Australian Counterinsurgency Expert advising Americans

Discussion in 'Multinational HQ' started by yank_eyetie, Jan 12, 2007.

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  1. I love this bit. We can't be effective - we have suppliers and manufacturers to support!
  2. Thanks for the post Yank_Eyetie.
    A lot of coherent thought there, probably over our heads.
    I know the Aussies have a big following in the US with Hackworth's believers. Mostly because they're right and good blokes too.
    As a lay pilgrim I couldn't grasp the psychoanalyses of the terrorist. I don't think I would agree with a analysis of myself. And I have a habit of changing. Bottom line who cares what I think, it's what I do that counts.
    I was a bit disappointed that the Commonwealth Borneo campaign in the 60's was not examined. Why, cause we won, on the cheap on behalf of the people who live there. Also what about Rajah Brooke? He did a good job. With 8 chums, some guns and a lot of gumption. I know he's hard to believe but truth is stranger thane fiction.
    But the only bit which caught in my throat was,
    "Your task is to become the world expert in your district."
    Nice theory but 'kinell. How would you feel if some alien dropped down from above and became the world expert on you? I'm not the world expert on me, I change from day to day and God keeps telling me to do things...
    I cannot KNOW someone, same as you occasionally get surprised by wifey. But you can make yourself useful.
    Here's Genni's theory;
    The people who live there ulitimately decide it's future.
    If you want to be in that future you'd better make yourself useful to them. Humility, flexibility and understand TE Lawrence- don't just read him.
    After all he must be right 'cause he's Welsh.
  3. Genni your welsh????????????????????????
  4. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP


    I wasn't to impressed; except for his refering to T. E. Lawrence's works, which have been required reading for American Special Forces, since the start. Along with Mao and others through the decades.

    Perhaps, he impresses the conventional thinkers; however, I think we in the American SF, have better people then this Aussie on tap, if they would listen to them.

    Many here forget that most of the successful counter-insurgency wars that have been won are those who had stable closed borders. Vietnam, Afganistan and Iraq had or have VERY unstable porous borders, which they can retreat over when things get to hot, as well are supplied and trained in those countries.

    "To make war upon rebellion is messy and slow, like eating soup with a knife" -TE Lawrence."
  5. Trip, the reason that the Aussie is listened to more than US 'experts' is that the Union Flag is part of the Australian Flag and that the Queen is their Head Of State. Obviously this puts him streets ahead of characters who think that owning all of the back issues of Soldier Of Fortune makes them an expert.
  6. Always nice to get an outside view though Trip. What your guys did in Vietnam for example was based on what had gone on in Burma during WW2 and a guy called Frank Kitson who advised and fought for the British forces during the Malayan, Borneo and Kenya uprisings.

    Sometimes and we in the British army are as guilty of this as anyone so I'm not havig a pop at the Americans here but its professional to listen to what others have to offer.

    By the way it was gennithemedic that posted the thread not me!!
  7. It must be said that the article is interesting in its approach....

    '(they) seem to be waging a different war, driven entirely by information operations. “They’re essentially armed propaganda organizations,” Kilcullen said. “They switch between guerrilla activity and terrorist activity as they need to, in order to maintain the political momentum, and it’s all about an information operation that generates the perception of an unstoppable, growing insurgency.”'
  8. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP

    This has to be one of your most stupid and insulting comments, of the many stupid and insulting comments you have make on this board, directed at America and Americans, etc.

    WTF has your Queen, or your bloody flag, or the Aussie flag, got to do with this subject? Your logic, has no value what-so-ever! SOF magazine my ARRSE!

    The American Special Forces, has plenty of experience in COIN operations, that they have learned in Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, The PI, many places and Countries in South America, Afganistan, Iraq and many other classified places around the world.

    Pull your biased head, out of you're ARRSE for a change, before making such an asine statement! I suggest that you take a close look at who planed and led the Afganistan warlords in defeating the Taliban.

    We were also there in 2001, to some degree as well. Also in Iraq, prior to the invasion.
  9. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism has for a while been placed in a social and economic context as a response to the strains of modernisation and globalisation. Fundamentalist Islamic terrorism obviously nests within this broader trend. What the article's featured thinkers seem to be doing is trying to understand the micro-climate within this macro-setting in order to find suitable responses.

    TripWire points to the importance of closed borders in successful counterinsurgency however geninthmedic suggests looking at the Borneo campaign. To put the two together, in Borneo the insurgents could move back to the safety of Kalimantan across 1000 miles of border until the 'Claret' operations started crossing the border and hitting them there. This was in tandem with hearts ad minds back the other side of the border and the two worked successfully.

    The cross-border operations were secret and I believe the UK denied at the UN that they were happening at all. I also believe that Indonesia was also so embarrassed by their success that they didn't make too much fuss. They were also relatively small scale, at times four men. There are some gripping accounts in Peter Dickens' book on the Confrontation although he quotes Farrar-Hockley, who was on the staff there, as describing them as IIRC 'small beer really'.

    However, Borneo had a low civilian population density making the hearts and minds strategy easier to pursue. In Malaya and Kenya, with much larger civilian populations, more coercion was used, as the Aussie guy recognises can be needed. The civilian population was forcibly moved into protected settlements to physically remove them from the insurgents as Mao's 'fish that swim in the sea' tend to flounder on dry land.

    With the improved communications referred to in the article you wonder how effective such strategies would be these days: both for the bad publicity that would be beamed around the world showing the relocation and the satellite/internet/mobile phones that wouls probably maintain insurgent access to the relocate population.

    Clearly there are lessons to be learned from successful past counter-insurgencies but they need to be applied to a new context. I found this a very interesting and encouraging article and am relieved that big brains are at work on this.
  10. Trip_Wire

    Trip_Wire RIP


    Good post!
  11. Some good thought on this forum again.
    Trip, stable protected frontiers important, but the whole point of insurgency is to make them worthless. Hitler's Europe had a fortress of a border, but could not win the people. When you have countries such as Iraq, Afghan that are vertitable arsenals of discarded munitions you can see that borders contain insurgents, don't destroy them."owning only what he sat on, and subjugating only what, by order, he could poke his rifle at."chap. XXXIII
    I thought Pull Through's last point was a blinder. The use of modern media techniques to assist insurgency. Pull through were you influenced by what has just happened in Somalia?
    If the west just helps these poor people free themselves the media won't be such a hinderance. "An Arab war waged and led by Arabs for an Arab aim in Arabia." is acceptable to our democracies. We have to remember that soldiers are the servants of the TV viewing herd. There isn't a tolerance for white men putting brown men in concentration camps. It's also expensive in blood and money.
    As an aside, the following;
    When Edward III realised that he was about to embark on a long and costly war he banned football, encouraged young men to take up archery and finally got the educated classes to teach their sons the language of their future enemies. He meant to win his wars.
  12. Genni, I think we have woken up to the need of knowing your enemy. Until 9/11, a lot of colleges here were all about the need for Asian studies, and learning Mandarin and other Asian languages. 2 years ago, my local University put a young PhD on the faculty who's area of study is the Middle East (He Is English, by the way). I have noticed more and more emphasis on learning about Middle Eastern culture and language. I am far removed from having the expertise to advise about counter insurgency, but no stone should be unturned in finding a solution, and we should welcome any input. As one of our more famous military leaders said,
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking."
    - General George Patton Jr
  13. Not only was Lawrence a Welshman, but he had the good sense to leave the pongoes behind him and join the RAF- from Lt Col to Aircraftsman.
  14. But did he not have to leave the RAF when they discovered who he was and joined the tankies hence the reason why he was living near Bovington when he died? Or have i got it the wrong way round?