Posts Tagged military strategy

Insurgencies

From Stratfor:

Most conventional Western military doctrine is built upon concepts of modern warfare that were articulated by theorists such as Carl von Clausewitz, Antoine-Henri Jomini and Napoleon Bonaparte. The basic concept behind the rapid war doctrine is to fix and engage the enemy in decisive battles that destroy its ability to wage war and sap its will to continue fighting. Years of battle with guerrillas in Afghanistan and Iraq might have forced the U.S. military to adopt a new counterinsurgency manual in 2006, but it has been difficult for American forces to break free of the mindset outlined by von Clausewitz and the like. Not all of the responsibility for this attachment to tradition rests with the military, however, as the country’s politicians and public don’t typically have much patience or long attention spans. For evidence, look no further than President George W. Bush’s May 2003 “Mission Accomplished” speech or President Barack Obama’s ostensible¬†withdrawal from Iraq.

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2 reasons why the Afghan situation is different from the Iraqi surge.

“…two major factors distinguish the Afghan from the Iraqi surge. First is the alarming weakness and ineptness — to say nothing of the corruption — of the Afghan central government. One of the reasons the U.S. offensive in Marja has faltered is that there is no Afghan “government in a box” to provide authority for territory that the U.S. military clears.

In Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, after many mixed signals, eventually showed that he could act as a competent national leader rather than a sectarian one when he attacked Moqtada al-Sadr’s stronghold in Basra, faced down the Mahdi Army in the other major cities in the south and took the fight into Sadr City in Baghdad itself. In Afghanistan, on the other hand, President Hamid Karzai makes public overtures to the Taliban, signaling that he is already hedging his bets.

But beyond indecision in Kabul, there is indecision in Washington. When the president of the United States announces the Afghan surge and, in the very next sentence, announces the date on which a U.S. withdrawal will begin, the Afghans — from president to peasant — take note.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/24/AR2010062404870.html

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