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Thread: Blending into the mindset of the Human Terrain

  1. #21
    Coined
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    For the link to Asprey's book. At least I got something out of this thread besides a headache

    Coined, welcome. Please don't upset the old men...They tend to get grumpy. I think you have some excellent points to make, but I would ask you not to attack the members of this group. We merely implement policy.

    Just say what you mean and mean what you say.

    Ken, have you seen my baseball?

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    Mike
    Right, point taken, thanks.

    Let's get back to the starting point of this thread.

    --------------------------
    As we operate in urbanized “human” terrain we have to train in such terrain. Let’s say an initial entry in a semi-permissive environment at an airfield nearby a town (not with huge warfighting, we know how to fight but do we also know Why, How and with Whom to interact)?

    Military have to make contact with logistical elements at that airfield and in the town to facilitate FoF, or they act as FoF themselves, it depends on the scenario. All civilian participants in the training are informed and civilian role play is instructed.

    PsyOps teams (Train as you Operate) have made an assessment of the town population (real town, real people, real assessment), make contact with local media to inform the population about the coming exercise, explain to them the Why and How, and ask them (in one of the town parts) to participate in let’s say a roadblock.

    Recce elements can perform their obs/surv task assisted by colleagues of the Home guard (a recce element makes an obs post in a room of a Home guard member opposite a bar, the bar is frequented by some MVI’s or HVI’s role play, they have to create a pattern of life, information will go up the chain and a lift ops can be executed at some training area as we don’t like to show our MO).
    Lift operations and the more violent ops can be trained at a training area IVO a town.

    Maneuver elements will “social patrol” a part of the town, introducing themselves to the population asking them some questions. Bottom line, Go to the people, introduce yourself, start a conversation and gain desired information/intelligence.

    You can imagine the participation of all other elements (PRT and so on) that make part of the Modular unit.

    Per level of training and of the Modular unit size the desired effects we like to achieve with the exercise can be developed. Of course this all depends of an integral, coordinated and synchronized approach.

    Role play can be performed by:

    Civilians from a theatre company to train the Modular unit in a permissive environment
    Home guard in civvies to train the Modular unit in a semi-permissive environment.
    Home guard or other military in "uniform" to train the Modular unit in a non-permissive environment.

    Ofcourse these elements are integrated, also when the non-permissive part is manifest, the othter two elements are stiil existent as the "human terrain" will always play an important, even decisive part in our operations.

    Training with modular units needs an extensive preparation, is highly related to "the way we operate" and will learn each participant that they all are key to achieve a desired end state.

    An additional value of such training is the PR/Marketing of our efforts to the population who are able to get acquainted with the how and why of our activities and approaches.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Rather to eleborate on this than to go grumpy.

  2. #22
    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    To be a little more even-handed;

    This reads like a "best practices" approach to Small Wars (COIN, low intensity conflict, SASO, pick your buzzword). You are trying to assemble the concepts that have worked in Latin America in the 1930s, Malaysia in the 1950s, Viet Nam in the 1960s-70s, the hords of Middle Eastern expats that are employed by the U.S. Army National Training Centers right now, etc? If so, you've put together a good framework.

    As previously stated, I agree with what you're saying here, and only disagree with a single element of what you said earlier.

    To elaborate; U.S. engineers generally seek 'perfect' solutions (however, there are a large minority that don't, but that deserves a seperate thread). A 'perfect tool' is a pain in the rear end because you need a lot of them, because perfection has only one purpose and is hard or impossible to adapt to other applications. A good tool isn't 'perfect' but is adaptable enough to use in other situations. Look at the C-130; not perfect for any one job, too small as a cargo plane, too slow with its props rather than turbines, too much radar signature, not agile, etc. But incredibly adaptable; gun ship, SAR, ELINT, aircraft carrier landings, cargo, artic mods, etc. A good knife can be used for opening mail, food preparation, wood carving, and self-defense. An ideal knife for any of these applications isn't very good at the others.

    So a military needs to be a good tool of statecraft rather than a perfect tool of statecraft. The U.S. military was forged into a perfect tool in the mid- to late- 1980s, and after the first Gulf War, felt vindicated (see Steven Metz "Iraq & the Evolution of American Strategy" for an excellent discussion of this). Now we find that all the fieldcraft and subtle arts of Small Wars are equally (or more) important than the romantic vision of mechanized brigades rolling through the hills of Germany.

    My concern with your vision is that, like the U.S. forces at the American entry into World War I, the soldier thus trained may have a steep and fatal learning curve to enter conventional conflict. Alternately, the price tag for a well rounded professional education that includes the full spectrum of conflict and imposition of national will, will not be considered acceptable by our civilian masters.

    playin' stickball with my cane, knock the ball back to someone's court

  3. #23
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Actually it reads like the training construct for mission rehearsal exercises at the JRTC as they have been for years.

    Tom

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    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Tom,

    Actually it reads like the training construct for mission rehearsal exercises at the JRTC as they have been for years.
    To-MAE-to, To-MAH-to...

    Van

  5. #25
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    Tom,



    To-MAE-to, To-MAH-to...

    Van
    I know

    Old tomatoes just shrivel and become pasta sauce

  6. #26
    Coined
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van View Post
    To be a little more even-handed;

    This reads like a "best practices" approach to Small Wars (COIN, low intensity conflict, SASO, pick your buzzword). You are trying to assemble the concepts that have worked in Latin America in the 1930s, Malaysia in the 1950s, Viet Nam in the 1960s-70s, the hords of Middle Eastern expats that are employed by the U.S. Army National Training Centers right now, etc? If so, you've put together a good framework.

    Now we find that all the fieldcraft and subtle arts of Small Wars are equally (or more) important than the romantic vision of mechanized brigades rolling through the hills of Germany.

    playin' stickball with my cane, knock the ball back to someone's court
    We still have to be ready for full scale combat. It wouldn't be wise to get rid of the hardware. That is not what I meant. Full scale wars like WO1 or WO2 are not likely anymore. Our weaponry and the way the information flows will hamper any possible succes in the latent phase. The approach should be a complementary one in which every soldier is trained in an 3BW environment.
    Although we might think that we train for such operations I think we do not.
    We stil train at training areas at which we built training villages. In such a TA we train against civilians which are dressed up soldiers, so still we train with our military mindset against role-play with, also, a military mindset.
    I don't want to "stove pipe" our training just expanding it.
    If you have a look at my fist contribution you will notice that I see (and seek) possibilities to train as we operate. In the midst of townpopulation who's mindset "has been shaped" by, for instance, PsyOps elements. Although other operations which have more battle (non-permissive) characteristics can be trained at the TA's, it is still ONE operation.

    If we brainstorm about this, supporting eachother to be creative, we will be able to set the conditions for an organisation that will be equiped for 3Block ops. Not stove piped elements, which will be organised in a modular way just before we deploy, but a permenant modular organisation in which all kinetic and non-kinitec elements and actors "experience" eachother. Such an approach will bring a broad perpective on the environment for all participants in a conflict.
    I prefer "environment" above "battlespace" because battlespace refers to a specified area. Environment combines aspects like culture, economy, politics, opponents ... This is something for the Bn, Brigade level to be aware of.
    Last edited by Coined; 04-30-2009 at 01:08 PM.

  7. #27
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Coined,

    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    If you have a look at my fist contribution you will notice that I see (and seek) possibilities to train as we operate. In the midst of townpopulation who's mindset "has been shaped" by, for instance, PsyOps elements. Although other operations which have more battle (non-permissive) characteristics can be trained at the TA's, it is still ONE operation.
    In January, Rob Thornton and I were presenting and the discussion moved to what is being simulated. What bothered me most of all was that what was being simulated was a desired reality rather than anything that was even close to real.

    If you want to simulate training for, say, a multiplayer insurgency, then you actually need to have insurgent "leaders" who can think like the insurgents they are playing. This means that the IO/PSYOPs "shaping" would be as effective as it usually is in the field, i.e. really poor and often conveying the wrong message.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    I prefer "environment" above "battlespace" because battlespace refers to a specified area. Environment combines aspects like culture, economy, politics, opponents ... This is something for the Bn, Brigade level to be aware of.
    That's certainly a valid point, although I would argue that culture, economy, politics, etc. are all battlespaces as well - the only substantive difference is the conventions governing each of them.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Hi Coined,
    In January, Rob Thornton and I were presenting and the discussion moved to what is being simulated. What bothered me most of all was that what was being simulated was a desired reality rather than anything that was even close to real.

    If you want to simulate training for, say, a multiplayer insurgency, then you actually need to have insurgent "leaders" who can think like the insurgents they are playing. This means that the IO/PSYOPs "shaping" would be as effective as it usually is in the field, i.e. really poor and often conveying the wrong message.

    That's certainly a valid point, although I would argue that culture, economy, politics, etc. are all battlespaces as well - the only substantive difference is the conventions governing each of them.
    Thanks Marc, I agree that creating such a scenario will be highly time consuming and complex.
    I just took PsyOps as an example and would challenge the participants in this discussion to look further. Going back to PsyOps, for that "art" it is important to learn Why and How to make an assessment of the population, Why and how to create messages for local TV and radio, and so on. That is just one part.
    This has to be integrated with the other elements which make part of a Modular unit.
    Try to look at a training as an endstate you like to reach, derive effects from it and "effect-bringers", the last ones are the elements of the Modular unit.
    Still, and there you make an important statement, we should not create a desired reality !!!!!!!
    Maybe I am not clear enough in my first contribution of this thread, must be my Denglish
    but .... Van gave it a try in his latest contribution:
    "This reads like a "best practices" approach to Small Wars (COIN, low intensity conflict, SASO, pick your buzzword). You are trying to assemble the concepts that have worked in Latin America in the 1930s, Malaysia in the 1950s, Viet Nam in the 1960s-70s, the hords of Middle Eastern expats that are employed by the U.S. Army National Training Centers right now, etc? If so, you've put together a good framework".

    About the battlespace part. Usually this term refers to linear and stove piped thinking but if we agree on this being more than the place to kinetically attack the "enemy" it is fine with me
    Last edited by Coined; 04-30-2009 at 02:53 PM.

  9. #29
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Coined,

    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    Thanks Marc, I agree that creating such a scenario will be highly time consuming and complex.
    Yup . Still and all, if that is the type of "combat" being fought, then that is what should be trained for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    I just took PsyOps as an example and would challenge the participants in this discussion to look further. Going back to PsyOps, for that "art" it is important to learn Why and How to make an assessment of the population, Why and how to create messages for local TV and radio, and so on. That is just one part.
    Agreed, but it is a crucial part. Personally, in most of the combat spaces we are operating in right now, I would pay more attention to the non-broadcast techniques for communicating (posters, word of mouth / rumour, 'net based, etc.). I don't think there is too much of a problem with the "Why", but there are some serious problems with the "How" and "What".

    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    Maybe I am not clear enough in my first contribution of this thread, must be my Denglish
    You DO NOT want to hear my French, German or Dutch !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    About the battlespace part. Usually this term refers to linear and stove piped thinking but if we agree on this being more than the place to kinetically attack the "enemy" it is fine with me
    Totally works for me! I'm looking at "battlespace" as a subset of the evolutionary term "workspace" anyway. For me, a "battlespace" is just a workspace that involves a "hot" competition in a workspace, and could be any "space" that is perceived / conceived by humans (or any other so-called sentient species... like my cat and his constant insurgent campaign for more cream in the morning!!!!).

    Cheers,

    Marc
    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/

  10. #30
    Coined
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    Hi Marc,

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Totally works for me! I'm looking at "battlespace" as a subset of the evolutionary term "workspace" anyway. For me, a "battlespace" is just a workspace that involves a "hot" competition in a workspace, and could be any "space" that is perceived / conceived by humans (or any other so-called sentient species... like my cat and his constant insurgent campaign for more cream in the morning!!!!).
    Marc
    With Why I mean; Why is that particular group of people important to make an assessment of? Why are they of importance to achieve "any" effect, and so on? After that the How and What may follow.

    I think that the the future battlefield is about energy, water, an overcrowded earth and the food problems which will come along with that. The armies role will be more like "firemen". If you have a look at our beautiful world you will notice that about 75% of the population lives at about 25-30% of our Earth, roughly Asia, that part together with Africa can be our "challenging" environment, a 3BW environment.

    Have a look at Afghanistan, the Taliban stand closely to the Wahabism, the most extreme explanation of the Quran, which is the state-religion of Saudi Arabia. This country together with other Gulf states supports the Taliban firmly. Also the drugs trade is huge. Many countries benefit from that. Electronics find their way from China to the Taliban, both China and Iran deliver weapons to parts of the Taliban and to the Hazara.

    This can't be dealt with by a stove piped military approach. The military approach is just part of that. We have to train for such an approach, military training areas are too "narrow" for that.

    For instance:

    We know that (in this case) the Afghan population is illiterate (80%, and in Uruzgan 99%). The "mouth to mouth" news is THE news and the one who brings it is right. The mosque is one of the places where "the word" is spread; so send guys of the ANA to thos mosques in their uniform. Let them explain that "We are good muslims as you are and that is why we like to pray with you". They can build up rapport, so they can ask the population how they want to be helped, "We are Afghan as you are, we are here to build up our Afghanistan together". Of course there is more to it but that is too much for this mail. The outcome of this will be "more blending in" and if there is a disreputable or bad Imam preaching he will reconsider his anti-coaltion forces rethoric.

    There are some Western armies, like the Canadian army, who have a military imam in their midst. An army captain. Imagine the mindset of the Afghans when they see him at TV or hear him at the radio having dicussions with Afghan mullah's. Imagine the reactions of the Ministry of Religious Affairs ........... Well, it happened and it worked, but due to the lack of policy on this it stopped when the captain ended his tour.

    So, there is more ...... and we can train for that.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-30-2009 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Trying to improve the English and adding full quote box

  11. #31
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    I think that the the future battlefield is about energy, water, an overcrowded earth and the foodproblems which will come along with that. The armies role will be more like "firemen". If you have a look at our beautiful world you will notice that about 75% of the population lives at about 25-30% of our Earth, roughly Asia, that part together with Africa can be our "challenging" environment, a 3BW environment.
    .
    Armies are political instruments. Future conflicts will result from future politics, and nothing else. Resources may be an issue, but there is no evidence that they definitely will be. The same was predicted before 911, and look how wrong that was

    We have a very clear guide as to what the future of war looks like and that's 3,000 years of military history. It also is our best guide as to how to fight and win. Call it "stove piped" or "linear" but it works much better than anything else.
    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

  12. #32
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Is there a proverb that says "He who looks for a three block war will find one?"

    If there is not there should be. Seems to me that the object should be to get the Politicians educated so that they do not have to commit armed forces to three block wars because sensible diplomacy and aid applied by well educated and trained civilian specialists in their fields obviate the need for or desirability of a war. War brings in folks who are specialists in their field and that field is the conversion of urban blocks to rural terrain...

    That said, Coined's suggestions are, as I meant to say in my first post on this thread, nothing new. As others here have pointed out, even the evil old US has adopted all those techniques. Re adopted, actually -- we used them all before and just let them fall away. Way of the world...

    Been my observation that Cops do not fight fires well. Also noted that firefighters do not do police chores well. Soldiers can of course do both jobs and have done so for years -- they just don't do either very well. My bet is that will not change. Diplomacy, successfully applied has halted a need for troops many times -- that seems a better alternative than any kind of war. Or any commitment of military force that can be avoided -- such commitments have a way of escalating things.

    Spend too much time training a person to be nice and you will succeed, spend too much training him to be destructive and you will succeed. It is possible to achieve a balance and we should strive for that but we should never forget that any compromise brings shortfalls in some areas. Military forces can, if necessary, do a marginal job in stability operations; they will never do a good job, it simply is not their field. Nor should it be.

    I know their is a proverb about horses for courses...

  13. #33
    Coined
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Armies are political instruments. Future conflicts will result from future politics, and nothing else. Resources may be an issue, but there is no evidence that they definitely will be. The same was predicted before 911, and look how wrong that was

    We have a very clear guide as to what the future of war looks like and that's 3,000 years of military history. It also is our best guide as to how to fight and win. Call it "stove piped" or "linear" but it works much better than anything else.
    Agreed on the first part but let's not go to 9/11.
    Europe knew 30 years of IRA in Ireland, RAF in Germany, Red Brigades in Italy, Action Directe in France, ETA in Spain, CCC in Belgium, Red Resistance Front in the Netherlands and that was the left wing part ..... Respecting the many death which was the result of the madness at 9/11, what is the point you want to make with 9/11 ??

    For the last part. The only thing I like to stress is that we have to get a broader view at conflicts, the "hardware" aproach is just a (minor) part of conflicts.

    Let us go back to rethink the way we can train ourselves and our troops better than we do now.

    And dear Ken and William, I would appreciate it that you do not to lift words out of a sentence to react on.

    The whole is more than the sum of its parts.

    Like some quote's?? http://thinkexist.com/quotations

    “A common danger unites even the bitterest enemies”

    “Anyone can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person at the right time, and for the right purpose and in the right way - that is not within everyone's power and that is not easy.”

    “The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.”

    Ahmed Rashid wrote some fine interesting books and an informative site is http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/cgsc/

    Ready for some constructive and additional coments
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-30-2009 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Change some spelling

  14. #34
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    what is the point you want to make with 9/11 ??
    The point is that attempting to predict the nature, location or cause of conflict is mostly pointless.

    For the last part. The only thing I like to stress is that we have to get a broader view at conflicts, the "hardware" aproach is just a (minor) part of conflicts.

    Let us go back to rethink the way we can train ourselves and our troops better than we do now.
    Few of us who take military thought seriously are focussed on hardware. We discuss how to apply technology and equipment, but only ever in the wider context of training, education, and concepts.

    The likes of Ken and I spend most of our time thinking how to train troops to do things better than we do now. It's what we (and others) do. If you don't believe me, we have some 3,000 posts demonstrating it.

    And dear Ken and William, I would appreciate it that you do not to lift words out of a sentence to react on. The whole is more than the sum of its parts.
    Not my intention. If a few of the parts are poorly described, or misleading, the sum/whole will suffer.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-30-2009 at 08:31 PM. Reason: use amended quote in quote box
    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

  15. #35
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    I take Wilf's point to be that attempting to predict the future is a risky affair. While resources will most likely be an issue, the driving force behind conflicts for resources will in all probability remain political. I don't think many regular posters here look at conflicts as being all hardware. If you look around, you'll find many discussions relating to the role of diplomats in small wars, the interaction of COIN forces with native populations, and other considerations that are pretty divorced from hardware. Granted, the hardware discussions tend to attract a good deal of attention, but in each thread you'll find almost as many posts arguing against a hardware-centric approach to the conduct of small wars.

    Conflict has always cycled between major wars (Napoleonic, Rome-Carthage, WW2, take your pick) and smaller scale conflicts (Indian Wars, many of Great Britain's Imperial operations, and so on). What we seem to have lost is the ability to distinguish between these cycles and select the policy tools that are best suited for the situation.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
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  16. #36
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Be glad to provide a contructive comment...

    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    Let us go back to rethink the way we can train ourselves and our troops better than we do now.
    No one is disagreeing with that. What we're awaiting is your providing some fresh thinking. Thus far, as Van said; "This reads like a "best practices" approach to Small Wars (COIN, low intensity conflict, SASO, pick your buzzword). You are trying to assemble the concepts that have worked in Latin America in the 1930s, Malaysia in the 1950s, Viet Nam in the 1960s-70s, the hords of Middle Eastern expats that are employed by the U.S. Army National Training Centers right now, etc? If so, you've put together a good framework.". To cap that, you even provide a link to the US army Combined Arms Center for backup of your position even though you offered several criticisms of US practices.

    You did make this valid statement:
    "For the last part. The only thing I like to stress is that we have to get a broader view at conflicts, the "hardware" aproach is just a (minor) part of conflicts."
    I can't speak for others but I do not question that. My guess is that most here would agree. Thus my comment above; ""Seems to me that the object should be to get the Politicians educated so that they do not have to commit armed forces to three block wars because sensible diplomacy and aid applied by well educated and trained civilian specialists in their fields obviate the need for or desirability of a war. War brings in folks who are specialists in their field and that field is the conversion of urban blocks to rural terrain...""
    And dear Ken and William, I would appreciate it that you do not to lift words out of a sentence to react on.

    The whole is more than the sum of its parts.
    I would be happy to comment on anything new that is the sum of any parts. Thus far, you have provided nothing new that I have seen and no sum.
    Ready for some constructive and additional coments.
    I though I had supplied some constructive comment which apparently you missed. Let me sum up my comments:

    You so far as I can tell offer nothing new or innovative, instead say we need to incorporate best practices identified by many over the years -- and which are already being applied. No one has disagreed with that, many merely pointed out that is being done.

    You propose to retrain military forces for a stabilization role. My experience and observation over a good many years and involving troops from many nations tells me this is an acceptable plan if there is no alternative; if there is any way to preclude such a military commitment, it should be pursued because military forces NEVER do a good job at stability operations; there are better ways.

    My view is that the problems cited in that last statement will not change regardless of training UNLESS you completely move the force away from combat operations; I doubt this is a good idea.

    Stabilization of problematic nations will without be required. Identification and evaluation of such a problem should be followed by rapid and adequate application of civilian efforts to preclude the necessity of a military deployment.

    Two comments to add to all that; rapid and timely civilian intervention has been precluded and deterred by several factors. It worked for Colonies; it works less well in a post-colonial world where sensitivities to 'help' are a major problem that does not change the fact that civil is better and a military effort can create as many problems as it solves. Secondly, Europeans live in smaller, more homogeneous nations with strong central governments and have a colonial history and thus are more adept at providing such aid than are Americans. We know that and we accept it. We cannot for several reasons adopt European practices in totality. Size and breadth of necessary view being but two.

    That's my summation, If I'm wrong in my assessment of your proposals, please tell me precisely what is wrong and I'll adjust.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-30-2009 at 08:34 PM. Reason: Use amended quote

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    Default I've attempted to follow this thread ...

    for the past two days. I have a question:

    Are the OP and additions thereto intended to provide any guidance to civilians who are interested in the non-military aspects of stability operations (nation building) ?

    If so, the OP etc. have failed to reach this member of that audience. I have no idea of exactly what is being proposed or why.

    Since the proposals are unclear to me, I cannot assess whether they are aimed at force structures, training, intra-agency co-ordination, inter-agency co-ordination, or something else.

    Where does the OP etc. fit into something like James Dobbins' construct in The Beginner’s Guide to Nation-Building (p.27):

    Setting Priorities

    The prime objective of any nation-building operation is to make violent societies peaceful, not to make poor ones prosperous, or authoritarian ones democratic. Economic development and political reform are important instruments for effecting this transformation, but will not themselves ensure it. Rather, such efforts need to be pursued within a broader framework, the aim of which is to redirect the competition for wealth and power, which takes place within any society, from violent into peaceful channels.

    The first-order priorities for any nation-building mission are public security and humanitarian assistance. If the most basic human needs for safety, food, and shelter are not being met, any money spent on political or economic development is likely to be wasted. Accordingly, this guidebook is organized around a proposed hierarchy of nationbuilding tasks, which may be prioritized as follows:

    Security: peacekeeping, law enforcement, rule of law, and security sector reform

    Humanitarian relief: return of refugees and response to potential epidemics, hunger, and lack of shelter

    Governance: resuming public services and restoring public administration

    Economic stabilization: establishing a stable currency and providing a legal and regulatory framework in which local and international commerce can resume

    Democratization: building political parties, free press, civil society, and a legal and constitutional framework for elections

    Development: fostering economic growth, poverty reduction, and infrastructure improvements.

    This is not to suggest that the above activities should necessarily be initiated sequentially. If adequate funding is available, they can and should proceed in tandem. But if higher-order priorities are not adequately resourced, investment in lower-order ones is likely to be wasted.
    Feel free to treat me as a three-year old in response - consise and definite statements are helpful to us infants.

    -----------------
    PS: Ken, you mean for 34 years I've been saddled with the boxed set of Bob Asprey's Shadows, when I could've been using an abridged edition ? And referring to that work, is it true that you introduced the gladius to the Legions in one of your training sessions ?
    Last edited by jmm99; 04-30-2009 at 08:33 PM.

  18. #38
    Coined
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    Default

    We agree on most parts.

    I do not want to (re)train troops for stabilization ops.
    I suggest to train troops in a broader context as I have written a few times before. I you read the last part of my contribution you will notice that.

    “If you only do what you know you can do- you never do very much.”

    “Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”

  19. #39
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Puzzled thoughts

    I too am finding this thread hard to follow.

    A couple of points I'd make:

    1) Where is there a suitable environment for such urban area training, complete with Third World conditions and a living supportive population? I can only quickly think of Morocco, only as 'Blackhawk Down' was filmed there. Mmm, would Puerto Rico, Costa Rica and such small places oblige?

    2) It took a long time for NATO armies in Germany, before the end of the 'Cold War', to acknowledge urban operations (Berlin excluded) and build small training villages. Venues that could be adapted for pre-Ulster deployment.

    3) Is training without soldiers en masse an acceptable alternative? Sounds almost like the "war rides" staff colleges pursue.

    4) Are lessons truly shared and learnt about small wars, e.g. UK intervention in Sierra Leone (rural not urban I concede)? Is there a NATO facility that does this?

    davidbfpo

  20. #40
    Council Member Hacksaw's Avatar
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    Default Ugh!!!!!

    COINed...

    I'm neither the brightest nor dimmest bulb on the tree...

    I've been trying hard to grasp what it is you are trying to communicate...

    It seems you are dealing from a point of ignorance with regard to how (how the US) we train...

    Not to mention most of your plaintive requests to "read" what you've said is not persuassive, just.... annoying.... trust me I'm right just doesn't go very far in this group of serious minded professionals (trust me its a tough love sort of lesson)...

    So... a suggestion... just read the responses... allow for the fact that the collective operational experience of 100s of years just might be right and you wrong (or at least poorly communicated)

    I'd hazzard a guess that you are in violent agreement with most who have advised you to tighten the shot group on your proposed... I don't know what idea, concept, construct... not sure what to call it...

    Really take a step back from your ideas, disconnect your ego from said ideas, and reload...

    Live well and row
    Hacksaw
    Say hello to my 2 x 4

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