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Old 10-21-2009   #41
slapout9
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Originally Posted by Majormarginal View Post
10-99
in my neck of the woods 10-99 means wanted or in some cases you handled the call another way (non routine procedure), is it the same on your end?
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Old 10-21-2009   #42
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Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
Slap- when is SBW gonna be published??? Clausewitz stalled so long that his wife had to finish the book.

v/r

Mike
No book, but I am working on the article if Colonel Gurney dosen't file 13 it. I write with a legal pad. SWC is about the only computer stuff I do.


I will say this in Warden's class on SMART Wars/ SMART Strategies you not only write a plan for what the enemy will look like when you are done but you also write a plan on what you want YOUR COUNTRY to look like when you are done (ie, your stronger position). Bet you donuts and coffe there ain't no such animal at the white house.

Last edited by slapout9; 10-21-2009 at 03:44 AM. Reason: notes
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Old 10-21-2009   #43
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As a civilian on a personal surge, I can relate very well to my friend Steve Metz's comments regarding the socalled civilian surge. I would say the system of getting non-military to go to war is not only broke it is actually designed to discourage through red-tape and stupidity.

As a retired military guy who worked closely with civilians in two other war zones before this one, I can also state that the cultural underpinnings in the civilian agencies must be changed if we are ever to overcome the gap between desires and consumation.

This is a good article on what it targets: the current situation. The entire last paragraph should be read to get that thought across:

Quote:
What, then, is Plan B? If we are unwilling to pay the price for a serious civilian capability--and admit that foisting the job of development and political assistance on the military is a bad idea--the only option is to alter our basic strategy. We could find a way to thwart Al Qaeda and other terrorists without trying to re-engineer weak states. We could, in other words, get out of the counterinsurgency and stabilization business. This is not an attractive option and entails many risks. But it does reflect reality. Ultimately, it may be better than a strategy based on a capability that exists only in our minds.
Maybe this is Plan B for Afghanistan and the fight against Al Qaeda. But just saying no to COIN and stability ops is not a strategy or even a policy. We may need to get out of COIN and stability ops in OEF. But as as a statement of larger policy, experience shows we don't always get to choose.

Tom
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Old 10-21-2009   #44
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But just saying no to COIN and stability ops is not a strategy or even a policy. We may need to get out of COIN and stability ops in OEF. But as as a statement of larger policy, experience shows we don't always get to choose.
I think that this might be an instance of hating the players when we should be hating the game.

I think the problem is that international law assumes things that aren't true and provides safeguards that shouldn't exist. Why do we recognize borders that governments are unable to control? Perhaps if we stopped doing that, then we could play to our strengths.

Wars used to be about redrawing borders. Now they're about trying to remold the situation to fit the existing borders - pounding a square peg into a round hole. On paper, I guess it sounds more humane. In practice, it's not.
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Old 10-21-2009   #45
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Schmedlap's expanded version of the Border problems.

http://www.schmedlap.com/weblog/Latest.aspx
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Old 10-26-2009   #46
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Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
As a civilian on a personal surge, I can relate very well to my friend Steve Metz's comments regarding the socalled civilian surge. I would say the system of getting non-military to go to war is not only broke it is actually designed to discourage through red-tape and stupidity.

As a retired military guy who worked closely with civilians in two other war zones before this one, I can also state that the cultural underpinnings in the civilian agencies must be changed if we are ever to overcome the gap between desires and consumation.
"Oct. 22, 2009 -- U.S. Joint Forces Command chief Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis has said his command would take the lead in ensuring a new approach to military operations planning -- built on commanders' creativity and cross-government participation -- becomes firmly anchored in Defense Department doctrine and education programs." Inside Defense.

So, how will this work out?
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Old 10-29-2009   #47
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Default More civilian surge...

From Tom Rick's Blog on FP: How to adjust in Afghanistan

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A veteran infantryman with much time in the Middle East, and other wars, writes in with the following suggestions.
Quote:
A Day of the Long Knives. We have a tremendous amount of leverage left in Afghanistan; there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the Karzai family will be to back running a chain of kabob joints in suburban Maryland without the support of the US government. What disappoints the Afghan people is that we have not used this leverage to insist on better governance. We can, and must, do better by them if we hope for a successful outcome against the Taliban and their criminal enablers.

We, not the Karzai government, should pick out the fifty most corrupt members of the Afghan government and insist on their replacement. The people who replace them should have a U.S. or NATO nation advisor assigned to spend the first three months with the new appointee cleaning up the mess. At least ten of the fifty should be members of the extended Karzai family in order to show that no-one is beyond the reach of the government clean up. The message behind this should be clear to the rest of the government; "you could be next!"

Where would we get the fifty advisors given the slow ability of the civilian arms of the U.S. government to provide the "civilian surge" long called for in Afghanistan? There are several options. We could use American civil affairs officers; there are plenty of them in Iraq and Afghanistan manning increasingly bloated staffs. Another source of manpower could come from cleaning out the attaché offices at the Embassy and sending them out to field until the civilian surge catches up in recruiting qualified civilians. A third source might be Iraq where there are Provincial Reconstruction Teams that are wrapping up their missions. The State Department could transfer them on a voluntary basis if it puts its mind to it. The bottom line is to send the message that we are prepared make heads roll in the Kabul government, and to do this on a three month rotating basis until we see results.

Until the kleptocrats in Kabul and the provinces have the fear of Allah put in them, there will be no reason for the Afghan people to assume that a reformed Taliban is not a viable alternative. That brings us to the provinces.
And on the other side...

David Rothkopf at FP with: The Missing General and the Phantom Army

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Central to our ability to achieve these goals are the people in the U.S. government who are specifically organized to handle post-crisis intervention and reconstruction functions. Unfortunately, despite our regular need for such capabilities, we don't actually have a department or agency that is specifically built and sufficiently supported to achieve these goals. This despite the fact that such interventions have been among the most regular and crucial functions of the U.S. government for decades. Hopefully, Secretary Clinton's QDDR process will produce some recommendations to remedy this.

In the meantime, the next best thing we have is the U.S. Agency for International Development, a worthy but inefficient and often lumbering entity. Nonetheless, it is going to play a critical role in what we do in Afghanistan ... or it can and should play such a role. It also has related and vital roles to play in Pakistan, Iraq and other regions where state failure or state weakening create security as well as humanitarian risks.

These are the things it has. What it doesn't have is a leader. It is now almost November and the new administration has failed to arrive at a candidate for the job everyone can agree on and who can pass the muster of the absurd vetting processes that now dog would-be senior officials and impede this government's ability to function. We came close a while back but the candidate withdrew his name. There is behind the scenes scuffling over this one, partially because there is a sense the agency needs to change and there is a division of opinion as to whether it should be more independent or more closely integrated into the State Department. (The correct answer is "b." The work of A.I.D. is a critical component of American statecraft and the levers of its function need to be controlled by America's chief diplomat.)

Whenever this missing general is brought on board however -- and one can only hope that it is very, very soon -- he or she is going to have to cope with another reality that is not fully understood by most Americans and which is vital to the function of the U.S. government and to our success or failure in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that is how we get to the phantom army I mentioned earlier.

That army represents the majority of people currently on the ground in those two countries on behalf of the U.S. government and is therefore the largest single force on the ground in our Middle Eastern theaters. It is the army of contractors that have become the Hamburger Helper of American military and diplomatic initiatives in our two current wars.
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Old 10-29-2009   #48
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Beetle:

All good thought pieces, but problems abound.

The underpinnings of effective governance lie in the ends, ways and means of delivering it.

Assuming the night of long knives occurred, what then?

A handful of MSI contractors might engage the Afghan ministries to show them what they know? How to optimize profit performance under a US AID contract mechanism? How to capture a greater share of CERP?

At its core, our civilian effort (both by DoS and DoD) is an "expeditionary" one. Short-term people with quick objectives facing a country with long-term development needs that, in part, are not helped by pushing billions of US dollars into the current civilian reconstruction bureaucracy.

We have a hammer. but is Afghan civil governance a problem for which a hammer can achieve desired results?

Maybe we need a different tool, or a different problem definition?

Steve
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Old 10-30-2009   #49
Surferbeetle
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Default Good questions...

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Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post
The underpinnings of effective governance lie in the ends, ways and means of delivering it.

Assuming the night of long knives occurred, what then?
The quote from Rick's Blog sounds like equal parts frustration and tried & true tactical solution...a relief for cause if you will, but of incompetent Afghan civilian technocrats.

Not having been to Afghanistan I subscribe to a different view in that I believe that if we commit to this mission we must work with what we have. My observation of the interactions between type-A infantry bubba's and local technocrats in Iraq and Latin America reveals consistent misunderstandings as to what is possible, what is wise, what is sustainable, and what will actually be accomplished inspite all of the strum und drang...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve the Planner View Post
A handful of MSI contractors might engage the Afghan ministries to show them what they know? How to optimize profit performance under a US AID contract mechanism? How to capture a greater share of CERP?

At its core, our civilian effort (both by DoS and DoD) is an "expeditionary" one. Short-term people with quick objectives facing a country with long-term development needs that, in part, are not helped by pushing billions of US dollars into the current civilian reconstruction bureaucracy.
Appropriate coaching combined with realistic expectations management is what is called for and will, as you also note, require more than a 12 month time-frame for sustainable results.

Leaving the strategic question aside (Is Afghanistan worth the effort?), my operational/tactical suggestion is to increase the numbers of the CA/CMO mission folks outside the wire (no FOB's, no commuting to work) by using reserve CA force's (USAR/ARNG, Marine, and re purposed Navy & AF - with vetted/certified required civilian skill sets - direct commissioning as required), DoS, USAID, USACE, USDA, DOJ, contractors, and ISAF CA/CMO types. All would answer to a modern day GEN Lucius Clay for unity of command. Our hypothetical GEN Clay could be required to answer to a higher ranking DoS Czar depending upon who has the lead DOD or DoS. A dedicated three or four-star with no-#### hire/fire power over mil, civ, and contractor would be focused upon ends, ways, and means and would have the horsepower needed to ride herd upon the cats while integrating all efforts into the ongoing security mission.

Long term, the necessity for a five year plan, ten year plan, or twenty year plan is beyond the capabilities of the crystal ball here on my desk...
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Last edited by Surferbeetle; 10-30-2009 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Clarity..
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Old 10-30-2009   #50
Surferbeetle
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Thumbs up Light footprint...

Jim Gant: One Tribe at a Time

Quote:
When a Chinese bamboo tree is planted, the grower
must water and nurture it. The first year, it does not
grow more than one inch above the ground. During
the second year, after more watering and fertilizing,
the tree does not grow anymore than it did during year
one. The bamboo tree is still no more than one inch
high after four years. Nothing tangible can be seen by
any outsider.

But, on the fifth year the tree can grow more than
eighty feet. Of course, the first four years the tree was
growing its roots, deep into the ground. It is the roots
that enable the tree to create an explosion of growth in
year five.
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