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Thread: MG Flynn (on intell mainly)

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Hmmmm... The book on how to collect relevant and actionable intelligence on Irregular Forces is vast and well covered. Maybe someone should study it and make it happen.

    Basically MG Flynn could have cut to the chase by saying, "people know how to do this stuff. How come we do not?"

    Sorry to sound sniffy, but this is another classic case of most informed folks knowing what to do and what works better rather than worse, and then deciding not to do it, because of some human emotional need.
    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.
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    Wilf:

    Your apple didn't fall far from the tree.

    I didn't meet a lot dummies in Iraq. Quite the contrary.

    What I did meet was a lot of people who were mission focus, and not on what "should be gathered," but on what they had to get out today; a lot who collected info and ideas (often outside their immediate lane) but didn't know where to put it for others to use, and folks who, because of limited mobility (too much time inside the wire) tried to make up for it by BSing.

    Somewhere in between, once "what is needed" was clearly articulated, the machine stood and delivered. No question that folks know how to do it.

    Big question as to whether there is appropriate direction, organization. And, if the system is driven from the top, why are the tops so tardy in putting it together.

    No offense but Iraq was chock-full of folks from broad backgrounds with plenty of opinions who had easy access to leaders. The Emma Sky's and others, high-level local nationals and advisors, and the top folks were always out asking them questions, and they, in turn were out sniffing around.

    My understanding about Afghanistan is that too many folks are holed-up inside the wire, have limited contacts or communication outside the wire, and not enough energy? creativity? focus? direction? until now.

    What's that all about?

    Steve

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default MG Flynn on the State of the Insurgency

    Hat tip to KOW for picking this up, a ppt by Major General Flynn, entitled 'State of the Insurgency Trends, Intentions and Objectives' (Unclassified) and the link is:http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2010/01/fly...+(Kings+of+War)

    KOW has a summary and I cannot improve on it.

    Then he drops what might be the biggest bomb in the entire deck: 'The Afghan insurgency can sustain itself indefinitely' at least in terms of arms and ammunition, funding, and recruits. Now, that is a pretty grim portrait. Of course, the Taliban are not supermen, they have weaknesses and, according to Flynn, they are not yet a popular movement throughout the country. (moving on)

    But he does make it clear what he is thinking: 'Taliban strength is the perception that its victory is inevitable; reversing momentum requires protecting the population and changing perceptions'.

    Seems sound to me. The rub, of course, is trying to turn that good advice into action and then reality.
    I am surprised SWC did not pick this up earlier, although the ppt is dated late December 2009. One of the four comments raises issues that have appeared in many threads: end state sought, objectives etc.
    davidbfpo

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    Default An Irish man adds

    The former UN Afghan intermediary, expelled in 2007, was interviewed AM today on BBC Radio 4; link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00q3fr2

    Zenpundit cites Semple, alas without the link or reference, but IMHO accords with his radio interview:
    Michael Semple —with two decades experience working in Afghanistan and Pakistan... that the Taliban and its allies cannot win. The balance of power....has shifted toward the Taliban’s natural enemies, and the Taliban hides this reality by dressing their civil war in the clothes of an insurgency being fought against Western powers. If this assessment is right, there may yet be hope for U.S. and allied efforts in Afghanistan.
    Link to Zenpundit: http://zenpundit.com/

    Ho, hum - a MG -v- an Irishman. Nothing like the un-expected.
    davidbfpo

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    Default depressing thoughts

    It seems to me that it is entirely possible that neither side can win: that the international community cannot defeat the insurgency or build a stable, functional, Afghan government that can assure security and exercise effective control over large parts of the country, while the Taliban cannot (given both their ethnic and sectarian opponents, as well as rivals within the Pashtun community) capture Kabul as they did in September 1996.

    I think I've made this point before, the real risk—from an Afghan perspective---is that this become the prolonged reality. The international community slowly disengages from a COIN fight is can't win, but throws enough money and guns at the ANA/ANP, the ex-Northern Alliance, southern warlords, and others (including Iranian support to Hazara militias) to stalemate the Taliban. The Taliban, on the other hand, consolidate practical control over parts of the country, while fighting a continued civil war.

    The depressing model here is Lebanon, 1975-90. Everyone (Israel, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the PLO, Iran, etc.) simply threw resources at local clients in such a way to prevent their opponents from 'winning."
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


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    David:

    The quote from Sempel is from the CNP conference in November.

    Rex:

    We are back to the same issue. If the Afghan government does not step up and become effective in at least 80% of the country, and, at the least, reasonably acceptable to a majority 60%+ in each, then we are chasing our tale.

    Today, NATO has appointed the British Ambassador as it's Supernumary. No clue how that might relate/conflict with the current civilian effort, but the hope is that during tomorrow's one day conference in London, all things left unresolved for the last decade will miraculously resolve themselves since the newly-elected Karhzai government is on board (unlike the old one that wasn't very well thought of.

    Morning is security and international cooperation. After lunch is sub-national governance. Take heart. It will be a completely new day on Friday.

    The conference streams world wide so you can watch the miracles live and in color (with the usual internet stutters and delays).

    Steve

    PS- Sure wish I wasn;t on the same page with MG Flynn--a tough row to hoe.

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    I linked to this presentation in the thread on MG Flynn's report a couple of weeks ago.

    Rex,
    It seems to me that it is entirely possible that neither side can win: that the international community cannot defeat the insurgency or build a stable, functional, Afghan government that can assure security and exercise effective control over large parts of the country, while the Taliban cannot (given both their ethnic and sectarian opponents, as well as rivals within the Pashtun community) capture Kabul as they did in September 1996.
    That's pretty much where I've been for a couple of years now. Personally, I think Afghanistan is ungovernable in its present state. It's frankly depressing.

  8. #88
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default A matter of perspective...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    It seems to me that it is entirely possible that neither side can win: that the international community cannot defeat the insurgency or build a stable, functional, Afghan government that can assure security and exercise effective control over large parts of the country, while the Taliban cannot (given both their ethnic and sectarian opponents, as well as rivals within the Pashtun community) capture Kabul as they did in September 1996.

    I think I've made this point before, the real risk—from an Afghan perspective---is that this become the prolonged reality. The international community slowly disengages from a COIN fight is can't win, but throws enough money and guns at the ANA/ANP, the ex-Northern Alliance, southern warlords, and others (including Iranian support to Hazara militias) to stalemate the Taliban. The Taliban, on the other hand, consolidate practical control over parts of the country, while fighting a continued civil war.

    The depressing model here is Lebanon, 1975-90. Everyone (Israel, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the PLO, Iran, etc.) simply threw resources at local clients in such a way to prevent their opponents from 'winning."
    And perspectives drive priorities, which in turn shape the nature of engagement.

    When one defines 'victory' what perspective, exactly, are they assessing that from? Even in politics we describe these things in terms of one particular candidate or party "winning" and the other "losing." What of the populace? How did the populace fare? Did the people win or lose or really have no change in their lives from the perceived victory or loss?

    This goes to what I have described as "Government-Centric engagement" (where one commits themselves or their country to the preservation of a particular government or even form of government over some other); or "Threat-Centric engagement" (where one commits themselves or their country to the defeat of some particular threat) with little regard to the impact on the very populace that is either governed by that government you seek to sustain (or take down, for that matter); or from which the threat one is hard-set to defeat emanates from.

    I believe we see a bit of both of this in Afghanistan. We can say we are conducting "Population-Centric COIN", but that is really describing TACTICs, not the strategic/operational focus. At the strategic/operational level we simply cannot seem to wean ourselves from making our priority the preservation of some form or particular man in government; or from the defeat of some particular threat.

    This is the phenomenon that I attempted to address in the two papers that I published regarding what I termed "Populace-centric engagement." (Thread and links on SWJ). Suggesting that in the emerging information age with vastly empowered populaces and corresponding evolving perspectives on "sovereignty" that now, more than ever, it might be far more effective to worry less about preserving or defeating governments; or defeating "threats" in the pursuit of national interests; but to instead focus on designing engagement that builds relationships with the very populaces of the world as well.

    In reality this in simplest terms is a shift of priority. We state that the Defeat of the Taliban is NOT our priority in Afghanistan. We state that the preservation of the Karzai Government is NOT our priority in Afghanistan. We state instead, that enabling stability, good governance, and a positive relationship with the PEOPLE of Afghanistan is our priority.

    This puts Mr. Karzai on notice that we are not here to protect, preserve or even support HIM. He is expendable. He must lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    This prevents us from painting ourselves into an "exit strategy-less" corner that makes "defeat" of some particular threat the measure of success, when in fact, that threat may well hold a portion of the answer.

    This prevents us from designing a scheme of engagement that may appear to make headway in preserving governmental stability in a country, or in quelling threats to that government, but does so on the backs of the very populace that government is supposed to support. I believe far too much of our Cold War and post-Cold War engagement in the Middle East in particular falls into this category. And I believe it is this very form of engagement that forms the existential threat to the U.S.; not the governments or threats that draw so much of our attention currently.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 01-27-2010 at 05:30 AM.
    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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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    "The Afghan insurgency can sustain itself indefinitely' at least in terms of arms and ammunition, funding, and recruits." Now, that is a pretty grim portrait. Of course, the Taliban are not supermen, they have weaknesses and, according to Flynn, they are not yet a popular movement throughout the country. (moving on)

    But he does make it clear what he is thinking: 'Taliban strength is the perception that its victory is inevitable; reversing momentum requires protecting the population and changing perceptions'.
    Sorry you cannot have it both ways. If you cannot defeat the Taliban you cannot protect the population. Strategy is limited by tactical reality. To me the subtext here is "We do not know what to do. We might loose."

    a.) Placing physical barriers on the Pakistan boarder is possible, and proven to work.
    b.) Surely the strategic objective is to withdraw and let the ANA/ANP kill the Taliban? If the Taliban are so good, why not just let the ANA/ANP use the same methods to defeat them, just funded and equipped by NATO?
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    In reality this in simplest terms is a shift of priority. We state that the Defeat of the Taliban is NOT our priority in Afghanistan. We state that the preservation of the Karzai Government is NOT our priority in Afghanistan. We state instead, that enabling stability, good governance, and a positive relationship with the PEOPLE of Afghanistan is our priority.

    This puts Mr. Karzai on notice that we are not here to protect, preserve or even support HIM. He is expendable. He must lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    Just a few questions.

    How do you operationalize such a shift in priority? How do you get the people to trust you, the foreign occupier, over Karzai, the Taliban or the local warlord? Karzai cannot be easily separated from his constituents and base of support. Once he is kicked to the curb, how do you prevent him and his allies from throwing a wrench into your efforts to bring governance and stability to the Afghan people (which is something that's happened at the provincial level on at least a couple of occasions)? Similarly, If defeat of the Taliban is not a priority, then what will prevent them from promoting instability? What do you plan to do about local leadership & powerbrokers, who are the gatekeepers to the loyalty local populations, to say nothing of the major players? Does the US and NATO have the resources and resilience build governance over the long haul provided Karzai doesn't play ball? In short, good governance is your goal, so how do you get there in the mess that is Afghanistan?

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default I never said change was easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Entropy View Post
    Just a few questions.

    How do you operationalize such a shift in priority? How do you get the people to trust you, the foreign occupier, over Karzai, the Taliban or the local warlord? Karzai cannot be easily separated from his constituents and base of support. Once he is kicked to the curb, how do you prevent him and his allies from throwing a wrench into your efforts to bring governance and stability to the Afghan people (which is something that's happened at the provincial level on at least a couple of occasions)? Similarly, If defeat of the Taliban is not a priority, then what will prevent them from promoting instability? What do you plan to do about local leadership & powerbrokers, who are the gatekeepers to the loyalty local populations, to say nothing of the major players? Does the US and NATO have the resources and resilience build governance over the long haul provided Karzai doesn't play ball? In short, good governance is your goal, so how do you get there in the mess that is Afghanistan?
    Good questions. I once worked for a general who would announce to us staff nugs after we had slaved way at some problem for weeks and had achieved a major success "good job! We are now at step 2 of a 100 step process!" (We were all quite pleased when we were assessed at reaching "step 3")

    So, what is step one? Well, much like the steps developed for defeating the destructive behavior associated with addictions, the first step is to admit that you have a problem and need to change. Most addicts don't get to that point until they are face down in the gutter with their lives and every relationship that they once valued in total shambles, and their financial and physical health squandered in the pursuit of their addictions.

    I would offer that the US is a bit addicted to power and control, and that I would like to see us have that "come to Jesus" moment far prior to waking up face down as a nation in that proverbial gutter.

    Step two is to simply recognize that governments come and go, threats rise and fall, but that populaces, while ever dynamic, are what endure. That by linking our efforts to approaches that prioritize our enduring relationship with the populace in the lands where our national interests may fall is in the long run far healthier than linking them to the current government there or some current threat emerging from there. Deal with those government and threats in the context of one’s prioritized relationship with the populace.

    Step three would be a major shift of focus from the "State" Department. We are too designed in name and approach to dealing with "States", yet everyone recognizes the rise of non-states; the growing number of "failed" states, and the growing empowerment of people in general due to the access to greater and faster information. A "Foreign Office" construct is probably more inclusive and descriptive. Once the name is fixed they can then set about looking at how does the US approach to foreign policy need to be tuned up to operate with less friction in the emerging global environment. Certainly they'll still primarily work by through and with states. We hopefully just won't get so tied to the manifestations of government, and grow a better focus on the populace which that governance represents.

    (I've never gotten past step three with that one particular general, so I'll stop there. Just getting to step three would be a tremendous shift in the right direction.)
    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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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    We can say we are conducting "Population-Centric COIN", but that is really describing TACTICs, not the strategic/operational focus.
    It's not even a tactic, and operations are designed to enable tactics. I see no connection with Strategy, except to ensure tactics are delivered at the right time and place.

    POP-COIN is rubbish. It's a bad idea born of bad thinking. Why do the POP-COINs are basically dragging the population into the fight. Best way bar none to protect the population is to focus on breaking the will of the enemy.

    It works. It's proven to work. What the POP-COINers keep referencing is irrelevant tactical action that has folk believe you are "winning battles" but "loosing the war." This is only true when tactics and operations are done very badly. Winning a battle should inextricably and immediately lead to next engagement. - Which is why the core functions are Find, Fix, Strike, and Exploit!
    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

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    I think this is violent agreement - isn't focusing on securing the population and exploiting your defeat of the enemy the same thing? I don't think anything will break "their" will more than having the locals tell them to take a hike; at least it seems more productive than killing "them" and waiting for the next guy to pop up and dig into the culvert.

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Smile

    (laughing) you're killing me Mr. Owen, but at least you are consistent in how you go about doing it!

    As I like to chide my new Brit friends (I've learned not to say "English" after a series of lectures delivered in Welsh, Scottish, and Irish accents...):

    "The British Empire was disassembled one military victory at a time."

    Feel free to quote me on that. Anytime one is commited to the preservation of an illigitimate government as their going in non-negotiable position, they are doomed to ultimate strategic defeat in addressing the insurgent populace, regardless of how often one achieves tactical victories in battles, or even campaigns.

    It is closely related to the famous Vietnam War quote of "We had to destroy the village to save the village." How much of the populace must one kill in order to garner their support?

    So, while I hear what you are saying, I will remain in the camp that recognizes the role of military operations in countering insurgency, but only as an inextremis force that comes in when the civil government failures have led to such a lack of control and secuity that they require assistance to bring the situation back within their span of control so that they can get on about the buisnes of addressing their shortcomings and providing good governance.

    The military role in insurgency should be viewed the same as the military role in a natural disaster. Last in, first out. Excess capacity that is quickly brought in to curb the crisis, then just as quickly stood down to avoid excessive and inappropriate use of military power.

    Viewing Insurgency as warfare, with an enemy that must be defeated, is IMO a very dangerous trap that is fallen in far too often, typically with poor or very temporary results. No one likes being suppressed by the government. Just ask my new Welsh, Irish, and Scottish friends.
    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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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
    I think this is violent agreement - isn't focusing on securing the population and exploiting your defeat of the enemy the same thing? I don't think anything will break "their" will more than having the locals tell them to take a hike; at least it seems more productive than killing "them" and waiting for the next guy to pop up and dig into the culvert.
    Sorry but breaking their will is required. The Taliban are not democrats. They do not care what the population want or think. They want to inflict their values on them.
    This is gap between Irregular Warfare and the ever-so context specific ideas about insurgency. The Taliban do not need popular support to take power. They just need to ensure no military force opposes them!
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post

    As I like to chide my new Brit friends (I've learned not to say "English" after a series of lectures delivered in Welsh, Scottish, and Irish accents...):

    "The British Empire was disassembled one military victory at a time."

    Feel free to quote me on that.
    I'll certainly quote you. I collect such quotes as samples of fallacies.

    Withdrawing from the British Empire was a plan. It was a strategy. We used force to ensure it happened on our terms. - The loss of Ireland in 1921 was merely a rejection of dominion status. We always planned to leave - as we had in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

    We never intended to hold on to the Empire after WW2, and we made no real attempt to expand it, after the death of Queen Victoria. - the reasons are many and well known.

    Successful military action generally ensured that we left in good order with a relatively stable government in place. We used force the create the political conditions demanded by the policy.
    We withdrew from >60% of the empire without firing a shot.

    What Americans seem incapable of learning from British Experience is the application of what is tactically feasible to support strategy. NOT applying a strategy with no clue as to what is tactically feasible.

    - Thus you end up with the UK's failure in Basra, trying to operate in a huge city with only about 500 troops available on any one day! - same mistake now in Helmand. - Northern Ireland soaked up 27,000 troops at it's height!
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    In reality this in simplest terms is a shift of priority. We state that the Defeat of the Taliban is NOT our priority in Afghanistan. We state that the preservation of the Karzai Government is NOT our priority in Afghanistan. We state instead, that enabling stability, good governance, and a positive relationship with the PEOPLE of Afghanistan is our priority.

    This puts Mr. Karzai on notice that we are not here to protect, preserve or even support HIM. He is expendable. He must lead, follow, or get out of the way.
    What if he can't lead and won't follow, which on the basis of form to date seems likely? How do you propose to get him out of the way?

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    Default He's neither our problem nor our responsibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    What if he can't lead and won't follow, which on the basis of form to date seems likely? How do you propose to get him out of the way?
    Easy. Pack it up and go home. If's he's legit, he'll prevail against both official and unofficial challengers. If not, he'll soon be replaced and we can make that government the same offer we made him; to be a supportive ally that will not allow them to harbor organizations bent on doing us harm. That in exchange for working with us on that concern of ours we will help them with concerns of their own.

    My wife teaches third grade. She sets standards for rewards and punishments with her students and holds herself and them to those social contracts ruthlessly. As a result she has order in her classroom as everyone knows what the standards are and that they will be held to those standards. Our foreign policy is more like the classroom management of those teachers who agonize over hurt feelings if someone gets what's coming to them, or the burden to themselves if they actually perform as promised to either punish or reward certain behavior, teaching the class that the standards don't really mean anything. Those classrooms are chaos, and everyone suffers from it. Our foreign policy could use a good dose of 3rd grade classroom management.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Easy. Pack it up and go home. If's he's legit, he'll prevail against both official and unofficial challengers. If not, he'll soon be replaced and we can make that government the same offer we made him; to be a supportive ally that will not allow them to harbor organizations bent on doing us harm. That in exchange for working with us on that concern of ours we will help them with concerns of their own.
    I think we all know he won't prevail. He'll probably be replaced by the Taliban (with possibly a few equally dysfunctional governments in between), who won't be interested in our help and will not care at all about what we will or will not allow. In short, this brings us back where we were before, which is why Karzai is pretty sure we won't do it.

    Seems we're right back to something we've done before: harnessing ourselves to a Government that cannot stand, but which we cannot allow to fall. Hasn't worked so well in the past, and I can't say I'm terribly optimistic about the outcome this time out.

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    Default Decisions like this are why a President gets up in the morning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    I think we all know he won't prevail. He'll probably be replaced by the Taliban (with possibly a few equally dysfunctional governments in between), who won't be interested in our help and will not care at all about what we will or will not allow. In short, this brings us back where we were before, which is why Karzai is pretty sure we won't do it.

    Seems we're right back to something we've done before: harnessing ourselves to a Government that cannot stand, but which we cannot allow to fall. Hasn't worked so well in the past, and I can't say I'm terribly optimistic about the outcome this time out.
    My concern are the guys and gals who brief him up on his options prior to making those decisions. With an overly threat-focused intel community; and an overly state-foucsed policy team; we are ill equipped to provide him the type of analysis that is most relevant for the world we live in today. Between the "Good Cold Warriors" on one side, and the neo-socialists on the other the voices of reason are either too few or simply not allowed access to the debate.
    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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