Monday, November 06, 2006

COIN obsolete?

COIN (counter-insurgency) doctrine traditionally orients on fixing the underlying (undermining) weakness in the government's policy that feeds the insurgency. Usually that means economic redress, land reform, social services, equality under the law, and the like. As with so much of what we do it's a response to Marxist movements. That means there is never a purely military solution, but that there has to be a political and economic one as well, and the establishment of a more just goverment that provides better economic opportunities, social services, redistribution of land or wealth, and equality under the law will "drain the swamp" and eliminate the breeding ground of the killer mosquitos. Economic solutions were pursued from the beginning at every level with national and local construction both contracted, done by local units, even G.I's on their own initiative and time (between combat missions). There was some success nationwide in these efforts and they were hampered mainly by sabotage (again the failure to provide security).

However despite the high unemployment rate young men are not interested in reconstruction or commerce. They still want to blow things up. Perhaps it's the wounded pride and loss of dignity that counts more, restoration of soverignty should help.

So in Iraq we have from the beginning pursued a political solution by setting up local councils, then elections at all levels, a locally drawn up and locally ratified Constitution (climaxing with the dramatic "purple fingers" election; free, fair, even safe) and not least trying to establish security legitimacy for the Iraqi's by training, equipping, advising and most of all turning over control to Iraqi Security Forces. That should take the wind out of the insurgents sails! And in most insurgencies up until now, it would have. But the lot of the GI and most especially the Iraqi civilian worsens, never more than now. Why?


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