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Old 01-20-2010   #21
Surferbeetle
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From the 20 Jan 2010 Wired, Could a ‘Virtual Surge’ Fix Afghanistan? By Nathan Hodge

Quote:
Afghanistan, like Haiti, is a country in need of a major reboot. Yet despite billions in reconstruction dollars — and an influx of civilian development experts — it remains at the bottom of every development and transparency index.

But according to Ashraf Ghani, the country’s former finance minister and a onetime presidential contender, Afghanistan doesn’t need an army of consultants and contractors. It needs you, and your laptop.

Ghani is promoting the idea of a “virtual surge” as a development alternative in Afghanistan. The idea is simple: In order to help Afghanistan, you don’t need to be in Afghanistan. You can use distance learning and social networking tools to provide the information and expertise the country needs, and save money, time and lives in the process.

“The United States is a society where voluntary activity is ingrained in the culture — and where online community has become very, very real community,” Ghani said. “My idea is to harness the power of online community as the other side of America.”

Call it an alternative — or perhaps an adjunct to — the current troop surge. “The sense of sacrifice by the American soldiers is extremely well appreciated,” Ghani said. “But they don’t have counterpart civilians. There are very few really qualified civilians who can come and take the conditions of hardship. But that doesn’t mean that they cannot contribute.”
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Old 01-20-2010   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post

There again, I'll come back to CvC. What is the aim of war? To impose a political dictate to an opponent disagreeing with you (Sorry Wilf, I do not have the book with me).
Well at least you're trying!
Quote:
How do you achieve it? By imposing either a policy to an enemy or by imposing a government favorable to your views.
This drives us back to the article at the beginning of the threat: "winning peace".
Allow me: Ideally you do it by "destroying his armed force" - that is kill/capture them, until they give up. Works and proven to do so. - but you may have to settle for something less as the setting forth of policy can also change the policy.
If you are not using violence, you are using diplomacy.
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Old 01-20-2010   #23
M-A Lagrange
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Default A sea of sand and rocks?

Quote:
Allow me: Ideally you do it by "destroying his armed force" - that is kill/capture them, until they give up. Works and proven to do so. - but you may have to settle for something less as the setting forth of policy can also change the policy.
If you are not using violence, you are using diplomacy.
Wilf, we are talking about the hold/build phase. They already have given up military, at least most of them.

Dayuhan,

Quote:
Look at it from the other direction. What if the state we want to build contains multiple societies? What if these multiple societies are traditional rivals? What if they distrust each other, or loathe each other? These conditions are going to have a very real impact on the capacity to build a state, a nation, or an economy.
This answers to your first comment. The trick and what is fooling us is that we look at countries as a homogenous body while in many failed state, it's a patchwork of small entities more or less federated by a central inefficient State.
The cite can be restricted to the very core Aristotle definition: the agora. A land: a village, a leadership: the elders, an army: the men of the village (in CvC trinity).

Mike,

Quote:
Still, all of that flies far above (but the results will surely affect) the village I'm currently thinking about. That is a place with a guy, his kid and wife with their two donkeys; and the former spearchuckers clustered with their cattle at the watering point (AKs and RPGs may or may not be left hidden in the underbrush). Then we have the village: umbrella huts surrounded by a prickly brush barrier - juxtaposed to adjacent steel structures of indifferent repair. So, my village is certainly a collage - and, perhaps, a mallage.
I think you are targeting the right level. But it appears that we want to first fixe the 500 m target before going to the 25 m target. Funding also come into the question. It's much cheaper to fix the State apparatus before fixing the problematic of all the small villages.
Afghanistan is a very good example of this. The assembly was created to bring together all the potential Elite that could enter our definition of it and ease the establishment of a centralized State. But we did not look at the lower level: do those people represent more than a village or a fragile structure based on violence domination a combination of Stateless entities and Charismatic/traditional domination.
Afghanistan like many others failed States is like an onion. You have several layers of complex societal organization and we come to impose another one, just because it is the one we are familiar with.

I can see "technical" problems also. It's difficult to build both State administration and Nation at village level. But not impossible, just more expensive.

Steve,

Quote:
In Iraq, as I met many of the senior technocrats, they were proud of their role in twice rebuilding their country after major wars, even against the restraints of embargos, and arbitrary dictatorial government. Might not be paradise to us, but they were proud of what they had done, and on many levels, antagonistic to US civ/mil efforts that kept them from their duties/pride in rebuilding their country themselves. VP Mahdi was in Washington yesterday, and unambiguous about their self-determination, and getting the US forces out---to fly, they need us to get out of the way.

As MG Caslan (MND-North) said last month on his public post-tour debrief, he was skeptical of turning things over to Iraqis, but Gen Odierno impressed on him how important it was for the Iraqis, and the zeal they had for self-rule and independence (even with risks of instability).

Smoke and mirrors aside, Iraq has substantial resource, locational and cultural elements that, if they don't tear it apart, will drive it forward---with or without us.

But Afghanistan is a different problem all together. Current Afghans are born into economic, geographic, logistical and resource limitations, despite that it may have been prosperous once. But our strategy does not succeed by helping them to tread water----they have to grow, change, reinvent themselves in remarkable ways to meet our objectives---and it is not happening.
You describe exactly what I am talking about.
Empirically, I see two main kind of State building contexts or a context of State building (Iraq) and one context of Nation Building (Afghanistan), to make it simple.

As Steve clearly explains, Iraq was a "developed State" with all the characteristics of a Weberian State before the war. I did live in Iraq in 1978 and it was an average Middle East country with high potential (and yes I was a little boy at that time, so what? ).

Pre war Afgahnistan is a Stateless country with an attempt of Weberian State. (Cannot say it worked out nor any of us did support it. We were much too busy defeating USSR at that time).
In such context, the remark of Dayuhan takes all its sense. What is the cite? Basically the village Mike is thinking of.
In my perception, we should approach such contexts as a sea of sand and rocks with island and look at it with a Carl Schmitt approach. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Schmitt) Each village is a land with its specific and limited imperium and le land between each village an open space: a sea with a constellation of islands to be conquered. (Land and Sea. Simona Draghici, trans. (Plutarch Press, 1997). Original publication: 1954.)
Taliban or any insurgents are pirates, just like in Grotius and the right of gents (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugo_Grotius): a group of armed people without land and looking to take treasure but not an imperium.

M-A

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Old 01-20-2010   #24
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Default Islands & Pirates

MA Lagrange:

Very good analogy.

As a relative youngster, Uncle Sam decided that I would enjoy wandering the Countryside in Germany, in and around Hof (the interior German Border). As I walked through the forest between the little castles, I would come across these interesting little buildings in the forest with steep onion domed roofs, and slathered with religious themes of safe-guarding travelers from bandits.

That's how western europe, and especially german areas functioned for centuries. Constant inter-town and mini-state squabbling and wars. Travelers between faced the deadly risk of a night in the forest with the bandits that lived between. The steep roofs prevented them from waiting above to pounce on the travelers when the came out.

It is the history of the world. The fact that some places are still in that mode should not be surprising, and must be understood.

Tom Ricks, for example, is always going on about Iraq's "unravelling." I enjoy his work, but Iraq's history (dating back fro millenia) is of strong city-states and the regions they control, and not of our high school text book version of "democracy." Even during the Salah ad Din and Ottoman days, major cities like Mosul ran themselves---much more complex governance structure than appears to the outsider.

So what if Iraq decided, when all was said and done, to basically return to a city/region structure, loosely bound by national trappings and exigencies? Would that be an unraveling, or just a further refinement on a long-standing historical pattern and practice.

Today's Wash Post explained how the Afghan Reconstruction effort is grinding against the reality of illiteracy, lack of phones, mobility, etc... to extend government.

If all of our "advancement" is predicated on literacy, and only the school kids will have it, we run the risk of creating a little-kid technocratic dictatorship that local customs, practices and leaders will chew up and spit out for breakfast in the same manner as Afghan reactions to communism and secularism in the 1970s.

Where's that headed?

Steve
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Old 01-20-2010   #25
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Default Islands in the Sand

In many cases (your case), we are looking at islands in the sand or boats on the sea. The question is how to link the islands or boats and draw them closer - an example that worked, the Iroquois Confederation (originally five, very warring tribes) - Wilf calls that "diplomacy" and I'm fine with that; but that begs the question of who does the "diplomacy".

As to this:

Quote:
from MA

I think you are targeting the right level. But it appears that we want to first fixe the 500 m target before going to the 25 m target. Funding also come into the question. It's much cheaper to fix the State apparatus before fixing the problematic of all the small villages.

Afghanistan is a very good example of this. The assembly was created to bring together all the potential Elite that could enter our definition of it and ease the establishment of a centralized State. But we did not look at the lower level: do those people represent more than a village or a fragile structure based on violence domination a combination of Stateless entities and Charismatic/traditional domination.

Afghanistan like many others failed States is like an onion. You have several layers of complex societal organization and we come to impose another one, just because it is the one we are familiar with.

I can see "technical" problems also. It's difficult to build both State administration and Nation at village level. But not impossible, just more expensive.
Were that Astan and other problem "states" like an onion - at least that is a compact entity with defined layers.

I agree that what you say seems to be what is usually done (shoot the 500m target), which is the "quick and cheap" fix approach. If you are the practitioner tasked with doing that by your "boss" (US, UN or Coalition), you have to do your best with what you have to work with.

Generally, you get what you pay for. So, the 500m target may be great (low decimal MOA groupings ), but the 500m shooter may find that all the other targets from 25m up are occupied by other shooters.

So, this is not a knock on the practitioners, but on the bosses.

Regards

Mike
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Old 01-20-2010   #26
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Mike:

Generally, when yopu go into a store to pruchase a good, you get what you pay for.

When you go into a country to nation-build, quite often you end up with a $53 Billion Fiasco, the term usually applied to the Iraq Reconstruction effort.

The numbers, to date, programmed for Afghanistan are $60 billion, an amount which, of well spent, should have long ago begun to demonstrate substantial change---but has not.

Afghans argue that ll the money gets absorbed by overhead and contractors, and only a fraction ever reaches the ground in Afghanistan. A convincing argument, by all accounts.

Now, if you want to change Afghanistan---even if by linking islands--- you really have to create a plan to link Afghan islands, and not foreign NGO contract islands. Otherwise, you can expect nothing.

Poor Sec. Vilsack went to Nawa the other day, beaming about the $20 million ag program that, as he found out, is simply US specialists giving animal vaccinations, and no Afghan gov agencies engaged.

That, at least, is better than most aid (that never reaches the ground), but follows the giving out fish mode with little possibility of progress---other than to expect the US specialists to come again next year with more shots.

Why, one might ask, can't an Afghan HS grad be trained to go around giving shots? Obviously, there are a lot more considerations to answering that question than many would like to know about (mobility, safety, cultural/tribal/language compatibility, and on...). But, for our dream state to be reached, the goal must be to get an Afghan to deliver the shots, on a sustainable basis, or the effort is merely a fish.

Where is the capacity-building component of this? (Notwithstanding the huge risks, commitments, and hardships endured by the brave US ag person giving the shots that his boss (Vilsack) sent him there to administer.

Steve
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Old 01-20-2010   #27
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Default You said it ...

and have been saying it in 400+ posts. Leviathans are created and used in an attempt to solve problems that could be solved by minnows. However, it is easier to create one Leviathan than mobilize thousands of minnows.

In civil affairs, the problems (past and present) certainly can be indentified. The solutions are another thing entirely - there are barriers (rice bowls, venal politicians and a huge chattering class who depend on Leviathans); and there is no neat generalized cookbook that will work in every case.

I'm getting kinda busy here with a stack of minnow problems that can be solved by this minnow; but am still following this and other threads.

Regards

Mike
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Old 01-20-2010   #28
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Default A new hope?... China?

Quote:
Generally, you get what you pay for. So, the 500m target may be great (low decimal MOA groupings ), but the 500m shooter may find that all the other targets from 25m up are occupied by other shooters.

So, this is not a knock on the practitioners, but on the bosses.
Mike,

I totally agree with you, it's a knock to the bosses. But can they hear us?
They are shooting my minus 2 000 000 km target… The one I can't see but who's harming me each time I try to shoot my 500m target. And I am quite close to the top already. But the top of the field layer, not the top of the decision layer.

Quote:
So what if Iraq decided, when all was said and done, to basically return to a city/region structure, loosely bound by national trappings and exigencies? Would that be an unraveling, or just a further refinement on a long-standing historical pattern and practice.
Steve,

My comment would be only that it's not what we (the US, UN, coalition, the Martians…) want. What you're saying goes against his Majesty Rostow.
More seriously decentralization has been a not so successful experience in most of the developing countries. It may look appealing and has good points but it also implies that you have a large and strong reserve of educated people and a central State apparatus which is capable to overpower and regulate the decentralized entities.
South Africa, which is far from being a developing country, is crawling backward from decentralization. The main issue is mostly financial and tax related in the end.
With a country as Iraq, I can see were you come from and Kurdistan is already a de facto application of this "ultimate" decentralization. But you have to integrate the Westphalia consensus in the equation.
Basically, you do not dismantle a country after you conquered it. Kosovo is a good example of why nobody is really ready to break it: look at the mess.
So for world security reasons, in fact the people are not really free to choose what kind of State they want to have. That's also one of the reasons why we end up doing State Building based on the construction of Weberian model.

But yes, we should be able to conduct something which is less "plug and play" and more clients oriented.

What is interesting is that China is entering in the game now. This should push us to really rethink the cooking book. Cause the main principle of State building was to be a ready to use democracy state creation based on human rights and multi parties.
With China in the dance, that's another story which is starting. We may have to be quality oriented now. (Let's dream)
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Old 01-20-2010   #29
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Default Sun Tzu thinking...

M.A., Mike, Dayuhan, STP, Beelzebubalicious, Wilf, Ken, and anyone else who is interested...

Step 1. A SWC thread is created for an opensource multidisciplinary attempt in digital problem solving at a Afghan Village. (Perhaps taking cues from a website like the Engineers Without Borders - Research Projects Page )

Quote:
Below is a list of research project ideas in Appropriate and Sustainable Technologies and Community Development. These ideas are only meant to give chapters a feel for some of the pressing needs in the realm of international development. EWB-USA does not have staff to provide support on these projects, and can not respond to research project inquiries.
Step 2. Doctrine and ground rules are identified, established, and agreed to.

Step 3. Contact is established with a 'neutral' Afghan (Ashraf Ghani ? mentioned in an article from today's edition of Wired )...tricky, but doable.

Step 4. Digital Civil Affairs/Development work is attempted...
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Old 01-20-2010   #30
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Default Experiment ...

why not - it at least could be a means to vent frustrations.

Dunno about an Astan village (simply current OpSec issues ?)

This:

Quote:
Step 2. Doctrine and ground rules are identified, established, and agreed to.
IIRC, you once posted that you actually enjoyed staff work, though prefering team as more fun. So, go to it.

Regards

Mike
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Old 01-20-2010   #31
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Mike:

Same here---I am swamped with expert reports for a really confusing 10-year-old Class Action case (on remand for final determination of damages)---so I pop on here for a break from that morass. Afghanistan looks simple by comparison.

There are no easy answers to Afghanistan, but I know we are, at present, still cahsing an errant path. It needs to change fast, even though we know fast change isn't consistent with large institutions, or with vast deployments of little minnows (or cats to be herded)---just damned hard.

Steve's idea of the demo is great. We have the same thing for Planners. Maybe we can hot wire something together.

MA: My actual views on Iraq are quite a bit more complex than just a city-state. Some things, like managing water on a strong national basis, is key to assuring the the "Land Between Two Rivers" doesn't starve.

But reality is that there is really nothing inconsistent or ahistorical with Kurdistan as a separate region (or city-state); even Salah ad Din and the Ottomans left some places,like Basra and Mosul, to their own devices. But Iraqi need to, and will, try their own solutions (with many experiments in their historic toolkit to draw from). It's up to them to figure out and live their future. But oil will keep them all together.

My guess is that, like you said, sometimes, progress is going to go through violent times, too. (US Civil War?)
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Old 01-21-2010   #32
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Default Some ideas...

All,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
Dunno about an Astan village (simply current OpSec issues ?)
It's always wise to listen to lawyers

Some thoughts:

a) We could define a 'typical' Afghan village using agreed upon assumptions and work from there.

b) We could use opensource info on a village in Helmand Province frequently in the news which we all agree upon.

c) We could use opensource info on a Haitian village frequently in the news which we all agree upon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
IIRC, you once posted that you actually enjoyed staff work, though prefering team as more fun. So, go to it.
Some thoughts/disclaimers: take everything with a grain of salt, recognize that we all have clay feet, there is never enough time to fully accomplish what we would like to all do, and how pretty are prototypes?

Despite these disclaimers I believe it's possible to accomplish something of worth using this forum. I base this statement upon a few of my experiences
  • Today's brick and mortar MBA coursework consists of significant digital interaction with fellow students and teachers.
  • I led a group of ~100 folks over three weekends ~48 hours total and came up with a militarily acceptable assessment for approximately 10 different locations using only opensource materials.
  • On a daily basis I lead small groups of engineers and other multidisciplinary experts who work using one or two face to face meetings, ftp sites, vtc conferences, emails, and telephone calls to build multimillion dollar projects.

I would propose that due to everyone's myriad responsibilities this should be a joint effort, using a network/boundary-less/virtual structure with a very lax schedule, and limited deliverables...however I am just one team member...what does everyone else think and suggest?

The Military Decision Making Process may be worth considering for planning purposes,

1. Receipt of Mission
2. Mission Analysis
3. Course of action (COA) Development
4. COA Analysis
5. COA Comparison
6. COA Approval
7. Orders Production

...however I am not wedded to it and am willing to surf any staff 'wave' suggested to include balanced scorecard, work breakdown structures, and J. Sachs' differential diagnosis...again I am just one team member...what does everyone else think and suggest?

For doctrine, FM 3-24 (digital and hardcover) is opensource, so is Jeffery Sach's book The End of Poverty, and Walt Whitman Rostow makes sense to this simple mind...however I am just one team member...what does everyone else think and suggest?

Best,

Steve

P.S. For your consideration from today's WSJ NATO Eyes New Top Civilian Post in Kabul By YAROSLAV TROFIMOV

Quote:
KABUL—The North Atlantic Treaty Organization plans to create a new top civilian post in Kabul to flank its military chief in Afghanistan, and the British ambassador to Afghanistan is the leading contender, according to senior officials familiar with the matter.

The announcement could be made as soon as Jan. 28, the day of an international conference on Afghanistan to be held in London, the officials said.

The new appointee would head the civilian pillar of the U.S.-led coalition's work here, directing the flow of funds and aid to the provinces, and—if necessary—bypassing corrupt Afghan institutions. The official would play a prominent role in the effort to get insurgents to switch sides and to reintegrate them into society.

A British government official said the United Nations and European Union will also likely announce new special representatives to Afghanistan at or around the London conference. The British government wants the London meeting to result in a new strategy for reversing Taliban advances and for steering President Hamid Karzai's administration toward more efficient and competent governance.
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Old 01-21-2010   #33
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Default Figuring it out...

There is no military solution (Defeating the enemy vs. minimizing opposition, threats).

There is no civilian solution. We can not send enough civilians to accomplish the job (security, resource constraints, logistics, hiring, etc..).

There is a civil solution delivered by military, but, to accomplish it, the military needs to reconceptualize its approaches, build a different kind of information/engagement base, develop some new core skills & operational command center resources to define, manage and support a larger civil framework consistent with national/regional strategies, evolve (with training and support) a military capacity to deliver synchronized and focused civil support operations.

In urban studies, the original downtown-centric model log ago gave away to various distributed models as a result of communication/transportation resources that unlocked the walkability constraint. This is more regional than classical cities, and more sophisticated (yet distributed) in its connections and associations built to support dynamic and shifting opportunities/competitive advantages. Oil spot or city-based are confusing---more like MA's linking islands where and when you can.

My version of targeting places we can be successful with least effort and most underlying potential (rather than just accidental involvement in places of high conflict) would look at factors like whether there is a big batch of grads in the pipeline before expanding industry. If not, focus more on hand-skill and traditional activities (farming, roadwork, tertiary stuff). Try to find some pattern out of potential areas that can allow prioritization to underlying strategies of encirclement of bad areas.

Focus as much on creating some examples of "shining city" on the hill models to sell the idea and build interest from adajacent areas. Models may differ widely...

Can the US military become an effective civil stabilization force, including policy/strategy decision-making, engagement and synthesis with national and NGOs. Can somebody like Ashraf Ghani effectively advise the US military without undermining his (and its) credibility?

Perfect ain't around, but I think there are ways to re-tartget the military's actual strength in these types of countries---see, move, convene, logistics---to do a better and more effective job of what it is presently doing on an ad hoc, space-by-space basis.

Doesn't take much in some areas: like providing the knowledge, training and support base to make soldiers (after clear) more able to "manage" first and second level ag support strategies with centralized mentoring and support systems: Example: coordinate which farmers switch to wheat to avoid market massing and price collapses, but break the system down into deliverable components which post-clear forces can understand and manage as clear shifts to hold.

Schools can still be built at the local level, but with better integration with district/provincial systems for teachers, sustainability post-occupancy, streamlining and improved focus of education to economic drivers and regional needs, rather than generic K-12 models (more flexibility of training, more non-traditional applications, more vo and tech than academic).

Military serving more in the capacity of substitute local governments until the locals or national are ready to boot you out (reverse engineering of the Indian anti-British movements). Ghandi can't oppose US colonial control if we have no control, and he has nothing but chaos to organize in.

Do we really care whether those whodon;t wnat to be "governed by us" opt out (as long as they are not against us)? More effort at highly targeting Taliban---not to coopt but to disengage, have their own thing (with constraints).

A lot more Rory Stewart approaches, engagement, open-ended analysis, learning, and cooperative solutions.

Move rapidly away from large and expensive projects to lots more homespun, and locally appropriate efforts.

End state, military control is turned over to civil authority when it is read.

I remember Louis Black's comedy routine about electing a Dead President like Reagan. If we really want to scare our adversaries in the world, we should do somethign crazy....

Maybe we should stop saying we are not here to occupy. Does "we are here to dominate, control and occupy" scare up some folks who will be glad to do what is necessary and possible to actually take us out. Going forward sideways???

There's some dream stuff....
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Old 01-21-2010   #34
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Default No competition

from this guy:

Quote:
SB's link to WSJ
The new appointee would head the civilian pillar of the U.S.-led coalition's work here, directing the flow of funds and aid to the provinces, and—if necessary—bypassing corrupt Afghan institutions. The official would play a prominent role in the effort to get insurgents to switch sides and to reintegrate them into society.
since the villages are far beneath his scope -

Back to the experiment.

I posit that the thread (realizing that it could easily turn into a separate forum, just looking at all the potential subject matter areas) will focus on civil affairs, as to which STP has roughed out a start to a tasked mission:

Quote:
from STP
There is a civil solution delivered by military, but, to accomplish it, the military needs to reconceptualize its approaches, build a different kind of information/engagement base, develop some new core skills & operational command center resources to define, manage and support a larger civil framework consistent with national/regional strategies, evolve (with training and support) a military capacity to deliver synchronized and focused civil support operations.
Now, if this could be stated in plain English (STP, you have been dealing too much with those high-priced lawyers) ....

-------------------------------
As to whether this or that:

Quote:
from SB

a) We could define a 'typical' Afghan village using agreed upon assumptions and work from there.

b) We could use opensource info on a village in Helmand Province frequently in the news which we all agree upon.

c) We could use opensource info on a Haitian village frequently in the news which we all agree upon.
As to (a), I expect that we, the herd of cats, would take too long to agree on what a "typical" village is, whether in Astan or elsewhere. A real open-source village eliminates that barrier - and allows use of open-source maps, sats, records (if any exist), etc. Where in the world, I don't care - my cat is not in that mouse hunt - and I probably will be equally armchair-ignorant of whatever locality is selected.

--------------------------
MDMP (FM 5-0) or MCPP (MCWP 5-1) probably would be OK and most familar for most here. And in checking the bullet points:

1. Receipt of Mission
2. Mission Analysis
3. Course of action (COA) Development
4. COA Analysis
5. COA Comparison
6. COA Approval
7. Orders Production

I concluded that I used all those with my 1pm (1300 on my watch) initial client conference - great minds run in the same channels, whether whales or minnows (my world); and MDMP is not necessarily "slow and burdensome at lower levels" per the Wiki.

---------------------
As to doctrine, we can go well beyond FM 3-24 in terms of "doctrine" - lots of good, bad and indifferent stuff in open-source manuals, monographs and articles. Of course, only the "best" is enshrined on my HD.

As to doctrine and some other points, and recognizing that we are a herd of cats (but with situational awareness of what the others are saying or trying to say), I'd suggest adopting a few of Evans Carlson's precepts:

1. As to doctrine: "don't obey, think"

2. As to "lead": "ability, knowledge and character"

3. As to everything: "work together" (gung ho).

PS - totally immaterial to the experiment: As to brothers Rostow, Walt and Gene, I'll leave them on the shelf (Vietnam Era prejudice).

Best to all; et Bonne Chance re: La Expérience

Mike
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Old 01-21-2010   #35
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DLA Piper, sorry.

I think, for the experiment, you flip the problem around to ask about an appropriate end state, then back fill into the solutions and needs, rather than the top-down (We have this program) strategy.

I've been tracking a very good link (from somebody around here, I forgot) on COIN implementation (Moore COIN Center Brief ppt) which is going in a very productive direction on that end state approach.

Civilian isn't going to work, so what has, will? It is more of a hybrid colonial administration strategy where the military framework becomes more intentionally and purposefully engaged in actually developing a civil framework, putting it in place (maybe even actually being it), and pulling things together. Not an accident, not a minimum necessity, but a real effort.

Is that different from today? Yes. How? Not exactly sure, but I know that at the top level intent and authority, and civilian/NGO cooperation (or at least, Mike, a non-compete clause).

First, you don't need just the bad guy info; you need the kinds of info that an econ dev'r would want. What did this place used to do? What, if any unique advantages exist here? What can we build on? What resources, market opportunities, soil types, etc..? Is anybody in the place who can engage on their own, with support, or is it a from-scratch effort?

Armed with background info, and authority, what could be done that isn't now?

I'm still very interested in what happens at Now Zad. What has become of it? What can be learned? Is it going to stick, or is it just another in a long chain of clear, clear, clear....

Concerned that our village-by-village scale is to small, vulnerable, unsustainable. In Iraq, many of the problems were beyond the village and province, like reopening interprovincial bridge/road systems. So what is the scale for viability? An island, or a string of, say, at least five related islands? What are the keys to understanding external dependencies and opportunities?

Or is it just as simple as---grow nuts (or apples, etc...) and we'll package them and ship them by air to india?

When I was in the Army, we had plenty of shortages---2 and 3 man tank crews don't work that well. So, as a tank commander, I said send me anybody; we'll work it out. Had a steady flow of young msfits, but we had fun, did a lttle tankin, and some even got with the program. Seems like almost every boy (not that girls don;t too, but we didn't have any) likes to do something on a tank, usually drive it.

On the same tack, I think most soldiers, without too much assistance, can become pretty good at econ dev't if they have some support and framework for it. Maybe, its digging stuff, building walls, helping with ag, or cleaning up something. But maybe helping connect next stage activities out of, say the Jalalabad Fab Lab (a high tech fabricating shop for students, etc...).

Where is it that they are, what is around, what are the gaps, background, experience, people you can work with, and conditions? Do we define a proto-type village to test strategies on, or take whatever comes and go from there?

Already online, we have engineers, planners, econ and CA types---and we already have a lawyer....

Steve
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Old 01-21-2010   #36
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Default To this very low-priced lawyer

and even lower-priced biochemist, the initial end-state is a village that functions - in its own basic terms (so be prepared to translate the following) - in these areas:

1. Local Governance Functions

Public Administration
Public Education
Public Safety
International and Domestic Law
Public Health

2. Local Economics and Commerce Functions

Food and Agriculture
Economic Development
Civilian Supply

3. Local Public Facilities Functions

Public Transportation
Public Works and Utilities
Public Communications

4. Populace Special Functions

Emergency Services
Environmental Management
Cultural Relations
Civil Information
Dislocated Civilians

Basic doctrine (JP 3-57.1) subject to "adapt, improvise, etc."

From the initial end state, oil spot to the larger; for now, interprovincial bridge/road systems - a bridge initially too far.

I don't view this experiment as a vehicle to solve the problems in current operations; but as a pilot for what can be done by a networked system of folks who meet the "ability, knowledge and character" test.

If we find that interprovincial bridge/road systems are or are not an absolute necessity to our Adopt a Viilage, then we will have accomplished something.

Not only do we have some SMEs posting on SWC. Consider the expertise that they can pull from their contact lists.

Regards

Mike
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Old 01-21-2010   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Surferbeetle View Post
M.A., Mike, Dayuhan, STP, Beelzebubalicious, Wilf, Ken, and anyone else who is interested...
OK, but...

a.) What's the policy?
b.) Why and how will we use violence or threat of violence to make it happen?
c.) Do we understand how the use of threaten use of violence in support of policy may change the policy?
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Old 01-21-2010   #38
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Default Let’s ride the dragon

Ok, I’m with you on this. Let’s try it. Sound fun!

Here are some inputs of my pure civilian approach:

Doctrine:
"don't obey, think"
Yes, yes and yes! (I’ve the same pb). I would add: “Do no Harm”. No need to go up to the roof with the R2P (responsibility to protect) but just the simple field oriented ICRC guideline: never endanger people.
What we do must be articulated/smart/brilliant/what ever lead by a brain and must be positive effect oriented.
Wilf, that does not mean that violence is banished. It just mean that non military operation should not put people in danger but may participate to create a safer environment.

2. As to "lead": "ability, knowledge and character"
Not sure I completely got your point.

3. As to everything: "work together" (gung ho).
Definitively but if we do not want to end up in a crazy trotskyist no one take decision stuff (Just try to work with Medecins Du Monde one day…) we need a board and some decision making process.

PS - totally immaterial to the experiment: As to brothers Rostow, Walt and Gene, I'll leave them on the shelf (Vietnam Era prejudice).

OK, let’s go for field manuals, most of them available on line (It’s a pick up list not the bible):
Joint Publication (JP) 3-57, Civil-Military Operations
Livelihoods & Conflict: A Toolkit for Intervention (USAID)
Land & Conflict: A Toolkit for Intervention (USAID)
Post-Conflict Reconstruction Essential Tasks (U.S. Department of State)
Transitional Justice: How Emerging Democracies Reckon with Former Regimes
Guide to Rebuilding Public Sector Services in Stability Operations: A Role for the Military
Combating Serious Crimes in Post-Conflict Societies: A Handbook for Policymakers and Practitioners
Model Codes for Post-Conflict Justice
Stability Operations and State Building: Continuities and Contingencies.
Guide for Participants in Peace, Stability, and Relief Operations
Peacemaker’s Toolkit
Issue Brief: Perspectives on the Peacebuilding Commission’s Coordination Role
Peacebuilding: IPI Blue Paper no. 10
The State vs. the people (Part 1: see below for part 2)
The State vs. the people (Part 2)

Some more to come. DFID made a great job on that.
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Old 01-21-2010   #39
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Let's add:
Jp3-076
Council on foreign relation; Independent Task Force; In the Wake of War: Improving U.S. Post Conflict Capabilities; July 2005
Joint Doctrine Publication 3-40, Security and Stabilisation: the military contribution; November 2009

My favorites being:
Joint Doctrine Publication 3-40, Security and Stabilisation: the military contribution; November 2009
Guide to Rebuilding Governance in Stability Operation: A Role for the Military? ; Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute; June 2009

That's all folks for the moment
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Old 01-21-2010   #40
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Default Good questions

Quote:
from MA

2. As to "lead": "ability, knowledge and character"
Not sure I completely got your point.

3. As to everything: "work together" (gung ho).

Definitively but if we do not want to end up in a crazy trotskyist no one take decision stuff (Just try to work with Medecins Du Monde one day…) we need a board and some decision making process.
These points tie together. "Lead" references "leadership" and who takes the "lead". Unless you want to assign formal grades (I want a super-grade ) and create a formal pecking order, the "lead" process has to revolve around the "ability, knowledge and character" of those contributing to the process. The corollary of that is that individual egos have to be put aside (honest, I'll try); and we all have to really listen and try to understand what others are saying (gung ho).

As to a board and some decision making process, I think that would develop as those interested keep with it, and areas of subject matter expertise will also develop. I'd also expect that many (hopefully) will feel called, but that fewer will end up feeling chosen. So, no surprise if there is a high attrition rate, which we see on a regular basis at SWC.

Would we then step off into total chaos ? I'll posit that we would not because most people here are not that chaotic. However, if we do, that itself would prove something - and there is always room for adjustments.

The model, as I see it, is more "stochastic" than "deterministic", as those terms are used by Steve's post here:

Quote:
SWJ/SWC could be described as a digital community frequented by stakeholders in the nuts and bolts of America’s day-to-day efforts to make the world a better place. The demographics include experts and students of the myriad facets of security, economics, and governance from various lands. Pacing daily changes, ‘best of breed’ ideas, concepts, and Tactics Techniques and Procedures (TTP) are examined and debated in a non-hierarchal, open, Socratean manner. The community is an example of the results of democratization and globalization of information and knowledge, in that transactional costs associated with gathering and analyzing information are very low and flash mobs of stakeholders can form, as time and resources permit, for 24-hour analysis of interesting/vexing problems. The quality of output from the SWJ/SWC knowledge model varies (trending towards stochastic) as a factor of the educational, experiential, and motivational levels of the participants.

The USG could be described as a physical and digital community comprised, primarily, of paid stakeholders in the nuts and bolts of America’s day-to-day efforts to make the world a better place. It uses a more common, closed model of vertical and hierarchical integration (with high transaction costs) in which information gathering and analysis is, more often than not, primarily limited to in house personnel specialized in the myriad facets of security, economics, and governance (among many other topics). Standardized training, and educational experiences are part of an attempt to provide a regulated and dependable (trending towards deterministic) output from stakeholders.
Thus, an experiment not based on the USG norm.

-----------------------------
Wilf, your questions are harder - but are core:

Quote:
OK, but...

a.) What's the policy?

b.) Why and how will we use violence or threat of violence to make it happen?

c.) Do we understand how the use of threaten use of violence in support of policy may change the policy?
I thought about some of what you say last nite. It didn't keep me awake all nite, but quiet allows thinking.

I posited, not the situation we have here at SWC, but some real world reality where there are two components:

1. A stochastic-oriented virtual network (maybe a board of directors, maybe not) that looks at problems and solutions, etc., and connects with ...

2. A real-live field force on the ground that implements the solutions with feedback to the virtual network, etc.

Any resemblence to a certain unfriendly organization is purely coincidental .

Now, in the real world, we would have violence (basic security involves either violence or the threat of violence). And, here, a virtual community does have constraints, if it is actually linked to a live field force. Those (at the least) are the various "Neutrality Acts", which would not look kindly on a private group delving into the violence arena in reality (Max Weber and all that).

So, I guess MA's "do no harm" has to be a basic precept if there is any real linkage to the field - as to which in post #29 Steve put a "?":

Quote:
from SB
Contact is established with a 'neutral' Afghan (Ashraf Ghani ? mentioned in an article from today's edition of Wired )...tricky, but doable.
very tricky and lots of legal to consider.

However, if the site is totally virtual, then violence, solutions to violence and the implications of Wilf's last 2 questions would be fully open to discussion - as they are every day at SWC.

As to the question of "policy" (Politik), I'd posit that that would depend on the location of the adopted village - and would require us to take on the role of the "decision-makers". I expect that would be an interesting discussion.

Regards

Mike
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