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  1. #1
    Coined
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    Default Is there a Dutch approach ?

    The nature of intervention operations the Western world has primarily engaged in over the last decades, has changed. Destroying the opponent’s (military) capabilities is not sufficient anymore to achieve the primary political strategic goals. In fact, military capabilities are just a minor element of the operational environment. An environment in which adaption is needed to cope with society, politics, economy, culture and (non)governmental organisations.

    An adapted way of acting, asks for an adapted organisation. We have to relate to organisations as a system of systems, visualising synergetic effects by a balanced presence of sensors. An organisation which is able to operate in permissive, semi permissive and non permissive environment. In exercises like Uruzgan Integration, Royal Netherlands Army elements are joined together into modular units. These modular units give input in the ability to learn (training, practising, performing their job) from each other.
    That is why the Ministry of defence of The Netherland developed the 3-D approach, Diplomacy, Development and Defence. It includes Security Sector Reform, Stabilization, Governance, Development and Reconstruction.
    The Royal Netherland Army recognises that modular organised units relate to this 3D approach. They operate in a consistent mix of a permissive, semi-permissive and non-permissive environment. The effect is complementary.

    The “Uruzgan Integration” exercise combines the 3D approach. In this exercise the modular units consists of elements like Psychological Support (to inform the Afghan population), Infantry (to provide security for the unit), Provincial Reconstruction (to provide development and Diplomacy in Afghanistan), Reconnaissance (to provide information), Intelligence (to provide the current situation in favour of the unit), Police Mentoring (to educate the Afghan Uniformed police), Military mentoring (to educate the Afghan National Army). All these elements are combined in one unit and are also trained to be aware of the fact that they all are key in influencing the behaviour.

    The Army, Navy or Air force are not the key elements in the 3D approach, its main responsibility is to shape the conditions for Diplomacy and Development.
    Trying to bring Diplomacy and Development into Afghanistan , The Royal Netherlands Army learned that the overall end state should be a lawful and tolerant Islamic Republic of Afghanistan based on mutual respect for each other where people can life their lives in a safe and secure environment.
    The current illiteracy (around 80%) is the main aspect to be aware of. The afghan society is an oral society. The spoken word is the main source for news so the defence against the opponent, which is also the Taliban, is not only military but a multi-faceted, multi-area effort having a long term goal that every Afghan, men and women alike, has the right to be able to write and to read.

    The synergy of effort within the 3D approach is in support of the mission for Taskforce Uruzgan objectives. This is based on a comprehensive and systemic understanding of the environment as a whole derived from all source intelligence, and the subsequent analysis of adversaries, potential adversaries and other parties, their objectives, Centres of Gravity (COGs), and end state. Modular organised units are able to provide detailed profiling, target audience and network analysis. This will ascertain the most appropriate and effective and balanced operation. A selection of activities, carefully tailored to the regional circumstances, will form the basis for achieving the objectives we like to reach with our 3D approach.

  2. #2
    Council Member Surferbeetle's Avatar
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    Default The object in war is to obtain a better peace...

    From B.H. Liddell Hart's book Strategy:

    A long series of mutually exhausting and devastating wars, above all the Thirty Years War, had brought statesmen by the eighteenth century to realize the necessity, when engaged in war, or curbing both their ambitions and their passions in the interests of their purpose. On the one hand, this realization tended to produce a tacit limitation of warfare-an avoidance of excesses which might damage after-the-war prospects. On the other hand, it made them more ready to negotiate a peace if and when victory came to appear dubious of achievement. Their ambitions and passion frequently carried them too far, so that the return to peace found their countries weakened rather than strengthened, but they had learnt to stop short of national exhaustion. And the most satisfactory peace settlements, even for the stronger side, proved to be those which were made by negotiation rather than by decisive military issue.
    Sapere Aude

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    Hmmm, your first paragraph
    Quote Originally Posted by Coined
    The nature of intervention operations the Western world has primarily engaged in over the last decades, has changed. Destroying the opponent’s (military) capabilities is not sufficient anymore to achieve the primary political strategic goals. In fact, military capabilities are just a minor element of the operational environment. An environment in which adaption is needed to cope with society, politics, economy, culture and (non)governmental organisations......
    is quite similar to the intro to an article published last year in the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, Fusion: A Behavioral Approach to Counterinsurgency. Compare:
    In this article we will briefly describe the changed nature of the intervention operations the Western world has primarily engaged in over the last decades. Traditionally destroying opponent’s military capabilities was sufficient to achieve the primary political strategic goals. We will illustrate where our current organisation can be complemented so it can sufficiently support efforts to achieve the more inclusive political strategic goals by blending in the behavioural aspects of all the actors that interacting in the conflict. Finally we will propose an alternative structure that can better support these efforts.....

  4. #4
    Coined
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    Hmmm, your first paragraph

    is quite similar to the intro to an article published last year in the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, Fusion: A Behavioral Approach to Counterinsurgency. Compare:
    That's correct.
    The article is mine.

    So, now it is time for some valuable indepth discussions about permanent modular organised units based upon the a 3Block warfare scenario. Imho there is a consistentcy in permissive, semi-permissive and non-permissive. You cannot seperate them as they are interconnected. Sometimes one of the three is manifest, for instance non-permissive. Then you can talk about a full scale war, also when that is the case the permissive and semi-permissiv still make part of your approach towards those we categorise as opponents.
    We have to adapt our organisation to that.
    Last edited by Coined; 04-13-2009 at 03:43 PM.

  5. #5
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Three points occur so far in this thread...

    Two from the Liddell-Hart quote:
    "...Their ambitions and passion frequently carried them too far, so that the return to peace found their countries weakened rather than strengthened, but they had learnt to stop short of national exhaustion..."
    True but problematical when the opponent is not another nation but a non-state entity with ill understood aspirations. That not only changes the rules, it significantly alters the playing field. Large bureaucracies and foreign affairs professionals do not adapt well to rule changes -- or to playing fields of irregular shapes.
    "...And the most satisfactory peace settlements, even for the stronger side, proved to be those which were made by negotiation rather than by decisive military issue."
    Always true, particularly true in irregular / COIN warfare. Quite problematic, though, when the opponent truly cannot negotiate because he is too disparate and amorphous to provide, much less enforce, a binding resolution...

    Those are worrisome issues that merit some long term thinking.

    This from Coined, however is a critical and important point that merits some action while the previous points are pondered and pontificated upon:
    "Then you can talk about a full scale war, also when that is the case the permissive and semi-permissiv still make part of your approach towards those we categorise as opponents. We have to adapt our organisation to that.
    It is also one that large bureaucracies have great difficulty understanding, much less implementing.

    The prognosis, as the saying goes, is not good...

  6. #6
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    Hi Ken, thanks for the discussion.

    You say:
    "Quite problematic, though, when the opponent truly cannot negotiate because he is too disparate and amorphous to provide, much less enforce, a binding resolution..."

    Well, I think that the opponent is not desperate. The word "oppoment" usually relates to a visible and organised element. In current conflicts an opponent can be a politician, a local policeman, a governmental rep, .... and so on.
    Referring to Afghanistan the Western population often think that the opponent is Taliban. Well, I think that Taliban is the high leadership and some midlevel leaders in the provinces and that 80% of what we refer to as Taliban are not more than people who try to earn a living for their family, people who fight out of hatred because of ten years of Russian violence and years of Taliban supression (although the population embraced the Taliban in the first year of their power) and others who to things for the Taliban because they are intimidated to do so. Taliban as a name is sometimes also used to cover up drugscrime .... not only people in Afghanistan earn a lot by trading drugs.
    So, what do the Afghanis want for themselves and for their children?

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    Most Afghans outside of the urban elite are looking for an entity that can best ensure their security at the least cost to their traditional rights. In most cases this is not a 'lawful and tolerant Islamic Republic.' I suspect most Afghans would prefer a weak central government that serves mostly as a foil for the ambitions of neighboring tribes, ethnic groups, or warlords.

    I spent a tour with ISAF and grew to admire the professionalism, skill, and toughness of the Dutch. However, I found them to be inflexible in their approach to the '3-block war' and naive in their belief that a soft-power approach would work best in one of the most restive provinces in the country.

  8. #8
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I did not say anyone was desperate

    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    You say:
    "Quite problematic, though, when the opponent truly cannot negotiate because he is too disparate and amorphous to provide, much less enforce, a binding resolution..."
    Note the word is 'disparate'; that means "Fundamentally distinct or different in kind; entirely dissimilar: Containing or composed of dissimilar or opposing elements." -- there are too many factions. The so-called Taliban are but many (even the Talibs are not unified; far from it...) out of many more. All of those many and varied groups are also amorphous which means there's no form or crux to their effort. More succinctly and directly, that means no one is really in charge so we cannot really make a deal with them -- though we may well fake one before we withdraw in 2011, declaring victory as we pass the Pakistanis with smug grins on their faces.
    Well, I think that the opponent is not desperate.
    Nope, not one bit. Time is on their side and they know it. No reason for them to be desperate or even slightly worried. However, they are disparate as we both seem to say...
    The word "oppoment" usually relates to a visible and organised element. In current conflicts an opponent can be a politician, a local policeman, a governmental rep, .... and so on.
    Startling revelation -- can we then say that an opponent is not necessarily a visible and organized element but can be anyone or any number of anyones who oppose to some degree or another what one wishes to say, do or to occur? That should be an acceptable definition. It was to me.
    Referring to Afghanistan the Western population often think that the opponent is Taliban. Well, I think that Taliban is the high leadership and some midlevel leaders in the provinces and that 80% of what we refer to as Taliban are not more than people who try to earn a living for their family, people who fight out of hatred because of ten years of Russian violence and years of Taliban supression (although the population embraced the Taliban in the first year of their power) and others who to things for the Taliban because they are intimidated to do so. Taliban as a name is sometimes also used to cover up drugscrime .... not only people in Afghanistan earn a lot by trading drugs.
    I think we can agree on all that though it has little bearing on anything I said. However, since that is apparently a new question, seems to me the answer was provided by Eden above: "I suspect most Afghans would prefer a weak central government that serves mostly as a foil for the ambitions of neighboring tribes, ethnic groups, or warlords." Only thing I'd add is that my bet is that's what they'll end up having. As it was in the beginning, is now...
    So, what do the Afghanis want for themselves and for their children?
    Unless you're an Afghan, neither you or I can or should answer that question and, frankly, it would be foolish for us to try. It is up to the Afghans to sort out the answer to that in their own way and in their own time. For us to presume to do it for them is the height of deluded western egocentrism -- and folly. Welcome to Afghanistan.

  9. #9
    Council Member Mark O'Neill's Avatar
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    Default Borrowing from Forrest Gump..

    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    That's correct.
    The article is mine.

    So, now it is time for some valuable indepth discussions about permanent modular organised units based upon the a 3Block warfare scenario. Imho there is a consistentcy in permissive, semi-permissive and non-permissive. You cannot seperate them as they are interconnected. Sometimes one of the three is manifest, for instance non-permissive. Then you can talk about a full scale war, also when that is the case the permissive and semi-permissiv still make part of your approach towards those we categorise as opponents.
    We have to adapt our organisation to that.
    I may not be a smart man but I know post modernist babble when I see it.

    What is this saying?

    And then, why?

    Can anyone other than the author even begin to guess as what it has to do with COIN ?

    If I was ever captured, forget the waterboarding , or even the powerdrill like the good old AQI funsters.. I would scream for mercy if people continually read what routinely passes as 'COIN' writing in many journals to me...

    Gian, mate, where are you? ... don't fight against COIN initiatives, use those professorial skills to rage against poor expression and prose. We are drowning it , Orwell is spinning in his grave.

    Aghh!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark O'Neill View Post
    I may not be a smart man but I know post modernist babble when I see it.
    This should help, Mark:

    HOW TO SPEAK AND WRITE POSTMODERN

    by Stephen Katz, Associate Professor, Sociology, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

    Postmodernism has been the buzzword in academia for the last decade. Books, journal articles, conference themes and university courses have resounded to the debates about postmodernism that focus on the uniqueness of our times, where computerization, the global economy and the media have irrevocably transformed all forms of social engagement. As a professor of sociology who teaches about culture, I include myself in this environment. Indeed, I have a great interest in postmodernism both as an intellectual movement and as a practical problem. In my experience there seems to be a gulf between those who see the postmodern turn as a neo-conservative reupholstering of the same old corporate trappings, and those who see it as a long overdue break with modernist doctrines in education, aesthetics and politics. Of course there are all kinds of positions in between, depending upon how one sorts out the optimum route into the next millennium.

    However, I think the real gulf is not so much positional as linguistic. Posture can be as important as politics when it comes to the intelligentsia. In other words, it may be less important whether or not you like postmodernism than whether or not you can speak and write postmodernism. Perhaps you would like to join in conversation with your local mandarins of cultural theory and all-purpose deep thinking, but you don't know what to say. Or, when you do contribute something you consider relevant, even insightful, you get ignored or looked at with pity. Here is a quick guide, then, to speaking and writing postmodern.
    I've always loved this part:

    At some point someone may actually ask you what you're talking about. This risk faces all those who would speak postmodern and must be carefully avoided. You must always give the questioner the impression that they have missed the point, and so send another verbose salvo of postmodernspeak in their direction as a ``simplification'' or ``clarification'' of your original statement. If that doesn't work, you might be left with the terribly modernist thought of, ``I don't know''. Don't worry, just say, ``The instability of your question leaves me with several contradictorily layered responses whose interconnectivity cannot express the logocentric coherency you seek. I can only say that reality is more uneven and its (mis)representations more untrustworthy than we have time here to explore''.
    In fairness to the article by Coined, his writing isn't really postmodern at all.

    However, I'm not sure that the piece offers anything that anyone is likely to find particularly surprising. Virtually no one that I'm aware of believes that Western COIN operations don't involve all 3 "Ds." The challenge is getting the mix right, coordination, and making them work with insufficient resources in a complex and problematic environment. It seems to me that waving the 3D flag (something that we love to do in Ottawa too) all too often comes at the expense of tackling these more difficult issues.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  11. #11
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    In fairness to the article by Coined, his writing isn't really postmodern at all.
    Quite True, Rex. For some good examples of PMS (aka Post Modernist Syndrone), see The Postmodernism Generator (click reload for a new PMS essay every time!). BTW, I know of some students who actually used this for classes. What truly scares me is that at least one of them was laughing about getting an A on one of these "essays" !!!!
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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