SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Conflicts -- Current & Future > Other, By Region > Middle East

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-28-2011   #41
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,136
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
From my very bias seat, I see this as the a great opportunity for Special Forces to support the oppressed rise up against their corrupt governments,
Counterproductive, I suspect. When the operation ceased to be secret (wouldn't take long) those rising up would be de-legitimized, branded pawns of a meddling foreign government. Foreign intervention, especially if it involved arms, would also make it much easier to justify an armed crackdown, and once we are revealed as a participant we'd lose any credible status as mediator.

These uprisings are good things and should be helped along, but it has to be very subtle and if we go out trying to provoke them we are likely to make a mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
All countries where the US has focused CT efforts and capacity building efforts to help these regimes more effectively deal with the "terrorists" within their borders. One man's freedom marcher is another man's terrorist; and our GWOT focus has been decidedly in support of the perspective of these despotic leaders in that regard. Even Libya became an ally in our war on terror, and leveraged that to gain greater license in the suppression of her own people.
Calling Libya a "US ally" is well exaggerated. They came off the "untouchable pariah" list but that's about all.

The Libyan regime never asked for or needed any license to oppress. Not many people do, really. They do it because its what they do; they don't ask permission and they don't care what we think.
Dayuhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011   #42
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,701
Default Agree as to our Cold War engagement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Presley Cannady View Post
Couldn't be helped. Americans were damned lucky to tear those governments away of the Soviet sphere in the first place.
Presley,

Agree, the US waged the Cold War hard in the Middle East. And well from our perspective. The problem is that we locked those Cold War control measures in place and rode them from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the fall of the Twin Towers. Then, we modified them by adding an aggressive CT layer of engagement and HN security force capacity building directed at capabilities to go after "terrorists." AQ guys are really very few. AQ AP, HOA and Maghreb are made up primarily of nationalist insurgents with a handful of AQ hardcores running the UW program to organize, train, finance, supply, etc.

We let our intel guys throw a big net over the whole mess and call it "terrorism" and granted hunting licenses, provided support and encouraged aggressive pursuit of all.

If we are going to do Security Force Capacity Building with some Ally we need to focus it on dealing with external threats 99% of the time. Help the Saudis deter or defeat an attack by Iran? No problem. Help the Saudis round up the dissenting members of their own populace? I have a problem with that. If the Saudis want to do that, that is there business, but it flies in the face of US principle and law and it weakens us globally when we support suppression abroad of actions that are legal, encouraged, and honored at home.

Bottom line is that we got off track. Our handling of the current rash of popular uprisings, both in how we deal with those governments and how we deal with those populaces, is critical to getting back onto azimuth with our national ethos and principles. We will still do hard things when hard times such as the Cold War dictate. But now is not such times, and there must be healing when conditions change.
__________________
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)
Bob's World is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011   #43
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,701
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
Calling Libya a "US ally" is well exaggerated. They came off the "untouchable pariah" list but that's about all.

The Libyan regime never asked for or needed any license to oppress. Not many people do, really. They do it because its what they do; they don't ask permission and they don't care what we think.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/...6?pageNumber=1

We started down that path in 2007. I suspect there is little coincidence that this coincided with the Surge in Iraq, what with Libya being one of the major sources of foreign fighters to that conflict.
__________________
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)
Bob's World is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011   #44
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,136
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
Help the Saudis round up the dissenting members of their own populace? I have a problem with that.
The Saudis, like the Libyans, have never needed our help or asked our permission to round up dissenting members of their own populace, nor would they stop doing it if we told them we didn't like it.
Dayuhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011   #45
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,701
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
The Saudis, like the Libyans, have never needed our help or asked our permission to round up dissenting members of their own populace, nor would they stop doing it if we told them we didn't like it.
Agreed. Yet we used our power and influence to encourge this behavior all the same. And I suspect you underestimate our ability to either push things in the direction we desire, or steer them elsewhere. Here we pushed where we should not have, and we will never know what might have happened if we had tried to steer in stead.
__________________
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)
Bob's World is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011   #46
Marc
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: IL
Posts: 73
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
Marc, I agree that the anti-western rhetoric in the Middle East had legs, but that seems to be waning a little. If we don't always support Israel, if we get past our desire to re-make the Middle East in our image, and we support legimate change that is desired by the Arab people, etc., then there will be less reason for the anti-western rhetoric to resonate. Saddam didn't have any answers, and I don't recall any other leaders in the Middle East who played the anti-western theme to their advantage that were effective in providing for their people.
Bill, you are right. The effect of anti-western rhetoric is waning. However, the anti-western theme is still important. One analyst that did see the Egyptian uprising coming is David B. Ottaway, who published an occasional paper entitled "Egypt at a tipping point" in the summer of 2010. This is what he wrote about Mohamed ElBaradei:

Quote:
A Ph.D. graduate in international law from New York University
School of Law, the balding, owlishlooking diplomat has spent his entire professional career working abroad either for the Egyptian foreign ministry or
at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Geneva. For 12 years he was the IAEA’s director general, emerging from bureaucratic obscurity with his outspoken criticism of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003
In other words Ottaway says that ElBaradei's OPPOSITION increases his credibility on the Egyptian political scene.

Another thing. There are leaders in the Middle East who played the anti-western theme to their advantage AND were effective in providing for their people. This approach is at the core of many Islamist movements' strategies. Hizbollah, Hamas and Sadr's movement all combine effective humanitarian and social services programs with anti-western rhetoric.

I agree with you that anti-western rhetoric is no substitute for a lack of attention for the people's need, but I think that an emerging leader that combines anti-western rhetoric with effective policies concerning education, health care, and social assistance will quickly gain massive popular support.
Marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011   #47
Marc
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: IL
Posts: 73
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore View Post
Marc, I agree that the anti-western rhetoric in the Middle East had legs, but that seems to be waning a little. If we don't always support Israel, if we get past our desire to re-make the Middle East in our image, and we support legimate change that is desired by the Arab people, etc., then there will be less reason for the anti-western rhetoric to resonate. Saddam didn't have any answers, and I don't recall any other leaders in the Middle East who played the anti-western theme to their advantage that were effective in providing for their people.
Bill, you are right. The effect of anti-western rhetoric is waning. However, the anti-western theme is still important. One analyst that did see the Egyptian uprising coming is David B. Ottaway, who published an occasional paper entitled "Egypt at a tipping point" in the summer of 2010. This is what he wrote about Mohamed ElBaradei:

Quote:
A Ph.D. graduate in international law from New York University
School of Law, the balding, owlishlooking diplomat has spent his entire professional career working abroad either for the Egyptian foreign ministry or
at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Geneva. For 12 years he was the IAEA’s director general, emerging from bureaucratic obscurity with his outspoken criticism of the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003
In other words Ottaway says that ElBaradei's OPPOSITION to OIF increases his credibility on the Egyptian political scene.

Another thing. There are leaders in the Middle East who played the anti-western theme to their advantage AND were effective in providing for their people. This approach is at the core of many Islamist movements' strategies. Hizbollah, Hamas and Sadr's movement all combine effective humanitarian and social services programs with anti-western rhetoric.

I agree with you that anti-western rhetoric is no substitute for a lack of attention for the people's need, but I think that an emerging leader that combines anti-western rhetoric with effective policies concerning education, health care, and social assistance will quickly gain massive popular support.
Marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011   #48
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,665
Default

For those interested, the Ottaway paper is here. I would disagree with the characterization that Ottaway saw the revolution coming - he rated such an event as highly unlikely.

Quote:

Might Egypt have its own version of Eastern Europe’s “color revolutions” or Iran’s mass street protests? No Egyptian I talked to felt either was very likely. They cited the apolitical and easy-going nature of most Egyptians, the limited number of activists and the government’s skill in keeping economic and social discontent from turning into a political opposition—at least so far. “The Dream of the Green Revolution,” the title of a new book timed to ElBaradei’s return, was pretty much just that.

On the other hand, Western diplomats reported that the Mubarak government appeared to live in constant fear of a major social explosion at any moment. They worried how long Egypt could remain peaceful while faced with such a yawning gap between rich and poor, a bulging population, mounting worker unrest, worsening living conditions in Cairo and high unemployment among the of thousands of graduating university students.


I would posit that "anti-Western rhetoric" is not going to be central to the next Egyptian government, which will likely be focused overwhelmingly on economic and institutional reform issues.

Note that the organizations you listed all originated as clandestine resistance movements in countries under Western military occupation, which might have something to do with their penchant for such rhetoric.
tequila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011   #49
Marc
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: IL
Posts: 73
Default Prerequisites for anti-Western rhetoric

Quote:
Originally Posted by tequila View Post
Note that the organizations you listed all originated as clandestine resistance movements in countries under Western military occupation, which might have something to do with their penchant for such rhetoric
Tequila,

Hamas is an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (Gaza was Egyptian until 1967). Please note that the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's ideologue at the time (Said Qutb) never needed a Western military occupation to have a penchant for anti-western rhetoric. In case you still have a doubt, please consult Qutb's writings.
Marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011   #50
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,665
Default

Hamas != the Egyptian MB. It has no operational ties with the MB and has evolved in quite a different direction. Hamas post-1982 has little in common with the original network of mosques.

The Egyptian MB also had its roots in resistance to British occupation, BTW. As for Qutb, that's a much longer conversation that needs its own thread, but I would categorize him as a political Islamist who saw Islam and unswerving adherence to sharia as constituting the perfect society, and those who deviated or disagreed (including non-Muslim Western powers, but principally non-Islamist Muslims) as enemies of God.

Also, it should be noted that el-Baradei was proven 100% correct with regards to his objection to OIF.

Regardless of the above details, I do not think that Egypt's main political concerns going forward will involve foreign policy unless a crisis is forced upon it.
tequila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2011   #51
omarali50
Council Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 838
Default

A few quick random thoughts (sorry, not systematically thought out):
1. The US does not seem to have the agility needed to interfere positively (on a case by case basis, not on some general principle) in most crises.
2. Anti-American feeling in the Arab world is derived primarily from support for Israel, only secondarily from any support the US gives to local tyrants. Egypt was being aided on behalf of Israel, not because the US has any special fondness for the free officers group or any other group of thugs who may have grabbed power. Since US support for Israel is likely to continue, so is a background level of anti-Americanism.
3. The idea that good deeds can buy goodwill does not seem to stand up to scrutiny. Propaganda (skillful propaganda, not the USIS variety) and tribal identity (friend of my friend, enemy of my enemy and so on) plays more into goodwill than actual good deeds. And bad deeds stick around much longer than any good deed. Since the US is bound to be involved in some bad deeds, is a friend of Israel, and has been successfully cast as an opponent of the success of Islamdom (never mind whether that dream has any rational basis or not), its hopes of buying goodwill by throwing money at some corrupt local officials are basically nil. Why bother?
4. Remaining despots will be looking for ways to forge better links with China and Ukraine and Belarus. But its not like the US can stop this trend by toning down some rhetoric or going easy on democracy. There is just no way the US can go as easy on democracy as China or Belarus. Why try?
5. ISI must be celebrating with champagne since the Saudis may now be willing to pay through the nose for good mercenaries. But this is not a general trend, it just happens to be the case for Saudia and Pakistan. Overall, the spread of these revolts is good news. Just not as good as Americans would like.
6. It seems to me, in my naive amateurism, that the US would not be any worse off trusting democracy and encouraging open-ness. The US has strengths here. China and Russia and Belarus do not. Why not play to your strengths, even if some anti-Americanism is going to hang around?
omarali50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011   #52
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,136
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
Agreed. Yet we used our power and influence to encourge this behavior all the same. And I suspect you underestimate our ability to either push things in the direction we desire, or steer them elsewhere. Here we pushed where we should not have, and we will never know what might have happened if we had tried to steer in stead.
I think you hugely overestimate our ability to control others, or to steer them... especially in matters of domestic policy that they perceive as essential to their own survival.

If we push them to do things our way they make a show of agreement, moan in private over our naivete, and keep doing things their way... if, that is, they need something from us. Many of these countries need nothing from us, and wouldn't even bother to fake it.

People generally resist being steered, especially in a direction they don't want to go.

Last edited by Dayuhan; 03-01-2011 at 12:40 AM.
Dayuhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011   #53
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,665
Default

I think Americans do overestimate our ability to influence others, as well as our overall centrality in the politics of other states. However, especially when it comes to our client states, the U.S. can often play a positive role.

Taiwan and South Korea are two examples directly relevant to my own personal experience. Both countries experienced peaceful transfers of power to opposition parties. In our own hemisphere. El Salvador recently elected an FMLN President with no threat of violence from a military which killed thousands fighting the FMLN. The Turkish military has subordinated itself to civilian authority in a similar way, partly due to EU and U.S. pressure. The Bush Administration successfully orchestrated a democratic transition in Pakistan, from Musharraf to a civilian government.

As the example of Pakistan shows, the departure of the dictator hardly means that the problems of the country end. But at the very least it means that the progress can, hopefully, get started.
tequila is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011   #54
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,701
Default

A former CIA counterterrorism official that I can agree with. This article by Robert Grenier is IMO spot on and parallels my own beliefs and experiences within the SOF/military community.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth...255184637.html
__________________
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)
Bob's World is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011   #55
Marc
Council Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: IL
Posts: 73
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tequila View Post
Hamas != the Egyptian MB.
No, Hamas is not the Egyptian MB. Hamas is an offshoot of the MB.

Quote:
The Egyptian MB also had its roots in resistance to British occupation, BTW.
Your point was that Hamas, Hizbullah, and Sadr’s movement had a greater penchant towards anti-western rhetoric than autocrats because of their emergence under occupation:
Quote:
Note that the organizations you listed all originated as clandestine resistance movements in countries under Western military occupation, which might have something to do with their penchant for such rhetoric.
The Brotherhood’s roots in resistance to British occupation is not a differentiating factor in its penchant towards anti-western rhetoric. Almost all political organizations in the Middle East (including the autocratic regimes themselves) have their roots in resistance to colonial occupation.

BTW, anyone familiar with Qutb’ biography knows that his anti-western rhetoric does not have its origin in his opposition to colonialism, but in his rejection of western civilization after experiencing it himself during his exile in the United States. See for this: Man, Society, and Knowledge in the Islamist Discourse of Sayyid Qutb By Ahmed Bouzid p.21

Quote:
But what is clear is that by the time Qutb returned from his exile in America in 1951, his commitments to Islam and his rejection of "materialist" culture were explicit and fully articulated. His rejection of American society was apparently so sanguine that the Ministry of Education forced him to resign from his post.
http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/ava...cted/Final.pdf
Marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011   #56
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,136
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
A former CIA counterterrorism official that I can agree with. This article by Robert Grenier is IMO spot on and parallels my own beliefs and experiences within the SOF/military community.

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth...255184637.html
I quite agree that these revolts are good things, that there's no need to fear them, that they need to happen and where they are happening we should not oppose them, and indeed that we should help them along in appropriate way.

If we take that one step further and go out and try to provoke them in countries where they aren't yet happening, or support them too energetically (giving the impression that they are our pawns or doing our bidding) we will turn a good thing into an unholy mess.
Dayuhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011   #57
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,701
Default

Agree that this is not the time and place for provoking. We do, however, need to be in front of these and engaging the governments hard to open talks now with the people to ward off more turmoil. Not broadsides of advice from US podiums, but private talks. Not against blazing into town in Airforce one to have those private talks, but give these guys the ability to come out and announce their own changes without the words being fed to them acorss the airwaves.

My advice is contained in my model. First create "hope" through giving the people legal, trusted and certain means to engage and shape government. What these are will vary by culture, country, time. This is first because these are things that can be designed and approved at the stroke of a pen, and because this is the off ramp from insurgency.

Then I would advise them to look hard at how they can shore up and repair the populaces perceptions as to the legitimacy of the government. To look at and address how just the populace finds the rule of law to be and also to address deep-seated perceptions of disrespect where they exist. These are the drivers of insurgency.

Are the people hungry and poor? Certainly, but that alone does not make an insurgency. It typically takes the presence of some disconnected royal living in unearned opulence that can casually suggest when told that the people are staving and that they have no bread to "let them eat cake." A populace also without hope, with no justice under the law, treated with disrespect, and that has come to question a legitimacy to rule that they may once have supported.
__________________
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)
Bob's World is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011   #58
Dayuhan
Council Member
 
Dayuhan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Latitude 17° 5' 11N, Longitude 120° 54' 24E, altitude 1499m. Right where I want to be.
Posts: 3,136
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
Agree that this is not the time and place for provoking. We do, however, need to be in front of these and engaging the governments hard to open talks now with the people to ward off more turmoil. Not broadsides of advice from US podiums, but private talks. Not against blazing into town in Airforce one to have those private talks, but give these guys the ability to come out and announce their own changes without the words being fed to them acorss the airwaves.

My advice is contained in my model. First create "hope" through giving the people legal, trusted and certain means to engage and shape government. What these are will vary by culture, country, time. This is first because these are things that can be designed and approved at the stroke of a pen, and because this is the off ramp from insurgency.

Then I would advise them to look hard at how they can shore up and repair the populaces perceptions as to the legitimacy of the government. To look at and address how just the populace finds the rule of law to be and also to address deep-seated perceptions of disrespect where they exist. These are the drivers of insurgency.

Are the people hungry and poor? Certainly, but that alone does not make an insurgency. It typically takes the presence of some disconnected royal living in unearned opulence that can casually suggest when told that the people are staving and that they have no bread to "let them eat cake." A populace also without hope, with no justice under the law, treated with disrespect, and that has come to question a legitimacy to rule that they may once have supported.
I don't think these governments have the slightest interest in our advice, or in our meddling, which is closer to what they would call it. Probably they wouldn't tell us that, but would listen very seriously, promise to think deeply on what we said, then go on doing what they want.

We've a very limited capacity, if any, to change how others govern.
Dayuhan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011   #59
Bob's World
Council Member
 
Bob's World's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 2,701
Default

Yes, but you also have told me countless times that there is no insurgency in these countries as well...

I think you might be surprised at how much clout the US has, we just haven't been too skilled at employing the more subtle aspects of it. This is why in the geo-politics of the Middle East it is so essential for the US to build and sustain working relationships with Turkey and Iran as these two states continue to rise. It is the art of balancing smaller states against and with each other that creates and sustains a stability that supports one's interests. If properly positioned, a simple private conversation between leaders is probably enough. In many ways this is like a giant game of poker

The new player in this old game is the power of the populaces themselves. The President has been playing that card. He didn't deal it, but when it landed on the table he looked at these guys and suggested that they might want to fold, or at least not raise their bet. Qaddafi over bet his hand and went all in and will end up dead, in prison or in miserable exile. Mubarak folded and will likely live the dignified life of a wealthy former head of state. Currently there are a whole lot of despots still sitting at the table looking at the cards showing and nervously checking and rechecking their hole cards as they attempt to calculate the odds of drawing a winning hand.

Being a despot is a good gig until the people call your bluff.
__________________
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)
Bob's World is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2011   #60
tequila
Council Member
 
tequila's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 1,665
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
I don't think these governments have the slightest interest in our advice, or in our meddling, which is closer to what they would call it. Probably they wouldn't tell us that, but would listen very seriously, promise to think deeply on what we said, then go on doing what they want.

We've a very limited capacity, if any, to change how others govern.
However we have seen that the U.S. does have the capacity to change how our allies govern - especially when we have good military-to-military relations. The Philippines, El Salvador, South Korea, Taiwan, Pakistan, and Turkey have all made substantive political moves towards democracy in part due to U.S. pressure and influence. In several of those countries, military governments either surrendered power or acquiesced to a reduced political role and the election of former enemies. How does this not qualify as changes in governance?

I doubt we will know the full picture for a long time, but I imagine there was not a little behind-the-scenes pressure on the Egyptian military by the Obama Administration as well.
tequila is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
al-queda, arab spring, arab world, egypt, iraq, isis, islam, islamism, middle east, politics, saudi arabia, strategy, syria, yemen

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Brigadier General Selections for 2008 Cavguy The Whole News 8 07-22-2008 05:15 PM
President Bush Addresses United Nations General Assembly SWJED The Whole News 2 09-19-2006 06:28 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design © 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation