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Old 12-30-2009   #61
Ron Humphrey
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Thumbs up Thanks for the tip going to check it out now,

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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Jon,

In post No.57 I said:

Jon Custis replied:

Hat tip to Zenpundit pointing at http://blog.stevenpressfield.com/category/tribal-chief/ a series of interviews of a chief in Paktia Province (eleven) and for ease I cite the answers to five questions posed by Zenpundit:http://zenpundit.com/?p=3288



I still think we, GoIRA and ISAF coalition need a 'message' to deliver. Hope this helps.
Pretty certain this is something thats been brought to the forefront time and again. The interview hopefully helps reinforce why its important.
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Old 12-31-2009   #62
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The narrative is no doubt METT-TC dependent, and tied closely to what the dialog needs to convey.

David had a good snippet "in We were attacked, we came for revenge, we ended up seeking to help you, giving Afghans our blood and money. We do not intend to stay." A variant could be based off of the "No better friend, no worse enemy...we would prefer to be your friend." theme.

Engagement at lower levels will be muddied a bit by the need to ensure that the village leadership does not lose face above all else, so diving right in and posing threats to try a coercive approach will not work. I can only assume that eventually waving the stick requires getting to a tipping point before that approach needs to be used. A softer approach and narrative could go much further towards establishing how the Taliban have woven themselves into the life of the village.

Does the GIRoA need to be in the lead? That's a sticking point I have difficulty resolving, especially if the security forces are clearly seen as a disruption/corrupt. The narrative cannot be allowed to run counter to what clearly makes sense on the ground.
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Old 12-31-2009   #63
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Question Juat my opinion but

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Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
The narrative is no doubt METT-TC dependent, and tied closely to what the dialog needs to convey.

David had a good snippet "in We were attacked, we came for revenge, we ended up seeking to help you, giving Afghans our blood and money. We do not intend to stay." A variant could be based off of the "No better friend, no worse enemy...we would prefer to be your friend." theme.

Engagement at lower levels will be muddied a bit by the need to ensure that the village leadership does not lose face above all else, so diving right in and posing threats to try a coercive approach will not work. I can only assume that eventually waving the stick requires getting to a tipping point before that approach needs to be used. A softer approach and narrative could go much further towards establishing how the Taliban have woven themselves into the life of the village.
That sounds about right


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Does the GIRoA need to be in the lead? That's a sticking point I have difficulty resolving, especially if the security forces are clearly seen as a disruption/corrupt. The narrative cannot be allowed to run counter to what clearly makes sense on the ground.
The easy answer is yes, The more difficult nuance is the fact that in order to lead one requires Capacity, capability, and an overall sense of requirement to do so. As they say Devils in the details
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Old 12-31-2009   #64
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Hi Ron,

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I've often wondered if in reality the "state" as we so often perceive it isn't one of the biggest examples of - A solution in search of a problem.
Years ago I read an SF book that made the off hand comment that institutions are problem creating constructs that allow people to have fun by trying to solve these problems. It's sort of an inverted logic but, I must admit, it really caught my attention.

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Not dissing the institution but rather trying to recognize that just like most things states come into existence as a coordinated effort to solve various delimmas. As such once those are addressed effectively it should be fluid enough to adjust to new and more pressing issues yet quite often is too rigid to do so effectively.

The why and whats of that are fodder for all you polisci guys to work on.
Are states a solution looking for a problem? I suspect they are, and that is more "true" (in the probabilistic sense) within states that have a democratic form as politicians and other groups vie for selling problems to the populace. One really good article that I have used as a text in a number of classes is by Joel Best Rhetoric in Claims-Making: Constructing the Missing Children Problem, Social Problems, Vol. 34, No. 2. (Apr., 1987), pp. 101-121.

Other state forms seem to be much more "stable" - certain types of theocratic governance structures for example (e.g. the Temple States in Sumeria). The trick, however, seems to be in distinguishing what institutions actually make up a "state", and then focusing on them. Just as a quick example, there is a key, institutional difference between a constitutional monarchy / parliamentary democracy and a republican form in the institutional relationship between the head of state and the head of government. In many republics, the two are melded to a fairly large degree, which in parliamentary democracies they are quite separate (that allows for concepts like a "Loyal Opposition", as well as the reality of being able to dis your hed of government without dissing your head of state).

Not being a polisci type (hey, I got kicked out of intro to polisci for beating my prof in an election !), I tend to look at it more along organizational and institutional lines, coupled with the "lived experience" factor.
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Old 12-31-2009   #65
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Default As always, worth reflecting upon...

Rory Stewart in London Review of Books, with a piece entitled The Irresistible Illusion

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The path is broad enough to include Scandinavian humanitarians and American special forces; general enough to be applied to Botswana as easily as to Afghanistan; sinuous and sophisticated enough to draw in policymakers; suggestive enough of crude moral imperatives to attract the Daily Mail; and almost too abstract to be defined or refuted. It papers over the weakness of the international community: our lack of knowledge, power and legitimacy. It conceals the conflicts between our interests: between giving aid to Afghans and killing terrorists. It assumes that Afghanistan is predictable. It is a language that exploits tautologies and negations to suggest inexorable solutions. It makes our policy seem a moral obligation, makes failure unacceptable, and alternatives inconceivable. It does this so well that a more moderate, minimalist approach becomes almost impossible to articulate.
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What is this thing ‘governance’, which Afghans (or we) need to build, and which can also be transparent, stable, regulated, competent, representative, coercive? A fact of nationhood, a moral good, a cure for corruption, a process? At times, ‘state’ and ‘government’ and ‘governance’ seem to be different words for the same thing. Sometimes ‘governance’ seems to be part of a duo, ‘governance and the rule of law’; sometimes part of a triad, ‘security, economic development and governance’, to be addressed through a comprehensive approach to ‘the 3 ds’, ‘defence, development and diplomacy’ – which implies ‘governance’ is something to do with a foreign service.
Moderators note: this article was published in July 2009; still a good read.
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Old 12-31-2009   #66
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Thumbs up Marc and Surfer,

Thanks for the links gonna be getting through both as soon as I ring the new year in .
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Old 01-01-2010   #67
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"We were attacked, we came for revenge, we ended up seeking to help you, giving Afghans our blood and money. We do not intend to stay."
Well stated, but the message must include.

Let's work for peace. Let us not work against each other. Let's cooperate for our children's sake not our own personal interest. If you choose the latter, if you attack us, then we will push every asset to destroy you. Please choose peace. The moment is ours to decide. Let us pray together.
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Old 01-02-2010   #68
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Default On war and water...

Our nation has and continues to benefit from an steadfastly apolitical military skilled at the various ways of warfare.

Although we must at certain times and places, outside of our nations borders, walk, wade, or swim in the waters/solvent of politics with all of their unseen currents and various questionable additives it is not wise to drink of the same, nor foolishly conflate our role with that of politicians, native or otherwise.

In the spirit of gaining some understanding about the waters currently roaring through the floodplain and applicable/non-applicable TTP's....

The Prince of the Marshes: And Other Occupational Hazards of a Year in Iraq by Rory Stewart

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In August of 2003, Rory Stewart (known to the Arabs of southern Iraq as Seyyd Rory) "took a taxi from Jordan to Baghdad to ask for a job from the Director of Operations". This was four months after the Coalition invasion. Shortly thereafter Stewart wound up as deputy governate coordinator of Maysan. He became, at age 30, the de-facto governor of a province of 850,000 in southern Iraq, in the immediate aftermath of the war. This is his story
Quote:
"I had never believed that mankind, unless overawed by a strong government, would fall inevitably into violent chaos. Societies were orderly, I thought, because human cultures were orderly. Written laws and policy played only a minor role. But Maysan [province] made me reconsider."
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Old 01-04-2010   #69
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Bumping this with an edit to the main list in post #18. I was reading a Kimberly Kagan piece in Foreign Policy and began to think about the insurgent's use of shape-clear-hold-build (or some other similar flow) as a continuum to organize his efforts.

We probably need to understand where he is in the process, as there are certain nuances to our approach based on that.
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Old 01-05-2010   #70
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CNAS, 4 Jan 09: Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan by Major General Michael T. Flynn, USA, Captain Matt Pottinger, USMC, Paul D. Batchelor, DIA and discussed in greater detail here at SWJ.

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The U.S. intelligence community has fallen into the trap of waging an anti-insurgency campaign rather than a counterinsurgency campaign. The difference is not academic. Capturing or killing key mid-level and high-level insurgents – anti-insurgency – is without question a necessary component of successful warfare, but far from sufficient for military success in Afghanistan. Anti-insurgent efforts are, in fact, a secondary task when compared to gaining and exploiting knowledge about the localized contexts of operation and the distinctions between the Taliban and the rest of the Afghan population.There are more than enough analysts in Afghanistan. Too many are simply in the wrong places and assigned to the wrong jobs. It is time to prioritize U.S. intelligence efforts and bring them in line with the war’s objectives.
From a SAM's paper entitled Civil Information Management in Support of Counterinsurgency Operations: A Case for the Use of Geospatial Information Systems in Colombia by Major José M. Madera, United States Army Reserve

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This section presents the primary research question of this monograph as determining the potential value of using Geospatial Information Systems to assist the Government of Colombia’s counterinsurgency efforts and thus provide a framework for determining the value of using GIS as a tool in other counterinsurgency settings. After a discussion of the doctrinal and conceptual background that informs the project, it discusses the methodology, limits, and delimitations of the project. The following chapter provides a conceptual framework for understanding counterinsurgency and the critical role terrain plays in it.
Google Earth KML programming link

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KML is a file format used to display geographic data in an Earth browser such as Google Earth, Google Maps, and Google Maps for mobile.
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Old 01-06-2010   #71
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shape-clear-hold-build
Why "shape" - isn't that just an implied task of "clear"?
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Old 01-06-2010   #72
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Question One possibility

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Why "shape" - isn't that just an implied task of "clear"?
Its usually a pretty good practice to think through and understand what you expect to do and how you expect to do it before actually doing it.

Situation dependent of course.

Also helps to remember that to assume it's implied in clear holds the very high likelihood that the particular operation is approached more in a what do I want to make happen as opposed to what needs to happen to facilitate"X" and what might help to influence it that direction.
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Old 01-06-2010   #73
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Beetle:

Major Madera does a great job in providing an overview of CIMS -Civilian Information Managament Systems as:

demographics, economics, social constructs, political processes, political leaders, civil-military relationships, infrastructure notes, non-state actors in the area of operations, civil defense, public safety and public health capabilities, the environment.31 In short, CIMS capture the sort of information that paints a clear picture of the ecology of insurgency.

If he were updating this 2006 paper, I would suggest that he add: cadestral/property ownership (What MG Flynn calls out), and the basic topo, soil type and hydro data sets for cursory reconstruction/manuever stuff.

In Iraq, we used roads and bridges (with identification of the agency responsible for the component-state, provincial, local), ag components (the whole value chain for each applicable sector), reconstruction assets (asphalt & cement plants), major industrial/economic components, and important government activities (schools, clinics)/repair facilities.

Other special purpose maps "might" have included appointed/elected official's homes (for a variety of reasons).

Key thing in Iraq and Afghanistan, where UN demographics were used, was to set up shape files for each census boundary, even if political boundaries may have changed since. Important to, is to integrate real time, refugee, and pop displacements best estimates whenever you can suck them in.

As much as you can get whenever you can get it.

I'll cross post this on the Fixin's thread.

Steve

Citation from SurferBeetle:

"From a SAM's paper entitled Civil Information Management in Support of Counterinsurgency Operations: A Case for the Use of Geospatial Information Systems in Colombia by Major José M. Madera, United States Army Reserve"
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Old 01-10-2010   #74
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From the USAID Business Growth Initiative website

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USAID’s Office of Economic Growth of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade (EGAT/EG) has established the Business Growth Initiative (BGI) project to promote best practices in enterprise development as a critical element for Economic Growth. BGI will serve as a key element in building a Community of Practice for Enterprise Development, both within USAID and its development partners and among the broader development community worldwide.

Enterprises are the engine of economic growth. Enterprise development entails setting the framework to assist business ventures of all sizes to grow and employ more people. Firms do that by improving levels of production, accessing new markets, meeting international technical standards, improving marketing operations, obtaining greater returns on investments, and increasing revenues and profits. The nurturing of entrepreneurship through business education, business services of all types, business association development, policy advocacy, finance and market information is part of that process.
USAID Case Study:

CASE STUDIES IN ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT IN POST-CONFLICT SITUATIONS BOSNIA – PHILLIPINES – AFGHANISTAN TECHNICAL BRIEF NO.4

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This brief presents three examples of enterprise development in post-conflict environments: Bosnia, Philippines, and Afghanistan. Through these cases, the brief highlights critical factors that an enterprise needs to succeed in a post-conflict environment. While each post-conflict environment is unique, this brief also draws out commonalities across the three cases and suggests good first principles for donors and enterprise development practitioners when offering support to enterprises in a post-conflict environment. Specifically, a central theme across all three cases is the importance of risk mitigation for businesses in a post-conflict environment. This brief highlights strategies that businesses and enterprise development practitioners have used to successfully manage risk in post-conflict settings.
USAID Handbook

Agricultural Recovery for Resilience -- A Preliminary Framework

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Section four contains sample agriculture recovery assessment questions to asses the seven identified framework areas. These assessment questions support personnel of USAID Missions and the USAID/EGAT/AG office when assessing and designing agriculture recovery programs in post-crisis situations such as post-conflict, natural disasters, pandemics and governance failure. Furthermore, the questions are designed to be asked during Phase 2 of the recovery cycle, in other words during the transitional phase of reconstruction, rehabilitation and institution-building. The questions focus on the agriculture sector even though it is recognized that other activities such as macroeconomic policy and pro-poor initiatives should be implemented along with sub sector initiatives.
From the GTZ: Sustainable Economic Development in Conflict-Affected Environments: A Guidebook

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The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has thus commissioned the GTZ sector projects ‘Innovative Approaches for Private Sector Development’ and ‘Crisis Prevention and Conflict Transformation’ to explore the links between conflict, peace and economic development conceptually, and practically through conflict-sensitive SED interventions in various partner countries.

This comprehensive Guidebook on Sustainable Economic Development in Conflict affected Environments synthesises that work and contributes to the current international efforts, in particular of the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED), to improve economic development approaches in these difficult conditions. It explains the challenges of working in a conflictive environment and guides development practitioners towards successful project planning, implementation and monitoring.
ADT Handbook

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The Center for Army Lessons Learned has just released CALL publication 10-10, Agribusiness Development Teams (ADT) in Afghanistan Handbook.
This handbook is a product of the National Guard Agribusiness Development Team coordination office with input from current and previously deployed ADTs.
Agriculture accounts for 45 percent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product and is the main source of income for the Afghan economy. Over 80 percent of the Afghan population is involved in farming, herding, or both.
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Old 01-10-2010   #75
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Why "shape" - isn't that just an implied task of "clear"?
Good question. I can easily envision the clear, hold, and build components. "Shape" gets to be a bit more dicey, and can of course lead to a wide range of interpretation.
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Old 01-11-2010   #76
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To me, I picture Clear, Hold, and Build as phases - just like Mao's three phases. A counterinsurgent can (and will) be in different phases in different places at one time and should expect different areas to move along this scale in either direction, just like Mao did. The three are not a checklist of what needs to be done, but rather signify what sort of tactical activity will be most important in your AO.

Adding extra stuff like "Shape" is just making a simple construct complex so a staff officer can fit more powerpoint slides into his presentation. If left unchecked, I could see "R"(emove all IEDs) and "M"(eet with local powerbrokers) being thrown into the mix....

My opinion of course - take it for what it's worth....
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Old 01-11-2010   #77
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Western Doctrine has become a bit "phase-obsessed" of late. What can be a helpful organizational construct in general, can in fact, become a mental straitjacket as well.

Often it is far more helpful to think of your operations in terms of what phase YOUR OPPONENT is in, in a given area, with a given populace, perhaps even time of day. Particularly this is true for COIN, which, by definition is a counter to another's operations.

Instead of thinking in terms of I need to get from Shape to Clear to Hold to Build (becuase you can do all of those things in theory and not affect what phase the insurgent is in a single, significant bit); it is to my way of thinking far more instructive to have your intel guys (hey, after all they love to brag how intel drive ops...) produce a product for you that shows you what phase the insurgent is in across your battlespace.

In this village or district they may be in phase I during the day, but surging to phase II at night. In this city they may be in high phase 0. In a district along historic ratlines in the mountains they may well be in Phase II 24-7. The goal never being to get your own operation to "Build," but rather to reduce the insurgent operations among critical populaces first, but expanding to everywhere, to Phase 0. This does not mean an end to insurgent activity, merely that you have reduced violence to below the socially acceptable level for that particular culture and populace, and have brought the populace within the ability of the civil governance to serve without military assistance.

Perhaps that is too disorderly for a SAMS trained planner to work with; but insurgency by its nature is disorganized and such an approach not only lends flexibility to ones operations, but it also has a built in exit strategy. You can even build a color coded overlay for your map that shows Green (ph 0), Amber (ph1), Red (Ph 2) and Black (Ph 3) regions. This allows you to explain to politicians, the media, and the populace back home, that you are not here to FIX (build?) the country, but merely to bring the situation within the realm of civil capacity.
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Old 01-11-2010   #78
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Western Doctrine has become a bit "phase-obsessed" of late. What can be a helpful organizational construct in general, can in fact, become a mental straitjacket as well.

Often it is far more helpful to think of your operations in terms of what phase YOUR OPPONENT is in, in a given area, with a given populace, perhaps even time of day. Particularly this is true for COIN, which, by definition is a counter to another's operations.
Good points,

To me Clear, Hold, Build should, as mentioned above, be reflective of what the enemy is doing; if I have a large concentration of insurgents who have executed local government officials and are taking over a village, then I have clearly moved into a different situation, regardless if I was making progress the day before; and getting back on track may not even require a period of "Hold" if insurgent influence was minimal. This should simply serve as a construct for how to orient your focus ("Ok, I'll have to put the well project on hold and start shooting out some ambush patrols...."). To avoid the straight-jacket approach, these phases should be seen, as pointed out, as very fluid. It is not simply a matter of A-B-C-D-E and boom, you have victory, but rather how you intend on countering the insurgent at that particular point in time and space....

As much as "what the enemy is doing" should impact what you are doing, I think the key is "how are enemy actions impacting the locals" and that will ultimately define what "phase" you are in. Is greasing the local IED team really going to be the sign that you're defeating the insurgency? I've seen many assessments that say "Yes! We got 'em!" only to be disappointed when the next cool-named dude brings a few of his cousins up and starts the same cycle over again in a week or so.

Now, I may be lambasted as a "COIN-ista" pop-centric, unoriginal fad-chaser just regurgitating FM 3-24, but Colonel Jones has a point. If insurgents are laying bombs on my roads and I was continually shooting them, I could say I was stuck in the early stages of a counterinsurgency effort until the cows came home; the enemy will most likely do this until you leave and his movement has (hopefully) regressed into a criminal enterprise. If the locals are not throwing rocks at you and actively supplying you with information then you are probably making progress. Enemy activity against you can be quite consistent for long periods of time, but when a local leader friendly to government forces disappears, it should be a telling indicator of the potential for problems down the road.

Anyways, I'm off to read about Lawrence of Arabia....

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Old 01-11-2010   #79
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Instead of thinking in terms of I need to get from Shape to Clear to Hold to Build (becuase you can do all of those things in theory and not affect what phase the insurgent is in a single, significant bit); it is to my way of thinking far more instructive to have your intel guys (hey, after all they love to brag how intel drive ops...) produce a product for you that shows you what phase the insurgent is in across your battlespace.
Excellent points BW, and something I have been trying to get at with this thread all along.

Quote:
You can even build a color coded overlay for your map that shows Green (ph 0), Amber (ph1), Red (Ph 2) and Black (Ph 3) regions. This allows you to explain to politicians, the media, and the populace back home, that you are not here to FIX (build?) the country, but merely to bring the situation within the realm of civil capacity.
Another excellent point. Fiddling in/around the BUILD phase, and wringing our hands over what part the host nation is playing, seems to be kicking our ass at the moment. Heck, it's been kicking our ass the entire time, with the analyses I've seen of our disjointed development efforts.

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Old 01-11-2010   #80
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Many different knowledge models have been applied to the marketplace of ideas and motivations over the ages. Knowledge models can be characterized as communities who employ characteristic methodologies used to gain advantages for their respective stakeholders. The SWJ/SWC and USG knowledge models make for an interesting comparison.

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.

It is my thesis that the SWJ/SWC model offers the added potential for involving local stakeholders in a way, perhaps, that the USG does not currently attempt. It would be interesting to see if stakeholders who live in the area of interest agree with the proposed framework outlined by jcustis in post #18 of this thread.

It would also be interesting to see what the two communities could do to develop solutions, and how solutions would differ with the information available to each for an agreed upon area of interest.
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