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Thread: Eaton fires broadside at Cheney

  1. #41
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    There is also the possibility that Obama will wait with the press release (or *shock* even with the decision) till some NATO meeting this winter.

  2. #42
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Hmm. How sad. Hopefully you'll not be stuck long.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Oops, need to change the location. Gravitation pull has pulled me closer to the Beltway
    Sometimes the system pays back with a decent tour after building or ancillary time.

  3. #43
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    So, this debate over resouces is the wrong debate. The debate needs to be over ends/objectives. IMO changing the objective means accepting defeat.

    On that cheery note...

    JohnT
    Hi John, yes that is the real question. Even more so on the grand strategy level. This apparent policy of invading countries because their terrain was used as a launching platform for an attack can get us into a lot of trouble. Instead of whack a mole it is turning into whack a country. I don't see how that can be in our long term best interest. Thoughts on this? from anyone? Any merit to this line of reasoning or did I fall off the boat

  4. #44
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    Default Hey Slap

    Different invasion rules for countries with real governments and thos without. You really can hold a govt responsible for its actions - if that govt has effective control of (most of) its sovreign territory, eg Panama or Iraq. But if there is no real govt - Somalia and Afghanistan in 2001 - then you are playing by different rules. Deterrance is a real policy when there is a govt - it is indeed an option for say Iran. But deterrance is not an option for an Afghanistan or a Somalia.

    Cheers

    JohnT

  5. #45
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    Different invasion rules for countries with real governments and thos without. You really can hold a govt responsible for its actions - if that govt has effective control of (most of) its sovreign territory, eg Panama or Iraq. But if there is no real govt - Somalia and Afghanistan in 2001 - then you are playing by different rules. Deterrance is a real policy when there is a govt - it is indeed an option for say Iran. But deterrance is not an option for an Afghanistan or a Somalia.

    Cheers

    JohnT
    Thank You,Sir

  6. #46
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default What he said...

    For those chaotic neighborhoods, we need the capability (which is easy, already have the gear and people, just need to train 'em better) and the WILL (the hard item...) to go in a do some minor destruction and havoc stuff then leave quickly. Have to get some more gear and train up some more people to do the covert entry surgical stuff but we can do that as well.

    Need to be prepared to leave some bodies and possibly prisoners behind. Goes with the territory; not doing that is nice, it also is a relative rarity. Only the last three wars failed to produce bunches of both.

    Creating more chaos, sowing hate and discontent is a USA specialty, we do that well...

    P.S.

    I agree with you, Slap, on the be careful where you go and why -- we lost the bubble on that...

    P.P.S

    No, the public won't get upset (other than the usual suspects who get upset at practically everything and cannot believe everyone isn't nice) -- IF the raids are successful.
    Last edited by Ken White; 10-25-2009 at 04:54 AM. Reason: Addenda

  7. #47
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    Default A thought

    Perhaps, we should spend less time on "COIN" theory and practice; and more time on Raid Operations theory and practice - e.g 1993 FMFM 7-32, Raid Operations (3 parts, pubs are in numerical order - so about 1/2 down the page).

    From which (File 2, Chap 1), this nugget:

    Nothing is so devastating as to pounce upon the enemy in the dark, smite him hip and thigh, and vanish silently into the dark.

    Brigadier Orde Charles Wingate
    Burma, 1943
    Best to all

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 10-25-2009 at 03:18 AM. Reason: add link

  8. #48
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    Default No really good COINista...

    Hi Mike--

    Some of the argument about how to fight COIN - enemy v population centric - is simply nonsense. You can't win a COIN without defeating the insurgent whether he is the Continental Army and Congress (yes Marc, it was an insurgency), Sendero Luminoso, the FMLN, the Taliban, or AQ. That point was well made by Sir Robert Thompson reflecting on Malaya. COIN is, after all, war and war is messy, as Gian Gentile keeps on reminding us - correctly, I might add. Wingate, therefore was absolutely right, for both insurgents and counterinsurgents. The critical tactics of the ESAF fight against the FMLN were the GOE (Special Operations Group) intelligence driven raids against specific FMLN targets. Those raids were high pay off actions compared to the equally necessary 24/7 patrols of the Immediate Reaction Battalions, and the fixed site defenses of the regular brigades. What makes COIN different is that the purpose of all these actions is to provide room and time to develop legitimate governance in an environment that is secure for the population. In other words, you can't conduct a population centric COIN without waging an enemy centric fight. It isn't a question of either/or but of how you integrate both.

    Cheers

    JohnT

  9. #49
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Unquestionably correct, John but I think he was cueing on

    strategic raids for those nations like Afghanistan and Somalia where the disadvantages to intervention in the conventional sense and / or a COIN effort outweigh the advantages. That per your earlier comment:
    But if there is no real govt - Somalia and Afghanistan in 2001 - then you are playing by different rules. Deterrance is a real policy when there is a govt - it is indeed an option for say Iran. But deterrance is not an option for an Afghanistan or a Somalia.
    Thus he, I believe, is referring to raids in lieu of, as opposed to an adjunct in, COIN efforts

  10. #50
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    Default Ken, the mind reader (almost)

    Not necessarily "raids in lieu of, as opposed to an adjunct in, COIN efforts", since one portion of a larger country may be more suitable for raiding and another may not - the latter perhaps more suitable to "best practices COIN". I'll attempt to explain.

    The overriding concept is that "best practices COIN" requires an emphasis on the political effort (the DIE effort, if you want an acronym); and that effort must be mounted by indigenous civilian forces (call them civic action teams, if you want). Those teams need a secure area in which to operate. That security preferably would be provided by indigenous military forces; but could be provided by external forces (so long as they can integrate their efforts with the political efforts, as JTF correctly concludes; e.g., ES).

    Please bear with this little dialogue piece between two French officers during the First Indochina War, after their unit (6th Spahis) had spent much of a week clearing a village and adjacent area of Viet Minh (well, not quite completely, as the dialogue suggests). It makes a point as the two officers discuss a five person civic action team, all Vietnamese, who had just joined them and who now had to "hold and build". The conversation is from Bernard Fall, Street Without Joy, pp.154-155):

    MAJ Derrieu: Funny, they just never seem to succeed in striking the right note with the population. Either they come in and try to apologize for the mess we've just made with our planes and tanks; or they swagger and threaten the farmers as if they were enemy nationals which - let's face it - they are in many cases.

    LT Dujardin: That may be so, but I wouldn't care to be in his shoes tonight when we pull out. He's going to stay right here in the house which the Commie commander still occupied yesterday, all by himself with the four other guys of his administrative team, with the nearest [military] post 300 metres away. Hell, I'll bet he won't even sleep here but sleep in the post anyway.

    MAJ: He probably will, and he'll immediately lose face with the population and become useless.

    LT: And if he doesn't, he'll probably be dead by tomorrow, and just as useless. In any case, there goes the whole psychological effect of the operation and we can start the whole thing all over again three months from now. What a hopeless mess.
    The bottom line is that the civilian political effort requires a secure area, or at the least a semi-secured (semi-denied) area - where its success is far from insured. The Indochina episode was from Operation Camargue (1953), which had no lasting effect.

    So, the civilian political effort does require military support and the military capabilities to force the guerrilla forces from their requisite offensive tactics into a defensive mode. The answers on how to do that (e.g., disrupt the snipers, prevent the ambushes and IEDs) are military matters beyond my ken (non-capitalized ).

    As to raids, my logic suggests their primary utility is in denied areas. That may be a nation or a region, where national governance (and local governance, except by the guerrilla-connected "shadow government) are FUBAR or near-FUBAR. Somalia and parts of Astan are good examples (noted by both Ken and JTF). Of course, raids and patrols (the two constructs tend to merge at the small unit level) can also be offensive tools in a semi-secured (semi-denied) area.

    In short, raids and a limited "COIN" effort by us (a limited FID effort by us, as in El Salvador, appeals to me more) are alternatives to full "nation building". In Astan, "full nation building" is beyond our capabilities (and a sci-fi jump for the Astan national government). In fact, for a limited "COIN" effort to have a decent probability of resulting in an "acceptable" outcome, the 60-80K force enhancement is probably realistic.

    My own position is currently of the "We are there, dammit" school (applies to both Iraq and Astan), which requires an answer to whether political and military cababilities exist to reach an "acceptable" outcome and then withdraw. If the answer is negative to either the political or military cababilities, then withdrawal should be ASAP.

    My position in general - that is, do we intervene in a country at all - is of the "Never Again, but" school, where raids (and limited FID) are often more acceptable options - than intervention via large military GPFs. Neither of my positions was popular during the Vietnam War, and I took flak from both sides of the coin (couldn't resist ). So be it.

    Since John mentioned Robert Thompson, a brief aside (but relevant). I usually read non-fiction books by looking at the ToC and then jumping to chapters that look interesting. If the book is good, I then read it through. Anyway, a few weeks ago, I happened to read Thompson's Preface to Defeating Communist Insurgency. There I found his reading list started with:

    1. Jim Corbett's The Man-Eating Leopards of Rudraprayag (1947) and Man-Eaters of Kumaan (1944). I read both from the library eons ago - and quite a few others about man-eating animals (which intrigue me for some reason). Anyway, the bottom line there consists of "raids and patrols", but also common-sense self-defense measures by the locals.

    2. Philip Woodruff's The Men Who Ruled India (2v. 1953 & 1954). I haven't read that, but Thompson finds it corresponds to his concept that the administrative and other non-military efforts outweigh the military efforts, even though military efforts are often first addressed and attain a primacy in many "COIN" efforts. Of course, you have to have an administrative structure for that to even begin to work.

    A long explanation, but that is where I am coming from.

    PS: JTF - my assigned homework project re: flag officers and the Appointment Clause is coming along. In due course, as they say.

  11. #51
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Those who hope for a quiet winter and spring in Afghanistan will probably be sorely disappointed.

    Taliban coffers are full (the better to hire fighters and buy IEDs with), and they watch the debate within America (heck, probably within SWJ) with great interest. Smart money is that they will push hard to see which way this will tip.

    As to the throwing of political rocks, well, that's all that is. In an arena filled with soooo many glass houses you'd think they'd be more careful, but each thinks his own house is immune to shattering as they hurl away at their neighbors.

    My take is that Bin Laden is symptom, a man of his time and place (much like Adolf Hitler in that regard). If not him, it would be someone else taking up the cause, if not AQ, it would be some other organization. They, like the terrorism tactics they employ, are merely symptoms of the much larger underlying problems that give them rise. But no one wants to address those, as their roots are certainly linked to America as strongly as they are to anything and anyone else. Certainly no politician seems willing to take them on.

    So, President Clinton in his term largely ignored the symptoms, and allowed them to fester. He certainly did little to address the root causes.

    This allowed a growing problem to fall directly in the lap of President Bush, who if anything, over engaged the symptoms, but continued to allow the root causes to fester and go largely misdiagnosed and unaddressed.

    Now all of this falls to President Obama, and all anyone can talk about is how he in his turn will engage these symptoms. While the symptoms must be dealt with (and are certainly more urgent than addressing a health care system that will continue to muddle along), I believe it is high time that we all elevate our discourse, and lower our sights, to engage the root causes that are giving rise to the many disparate nationalist insurgent movements in the greater Middle East and Africa; and the larger binding overarching concerns that enables a bin Laden and his AQ organization to urge them to support his common cause in the course of seeking their separate ones.

    Its time to move forward, leave others to complain of rashes and aches, and what works best to treat them, and sign up for the hard painful task of going after the underlying cancers that could ultimately kill this patient.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  12. #52
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default That's not a political rock...

    ...They, like the terrorism tactics they employ, are merely symptoms of the much larger underlying problems that give them rise. But no one wants to address those, as their roots are certainly linked to America as strongly as they are to anything and anyone else. Certainly no politician seems willing to take them on.
    That's the political reality I keep reminding you will get in the way of your approach. You cannot appeal to the common sense and decency of a politician -- you have to attract his or her greed or thirst for power.

    Recall your competitor proposition.

    You've got the right idea but a really bad sales pitch.

  13. #53
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    Default I've no problem with elevated discourse ...

    whether it be legal, political or military. So, as to this ...

    from BW
    .... I believe it is high time that we all elevate our discourse, and lower our sights, to engage the root causes that are giving rise to the many disparate nationalist insurgent movements in the greater Middle East and Africa....
    why don't you start something like so:

    1. Identify each of the "the many disparate nationalist insurgent movements in the greater Middle East and Africa" which you see as relevant and material.

    2. As to each such movement you identify, identify "the root causes that are giving rise" to each such movement.

    I'd prefer not to guess and to speculate about whatever tangible underlies your rhetoric, which is quite good and quite lawyerly.

    Best

    Mike

  14. #54
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    That's the political reality I keep reminding you will get in the way of your approach. You cannot appeal to the common sense and decency of a politician -- you have to attract his or her greed or thirst for power.
    That is so true.....depressing but true.

  15. #55
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default While there is no one source, there is plenty of evidenc laying about

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    whether it be legal, political or military. So, as to this ...



    why don't you start something like so:

    1. Identify each of the "the many disparate nationalist insurgent movements in the greater Middle East and Africa" which you see as relevant and material.

    2. As to each such movement you identify, identify "the root causes that are giving rise" to each such movement.

    I'd prefer not to guess and to speculate about whatever tangible underlies your rhetoric, which is quite good and quite lawyerly.

    Best

    Mike
    http://en.alkarama.org/index.php?opt...ses&Itemid=221

    (This gives insights into perceptions of poor governance and US influence over many of those troubled relationships)

    http://killinghope.org/bblum6/overthrow.htm

    (The Cold War was a busy era for the US, exerting a scheme of controlling engagement as part of an overall Strategy of Containment of the Soviets; and pursuit of US interests of access to resources and markets)

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Americ......-a099982763

    (interesting paragraph in the middle of this refering to the 1945 meeting between King Ibn Saud and Roosevelt and a deal to grant U.S. recognition of the legitimacy of the 13YO country of Saudi Arabia in exchange for a primary role in developing their oil industry. This is put one of several countries that the U.S. did not overthrow, but played a major role in the establishment of.)


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8293410/
    http://www.ctc.usma.edu/harmony/pdf/...r.19.Dec07.pdf
    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-ne...s-US-commander

    http://www.boston.com/news/world/asi...lster_taliban/

    Doing a simple correlation of where human rights abuses are prevelant, where US has manipulated or backed governments, and then layering on where the foreign fighters (best seen as a node of the AQ UW network, manned with individual replacements from insurgent populaces in a variety of Muslim countries) come from.


    One also has to be willing to step back from policy and intel rhetoric that conflates all of this as a "global insurgency" or that tends to either recognize or label many nationalist insurgent movements as "AQ" simply becuase they are influenced by AQ and or supported by AQ.

    I also recommend study of US Cold War engagement in general and also general works on US involvement over the years in the Middle East. Like this article from 1991: ( I actually hadn't seen this prior to just now, but it recognizes 10 years prior to 9/11 the same thing I see 8 years after)

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1019

    "After 70 years of broken Western promises regarding Arab independence, it should not be surprising that the West is viewed with suspicion and hostility by the populations (as opposed to some of the political regimes) of the Middle East.[3] The United States, as the heir to British imperialism in the region, has been a frequent object of suspicion. Since the end of World War II, the United States, like the European colonial powers before it, has been unable to resist becoming entangled in the region's political conflicts. Driven by a desire to keep the vast oil reserves in hands friendly to the United States, a wish to keep out potential rivals (such as the Soviet Union), opposition to neutrality in the cold war, and domestic political considerations, the United States has compiled a record of tragedy in the Middle East. The most recent part of that record, which includes U.S. alliances with Iraq to counter Iran and then with Iran and Syria to counter Iraq, illustrates a theme that has been played in Washington for the last 45 years."


    Just step back from the "terror" spin. There is plenty of info out there
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  16. #56
    Council Member SteveMetz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Suleyman View Post
    the president should stop pondering his navel and do something. For all the Bush administrations many flaws, it was decisive. I was always taught, and continue to believe, that in war the best thing you can do is the right thing. Then next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. Put another way, it is hard to correct your course, if you arenít moving at all.

    In other words, get the lead out and make a decision, before someone else makes it for you. Indeed no decision is a decision all to itself. I donít think that this is an unrealistic request since this is the president who was supposed to have superior judgement be ready day one will listen to his generals and already issued the Afghanistan plan[/URL]. I donít buy the Ďwe need more timeí thing.
    My thoughts on this.

  17. #57
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    Default Hi Bob

    Somehow, you and I have to get into the same chapter, if not on the same page. So, in that endeavor, what follows is a snip from an email to someone on what perhaps is common ground.

    ---------------------------
    Anyway, that's a segue into AQ waging unconventional warfare on a global basis (COL Jones' concept, which I have appropriated - wink); rather than AQ being a "global insurgency" as some want to define it. Not to get into Warden's Ring Theories too far, but here is how I visualize it:

    10 Ring - AQ Leadership

    9-6 Rings - AQ middlemen - could be their special operations forces (e.g., 9/11), financing folks, propaganda folks, and their special forces (aimed at force multiplication from groups in the lower numbered rings) - all networked back and forth (general counter tactic is to find and neutralize the nodes).

    5-1 Rings - Insurgent groups which share common belief systems, common enemies, etc., which can be supported by the AQ SF (as the chatter is about Mr Zazi - see my last post in War Crimes). While these groups can be targeted in one way or the other, we are shooting at the rings that at most give us a score of 50.

    0 Ring (outside the target rings) would include parallel thinkers who mimic insurgent tactics, but who are not linked to any of the target rings (e.g., DC snipers). And, of course, the people who have nothing to do with either side, and the people who are anti-AQ, etc.

    But, as COL Bob says, there ain't no counter unconventional warfare doctrine - but plenty of counter-insurgency doctrines.
    -------------------------------

    The email itself then goes on with a long blah-blah about insurgency warfare vs unconventional warfare in Vietnam which is omitted here.

    The above is not a set of problem solutions, but a way of visualizing problems to a former half-assed target shooter.

    Your thoughts ?

    Regards

    Mike

  18. #58
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default I could work with this

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    Somehow, you and I have to get into the same chapter, if not on the same page. So, in that endeavor, what follows is a snip from an email to someone on what perhaps is common ground.

    ---------------------------
    Anyway, that's a segue into AQ waging unconventional warfare on a global basis (COL Jones' concept, which I have appropriated - wink); rather than AQ being a "global insurgency" as some want to define it. Not to get into Warden's Ring Theories too far, but here is how I visualize it:

    10 Ring - AQ Leadership

    9-6 Rings - AQ middlemen - could be their special operations forces (e.g., 9/11), financing folks, propaganda folks, and their special forces (aimed at force multiplication from groups in the lower numbered rings) - all networked back and forth (general counter tactic is to find and neutralize the nodes).

    5-1 Rings - Insurgent groups which share common belief systems, common enemies, etc., which can be supported by the AQ SF (as the chatter is about Mr Zazi - see my last post in War Crimes). While these groups can be targeted in one way or the other, we are shooting at the rings that at most give us a score of 50.

    0 Ring (outside the target rings) would include parallel thinkers who mimic insurgent tactics, but who are not linked to any of the target rings (e.g., DC snipers). And, of course, the people who have nothing to do with either side, and the people who are anti-AQ, etc.

    But, as COL Bob says, there ain't no counter unconventional warfare doctrine - but plenty of counter-insurgency doctrines.
    -------------------------------

    The email itself then goes on with a long blah-blah about insurgency warfare vs unconventional warfare in Vietnam which is omitted here.

    The above is not a set of problem solutions, but a way of visualizing problems to a former half-assed target shooter.

    Your thoughts ?

    Regards

    Mike
    Several key thoughts:

    1. Ensure that you make it clear that you are not dividing a single "threat" into bands, but rather using bands to highlight and differentiate distinct, but related intities that combine to make a common problem.

    2. To apply "Defeat-Disrupt-Deter" I would apply Defeat to the 10-ring; Disrupt to the 6-9 rings; and Deter to your 1-5 rings.

    3. You may want to make your "Target" look more like a Dartboard than a Bullseye to help clearly communicate that even within each ring there are esential differences that must be addressed uniquely.

    4. Strategic success lies in the 1-5 rings, as this is the base of support that makes the whole thing work. The soulution-set for this ring must also be rooted far more in Civilian led policy than anything the security community would offer in support. Take these rings away and the rest withers (though like a weed, is prepared to spring back to life if nurtured by conditions of poor governance as assessed by each of these distinct populaces own perspectives).
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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    Default Yes, I rather discourse together ...

    than to discourse apart - ships passing in the night are not productive. That having been said, let's go through your points.

    from BW
    1. Ensure that you make it clear that you are not dividing a single "threat" into bands, but rather using bands to highlight and differentiate distinct, but related entities that combine to make a common problem.
    The 10-ring is self-explanatory. It is not static, but folks in more lower rings may jump up; and folks in that ring may move down to lower rings. E.g., the guy who was running the middleman, who was running Zazi according to DoJ, was an AQ top finance man who was shifted into Astan operations. Rather than a dartboard, I'd view the construct more in terms of quantum chemistry or physics where particles move back and forth between energy levels (quantum jumps).

    My 9-6 rings (4 rings) were based on positing four different components which I somewhat arbitrarily assigned to AQ: special operations forces (e.g., 9/11), financing folks, propaganda folks, and their special forces (aimed at force multiplication from groups in the lower numbered rings). Any particular component is not assigned to a specific ring, but can jump between rings - closer to or further from the leadership ring, or closer to or further from the "insurgent" groups in rings 5-1.

    My 5-1 rings were completely arbitrary - simply to fill out a 10-ring target. Again, there will be quantum jumps between rings, moving closer or further away from the AQ "groups & teams" (rings 9-6).

    Keep in mind that all of these folks are loosely networked (a given because of the jumps between rings) and fluid. Hence, nodes and connections will always exist, but they will appear to be transitory. That's why the Internet is a key element. E.g., as an example, a webpage is here today, but gone tomorrow; however, another webpage will exist somewhere, which will key folks into the new url address.

    In short, we are dealing with an open, complex system which is resilient to linear tactics or effects based operations.

    from BW
    2. To apply "Defeat-Disrupt-Deter" I would apply Defeat to the 10-ring; Disrupt to the 6-9 rings; and Deter to your 1-5 rings.
    I'd view this a bit differently, but we might end up the same. As to the 10-ring, "Defeat" is the ultimate objective and obvious. But, a clear head or heart shot is unlikely (although we almost had one at Tora Bora, and several times before 9/11). If we get one, fine; but don't count on it.

    Moreover, in reading Zawahiri's Knights' discussion of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the publicly known figures (in AQ's case, UBL & Zawahiri) are not necessarily AQ's real top figures - there may be a small number of "shadow partners" who are very secure. If that sounds conspiratorial, it is - AQ is a conspiracy.

    On that theme, you crack a conspiracy by identifying it and cracking it from the outside in. The principal attack, which will be time-consuming, is to attack rings 9-6 (their "groups and teams") - realizing we are shooting at a moving and jumping target. So, "Disrupt" is probably as good as any tag word for that process.

    As to the 5-1 rings (the "domestic insurgents"), the major practical problem to "Deter" is the sheer variety of motives and causes for what are in effect brush fires. Huge amounts of energy, lives, money and lost opportunities are eaten up in putting out brush fires (e.g, Vietnam, Iraq and Astan). In the end, at best, you will be shooting 50/100 by taking on the 5-1 rings (ave. is 2.5). The average in taking on the 9-6 rings is 7.5.

    from BW
    3. You may want to make your "Target" look more like a Dartboard than a Bullseye to help clearly communicate that even within each ring there are esential differences that must be addressed uniquely.
    I think the concept of quantum jumps handles the interchanges between rings by the varied "particles" in the rings. Just think of the visual patterns illustrating quantum mechanics and quantum chemistry. You need not the higher math.

    from BW
    4. Strategic success lies in the 1-5 rings, as this is the base of support that makes the whole thing work. The soulution-set for this ring must also be rooted far more in Civilian led policy than anything the security community would offer in support. Take these rings away and the rest withers (though like a weed, is prepared to spring back to life if nurtured by conditions of poor governance as assessed by each of these distinct populaces own perspectives).
    No, strategic success vs. AQ lies in disruption of the 9-6 rings (the higher value targets, albeit not the highest value target) - their "groups and teams". How would you disrupt SOCOM ? Not a question to be answered publicly, but that is the counterpart analogy.

    There are non-"M" things that could be done (the "DIE" options), and that we probably could agree on, that would help a "Deter" strategy in rings 5-1; and perhaps even more so in ring 0 - which is the far larger part of the World (and from which rings 5-1 come). However, those are tied up in what considers the better (note I didn't say "best", which is Utopian) Worldview that the US should have in the future. That is a more difficult geo-political topic.

    Your thoughts ?

    Regards as always

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 10-27-2009 at 05:24 AM.

  20. #60
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    Default Small nuances are important

    I probably wouldn't use a ring construct myself, as too many would apply Warden targeting to it, or as bad, draw too many similarities between players placed within the same ring. But as I said, it can be helpful, so long as one understands the players it is placing in the rings, rather than using the rings to understand the players...

    As to "Defeat" on AQSL. This is a debate that I continue to irritate the "Capture/Kill" gang with. C/K can never be more than a supporting effort to any defeat strategy, and that true "defeat" of a political, non-state UW HQ like AQ comes when you rob them of their base of support by out competing them to take away the rationale for their existence. If you simply remove this HQ without doing so it will be replaced by a new, more sophisticated organization (evolution), and if you take out leaders they are easily replaced as well (and the intel guys rarely do a good job of laying out the pros and cons of keeping a guy in place vice who is likely to replace him, etc. So a huge aspect of Defeat of AQ lies in the "Deter" of the nationalist insurgent movements.

    Deter: Not our job to help every f'd up government in the world either suppress or support its populace more effectively. Some governments just really need to evolve or be replaced from within, and insurgency, like forest fire, is a great, though harsh, way to clear out the dead wood, disease, and insects.

    No, the primary focus of the US in this deter ring should be to target the perception that the US is responsible in some way for either the government as a whole, or the specific failures of the government that are eating at the populace. This is why the hair stands up on the back of my neck when I see everybody jumping on the SFA bandwagon with a focus on the training and equipping aspect of it. Those should be seen primarily as vehicles to get you access in general to work on the development of professionalism through the conduit of the security forces; all very very carefully tailored in execution to enhance US credibility and influence with the people, while mitigating any perceptions of undue US influence and control over the government. Tricky business this, and no place for well intended, highly motivated armatures that have their focus on the wrong purpose for their action.

    Disrupting the network is just good suppressive fires. You can never break it so long as there is a target audience of supportive populaces out there, but you can attrit its effectiveness and need to do so.



    A good case study is that of the LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group). This is a nationalist insurgency in Libya that primarily wants to rid Libya of the Qadhafi government. They have their roots in Libyans who traveled to Afg to fight the Soviets, and employ an Islamism ideology to support their movement. They associate with AQ as they buy into their larger purpose of reducing Western influence in the region and return to a purer form of Islam, but also try to distance themselves from AQ as well. They accept AQ support, and were the number 2 (behind Saudi Arabia) provider of manpower to the "foreign fighter node" of the AQ network operating in Iraq.

    Many look at Qadhafi's recent recanting of his sins against the West as good, and his pledge to assist the US and UK in their war on terror as a good thing. Looked at just a little harder one sees, that like the Saudis, when he pledges to help with the war on terror, what he is really getting is a green light to brutally suppress his own insurgent populace in the name of "GWOT," in exchange for Western support of his regime, and worse, strengthening the rationale of those same insurgent populaces to target the US in the process.

    What the West should do is accept Qadhafi’s offer, but contingent upon him meeting with leaders of key populace groups in his country, to include those labeled as "terrorists" by our intel guys, and opening communications and designing and implementing governmental reforms. Any SFA with Libya should be designed with this in mind and focused far more on enabling the reforms rather than on helping Qadhafi’s attempts to crush the LIFG.

    Also, it is critical that we do not anoint or recognize movements such as the LIFG as "AQ." As this strengthens the perceptions of legitimacy, purpose, and effectiveness of the AQSL. BL, is that our goal should be for the Libyan populace, to include LIFG, to see the West as the enabler of good governance rather than an obstacle to the same. All of this must be supported by an overall policy and strategic communications on a grand scheme of reducing Western influence over the populaces and governments of the region.

    (Note, any change of governance, be it Qadhafi in Libya, or the Saudis in Arabia, must be in perception and fact an internal affair; and we must support and endorse whomever prevails. If you don't have a ballot box that works, sometimes the only way a populace can trend toward self-determination and greater democracy is through popular insurgency or military coups...messy business, but we've been there ourselves, so should be more empathetic of those who seek to follow our lead)

    Many say "Too hard, too idealistic, too much inertia in what we're doing to change."

    To those I say fine, you've made your choice; enjoy your GWOT, because you just signed up for a lifetime supply of it.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 10-27-2009 at 01:21 PM.
    Robert C. Jones
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    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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