Monday, December 14, 2009
Afghanistan Surge (3)Lt. Col. Gian Gentile in A Strategy of Tactics: Population-centric COIN and the Army Parameters Autumn 2009 (US Army War College) gives a good analysis of the problem with that version of The Great Surge of 2007:
The triumph narrative associated with the Surge can best be summarized as follows. Prior to the Surge, the conventionally minded Army under General George Casey, when he was commander of Multi-National Force-Iraq, had allowed the insurgency to grow and by the end of 2006 had withdrawn from the rural regions and hunkered down on Forward Operating Bases while the Iraq civil war raged. But with the Surge, the new commander, General David Petraeus, armed his army with the new COIN doctrine in the form of FM 3-24 and deployed American combat forces into major population areas. Once in these locations, the US Army in Iraq began executing population-centric COIN correctly; they were able to secure the population, win the hearts and minds, and from this new position of power the deals cut with the Sons of Iraq, Moqtada al Sadr’s retreat, and all the other successes flowed from the population-centric actions of the American Army.Gentile's criticism of The Surge is part of a broader criticism of prevailing Army counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine, which he has also articulated in:
The Limits of the Surge: An Interview with Gian Gentile by Judah Grunstein World Politics Review 04/11/08
A (Slightly) Better War: A Narrative and Its Defects World Affairs Summer 2008
Our COIN doctrine removes the enemy from the essence of war Armed Forces Journal 11/12/09
Tags: afghanistan war
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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