counter insurgency policy

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counter insurgency policy

Postby milty » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:57 pm

I just read an Associated Press article on page two of today's USA TODAY ( 8-29-09 ). The article was about how August 2009 has tied the record for the most US troop deaths in Afghanistan. As distressing as this headline is I was more concerned with what the article had to say about our counter insurgency efforts. Gen McChrystal , the top US commander in Afghanistan, is said to have released a new counter insurgency strategy that would focus on the safety of the villagers instead of killing an endless number of insurgents. He goes on to say that an insurgency cannot be defeated by attrition. What the General is saying is true, But it is far from a new doctrine or strategy. If you have a brother or sister fighting as an insurgent and he or she is killed how would that make you feel about the government of your country? would you be angry? most likely. What if the government sent in soldiers to hunt your country men down and laid waste to your villages and homeland? what if your government couldn't provide you with protection from insurgents or provide you with basic needs like schools, medicine or running water? That's what the insurgents want. They want the population to be unhappy so that they will help them fight against the government. Counter insurgency is not so much about killing insurgents as it is about people... local, honest, hard working people who just want to be left in peace to raise their families. People need protection and services. They need stability. If the host nation can provide that stability, if they can protect their population and provide for their needs, that undermines the insurgency. If you're happy with your government why topple it? Military, civilian and political assets need to be utilized cohesively to stabilize a region and make the population safe. I say this is not a new strategy because the US ARMY Counter Insurgency manual ( FM 3-24 ) which came out in June of 2006 stresses these ideas throughout the entire manual. The forward of FM 3-24 written or at least ok'd by Lt Gen D. H. Petraeus USA and Lt Gen J. N. Mattis USMC . These guys are heavy hitters. If a knuckle head like me, just an ordinary citizen of the United States has access to this manual and can comprehend its message then why are our top Generals looking at its message as a new strategy? Don't they read their own manuals?
A special forces officer in Iraq said in 2005 " Counter insurgency is not just thinking mans war.....its the graduate level of war."
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Re: counter insurgency policy

Postby Caliban » Sun Aug 30, 2009 12:08 am

Absolutely. They are undoubtedly reinventing the wheel here. Sadly, that means they may just as easily usurp their ideas and intentions with the same mistakes that have always so regularly been made with COIN, hearts and minds etc. it remains to be seen ...

Off topic. Milty, can I point something out to you. Its the return key!


Take a breath kiddo ! it makes it so much easier to read ;-)
"If you sit still the birds shit on you, even Buddha, life's short so get out there and do something"
"My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?" Snoopy
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