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Thread: Stateside COIN Academy

  1. #21
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OfTheTroops View Post
    The persistance of conflict.

    We have had a good deal of success with your day 1 and day 2 lesson plans no where near the depth that you describe but i can see the use. We focus on police.
    Two years ago Robert Andrews came down and gave a lecture on his time in Vietnam. As I read through his book, all the events of my experience in Iraq made sense...The culmination of that was "The Breakpoint." So yeah, that part is detailed but there is a method behind it.

    Quote Originally Posted by OfTheTroops View Post
    And you may want some lectures like that. The breakdown of the law, criminal enterprises vs insurgencies, the role of the police, the role of the army, the role of the governator (get to the chopper!!).
    That will come once I get done showing how to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by OfTheTroops View Post
    The common good is more important. You could probably almost definitely sell it to the local university as a way to get troops in the seats. Case in point this very forum.
    The common good is much more important. It's not about me.

  2. #22
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Mike,

    A quick question - how long are your "days" in this syllabus?
    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/

  3. #23
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Mike,

    A quick question - how long are your "days" in this syllabus?
    Tentative plan was 1-2 hours. 30 minute lecture followed with 30-90 minutes of discussion. Looking at my tentative syllabus that maybe a stretch given the input.

    The test case will be with guys from my former unit so I'll be able to see how it flows.

  4. #24
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    Tentative plan was 1-2 hours. 30 minute lecture followed with 30-90 minutes of discussion. Looking at my tentative syllabus that maybe a stretch given the input.
    Yeah, I suspect it is a stretch . I was thinking 3 hours minimum until I saw day 3 and thought you might be looking at an 8 hour day!

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    The test case will be with guys from my former unit so I'll be able to see how it flows.
    Good idea running a test case first. You might think about doing a test talk run on each of the lecture components. It's been my experience that we tend to grossly underestimate time involved, but the underestimate factor varies widely depending on how much audience input / interaction we are looking for. A 30 minute lecture gives you, roughly, time to read ~ 20 pages, double-spaced with no interaction. I usually try and do a test run on talks and conference presentations with some of my colleagues up here (including past and present students) just to try and get a feel for the time length. Even then, I'm frequently off .

    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
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    Default What a difference a day makes...

    Wow.

    I'm truly impressed by the breadth and depth of the responses you have received and your replies. I think you will do well with your presentation.

    As a suggestion, have someone record the presentation. I guarantee you will learn from your audience and you will learn even more by reviewing the presentation. You may end up with a couple of articles out of your ideas and/or questions and comments.

    I was an instructor at the JFK Center and an O/C at JRTC. A lot of the topics you and others have suggested we have tried to incorporate. I'm afraid that what a lot of us see as "common sense" will never become apparent to some of the folks who really need that information.

    For what it's worth, I'm still learning from things I observed in Vietnam and subsequent locations. As a result I feel kind of bad about all the things we tried to teach but couldn't get across or didn't think about.

    Please recover completely and quickly. You are the future of the Army.

  6. #26
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi MM,

    Quote Originally Posted by MM_Smith View Post
    As a suggestion, have someone record the presentation. I guarantee you will learn from your audience and you will learn even more by reviewing the presentation. You may end up with a couple of articles out of your ideas and/or questions and comments.
    Mike, this is a REALLY good idea! When I was prepping for my first conference paper, my father dragged me down to his office and made me go through the presentation about 8 times, videotaping each one. In between, he offered some really devastating critiques on tempo, content, body language and tonality. By the end of the exercise (over 4 hours!), I had the frakin' paper memorized, with stage directions! Nowadays, I don't go to such great lengths, but I do do dry runs for my colleagues and really, seriously take their comments into consideration.

    Quote Originally Posted by MM_Smith View Post
    I was an instructor at the JFK Center and an O/C at JRTC. A lot of the topics you and others have suggested we have tried to incorporate. I'm afraid that what a lot of us see as "common sense" will never become apparent to some of the folks who really need that information.
    For what it's worth, there are times when I feel like I am bashing my head into a brick wall when talking with some of our (Canadian) policy people about COIN, etc. It's not our military folks - they get it - it's dealing with some of the bureaucrats whose agendas are solely aimed at building their own, personal little empires . Luckily, we also have some great bureaucrats who do get it but, sometimes, it just makes me want to ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MM_Smith View Post
    For what it's worth, I'm still learning from things I observed in Vietnam and subsequent locations. As a result I feel kind of bad about all the things we tried to teach but couldn't get across or didn't think about.
    The sign of a true scholar - in the Socratic tradition .

    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/

  7. #27
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Some things never change...

    Just some quick notes for tonight then I'm off on a date with a sweet southern belle. Smalls wars can wait . Unfortunately, they are not going anywhere.

    From Bob's World:
    Mike sounds more like a GWOT campaign assessment
    I think I'm gonna start calling this post-colonial small wars.

    Quote Originally Posted by MM_Smith View Post
    As a suggestion, have someone record the presentation. I guarantee you will learn from your audience and you will learn even more by reviewing the presentation. You may end up with a couple of articles out of your ideas and/or questions and comments.
    Working on it. We found a scout that also does photography and videos.

    Quote Originally Posted by MM_Smith View Post
    I was an instructor at the JFK Center and an O/C at JRTC. A lot of the topics you and others have suggested we have tried to incorporate. I'm afraid that what a lot of us see as "common sense" will never become apparent to some of the folks who really need that information.

    For what it's worth, I'm still learning from things I observed in Vietnam and subsequent locations. As a result I feel kind of bad about all the things we tried to teach but couldn't get across or didn't think about.
    MM, thank you for your service. The more I consider, common sense and METT-TC seem to be learned along the way directly correlated to one's age and experience. I look back at how much I've absorbed from combat, grad school, and SWJ from guys like Ken White, Goesh, BW, Wilf, Stan, Tom Odom and countless others. I want to minimize that gap.

    So back to the real world. A 1SGT (former PLT SGT of mine) is crashing at my place while he's going through a divorce. Right now, while I"m working through my own ####, he's helping me. In his own words, "Sir, brother, you took care of us and now I'm gonna take care of you." That's the type of unit we had. Anyways, he's done four tours in Iraq and A'stan, and we've spent many nights with a bottle of Jack just talking things out. He told me that I've always had a way to know and explain things on a level that was comprehendable from a PFC to a 4-star.

    I showed him the first three days of courses today. He loved it, but he laughed. "Mike, you gotta dumb that down for the E6's. Too many college words. Take your enemy situation and make it 'shape, hold, and clear.'"

    So, I'm gonna relook the format and the questions (as per MarcT's suggestions on inversion) to make something accessible for everyone.

    With that, here's some good tunes for the weekend that cover it all...

    v/r

    Mike

  8. #28
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Full Outline

    Here's where I'm headed next week.

    Day Four: The Biggest Tribe- Clearing the Village and taking Control

    Day Five: Annihilation of the Opposition- Holding the Village

    Day Six: Reconstruction at Gun-Point: Armed Nation-Building and the Build Phase

    Day Seven: Transition- Conflict Resolution and moving to the Role of the Arbitrator

    Day Eight: The Combat Advisor: FID. SFA, and the alternative, indirect approach- One Tribe at a Time

    Day Nine: The Intangables: Three Cups of Tea, Winning Friends and Influencing People, and Peace Corps ####

    Day Ten: Having a Life/Going Home before 2100- Resetting, Rebuilding, and Revamping our Army in a time of war: Working through injuries, grief, training the next breed, and new commanders.

  9. #29
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    I think I'm gonna start calling this post-colonial small wars.
    Post-colonial, yes, but "post Cold War" is also appropriate. The prominent insurgencies of the second half of the 20th century may have been primarily driven by opposition to colonial powers and postcolonial dictatorships, but our response to them was driven primarily by our own "communists vs capitalists" stategic equation. Our tendency to impose the latter paradigm over the fiormer often led us to surrender the moral high ground of opposition to antiquated, abusive, and crumbling power structures to our opponents, which really didn't do us any good.

    Certainly there are useful lessons to be learned from the Cold War insurgencies, but we also have to recognize that many of today's conflicts are very different, and not all the lessons apply. There's a danger, for example, in trying to apply COIN principles to a conflict against a group like AQ, which is not an insurgency at all, or to a situation that is less an insurgency than an armed competition for control of an ungoverned space.

  10. #30
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default Sounds like Hitler's plan for taking over the world to me

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    Here's where I'm headed next week.

    Day Four: The Biggest Tribe- Clearing the Village and taking Control

    Day Five: Annihilation of the Opposition- Holding the Village

    Day Six: Reconstruction at Gun-Point: Armed Nation-Building and the Build Phase

    Day Seven: Transition- Conflict Resolution and moving to the Role of the Arbitrator

    Day Eight: The Combat Advisor: FID. SFA, and the alternative, indirect approach- One Tribe at a Time

    Day Nine: The Intangables: Three Cups of Tea, Winning Friends and Influencing People, and Peace Corps ####

    Day Ten: Having a Life/Going Home before 2100- Resetting, Rebuilding, and Revamping our Army in a time of war: Working through injuries, grief, training the next breed, and new commanders.
    This is NOT a recipe for effective foreign policy. If this is what you are having your military do, your foregin policy is hard broke.
    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)

  11. #31
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Depends on how you define the enemy

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    This is NOT a recipe for effective foreign policy. If this is what you are having your military do, your foregin policy is hard broke.
    I was rereading Mao yesterday so I had his thoughts in my head when I wrote that . Yes, I need to relook at the tone. However, it's not that far off.

    Annihilation of the Opposition- If you shut down the Enemy's training camps, political and military apparatus, and convince him to CHANGE behavior, you have won. Keep in mind, the enemy is an IDEA. I'm not talking about genocide or trying to take total control. The former is immoral and the latter is an illusion. One could argue that Greg Mortenson is attempting to annihilate al Qaeda through teaching the girls how to read.

    Application of Violence- It is a necessary function. The level depends on the intensity of the insurgency, the threat level in one's particular AO, and the ROE from one's CoC.

    Post-Colonial/Post-Cold small wars- this is not my foreign policy. I"m much more of an isolationist. The more that I study these type of wars, the more I remain convinced that one can only help someone that ASKS for help.

  12. #32
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    This is NOT a recipe for effective foreign policy. If this is what you are having your military do, your foregin policy is hard broke.
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    Post-Colonial/Post-Cold small wars- this is not my foreign policy. I"m much more of an isolationist. The more that I study these type of wars, the more I remain convinced that one can only help someone that ASKS for help.
    Which brings us, by way of your 10 days, to day 11 - reintegrating the local into the global.

    Mike, the one thing that I see as missing in this is the global context, whether you call it foreign policy, IR, or post-capitalist globalization. There will be times when you have to do this type of operation where you haven't been asked for help. Hades, neither Iraq nor Afghanistan did !

    So you might want to finish it off by tossing out various foreign policy scenarios for intervention, and how each of those scenarios changes the on the ground problems.

    Okay, having tossed out that cryptic suggestion, now I've got to run off and sing .

    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/

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    Default I got in late

    sorry, Mike. Email me with your current email and I'll send you a copy of my Small Wars syllabus.
    The only thing I will add to the discussion/recommendations is something I learned while teaching at CGSC (amazing that the educationists actually have something useful) and that is Learning Objectives. Note that it is not teaching objectives but learning objectives. What is it that we want the student to be able to do when he finishes a lesson, section or the course. The key word is "do." specifics are important. Understand is a poor objective because it is too general. At a low level, you may want the student to be able to describe the tactical environment. A higher level objective would require the student to evaluate the impact of culture on the tactical environment. A place to find some of the levels of learning objectives would be to Google Bloom's Taxonomy which offers some 5 levels. Personally, I think that is both too much and so much educationist jargon so my simplification is 2 levels of learning objectives: Puke it and Use it

    Cheers

    JohnT

    PS A PhD would be great for you - it would help in your quest to become a true renaissance man!

  14. #34
    Council Member Commando Spirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    Here's where I'm headed next week.

    Day Four: The Biggest Tribe- Clearing the Village and taking Control

    Day Five: Annihilation of the Opposition- Holding the Village

    Day Six: Reconstruction at Gun-Point: Armed Nation-Building and the Build Phase

    Day Seven: Transition- Conflict Resolution and moving to the Role of the Arbitrator

    Day Eight: The Combat Advisor: FID. SFA, and the alternative, indirect approach- One Tribe at a Time

    Day Nine: The Intangables: Three Cups of Tea, Winning Friends and Influencing People, and Peace Corps ####

    Day Ten: Having a Life/Going Home before 2100- Resetting, Rebuilding, and Revamping our Army in a time of war: Working through injuries, grief, training the next breed, and new commanders.

    Hi Mike, I run these type of courses but for the British Army. I deliver to all units types mainly to fit with their training programme but, as with many units, they go with my recommendations! I go in initially with a two day package (full days 0830 - 1630). The package, whilst flexible to the needs of the unit, is an intro to the 10 x British Principles of COIN, which underpin all "Small Wars" and then drill down into more detail. Happy to discuss if you wish and even share resources??

    I have a concern though with your proposed content. I think you're coming at it too heavily on the kinetic side. Whilst I appreciate the need for kinetic effect (I am a serving member of the British Army) I am not so sure it should have quite such a high profile that you suggest? There is a distinct danger that you will set the conditions in your students heads that these Small Wars are best resolved through the sole use of kinetic effects; I would argue that this is not the case.

    As I have said; happy to chat if you want me to?

    CS
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  15. #35
    Council Member Commando Spirit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    ...that is Learning Objectives. Note that it is not teaching objectives but learning objectives. What is it that we want the student to be able to do when he finishes a lesson, section or the course. The key word is "do." specifics are important. Understand is a poor objective because it is too general

    At a low level, you may want the student to be able to describe the tactical environment. A higher level objective would require the student to evaluate the impact of culture on the tactical environment. A place to find some of the levels of learning objectives would be to Google Bloom's Taxonomy which offers some 5 levels .....

    Cheers

    JohnT
    UNDERSTAND - Agreed - furthermore, 'Understand' cannot be measured; so how do you confirm the learning has taken place?

    BLOOM - This might be a bit heavy but it will, as JohnT says, give a great foundation of how you should approach teaching. In my experience it's not as easy as just 'gobbing off in front of the troops'! You will get so much more out of your own teaching if you have clearly defined objectives that are measurable. I'm sure you're well aware of SMART Objectives? (Google if not) but this is a nice way to think of Bloom.

    CS
    Commando Spirit:
    Courage, Determination, Unselfishness, and Cheerfulness in the face of adversity

  16. #36
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    sorry, Mike. Email me with your current email and I'll send you a copy of my Small Wars syllabus.
    The only thing I will add to the discussion/recommendations is something I learned while teaching at CGSC (amazing that the educationists actually have something useful) and that is Learning Objectives. Note that it is not teaching objectives but learning objectives. What is it that we want the student to be able to do when he finishes a lesson, section or the course. The key word is "do." specifics are important. Understand is a poor objective because it is too general. At a low level, you may want the student to be able to describe the tactical environment. A higher level objective would require the student to evaluate the impact of culture on the tactical environment. A place to find some of the levels of learning objectives would be to Google Bloom's Taxonomy which offers some 5 levels. Personally, I think that is both too much and so much educationist jargon so my simplification is 2 levels of learning objectives: Puke it and Use it

    John- good to see that you made the conversation. A couple of more days, and MarcT would have me back down in Guatemala studying Mayan Tribes .

    Good comments all and keep em coming. I'm gonna mull them over the next couple of days and come back with a better product. Thanks.

    Mike

  17. #37
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I agree with Commando Spirit that the SMART acronym has merit,

    however, I will throw in a caution. The 'M' stands for measure and most educational treatises will point out that all activities should be or are measurable at some level. That's a true statement. The SMART process was used to design our current training system of Tasks, Conditions and Standards -- so we end up with the required measurement activity defining the methodology and even what gets taught by who and where! Not a good idea because while you can get pretty objective result reports, they are at the micro level. Teach or train at the micro level in order to grade at that level and the guys don't learn to do macro...

    You can dumb things down to the micro level to get metrics and objective measurements (as we did, under some pressure) but I submit combat is an art that requires the amalgamation of a number of knowledges, skills and abilities -- put another way, combining all or parts of a number of tasks under some widely varying conditions to survive and win -- to achieve composite results and that measurement of those results at the macro level will usually, in training, be subjective. Do not get too heavily into metrics...
    The sign of a true scholar - in the Socratic tradition.
    Oh and avoid the koolaid...

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commando Spirit View Post
    I have a concern though with your proposed content. I think you're coming at it too heavily on the kinetic side. Whilst I appreciate the need for kinetic effect (I am a serving member of the British Army) I am not so sure it should have quite such a high profile that you suggest? There is a distinct danger that you will set the conditions in your students heads that these Small Wars are best resolved through the sole use of kinetic effects; I would argue that this is not the case.
    OK, but to clarify, Small Wars, as in warfare conducted against irregulars, by a regular force is predicated on killing and destruction, ("kinetic") and not diplomacy ("non-kinetic") - that is why it is warfare.
    Who you apply death and destruction to is key - as in all wars.
    If you have deployed military force, then whole policy is based on conditions set through use of violence.
    Britain won all it's "Small Wars" by inflicting de-facto military defeat on the enemy, via violence or threat of violence. Not using "Effects" "Influence" or any of the other post-modern malarky.

    Not all "Small Wars" are COIN! COIN refers to a very specific context, that may or may not be relevant to the desired political end state. - alteration of political power.

    To whit, if you teach "Irregular Warfare," you are teaching folks how best to use violence against irregulars in support of policy. Everything else you do, (Med Patrols, handing out aid etc) is predicated in setting the conditions to allow you to harm the enemy.
    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

  19. #39
    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    OK, but to clarify, Small Wars, as in warfare conducted against irregulars, by a regular force is predicated on killing and destruction, ("kinetic") and not diplomacy ("non-kinetic") - that is why it is warfare.
    Who you apply death and destruction to is key - as in all wars.
    If you have deployed military force, then whole policy is based on conditions set through use of violence.
    Britain won all it's "Small Wars" by inflicting de-facto military defeat on the enemy, via violence or threat of violence. Not using "Effects" "Influence" or any of the other post-modern malarky.

    Not all "Small Wars" are COIN! COIN refers to a very specific context, that may or may not be relevant to the desired political end state. - alteration of political power.

    To whit, if you teach "Irregular Warfare," you are teaching folks how best to use violence against irregulars in support of policy. Everything else you do, (Med Patrols, handing out aid etc) is predicated in setting the conditions to allow you to harm the enemy.
    I'm going to take another stab at this building off what Wilf wrote. Please continue to critique to help me to articulate what I want to say. Some of my ideas maybe contentious, but that's a good thing.

    Okay, the specific area that I'm addressing is "when do we send in Regular Army units in a small war?" This is neither FID nor SFA; this is counter-insurgency. This is a specific case where the host nation CANNOT govern or FAILS to secure,, an insurgent movement has taken over significant areas, or the "conflict-ecosystem" has evolved into a civil war, genocide, or utter anarchy. My example is Zaganiyah Iraq (2006-2007). Other areas of Iraq during this time period may apply. Portions of the current situation in Afghanistan apply, and other nasty spots like Darfur or Rwanda apply.

    I am not an advocate of doing these kinds of missions; however, I understand them well. If I never have to do this again in my life, then I'll be content. IMO, if you understand this situation, then you can easily "get" other aspects of small wars- humanitarian assistance, peace-keeping, combat advising, or nation-building.

    So, the first question one must consider when going into these areas is "how do I want to be perceived by the local stakeholders?"

    Here's my take:

    1. Enemy. My enemy will fear me. I don't care if he's an accidental guerilla or a die-hard believer in the cause. I will establish an environment where he has three choices: 1. change his behavior, 2. go somewhere else, or die. We used to call this "terrorizing the terrorist."

    2. Civilians. I am the honest broker. For a short-time period, I may have to govern because you failed to govern yourselves. You may not agree with some of my decisions, but you will respect me. Over time, we will gain your trust, b/c my men will never take advantage of our power, steal from you, dishonor your women or children. When your ready, I will help you secure your village, regain the peace with your neighbors, and get your children back to school.

    Case in Point:

    After AQ had taken over Zag, the place was a mess. Shias and Iraqi Army were being publically beheaded in the town square with the masses cheering "God is Great." Neighbors stole land, homes, and property from neighbors. Decades of repressed feuds between families and tribes erupted in violence. AQ established training camps in the area, and young men and women were being recruited, trained, and employed as suicide bombers. It was some Old Testament stuff. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would ever be thrust into an environment like that.

    So, we moved in, cleared the town, and lived there. For a 90 day period, we received 12 attacks a day until we pacified the town. AQ either died, changed sides, or fled. I still had to deal with the local leaders and people feuding. I wasn't sure how to address the situation so I used shame. I made the leaders watch the beheading videos over and over again. I'd point out each one in the video and shout, "that's you cheering while your neighbor's head is cut off. You're screaming God is Great!!! You call yourself a religious man? This is what you stand for? This is who you are?" The technique worked.

    By forcing the civilians to take a look in the mirror, they realized they were wrong. Once they were broken emotionally, we could finally help. Major Aziz, my Iraqi counterpart, took charge of the area. Sheik Aziz, an affiliate of Sistani, came in and started doing conflict resolution. Things simmered down.

    FM 3-24 calls it "stopping the bleeding," but in reality, it's much harsher than that. Hopefully, Scott Shaw will jump in to contribute. He worked the area a year later and saw the improvements.

    Thoughts?

  20. #40
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Armchair thoughts

    MikeF,

    I have two reservations about the teaching as you've described; it is centred around your American experience and outlook. History has a nasty habit of placing you - soldiers - in unexpected places, whilst there are common features in COIN, there are also differences.

    Who would have thought in 2002 the UK would deploy thousands to Kabul and in 2006 re-appear on the other side of the Durand Line?

    Clearly not all US military deployments to fight in COIN situations are 'heavy', resource intensive (like Iraq & Afghanistan now) and the 'lighter' campaigns need to feature (from those in the public domain: Dhofar, Phillipines etc).

    How will you establish what they know - at the start and the end?

    Lessons unlearned even. How to avoid them - at my level - and where to learn, in quick mode and with leisure (good for bad weather days). Pose the question: which three people, alive or dead, would you want to talk to?

    Personally, thinking quickly, General Giap, General Peter Walls and pause...no, cannot think of a third. Of course you!
    davidbfpo

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