Thursday, October 26, 2017

It's time to throw out the Counterinsurgency Manual and start fresh with a new one!

The counterinsurgency manual was re-written with great fan fare by Generals Petraeus and Amos.  It supposedly encapsulated the lessons learned from our early efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq and would point the way ahead.

The battlefield has a vote and it has rendered our current concept of operations obsolete.

The problem?  The enemy has evolved.  No longer are we fighting peasants on foot armed with AKs and the occasional RPG.

Additionally we have found that insider attacks (in the form of actually assaulting our servicemen) or providing information to the enemy (as evidenced by the ambush of the Special Forces in Niger) is as great a threat to our forces as actually enemy action.

My solution?

Dump small unit tactics that embed our forces into host nation units.  Mark my words, one day we will see an entire team sold to the enemy for a few pieces of gold or the drug of choice in whatever country we're operating in and they will be subjected to barbarity that will shock the nation for a generation.

Additionally we've got to get real.  We can't scatter our forces all over the globe without proper support.  That means at least a company of infantry (at the least!) to act as a quick reaction force.  It means having our teams operate under the protective cover of artillery and rotary winged close air support.

Finally we've got to make better choices.  Not everyone that smiles at a nation's capital actually speaks for those in the countryside.  We need better human intelligence on the motivations of the various clans/tribes etc.  We need to know where the host nation is strong, where it is weak and where it is committing crimes against its people.

I'm done with the story of the Special Forces Team getting ambushed in Africa. It was horrific and I'm sorry it happened but enough looking in the rear view mirror.

It's time to look ahead and do our best to make sure it doesn't happen again. The first step to doing that is to realign our forces so that we can provide them the support they need if they have a chance encounter with enemy forces.

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