Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Theory of the surge

Phil Carter points to an essay by General Petraeus's (aka the geek general) military anthropologist explaining their counterinsurgency strategy:
Understanding Current Operations in Iraq (SWJ Blog)

.... The enemy is fluid, but the population is fixed. (The enemy is fluid because he has no permanent installations he needs to defend, and can always run away to fight another day. But the population is fixed, because people are tied to their homes, businesses, farms, tribal areas, relatives etc). Therefore—and this is the major change in our strategy this year—protecting and controlling the population is do-able, but destroying the enemy is not. We can drive him off from the population, then introduce local security forces, population control, and economic and political development, and thereby 'hard-wire' the enemy out of the environment, preventing his return. But chasing enemy cells around the countryside is not only a waste of time, it is precisely the sort of action he wants to provoke us into. That’s why AQ cells leaving an area are not the main game—they are a distraction....
If Bush said it was raining, I'd leave my umbrella at home. Petraeus though ...

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