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  1. #1
    Council Member
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    Jun 2009
    Vicenza, Italy

    Default New Guidance on Counter-Insurgency

    Abu Muqawama listed this link to the new Commander of ISAF General McChrystal's guidance to counter-insurgency. The direct link is right

    As I have said before, I am a huge fan of population-centric COIN as put forward in the Army manuals, David Kilcullen, John Nagl and General Petraeus. This short document lays out clearly the intentions to secure the support of the population while leaving kill/capture missions as the lowest priority.

    Most importantly, as a soldier who saw large scale missions repeatedly not yield effects, this is music to my ears. We have tried to use firepower to win for many years now, this seems like the way ahead.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    So the Australians are going about it all wrong? May be we didn't get the memo.
    Last edited by Taiko; 08-25-2009 at 09:23 PM.

  3. #3
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    May 2007

    Default Your comment needs more detail, perhaps. Sort of confuses me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taiko View Post
    So the Australians are going about it all wrong? May be we didn't get the memo.
    But then I'm old and slow...

    I for one see absolutely nothing wrong in the guidance to the bulk of the general purpose forces comprising ISAF that is posted, it makes sense to me. Couple of things that won't get done but they had to be said and most command guidance has that problem.

    Everyone understands or should that the SOF guys will certainly be doing something that is not publicly posted and, of course, should not be. Nobody's getting a free pass and no one is picking on the Strynes.

    What is your point?

  4. #4
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Mar 2006


    Anyone have that as a truly downloadable document yet, without all the drama of having to sign up for a service that "respects your privacy" ?

    I need this for a guided discussion.

  5. #5
    Council Member Red Rat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Currently based in Europe

    Default Help with COMISAF COIN Guidance

    The UK Mil system does not allow access to the link. Does anyone have a copy of the new guidance that they could send to me, or even better post a copy on this site? Much appreciated!


  6. #6
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Link in SWJ Blog

    Via the SWJ Blog there is a clear link, hassle free too:


  7. #7
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Chapel Hill, NC

    Default Considerations

    Michael C,

    Thanks for sharing the link. I've been considering McChrystal's guidance today. IMO, much of it is good, but here are two quick points that where I would differ.

    1. Securing the populace and destroying the enemy (capture, kill, or turn) are NOT mutually exclusive. Rather, they are comprehensively intertwined. Patreaus and Odierno addressed this issue in Iraq as identifying the reconciliables and irreconciliables. Regardless of how much influence one garners with the locals, there are still going to be dudes that make bombs, put them in the roads, volunteer for suicide bombings, etc. It takes a lot of intelligence collection to FIND these bad dudes, but then you must act decisively to FIX, FINISH, and EXPLOIT. When you neutralize the bombmaker, then the roads no longer blow up, and the market place becomes safer. That's what I call security.

    2. Information Operations when dealing with Families. Yes, when you detain or kill a dude for placing bombs in the road, you are going to upset his parents, uncles, grandmother, and others. So what? I think the argument can be better understood by looking at our own country. Should a policeman release a drug dealer, murderer, or rapist because that person's family is upset over his detention? Of course not. So what do you do?
    IMO, this is where Information Operations is best used. When possible, you address the family, the village, and the local leadership to EXPLAIN why you killed/detained the individual. Then, you ENSURE that he receives a fair trial. If he is found not guilty, then you help him get readjusted to home. You can drive him from the police station to his village. You can help him find a job. If he is guilty, then you inform the verdict to his family, and you can assists with helping them visit/communicate with him during imprisonment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael C View Post
    As I have said before, I am a huge fan of population-centric COIN.
    As opposed to what other strategy? SFA, FID, or SSTR? Or are you referring to the kill/capture tactics? I never considered sitting in a FOB and going out on raids to kill/capture a true strategy.


    Last edited by MikeF; 08-25-2009 at 11:05 PM. Reason: Grammer

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