A very interesting article highlighting one of the sucess stories of the British Army in Iraq.
The tactics are sound for the conditions that he is working in, the local populace seems to be fairly self governing and Laboucheres seems to be content to let them get on with it.
It also highlights that the locals are not accepting the know corruption of the Iraqi Police, and are quite right in their eviction of them if required.
If the model could be expanded (all be it 5 years too late) then the stability of the country would increase 10 fold.
The question has to be "Would it work in baghdad?" My answer is no, and to explain, there are two major Islamic groups in Baghdad, Sunni and Shia, they have never got on, never will, never can, and all because there are aspects of Islam that the other does not agree with, due to this, using snatch landrovers or stripped out humvees would lead to a catastrophic loss of life, they tried it in the early days and it failed, too many IED's, RPG's and no protection against sustained machinegun fire.
I applaud his efforts and progress, the problem is, all his hard work could well be undone after his 6 month tour is completed, and another commander goes in and uses heavy armour and heavy tactics.
Then square one will be achieved in weeks if not days.
I read in another thread that after he left, the following commander copied his tactics and continued the method.
So, can you see this working in Afghan? Kandahar as main base, with patrols roving all over meeting villages. The taliban currently have the edge in that they are always on the ground, whereas NATO troops re not - as soon as we leave, Terry jumps back in. Surely if our patrol routes weren't so obvious and reglar then IED's would be harder to lay with chances of success, and they'd be a lot less confident.
Patrols would have to be bigger, but as this story shows http://www.defensetech.org/archives/cat_afghan_update.html even coalition troops caught off guard and outnumbered can cause significant casualties - and they had the success of catching Taliban leaders off guard.
So, could LaBoucheres tactic be carried over?
Could LeBoucheres' (or Lawerences') tactics work in Afghanistan? We didn't extend the Lawerence doctrine to NWFP as far as I'm aware we just resorted to bombing. There were regular flying columns mounted into NWFP and Afghanistan between the wars and up to partition. The level of success of these, I have no idea on. Are there any good references for this period?
I think these tactics are already being used out there in Afghanistan, read somewere a while ago about MOGs (mobile op groups). They have slightly more technology and armour involved, but it sounds like the same sort of thing.
Old story maybe, but the tactics go further back than Lawrence, light and mobile has always been the rule of thumb in desert conditions, the Bedouin and the Tuaregs are the masters of this. Its good to see someone using the lessons of the past to good effect.