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Thread: How To Win

  1. #21
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Ignoring the later sarcasm,
    No sarcasm intended. At was an attempt at mood lightening, observational humour.

    I mean the sum total of interaction on the ground--be that writing reports, meeting with counterparts including the Vice Presient/Secretary of Defense one on one, or sharing information with a senior operations officer or a senior intelligence officer--enter into the creation and defining of foreign policy. If one is summoned to the VPs office and he is poised to pull out of a reciprocal program, then what you say in that office and how you react defines where the foreign policy that established that program in the first place. That is but one example.
    All those things are good. In the British Army, that is what the "MILO" -military liaison intelligence officers - used to do. Maybe they still do. I have not carried a drunken one back to his hotel in 15 years.

    Sure, always good to have military input from the coal face, but that is distinctly different from an officer on the ground, deciding to back X group against another or to reverse a policy already in place. Best he can do, is to argue his case and then act when instructed to do so, his plans first having been scrutinised by the diplomats. Historically the best I can offer is the difference between Allenby's success in the Palestine campaign, versus MacArthur getting himself sacked in Korea.

    To whit, and my concern in this thread, while I applaud the Col Jones's insights as to "PCE", his paper does not, to mind, make clear that PCE is a going to have to be set against a very stringent and very specific policy context.

    "...that populaces have the right to choose the form of governance which suits them best..." cannot be, or underpin, an overall approach to operations. It's like basing FM-3 on the universal declaration of human rights. Military Force is for the breaking of will, not the building of nations.
    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

  2. #22
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Sure, always good to have military input from the coal face, but that is distinctly different from an officer on the ground, deciding to back X group against another or to reverse a policy already in place. Best he can do, is to argue his case and then act when instructed to do so, his plans first having been scrutinised by the diplomats. Historically the best I can offer is the difference between Allenby's success in the Palestine campaign, versus MacArthur getting himself sacked in Korea.
    Again Wilf, a military officer serviing in a country team as an attache or a security assistance officer is a diplomat. As for backing a group, that is another decision that can be made at the local level if it is done so under a general policy umbrella.

    There are varying degrees of influence and decisionmaking authority accorded officers serving in such positions depending on country, crisis, and national interest. In the larger countries that would be much less than you would find in Africa or Latin America. It tends to be a case of management by exception; the framework is established and you make the decisions within that framework. If once Washington hears of those decisions, they accept, you are good. If not, then you may face recall. But if you believe that every single decision is vetted and scrutinized by a panel of policy makers, you are mistaken. It does not work that way, nor should it.

    Military Force is for the breaking of will, not the building of nations.
    That makes a nice neat slogan, Wilf, and I know you like to repeat it. It bears little resemblance to the reality of the Congo, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

    We will have to agree to disagree.

    Tom

  3. #23
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Military Force is for the breaking of will, not the building of nations.
    That makes a nice neat slogan, Wilf, and I know you like to repeat it. It bears little resemblance to the reality of the Congo, Iraq, or Afghanistan.
    Wilf,
    I'd have to say military power, in the context of being an element of U.S. national power, is for achieving U.S. political objectives. While it is perhaps best suited for compelling others to conform to our will, it can, is and has been used for other purposes such as freeing those being compelled or terrorized by others. Context matters.
    To this end, there is a "build" component to our use of the U.S. military. You may not qualify this as the use of "military force", or even the use military power, but it is clearly the use of military forces. I'd submit that while one can argue the semantics of the "ways", the result is "means" committed to an end.

    Best, Rob

  4. #24
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Wilf,
    While it is perhaps best suited for compelling others to conform to our will, it can, is and has been used for other purposes such as freeing those being compelled or terrorized by others. Context matters.
    ...and that is central to my thesis. Freeing the oppressed still requires violence, as an instrument. Unless you are using armed force, there is little point in using armed forces. I am not talking hurricane relief or any other of the "can do" missions. I am talking about what underpins doctrines, configuration and training.

    Context is critical, but force is force. Military force should be force and not the pedalling of influence. Leave that to the other arms of Government.
    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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    I have to admit when I read COL Jones' piece, my first reaction was 'mehhhh...' It doesn't appear to me to be saying anything particularly new or insightful. We should support good governance. OK. We should rely less on brute force. Check. The State Department should have the lead on foreign relations and setting foreign policy. No objections there.

    Having followed the thread since, I'm surprised such a pedestrian essay should generate so much controversy. I mean, there are no new ideas there. And, practically, it is doubtful we could implement a PCE if we wanted to.

    First of all, where good governance already exists, it would be superfluous. Where governance is poor, it is usually because an entrenched minority is governing for its own benefit. Promoting good governance is going to put us at odds with the existing power structure in many places - that is, we will become insurgents more often than we would be counterinsurgents.

    Second, in those places where governance is poor but the government is altruistic, the cause must be poverty - of resources, of technology, of markets, or some combination thereof. Certainly we should promote good governance in those spaces, but I am skeptical of the US ability to truly address underlying, endemic problems such as those even where our indigenous partners are willing participants.

    Thirdly, I don't see our State Department as becoming proponents of good governance in any but the most superficial sense. They are diplomats, trained (and organized) to deal with states and state structures, not with populations. I just don't see them becoming agents of change capable of reforming poorly governing states.

    Finally, I'll repeat what I said earlier: I don't believe many outside the west share our paradigm of the purpose of government. The idea that governments exist 'for the people' is relatively new, though I will admit it is an idea in the ascendent.

    I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. Can anyone provide an example of successful PCE? Especially, can anyone provide an example of successful PCE where the engaging power had to work through a local government - that is, where the engaging power did not rule directly the territory under consideration?

  6. #26
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    Default good enough governance

    State Dept, in and of itself, can't do PCE, but USAID can and does do this. There are numerous examples in various countries.

    I think there's a disconnect or misunderstanding regarding good governance. Governments, whether national or local, have certain functions to perform and meeting basic needs is the most important (providing security, delivering services, etc.). That's just governance. Most governments in developing countries and fragile states don't even perform their core functions well and that's where institutions like USAID can help to strenghten the effectiveness and legitimacy of the government. Beyond this, good governance refers to reaching out to and including citizens in decision-making, being open and transparent, etc. These aspects of governance are often new and unwelcome by other governments, hence the unwillingness. But providing core functions effectively and efficiently can and should reduce the root causes for frustration and dissatisfaction.

    The new term now is good enough governance as good governance is a bit of a stretch for most governments. It has to be a model that works in the local context, is phased to address priorities and accepts the inherent trade-offs and realities of working in these countries.

    We need to stop beating the drum of good governance. Frankly, the US govt doesn't do it all that well itself (in the broadest and most complete sense of what good governance entails).

  7. #27
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    We need to stop beating the drum of good governance. Frankly, the US govt doesn't do it all that well itself (in the broadest and most complete sense of what good governance entails).
    Now that is a mouthful of truth...

    I doubt Washington will swallow

    Tom

  8. #28
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I agree with you both.

    er. all three? four??...

    Eden is correct in that overall it's a sort of pedestrian article but COL Jones does seem to argue two points with which I agree.

    First and most important is a condemnation of threat centered engagement:

    "Threat-Centric Engagement (TCE): A program of engagement designed to defeat a specific enemy or alliance of separate enemies. TCE is driven by the key concept that ultimate victory is achieved by defeating the threat."

    I said before and will repeat, that is not the best way to look at the rest of the world bar a potential existential threat.

    I'll also again say what I said early on the thread reference governance: ""I noticed the same item Wilf highlighted:
    "...PCE is driven by the key concepts that governance is of, by and for the people; that populaces have the right to choose the form of governance which suits them best; and that insurgency occurs when governance fails."
    but took it differently, I cued in on this portion "...that populaces have the right to choose the form of governance which suits them best..." as meaning stick our big nose in only where it's wanted but do not try to manipulate that want and at all costs do not try to impose a form of of government that is alien or inappropriate * on another nation.

    * As it appears we tried (are trying???) to do in both Afghanistan and Iraq and is flat not going to happen...""

    I think that sort of agrees with you on not getting wrapped around the good governance foolishness -- none of our business and, as Eden and Beelzebubalicious said, we have enough problems in that area ourselves without trying to hassle others.

  9. #29
    Council Member Beelzebubalicious's Avatar
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    populaces have the right to choose the form of governance which suits them best
    Not to get too sticky, but this statement needs further analysis. Do any of us really choose our form of governance? I didn't choose democracy. I accepted it. We can choose our leaders, mainly through elections or by other means (coup d'etat), but we choose them so that they create a government that we support and that suits us best. In terms of the last phrase, "suits them best", this is where it gets tricky. Do people even know what suits them best? In many cases, a more authoritarian government might be best and a democracy a disaster. I spent 2 years in Ukraine where most people preferred an authoritarian government and leader. They pined for the kind of strength and leadership that Stalin provided. Nobody wants Stalin back, but they want a strong leader.

    This gets me back to choosing leaders and elections and whether people really know what's in their best interest. I was also in the West Bank in December 2005 preparing a proposal for a USAID-funded project. We had a good project designed, but the Palestinian people elected Hamas and that was that. It was, by all reports, a legitimate election. People wanted a change from the past and Hamas had legitimacy in terms of delivering services and listening to the people. They also had strong Islamic values which many people shared. But, like our own recent election, it was more of a referendum on the past administration.

    In that case, the US had an opportunity to try and work with the democratically elected government and decided not to. It was a mistake. There are radical elements in Hamas, for sure, but were they all bad? Is anyone or any group all good? Hell no. You gotta work with what you have. If the USG had worked with Hamas, I wonder what would have happened. Could we have strenghtened the moderates, cornered and pushed out the radicals and helped them establish a functioning government?

  10. #30
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    For Eden and everybody, I have sent Colonel Jones an email to see if he will respond from the horse's mouth so to speak...so we shall see. Slap

  11. #31
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    New Article from SWJ Blog by Col. Jones. "Strategic Principles of Counterinsurgency"


    http://smallwarsjournal.com/mag/docs-temp/128-jones.pdf

  12. #32
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    New Article from SWJ Blog by Col. Jones. "Strategic Principles of Counterinsurgency"
    http://smallwarsjournal.com/mag/docs-temp/128-jones.pdf
    Some of Col Jones statements are too absolute to be useful.

    For example he talks about "failure of governance." In the three insurgencies, I know best, Sierra Leone, Algeria 1991-present and South Thailand 2004-present, there was no failure of governance.

    In SL the bad guys came over the boarder and started killing, robbing and raping. It was criminal insurgency with no popular base. The solution was the kill the insurgents. Having a popular democratic government in Freetown made very little difference. I submit Angola showed some of the same problem, when Jonas Savimbi went "bush" after 92.

    Thailand, most folks were fine, till some Muslim extremists started killing local Buddhist Thais, and terrorising folk.

    Algeria was stable and functioning (not a democracy, but no arab country is) till an extremist minority started killing folks they didn't like.

    What is more Muslims in England are no more subject to bad governance than I was when I lived there.
    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

  13. #33
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Yep. Think he sort of missed the bubble this time.

    The earlier had some merit; if only in pointing out the Empire's lack of attire (or camouflage) but I sorta scratched my head after this one...

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    Default A Failure to Communicate Here ?

    I've had difficulties with COL Jones' articles, which mix legal and military language and concepts in something of a pot-purri. That accords with his background.

    E.g., Juris Doctorate from Willamette University (1995); Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College (2006); also a Deputy District Attorney in Portland, Oregon (2001).
    Without doubt, his is a brave attempt to create a needed interface between communities that use different terms (for the same or similar things), all derived from different cultures.

    I hope we can agree that, in a small war environment (and in its pre-small war environment), three of the components (leaving other components on the shelf for the time being) are:

    1. judicial system

    2. police

    3. military

    What do they do if there are communication difficulties (often semantic). Here is one suggestion (snip from another thread).

    john t fishel
    Now, we political (and other social) scientists have a solution for such semantic discrepancies. It is called "operational definition." Essentially, we define (or redefine) a word the way we want to use it and say to our interlocutors that if you want to talk to me about the subject of that word you had better be using my definition of it.
    ......
    jmm
    ... except I would amend the last clause to read: "...if you want to talk to me about the subject of that word, we had better be using our definition of it." Mutuality, reciprocity, all that good stuff.
    Here is an good example (I hope). Slap and I can communicate without the need for a translator, within the scope of our respective professions, because the judicial system (judges, prosecutors, public defenders, defense attorneys) and the police have been joined at the hip for so long that our "operational definitions" are well in place. Thus, we (US) can speak of a unified criminal justice community (## 1 & 2) - which does not mean that everyone agrees on everything - it does mean that we understand what we are arguing about.

    On the other hand, the military community is not joined at the hip with the criminal justice community - in part because of constitutional and legislative provisions imposed for good reasons; in other part, because the criminal justice community primarily has been concerned with internal US matters, the military with external US matters. The exception is found in our Civil War and Reconstruction - a period of our tragic, personal experience with "small wars". There, the lack of mutual "operational definitions" led to more than one misunderstanding and conflict (e.g., Ex Parte Milligan).

    Another interface which COL Jones brings into play is that between civilian policy makers and the military at the national strategy level, where mutual "operational definitions" are again critical to making progress. In the US, lack of communication has been ameliorated by men with military experience occupying the Oval Office (roughly 75%). The UK experience seems different, at least with its PMs (roughly 25%). As our all-volunteer model continues, we might move more toward what I perceive as the British model. My perception may be all wet.

    I couldn't really begin with substantive comments on the two articles - pro & con arguments and modifications for almost every paragraph - perhaps. E.g., we learn that:

    (first article, p.5)
    The U.S. is unique in that it did not create an ideology to fuel an independence movement; instead an ideology developed that demanded that the nation be independent.
    Now, there are various theories about the American Revolution. The one that forms my opinion (and all are really just that) is the more traditional view that economic factors (the Crown's trade regulations adverse to the colonies; and its limitations on westward expansion expressed in the Quebec Act), combined with a peculiar American view of English law (the "ideology"), were the bases for declaring independence.

    The American "ideology" (which the Brits found insane - and justfiably so, in light of mainstream English legal history) was a radical extension of the Magna Carta, Simon de Montfort, Coke's Institutes and John Locke to what the rebelling colonists (perhaps a third of the whole) thought was a "new land". Part of that ideology was a selective incorporation of some English laws (as "adapted to American conditions"), and outright rejection of others. That process began with the Mayflower Compact and continued through the colonial period. As such, the American Revolution was more an American Evolution.

  15. #35
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Post Hmmm

    ALL,

    Perhaps this supports JMM's statements about communications in that to me the latter contribution makes perfect sense in both it's presentation and applicability to what I "think" I have learned about insurgency in history.

    Although Wilf may be right about absolutes I'm not sure I see how the statements Col Jones made aren't still true.

    If the bad guys come from somewhere outside them their not insurgents they are(take your pick: Criminals, outsurgency, enterprise, etc). If these bad guys get enough locals(populace) to stand behind them by whatever means you have an insurgency. If the govt as it stands however is still able to effectively fulfill its obligations to the larger populace then does this not in essence mean that the opposition still remains more of a belligerant than a truly counter government movement. At least in so far as how any outside parties considerations for what type of assistance is required for that govt.

    Also think in terms of the US or Britain in the large number of existing counter govt actors who remain simply LE problems due explicitly to the fact that they are not able to move enough of the populous to their chosen cause. This would seem to be particularly applicable to the theory that in almost all forms of insurgency the populace "are' the final determinate for what a movement is or isn't.

    Sorry for the rambles but nothing new here
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  16. #36
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    Default A little late but,

    Ken just pointed out that this post already existed, so I'm transferring what I thought was a set of brand new ideas. I can see you guys addressed many of the concerns, but I tend to agree with Slapout on this one, with some caveats addressed below. Assuming we don't do this, and TCE isn't working all that well, what do you suggest?

    COL Jones' article deserves serious discussion. Personally I disagree with many of his assumptions (or at least my perception of what I think he is attempting to communicate), but there are also a number of good ideas presented that are worth discussing.

    In an insurgency/counterinsurgency type conflict it is generally assumed that the population is the center of gravity (this does not relieve leaders from assessing every situation for its unique causes and centers of gravity, or risk re-learning the fact that assumptions are the mother of failure). What exactly does it mean when we say the population is the center of gravity to the insurgent and the counterinsurgent? I think simply nodding our heads up and down in agreement leads to simple, but flawed strategies based heavily on civil military operations, propaganda, and other outreach initiatives. These activities are critical, but only if they support a strategy that brings the conflict to an acceptable settlement or end game.

    Jones described population centric engagement (PCE) above initially as understanding and facilitating meeting the requirements of a target populace, which is fine, as long we’re working through the host nation government and assisting them in meeting the requirements of their populace. However, he suggests we should focus our message of inalienable rights, self-determination and the right and duty of every populace to rise up in insurgency in the face of poor governance. It appears that he shifts the argument from how to win an insurgency by focusing on the population to how to undermine the government (subvert) with a message that gives legitimacy to the insurgents. In some cases we do, especially during the Cold War when oppressive communist regimes were being challenged around the world, but the flip side of this argument is that many insurgencies are not interested in improving their societies, but simply gaining power whether it is to establish a narco-state, sharia law, an oppressive communist regime, etc. They are able to mobilize support through coercion and propaganda where the State can be falsely blamed for local woes. In other words, enemies of the State can create perceptions that have little to do with reality. Perhaps the State failed to counter their propaganda effectively, but that is hardly a reason to assume the insurgency necessarily has the high moral ground. Jones argues that insurgencies arise when conditions of poor governance exist that cannot be resolved through legal/legitimate means. In many (perhaps most) cases this is true, but insurgencies are not always the result of poor governance, this assumption can be dangerously misleading.

    Another area that I would debate is the proposal to do away with Threat-Centric Engagement (TCE). Targeting the enemy at the tactical level is not a strategy, and it is normally doomed to fail if it doesn’t support a strategy designed to achieve our policy goals; however, failure to address the threat is equally short sighted. Assuming that it is our interest not to see a particular government fall, then we still have to help them neutralize the subversive elements within their society. Winning support from the population is generally essential to facilitate neutralizing the threat, but the point is both strategies must be pursued in a harmonious manner. I would agree that we could ignore the TCE approach entirely if we used PCE as a preventive measure before the situation deteriorates into an insurgency, but once an insurgency begins, there is still a requirement (admittedly subordinate to the political line of operation) to neutralize it.

    Points that I agree strongly with:

    - In TCE, intelligence truly does lead operations. The question then becomes, what is leading intelligence?

    - focus of the daily briefs shouldn’t be on so called high value targets, but on how to fix the government (thus further isolating the threat).

    - A TCE approach reinforces VEO ideology, a PCE approach undermines it.

    - When the U.S. stops taking the position with others that we are in charge of everything, it will stop being held responsible for everything as well.

    - If Al Qaeda ever forms a State, then it just becomes one more weak state that can be defeated easily by a stronger state.

    - U.S. gov response to the Civil Rights movement in the 60’s was an excellent example of PCE, because it admitted shortcomings and passed the Civil Rights Act to address those shortcomings, thus preventing a full-fledged insurgency.

    A great article, it deserves serious consideration by the SWJ community.

  17. #37
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    Default Populace and Threat

    I will start here with the basics of Jones I (the first article)

    (Jones I, p.2)

    1. Populace-Centric Engagement (PCE) ....

    2. Threat-Centric Engagement (TCE) ....

    3. Good Governance .....

    4. U.S. Ideology ....
    Leaving aside, for the time being, ## 3 & 4 (which will generate a lot of heat), and starting with a very, very basic situation, let's look at ## 1 & 2 from my vantage point - a big county geographically, a little county in population.

    Here, we have the following law enforcement resources (leaving aside village and township police):

    1. Michigan State Police Post.

    2. County Sheriff's Office.

    3. Two city police departments, and two public safety departments at the universities in the two cities.

    Not a very large army, but they do co-operate and get the job done. How do they look at Population and Threat ? Here is the HoCoSO mission statement:

    Our mission is to preserve and encourage a safe community and to enforce the law with compassion, fairness, honesty and integrity. We will enhance our commitment through hard work, education and technology.
    http://www.houghtonsheriff.com/

    The first clause ("...to preserve and encourage a safe community...") is certainly Populace-Centric; but what of the second ("...to enforce the law ..."). You have to ask "enforce the law against whom" - and, to that, the answer requires that there be a threat, usually carried out. So, at some point, Populace-Centric Engagement moves to Threat-Centric Engagement.

    Now, our Sheriff "Slim" (who ain't slim) would not likely use those terms - "get that egghead stuff away from me, Mike" - but he would likely explain it in an historical example, as he has done here:

    According to Anglo-Saxon custom, if someone broke the law it was not just a crime against the victim, but a crime against the whole community. ...
    ....
    Under Anglo-Saxon rule it was the duty of the citizens themselves to see that the law was not broken, and if it was, to catch the offenders.....
    Or, to translate what is clear to Slim and me, into the jargon of the articles: Populace-Centric Engagement of the Threat.

    What you will find by talking to cops here (besides the fact that they are not dumb) is that they have a very good handle on their respective populations - admittedly small populations. So, they can tell you who are the "good people" (who sometimes do slip), the "bad people" (who slip regularly) and those "we're not sure of". Their focus is on the "bad people" and their associates (the ones "we're not sure of").

    Once a "threat" develops to the probable cause stage (a "criminal"), then we are into the criminal justice system. Now, cops are not social workers - they do not have the resources to address the underlying problems which, if solved, might prevent a "threat" from reaching the "probable cause" stage.

    It is in their own enlightened self-interest to assist in doing so, and also in the interests of their populations. But, as Sheriff Slim says, the mission is "to preserve and encourage a safe community", not to build one.

    -------------------------------------------------
    Some terms are not easily defined. My own take is that examples are often more enlightening than attempts at formal definitions. I am placing four terms in a rough pecking order, based on where they fit into the "flow chart" of GC III, Arts. 2, 3 and 4.

    1. criminal - GC III is NA.

    2. terrorist - GC III, Art. 3 ?

    3. insurgent - GC III, Art. 3 or Art. 4; it depends.

    4. belligerent - GC III, Art. 4

    That is just a start.

  18. #38
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    All,

    Ok, as the author of this debate, I imagine I have a duty to show up and either defend my position or fall back. This is all very interesting, and very helpful to me to see which points spoke to people (good or bad). This is definitely a spiral development learning process for me, and I am constantly refining my thinking and will absolutely look seriously at all of the comments provided here.

    In review of the article, I probably tried to put the proverbial 10 lbs into a 5 lb bag, and there are some points that weren't given adequate context to make them as clear as I should have. While these few comments won't clear up all of the controversy, perhaps they will help:

    1. Insurgency and all of the related mission-sets (UW, COIN, FID, CT, etc) all strike at that most fundamental and emotional of relationships:that of between a populace, its governance, and those outside actors who would intervene to influence that dynamic. In the end, the difference between a successful campaign and a failed campaign is generally one of nuance. A fair criticism was "there is nothing new here." True enough. Insurgency has not changed. What I had hoped to offer that was new was perhaps some small nuances on the various aspects of this dynamic that I believe would tilt our engagement toward being both more in tune with how we see ourselves as Americans, and toward greater success as well.
    2. One thing that has changed is the environment. The real heart of the current surge in globalization is the way populaces are connected with each other like never before. This means that the counterinsurgent has a much tougher job. Governments, like never before, must actually perform. While all governments are likely to fall short in this regard, they better ensure that they have at least provided their populace with legitimate means short of insurgency to express their dissatisfaction. PCE is designed to recognize this new environment. No longer is being an effective counterinsurgent enough, nor is simply running an elaborate information campaign. Populaces like never before have access to information that gives choices as to who to grant sovereignty to, and also gives them courage to act (i.e., they know they are not alone, and they don't have to belive the official gov't line).
    3. Lastly, while I do not advocate that the U.S. caused the problems currently going on in the middle east, we do, I believe, need to take responsibility for our actions there. This was a major Cold War battlefield, and 60 years of policy aimed at denying the Soviets access to the region left scars that can, and should be addressed. We did what we needed to do to win, and there is no need to apologize for that. Now we must do what we need to do to move forward. In my view, that is to put both the governances and the populaces of the region on notice that we believe in the principle of Popular Sovereignty and certain principles (uncolored by current concepts of US Democracy or US values applied to those principles); and to be more a global mediator than a global policeman. This will require a strong mix of carrots and sticks; and will be met with healthy skepticisim by governments and populaces alike.

    Not sure if this helps, but I stand by for additional intellectual punishment!

  19. #39
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Thanks for posting that.

    On your recap and summation, I think I caught the gist of item 1 from the original essay. What resonated with me was the "If you have a hammer, everything is a nail" aspect and the suggestion that maybe we should put away our hammer unless we need it. So I'm in agreement on that. Strong agreement, in fact.

    On item 2. I'm inclined to be skeptical. I think the insurgent has an easier job today and that, mostly due to societal changes in the last 40 years, governments have a much more difficult job in demonstrating an ability to perform. My belief is that the the culture of near total dependence on government that has developed in the populace in all the European hearth nations (including the US) has migrated through western media and cultural interplay an has thus embedded itself pretty much worldwide. People are placing demands on government that governments cannot possibly meet. I believe that to be true in the US, in Europe and in most of the world to include our current areas of concern. This syndrome gives potential insurgents a great deal of added influence.

    I agree on Item 3. What happened is really immaterial if regrettable; it's happened and cannot be undone. We need to move forward and we can do that, hopefully without repeating the mistakes of the past. Putting the hammer in the tool drawer for use only if necessary would help...

  20. #40
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    I will just add that there is a significant difference between "Effective Governance" and "Good Governance."

    As I like to point out to all of my British friends, there was certainly effective governance in the British Colonies in America. Highest standard of living in the world at that time, the essentially free protection of the greatest military in the world, and also probably the greatest civil liberties (if you were white and male) in the western world as well. And yet the upper class led an insurgency.

    Good vs Effective must be measured from the perspective of the populace in question. If that populace is not satisfied, then that governance is not good, regardless of how effective it might be. This is not rational, it is just how it is. This was true in America, and also in the other countries mentioned (Thailand, Algeria, etc).

    Similarly, governance can be incredibly ineffective and not be "poor." Again, it is all in the eyes of the populace. A government discounts this concept at their peril...

    To simply blame your failures on a small faction of trouble makers, or on some particular ideology and demand that the populace stop being rediculous and recognize the effectiveness of their governance and be happy is the kind of stereotype that we Americans laugh at in stories about the American Revolution. Now that it is happening to us, it appears we are just as blind as our British cousins were. Ironic, yes. Tragically avoidable? Equally yes, I say.

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