Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by KGB_resident, Mar 2, 2007.
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More happy news from our Man in Moscow.
If I were an American military planner then my decision would be to make American military presence in Iraq almost invisible. Leave Anbar province - this fruitless oilless desert. There are the 'Green zone', Airport, aroad between them in Baghdad. That's all. Concentrate efforts on these strategic objects and don't try to enter such places as Sadr city. Oil fields, pipe-lines, main roads other strategic objects should be controlled. But only they. Stop so called 'routine patrols', 'offensive operations'. They are senseless.
This approach would reduce abilities of the insurgents to attack the troops. Number of killed would drop. Of course some areas would be under control of the insurgents but it is not too important now.
They still don't get it. "Winning" in COIN is bloody difficult and more than anything takes time.
I hope and pray that this is a misplaced journalistic interpretation of what actually has been said. However, if this is the attitude these advisors have, their ideas for dealing with insurgency really haven't moved from the previous "administration".
Problems, Sergey. In this kind of op, it isn't enough to just fail to lose, you have to actively win. Pulling back to 'strategic areas' would cut down the casualty list in the short-term, but would be disasterous in the long term.
Apart from emboldening the enemy and handing them a tremendous propaganda opportunity, this would cede them freedom of movement within the civilian population and effectively surrenders control of their support to the insurgents.
Your troops would then be left in small fixed locations surrounded by a highly mobile and virtually invisible enemy who could hit at will.
Of course, this does rather presume a willingness to adequately man and equip the occupying forces for a long-term campaign, which produces it's own short-term problems for professional politicians with elections looming...
Actively win? It is impossible now in Iraq. Attempts to make an impossible thing are senseless.
I'm not sure that you are right. If USA would have few Guantanamo-style bases then casualities would be minimal both in the short and long term.
The insurgents have freedom of movement just now and they in fact control some parts of Iraq. As for propaganda war then the only way is a counter-propaganda. Military measures don't work
I dare say you are not right. Now, the enemy is everywhere and nowhere. Namely present military strategy gives the insurgents an excellent possibility to use their mobile units. Any attack against big heavily fortified base require significant forces that could be detected and annihilated from air or/and by gun-fire.
In any war offensive and defensive operations are used. It is a right time to turn to a tough defense in Iraq, minimising the casualities while keeping a strategic control over the country. Of course this U-turn should be done without any declarations. But the apparent result - sharp drop in casualities would be anyway a victory in the domestic propaganda war.
And the Americans can return to previous strategy in any moment.
That thinking and doctrine has ended in..
1. Dien Bien Phu
2. The US Embassy in Saigon
But there was N.Vietnam with its trained armed forces, tanks, planes, missiles. Unlikely the insurgents would have even one tank soon or jet-fighter or anything to storm (in fact invincible) American 'castles' in Iraq.
I fancy that there exists a naive hope (in Washington) - just one more offensive, one more special operation or raid and the insurgency would be defeated. This strategy is not working. It is a bare truth.
One of the persons mentioned in the Guardian article is Aussie LTC David Kilcullen and he responds today in his blog Small Wars Journal.
Mr. Kilcullen however confirms the main point.
Can we ever speak about the 'Coalition' in Iraq? Mr.Kilcullen wrote
He is right. The Coalition had disintegrated long before and now is dead (so it is far from the point of the disintegration).
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