Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Anbar Awakening Council: Friends Close Enemies closer?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    2

    Lightbulb Anbar Awakening Council: Friends Close Enemies closer?

    Forward: This peice is being written for an Insurgency Counter Insurgency Class at American University.
    I have spent a full semester doing group projects and analysis on the current situation in Iraq, this work often searched for any glimmer of what could be called an American victory, a true victory not just a strategic move in a larger overall victory for the whole of a situation in a country. My feelows seemed to desire to define the conflict into individual battles which could be codified as won or lost. I think it is this need to see things as won or lost that brings us as american to the discussion of the Anbar Awakening Council.

    The Awakening Council to be best described can be seen as a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The tribal systems from which they have sprung and there presence outside the established power structure of the Iraqi government leads to them being at best a slippery topic. They are in many ways a jarring case, not being part of the government structure we have fought so hard to define and to develop, offering instead an alternative power system, negating the government monopoly on the legitimate use of force.

    The power point of the American involvement with them was that we could, by legitimizing them, negate and cancel there alliance with insurgent forces, bringing them to are side and allowing for victories in the perceived battle for an-bar province. But from the perspective of seeing the whole conflict in Iraq as one battle, we may have actually made a misstep, by legitimizing them, we negate to some extent the power of the Iraqi government, a power we have fought so hard to build.

    The only way that we can perceive involvement with the Awakening council as being constructive to the Legitimacy of the Iraqi government in its ability to negate the insurgency.

    However, maybe as a side note, if you were to veiw the Awakening Council from the perspective of freinds close and Enemys closer, by dragging them into an alliance with us, learning there force structure and baseing, as well as negating any ability that they have to make comments about the evil american invader (because everyone else has been watching them be in bed with us for the last however long) and yet at the same time providing them military support, (proving there inability to operate seperate from us) oh and by forming them in our reflection (in a way that completely apposes the teachings of Fanon) A.K.A making them act like us instead of like Iraqis, we may have actually managed to seperate the Awakening Council from the deep concetions in had with the communities it was drawen from. This may negate the diffrences from the Iraqi goverment and Military that had made them so appealing for so long to there local communites........ Maybe by keeping our freinds close and are enemies closer, we might just be able to destroy are enemies with are kindness....

  2. #2
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Well done

    I'd recommend that you research a little on "balanced opposition," ### for tat, quid pro quo...Then, you'll understand a bit more.

    Sometimes we forget the Greeks moved into city-states and the Arabs stayed as bedouins. That knowledge explains a lot of our current predicament.

    v/r

    Mike

  3. #3
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    Mike,

    Have to disagree. There WAS no legitimate Iraqi government in Anbar to reinforce. The only power structure functioning (other than AQIZ) in 2006 was the tribal system.

    CE Calwell articulated it well - I don't have the book in front of me but he basically said you had to work WITH the existing power structures (tribal or whatever) rather than against if you want any reasonable chance of success. External occupiers cannot change this effectively, and in doing so create chaos.

    Unfortunately have to run.

    Niel
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

  4. #4
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default What Niel said

    He was there...I only stopped briefly in Ramadi to visit the Seals.

    I suppose I just liked the discussion.

    v/r

    Mike

  5. #5
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    @moatandbailey,

    Rather than re-hash my arguments, I would start by reading the blog post and relevant threads here:

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/200...-west-was-won/

    On the origins of the Awakening:

    Debate over whether it was a good idea (1)

    Debate over whether it was a good idea (2)

    Here is my summary. There was no functioning government in Anbar. None. There was no one to legitimize or reinforce. You couldn't pay people enough to become officials.

    The ONLY reasonable option (other than continuation of the status quo) was to leverage the existing power structure and bring them to our side. As long as violence was out of control nationwide no reconciliation was possible and there would be little chance of gaining a legitimate, effective central government.

    The Awakening was not an end. It was a means to reduce violence to create the opportunity for a common settlement. Whether that works or not was up to the Iraqis.

    Critics of the Awakening owe the answer to two questions:

    1) What else could have been done (in reality, given constraints in 2006) to reduce violence in Anbar?

    2) Did the support of the Awakening enhance or reduce Iraq's chances of forming an effective central govt vs. the situation in summer 2006? -or- Did the awakening enhance or constrain our operational and strategic flexibility?

    Niel
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

  6. #6
    Council Member Danny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Posts
    141

    Default The Anbar Narrative

    Cavguy and others on this subject,

    I know we have gone a few rounds on this issue before, but it bears repeating. In the end I will defer to your authority, but I think that the "Awakening" as a narrative for all of Anbar is mistaken and simplistic.

    I think it is accurate for Ramadi and that AO, but for example in Al-Qaim the situation relied on a very strong single person named Abu Ahmed (and his family) who had begun the fight against AQ before U.S. forces engaged him. After losing, he approached U.S. Marines who assisted him in the fight, thus driving them from Al-Qaim. It had little to do with tribe.

    In Haditha it similarly relied on a strong police chief, but also sand berms around the city to keep undesirables from Syria out.

    After being pushed from Ramadi, AQ mostly landed in Fallujah, and from April - October 2007 the U.S. Marines had one hell of a fight cleaning up Fallujah. it didn't rely on tribes or any awakening, but rather gated communities, biometrics, block Mukhtars and heavy kinetic operations and agressive dismounted patrolling.

    The narrative is complicated, and reference to a single thing, person, group, plan, strategy or approach is wrong. It was an intricate confluence of events and things happening that probably will never be repeated anywhere on earth.

  7. #7
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    Herschel,

    You're right, of course. Much nuance is omitted above, and I unthinkingly excluded some other critical errors.

    My key point remains - if the "awakening" is a bad thing, what should have been done instead? The critics owe a (realistic) answer.

    Niel
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

  8. #8
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default I would submit...

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    The narrative is complicated, and reference to a single thing, person, group, plan, strategy or approach is wrong. It was an intricate confluence of events and things happening that probably will never be repeated anywhere on earth.
    Does Anbar= Diyala= Afghanistan = Vietnam?

    In terms of monetary cost to us, yes.

    In terms of approach, no.

    In the end, it all boils down to money and our children's future whether that be COIN, CT, nuclear war, hybrid war, regular war, fill in the blank.

    v/r

    Mike

  9. #9
    Council Member Danny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Posts
    141

    Default Supporter of SOI

    Cavguy,

    I know that you know all of the rest of the details.

    Roger that. As you know I was a strong supporter of the Awakening and concerned citizens (SOI) program. It's exactly what I would have done if I had been smart enough. No one can offer a better solution because there was no better solution.

    MikeF, it always concerns be when I see dumbed-down versions of a particular narrative being promulgated as the solution somewhere else. We must be smarter than that in how we conduct whatever warfare we are in.

    Best and V/r,

    H

  10. #10
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default True...

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    MikeF, it always concerns be when I see dumbed-down versions of a particular narrative being promulgated as the solution somewhere else. We must be smarter than that in how we conduct whatever warfare we are in.
    I found I'm simply better at execution. I'll implement the policy...Sometimes, I ask to many questions

    v/r

    Mike

  11. #11
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    H,

    Agree you can't transfer directly 1 to 1:

    In a "small footprint" occupation (which both IZ and AFG are, despite our numbers), there is a transitive principle - identify the functioning (real) power structures, and either leverage or neutralize them. But don't work directly against them, especially as a foreigner. It will generate problems.

    Now if you can allocate resources and authority enough to control (aka Chechnya), you have a chance with a direct challenge strategy. This can backfire, as Afghanistan's problems are partially the result of the destruction of its traditional power structures from the 1970s to the present, which facilitated the rise of the Taleban.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

  12. #12
    Council Member Danny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Charlotte, North Carolina
    Posts
    141

    Default Didn't mean ...

    MikeF, um, just to make clear, I didn't mean to imply that your version of anything was dumbed down, or for Cavguy either. Just that I've seen this floating around in the made-for-public-consumption media, and it always makes me grind my teeth.

  13. #13
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default That's why I listen...

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    MikeF, um, just to make clear, I didn't mean to imply that your version of anything was dumbed down, or for Cavguy either. Just that I've seen this floating around in the made-for-public-consumption media, and it always makes me grind my teeth.
    If I've learned anything in life, it's that I don't know anything

    Minzberg calls this approach ad hoc. He also felt that mid-level managers were the only ones that could effectively change bureaucracies outside dynamic leaders in simple structures...In that way, it is Rob Thorton, Niel, and my time

    So, sometimes I opine, but I always listen...Particularly to Ken, Goethe, and Wilf.

    Made for consumption media is just that....That is why I turned off my tv...too much fear-mongering.

    v/r

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeF; 04-23-2009 at 06:12 PM.

  14. #14
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    3,682

    Default

    Hi Mike,

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    I'd recommend that you research a little on "balanced opposition," ### for tat, quid pro quo...Then, you'll understand a bit more.
    Good point - I'd recommend Marshall Sahlins Stone Age Economics and, BTW, the technical term is "reciprocity system" .

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    Sometimes we forget the Greeks moved into city-states and the Arabs stayed as bedouins. That knowledge explains a lot of our current predicament.
    A touch oversimplified, Mike . Let's not forget that there were extensive urban developments in the Arabian penninsula well before the Greeks realized that they weren't all descended from Gods a mere 16 generations back.
    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/

  15. #15
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,177

    Default Thanks Marc

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    A touch oversimplified, Mike . Let's not forget that there were extensive urban developments in the Arabian penninsula well before the Greeks realized that they weren't all descended from Gods a mere 16 generations back.
    Thanks sir. Well said. One thing I've found to be true is a good professor is very similar to a good NCO.

    And that is priceless.

    v/r

    Mike

  16. #16
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    DeRidder LA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    Thanks sir. Well said. One thing I've found to be true is a good professor is very similar to a good NCO.

    And that is priceless.

    v/r

    Mike
    Does that mean Marc is like Stan?

  17. #17
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    3,682

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Does that mean Marc is like Stan?
    Well, we both like to blow things up !
    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/

  18. #18
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default I was going to comment on the biker

    chicks but Marc's faster than I am...


  19. #19
    Council Member marct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    3,682

    Default I'm not allowed near biker

    chicks, Ken. Musicians, OTOH, are another matter !
    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/

  20. #20
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,186

    Default The Growing "Re-Insurgency" in Iraq

    Hat tip to al Sahwa for this article:http://al-sahwa.blogspot.com/2010/10...y-in-iraq.html

    Ends with:
    Unless the Iraqis (hopefully with US help) can figure out a more effective power-sharing deal at the national level and determine a better system to reintegrate Awakening fighters and leaders back into the workforce in a fair and legitimate manner, the situation could spiral out of control quickly and move towards an all-out civil war.
    There is a related comment (on a new website for me):http://cpost.uchicago.edu/blog/2010/...gency-in-iraq/
    davidbfpo

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •