Small Wars Journal

Remembering Old and New

Sun, 12/07/2008 - 9:47am
Bob Andrews is the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. As a Special Forces officer, he conducted intelligence, long-range reconnaissance and covert operations during two tours in Vietnam. He later served in senior positions at the Central Intelligence Agency and on the staff of Senator John Glenn. A former defense industry leader and author of three books and numerous articles, he returned to government in 2001 as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict. In 2006, he became Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Counterintelligence and Security. until his appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army in 2007.

Along with John Paul Vann, Bob co-authored two insightful studies on counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam in 1965. Motivational Training in Counterinsurgency: A Proposal offers practical advice to tactical units in developing host-nation security forces. These observations included "protect the villages upon completion of securing operations conducted by regular forces" and "promote the idea of participation in civic affairs."

What the motivational study is to tactics, Harnessing the Revolution in South Vietnam is to strategy. The authors begin with an analysis of the political situation in Vietnam, including the assessment that "a popular political base for the Government of South Vietnam does not now exist" and recommend "establishment of a country team advisory unit."

In reading these works, I recalled Phillip Larkin's Annus Mirabilis.

Sexual intercourse began

In nineteen sixty-three

(which was rather late for me) -

Between the end of the Chatterley ban

And the Beatles' first LP.

Counterinsurgency is surely among the world's oldest professions. The knowledge we need to win lies in the memories of our veterans, old and new. Our task in building the capabilities to fight the wars of the 21st century is a much a task of remembering as it is of innovating.

Paul Yingling

Commander, 1-21 FA

J5, Task Force 134