits set conditions for political success; or rather was it the military operations of the communist insurgents who set the conditions for independence and withdrawal of the illegitimate British Colonial government? Even though one group of combatants was defeated, insurgency is about the government and not the bands that rise up to challenge it. One band was defeated under one leader and one line of ideology. That is not the greater insurgency though. Insurgency is the perceptions of the populace as a whole, many who never even consider taking up arms directly, toward their system of governance. The actual resistance will manifest in many forms. To crush any one such manifestation and declare victory is naive at best and delusional.
    Yes I agree.

    I tend to agree that the majority Malays were kept out of the war through promising them independence once the nasty Chinese communists were defeated (which only partially occurred as the fighting flared up again later).

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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    And now JMA turns into one of the "New-COIN" boys??
    Look I'm getting as frustrated as you about the semantics of "COIN" and "counterinsurgency" and the like. Not sure Afghanistan's situation fits any model we have.

    An armed rebellion is a 90% a military problem! = Armed force needs to be countered by armed force. If you don't defeat the men with guns, you loose! - not 20%, but 100%.
    I agree that you need to go after the insurgents. That's is what my regiment did and we did it pretty well but that was only part of the story.

    Soldiers are not (or at least should not be) the only part of the effort to defeat the insurgents.

    Komer wrote:
    What seems most striking in retrospect about the experience of the British and Malayan governments in containing and ultimately defeating the Communist insurgency in Malaya is the wide rdnge of civil and military programs tied together by unified management into a successful counterinsurgency (C-1) response.
    So I don't wish to overplay the military role (important as it may be).

    Then there is your Brigadier Richard L. Clutterbuck who in The Long Long War stated:
    For the military their responsibility rests on providing security to the police and attacking guerrilla combatants.
    ONLY when the armed threat has abated, does the POLITICAL process kick in. - "legitimate government with policies that address the concerns and or grievances of all the population." All those things are for the men in suits - and all of it is political. The military can only set the conditions. No conditions, no suits.
    Anyone here an Afghan politician? Silence?
    Military force can put in place any policy it wishes. It's politically blind. How military force is applied should reflect the policy being set forth. Legitimacy is nothing to do with success. It's a liberal construct that ignores history. Cutting the hands of kids and stoning women IS LEGITIMATE for about 200 million people on the planet.
    "We" the west just wish to force the Afghan people to accept out "our brand" of legitimacy.
    There is a delightful term, "concurrent activity" that is what should be taking place right now. Sure there are villages, towns, cities, provinces that are peaceful enough to let the police and other civilian branches operate without continual military protection? Certainly not Helmand but surely somewhere?

    What would like to or should force upon the Afghan population is the matter for another debate. I just don't see dragging them kicking and screaming into the 20th century as being the logical extension of policy following 9/11. But we are not even doing that are we? If anything we are making them more resolute in their "old ways".

    This 80% political 20% military rubbish is "99%" of the problem. Military force sets military conditions. It sets forth the policy, by denying the opponent the means to set forth his, as in the opponent ceases to use military force. If the politicians cannot work it out, that is NOTHING to do with the efficacy of armed force.
    It is the politicians who set the parameters for the military actions who then implement their civil programmes and projects when the areas have been sufficiently pacified by the military.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 08-03-2010 at 09:32 PM. Reason: Add quote marks

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Existed yes. Shell shocked people were known and sympathised with... but at a rate of 30% of all combatants?
    "Shell Shock" was not PTSD. It was "Battle Shock." The estimates of PTSD for Bomber Command 1943-45 have been estimated to 80% by some who look after the veterans. That is 80% of men have some sort of recurring problem, such as flashbacks or nightmares.

    The way to deal with this then is to establish who are most susceptible to PTSD (and alcoholism and anti social behaviour) and screen them out of combat jobs. Then introduce some psychological preparation before these soldiers get into combat situations to allow them to handle the situations they find themselves in psychologically. In other words be professional and be proactive.
    Its degrees. You can't do it. Screening out those "thought to be susceptible" may screen out very good soldiers. The best system is to treat it as a wound and treat it when it occurs. You can't screen out those likely to get wounded.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    PTSD is a very sensitive matter cause it's wounds but it's also an advantage.
    The problematic is not who has PTSD (I do have some behavious that are classified as PTSD due to presence in combat areas) but how each and everyone copes with PTSD.

    For some, PTSD are blocking them to go further.
    For some PTSD are opening new perception of their environment during stressfull time.

    In my personnal experience, PTSD is rather a problem when out side of "dangerous area" for most of those who do have recurent nightmares or sleeping problems or any light PTSD. This does not affect in any ways efficiency in action or decision making.

    The problem is rather what to do with individuals heavily affected who are unmanageble even in "peacefull" times.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Look I'm getting as frustrated as you about the semantics of "COIN" and "counterinsurgency" and the like. Not sure Afghanistan's situation fits any model we have.
    Which is why I try not to use the word "Insurgency" and thus not "COIN" either. Both terms miss the point.
    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    Look William you have decided that you are not going to agree so there is little point in continuing this conversation.
    Firstly, please feel free to call me Wilf. Everyone else does, and secondly we're not the only ones here.
    If you are dealing with an enemy that has grown up in the area of operations he is in a 1,000 times more advantageous position than a kid out of New York City or London.
    I think you would agree that the most important thing in combat is the determination and the will to endure and fight - not where you grew up.
    This while we "townies" stumbled along in awe. Now whether you or I like it or not that is the situation in Afghanistan.
    I grew up in the country. OK, so I knew what badgers sounded like when other recruits were running for cover. They soon learned. Experience is experience and for true expeditionary armies it is normal challenge. Training is training. Good training produces good soldiers. If you want to test real skills, then take men the arctic. That is where experience really counts. When it came to walking the streets of Ulster,the kids who had grown up stealing cars in Liverpool had a better nose for trouble than supposed skilled "woodsmen."
    Perhaps one should consider the criminal negligence of continuing to pump hopelessly unacclimatised troops into harms way in a far off land of which they have no effective knowledge? I mean there was a Brit battalion that was sent out to Kenya for a month to prepare for Afghanistan? Who makes this kind of weird and bizarre and criminal decision?
    Where would you send them? Where can the UK train overseas that matches A'Stan?
    As the man said, the Brits are slow learners.
    Another data free opinion. Any man can have opinions. History tramples all over any claim the British Army are slow learners. The issues in A'Stan can't be attributed to guess work about the supposed short coming of the "British Army."
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    The issues in A'Stan can't be attributed to guess work about the supposed short coming of the "British Army."
    never spake...

    Nor even to British or US politicians, victims of more and shorter comings than their Armed Forces...

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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    I think you would agree that the most important thing in combat is the determination and the will to endure and fight - not where you grew up.
    Yes to a point but like the Brits found in the jungles of Malaya and Burma 60 odd years ago if you are not trained and acclimatised for the environment you will be required to fight in your life expectancy can be pretty short. As short as the Brit military memory it seems.

    I grew up in the country. OK, so I knew what badgers sounded like when other recruits were running for cover. They soon learned. Experience is experience and for true expeditionary armies it is normal challenge. Training is training. Good training produces good soldiers. If you want to test real skills, then take men the arctic. That is where experience really counts. When it came to walking the streets of Ulster,the kids who had grown up stealing cars in Liverpool had a better nose for trouble than supposed skilled "woodsmen."
    Its horses for courses. Yes it is obvious that street wise London kids would be better equipt to to deal with urban operations. And the farm boy would probably be like a fish out of water in an urban setting.

    Now flip the coin. The farmboy will be better equipt to handle operations in a rural environment than a city slicker. Horses for courses.

    Where would you send them? Where can the UK train overseas that matches A'Stan?
    Why, in Afghanistan of course. Now why haven't the Brits thought of that?

    Another data free opinion. Any man can have opinions. History tramples all over any claim the British Army are slow learners. The issues in A'Stan can't be attributed to guess work about the supposed short coming of the "British Army."
    History does no such thing. What history shows is that the Brits have the ability to bumble on and learn slowly as they go along. Just like they are doing in Helmand. History repeats itself over and over again.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Amazing insight.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    History repeats itself over and over again.
    I wonder if that's why they call it history...

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    Interesting article in the JUL-AUG 2010 issue of Military Review on why we should STOP using Galula and Algeria as some type of success model for Small Wars. Link to article below.



    http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/Military...831_art006.pdf

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    Slap:

    Good hit. I think the COIN court is crumbling faster every day. Algeria was not a success, the objectives were different, and the strategies different.

    I was particularly struck by the little nugget about Americans being oblivious in Iraq to real estate ownership and taxation.

    In real life, triffles like these are the essence of government, governance and private rights---some of the many little parts not really understood as essential frameworks for COIN tactics.

    Reminds me of Wilf's comments about street savvies being good at soldiering. Folks who understand the structure of governments have the same sensibilities about how governments really work---it ain't about projects. It's about rights and benefits.

    Steve

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    MAL's comment about PTSD is insightful.

    I first became aware of it from a riding stable accident (dog attack). Three days after returning from the hospital, my seven year old was sitting up all night long (wide awake sort-of), with this reptilian stare. Like a zombie.

    She spent months in therapy with A PTSD specialist for civilians---car crash victims, etc... who all have the same traumatic path to get through. I see the flashes of it when a big dog barks, etc..., but she MANAGES it. That is not the same as being cured.

    Some of the civilian trauma can result from an abuse of government, or anything that undermines the integrity of a person's being and safety.

    To push it all on soldiers and war zones is just wrong. PTSD can come from many sources, and anyone witnessing a person in the throws of an acute episode knows it is very real.

    I don't think my war zone experience had a negative effect on my life (quite the contrary), but that doesn't mean those experiences could, by some separate trigger, manifest as something very different later.

    Funny thing is that before my seven year old's accident, I believed that my aversion to blood and violence in movies was from my prior military experience, but when it happened, I responded automatically with years of training---stop the bleeding, treat for shock, etc... After that, I realized that my training and experience was appropriate to my circumstance in Iraq---so was I acculturated to violence, or did my reptilian brain kick in through some expression of PTSD, but in a positive way?

    I'd love a real expert to jump in about the range and circumstances of PTSD, especially from civilian circumstances. Helps to remind that soldiers are, after all, only human..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post

    I was particularly struck by the little nugget about Americans being oblivious in Iraq to real estate ownership and taxation.


    Steve
    Yep, Real Estate ownership and taxation is good Intelligence.

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    Default No TTPs from any historic example should be transferred literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Interesting article in the JUL-AUG 2010 issue of Military Review on why we should STOP using Galula and Algeria as some type of success model for Small Wars. Link to article below.



    http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/Military...831_art006.pdf
    First one must free their mind from the widely accepted fiction that the Algerian Insurgency has ever been resolved. Organizations have been suppressed, names have changed, but there has yet to be a root resolution of the problems there and establishment of a form and nature of governance that could realistically be seen as having the country firmly on track in Phase 0 conditions.

    That said, Galula must not be read literally, but one must take the many gold nuggets that exist in his work and apply them to the situation they are in, tailored for all the many factors that make every insurgency unique; but focused by the general dynamics that also make every insurgency similar as well. Most COIN practitioners don't appear to understand insurgency well enough to make that distinction.

    French COIN is no better or worse than say, British COIN, or US COIN; there are lessons to be drawn from all. For me personally, I'd been working the Philippine mission for a couple of years at SOCPAC when I found my first copy of Galula tucked away in a corner of the Army War College books store. A small little paperback, ridiculously priced at about $35, as if the AWC felt compelled to be able to say they carried it, but really didn't want anybody to actually buy or read it. After a quick scan, I bought it and have no regrets. I don't see it as the end all, be all primer on COIN, but I have yet to read anything else nearly as good. Whoever stole my copy (that I probably loaned around the office too freely) may well agree.

    Until our understanding of COIN evolves to the point where practitioners stop talking of COIN "victories", and begin talking about the art of establishing and maintaining general, willing, stability between a populace and its government, we will continue to draw the wrong lessons and either overly praise or criticize works like Galula.

    Hell, people think that the current Algerian insurgency is AQ simply because they changed their name to AQ; and that therefore CT is the right mission to apply against them. If they change their name again to Goldman Sachs will we give them a bail out? We need to get past the surface confusion and simplistic analysis and drill into the real roots of these problems, the problem is that once we get there we don't like what we find out, so we back up and apply some mitigating approach instead.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  20. #560
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    French COIN is no better or worse than say, British COIN, or US COIN; there are lessons to be drawn from all.
    200% agree. Even more on the parallele between Afghanistan and Algeria. The starting points are different: France ruled the place for over 150 years in Algeria, there was a large French native population, French truely believed that Algeria was part of the country...

    Actually 3 French colonels who served in Astan just published a book on COIN. According to them, COIN is necessary but not sufficient to bring victory. And I tend to agree with them. Living among the people to conduct a war among the people where you earn legitimacy through protecting them is a starting point. It's not a strategy in itself but rather an approach of how you set the base for kinetic actions against the opponent.

    Ref of the book I am talking about:
    Hervé de Courrèges, Emmanuel Germain, Nicolas Le Nen, "Principes de contre-insurrection" Editions Economica, 114 pages, 19 euros.
    (Unfortunately in French only at this point of time.)

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