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Counterinsurgency Doctrine- What’s New and What’s Old. Dr. James Corum, All Souls College. LTC USAR. US Military and Counterinsurgency-- early 1970s --2001. Vietnam syndrome affects whole officer corps (see Conrad Crane’s study)

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Counterinsurgency Doctrine- What’s New and What’s Old

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Counterinsurgency doctrine what s new and what s old l.jpg

Counterinsurgency Doctrine- What’s New and What’s Old

Dr. James Corum, All Souls College.

LTC USAR


Us military and counterinsurgency early 1970s 2001 l.jpg

US Military and Counterinsurgency-- early 1970s --2001

  • Vietnam syndrome affects whole officer corps (see Conrad Crane’s study)

  • Counterinsurgency study shut down in staff colleges and war colleges

  • Open hostility to the subject among senior officers

  • Despite El Salvador and several small wars– little attempt at higher level to learn lessons

  • Assumption that conflict has been transformed by technology– Emphasis on high tech opns against enemy states

  • US policy and doctrine for short, decisive wars against conventional states


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US View of Future War in mid-1990s


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Iraq War/ Afghanistan. Relearning old lessons– trying to learn new ones

  • Army War College- Steve Biddle AWC- “Afghanistan and the Future of War”

  • US faith in high tech overdone. Only 50% of al Qaeda positions at Tora Bora and Anaconda found by high-tech recon- See Biddle Study from SSI

  • Not quite the new way of war advertised in 2001/2002

  • Importance of training level of local troops- Key to success with high tech US partnership


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The Motivators for Insurgency

  • 4 Prime motivators– Most insurgencies inspired by one or two of these:

  • 1- Ideology- Desire for new political system to meet needs

  • 2- Nationalism- Desire for independence of another power

  • 3- Ethnic Nationalism- Desire for independence or autonomy of one’s tribe or ethnic group

  • 4- Religion- Desire to make one’s own religion supreme, suppress others

  • WWII- 1990- Most insurgent movements motivated by ideology and nationalism.

  • 1990-Present- Most insurgent movements motivated by religion and ethnic nationalism. This makes it harder to come to a political settlement or peaceful solution and makes a counterinsurgency strategy more complex


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Changing Nature of Organization of Insurgencies

  • WWII- 1990. Most insurgencies followed some variation of a Maoist model with a clear political program, central leadership and long term strategy.

  • 1990 to present. Intifada in Israel/Palestine, insurgency in Iraq, conflict in Afghanistan– Insurgents comprised of a loose network of groups– often diverse – often at odds- often without a clear political program. Advantage for insurgents- difficult for govt. forces to take out the leadership or mount any decisive campaign. Disadvantage- groups do not truly coordinate activity or resources.

  • What we’re dealing with are several insurgent groups and programs. See TX Hammes, The Sling and the Stone (2004)


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New US Army Counterinsurgency Manual- FM 3.07. Oct 2004

  • First official US Counterinsurgency doctrine since 1965

  • New tactical lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan–

  • Most of the traditional tactics and strategies still valid (Max Manwaring-- Legitimacy is key)

  • However, new doctrine still looks upon insurgency as a mainly Maoist model– the new models not addressed

  • Still- big step forward for US to address the subject


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US Army and USAF (Not Marines) forgot extensive experience in small wars. Photo- US Army in Vigan PI, 1899.


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US Experience 1899-2001.

  • Philippines 1899-1902, Caribbean and Central America 1914-1934, Post WWII: Greece 1940s, PI 1946-1953, Vietnam 1961-1973, El Salvador 1981-1992

  • Some sound counterinsurgency doctrine and experience, USMC Small Wars Manual, Adderholt, Lansdale, Manwaring

  • US small wars expertise at odds with US military culture- esp. post Vietnam


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Something Old– Importance of simple equipment for 3rd World allies

  • Pentagon preference for expensive and high tech equipment– hard to maintain and operate

  • Need for agreements with allies/ licensing and manufacturing agreements

  • Consider producing updated Mi8/Mi 17s with allies

  • Consider building A-10 as counterinsurgency aircraft with allied nations

  • CMATT in Iraq pushes for simple solutions with eye to cost/training/ maintenance


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US-supplied T-28 and advisors in SE Asia circa 1962– cheap and simple Laotian T-28s took out more trucks on Ho Chi Minh Trail than latest US jet fighter bombers– USAF leadership very upset


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Example of the success of the cheap and simple weapons in counterinsurgency


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CASA 212-- STOL, simple, cheap, effective-- a good light transport for small air forces-- Very useful in peace ops such as Somalia


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UNCLASSIFIED

COALITION MILITARY ASSISTANCE TRAINING TEAM

I R A Q

Cobra Armored Recon Veh.

Range – 500 km

Speed – 115 km/hr, 80 km/hr off road

Lethality – 12.7mm HMG or other

Ballistic Protection – 7.62 NATO API, Arty//IED Frag all round, upgradeable to 12.7mm

Mine Protection –

- protected against 7 kg TNT

detonation under wheel

- 5 kg TNT under center hull

Field Repair – designed to facilitate

field repair

Other- Automotive & suspension is HMMWV, NATO compatible, battle tested in similar terrain against similar threat, supported by regional country, excellent cross country mobility incl. Sandy & rocky terrain.

Cost Estimate: $60K to $100K

UNCLASSIFIED


Ratel light wheeled apc u l.jpg

UNCLASSIFIED

COALITION MILITARY ASSISTANCE TRAINING TEAM

I R A Q

Ratel Light Wheeled APC (U)

Range – 860 km

Speed – 105 km/hr, 60 km/hr off road

Lethality – 12.7mm HMG or other

Ballistic Protection –

- all round - 12.7 mm

- add on armor to defeat RPGs

Mine Protection –

- protected against mines

detonation under wheel

Field Repair – designed to facilitate

field repair

Other- designed for 14 days independent opns, excellent cross country mobility incl. Sandy & rocky terrain.

Cost Estimate: $35K to $70K

UNCLASSIFIED


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Some lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq-- High Tech Apache is a great aircraft– but still quite vulnerable to simple weapons Photo: 40mm AA round used against US choppers.


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Apache blades shredded by 20 and 40mm fire in Iraq– April 2003. Similar problems in Afghanistan in 2001


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Something Old--Importance of HUMINT

  • Human Intel capability ignored and downgraded post-Vietnam thru Cold War thru 1990s

  • Belief that high tech would provide “frictionless battlefield”; Clausewitz’s concept of friction “no longer relevant” (Army 4-star mid-1990s)

  • Emphasis on counting equipment and conventional capability– Not as useful in fighting insurgents

  • Lack of capable HUMINT one of central problems post 9/11

  • Not enough done to build up HUMINT capability post 9-11

  • HUMINT is relatively cheap– but expertise takes time to build– and this goes against Pentagon preference for expensive, high tech hardware solutions– lack of a lobby group for HUMINT


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Something Old--Relearning Basic HUMINT Lessons

  • Abu Graibh and torture– Big US blunder– pressure for quick solutions, Lack of understanding of basic counterinsurgency Intel techniques at the heart of the problem

  • Tactical issue-- Torture really doesn’t provide good Intel

  • Classic interrogation techniques still valid– need to have a corps of highly-trained and language-qualified interrogators

  • DOD generally misunderstood the potential for insurgency– and failed to have the appropriate Intel resources available.


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Something New– Importance of modern mass media and media techniques in counterinsurgency

  • Television now a major factor in many nations

  • US fails to use polling and mass marketing techniques to monitor public opinion and influence opinion. Little effort in Iraq- minimal budget and equipment for the govt. media

  • Need for locally-run media program with US support

  • Need to apply civilian skills– mass marketing and education program with TV, radio, and print media

  • Program will be expensive and require coordination with State Dept. and other agencies

  • Hearts and minds campaign STILL central to counterinsurgency– need for media campaigncombined with traditional civic action program


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New US Doctrine- Reliance on Local and Militia Forces- Backed by High Tech US Support

  • Search for quick, cheap solutions

  • Desire to minimize US manpower requirements

  • Problem- little study of recent experience with militias- problems of Colombia etc. ignored

  • Difficult to control militias

  • Low effectiveness of minimally-trained troops

  • Problem with militia loyalties

  • Difficult to demobilize militias


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ICDC BN Plan as of Spring 2004


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Old Realities– Need for well trained local forces

  • US policy to train the security leadership AFTER the insurgency– Not a sound approach

  • Need to carefully vet and train the mid and senior defense civilian and military leadership– US and Allied effort still much too small

  • Concentration on training lower ranks and using contractors– US troops might have been better

  • Minimal effort to train mid-level and senior leaders– One of the major problems in Iraq planning

  • Perhaps mediocre Iraqi security performance is due to poor leadership


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Conclusions

  • “New Way of War” promised in 2001--Not especially successful

  • Insurgencies STILL last a long time. The Pentagon preference for “rapid, decisive operations” meets reality

  • Wars are STILL expensive. Don’t look for the “cheap war”

  • Counterinsurgency is STILL manpower intensive– No way around this

  • Most of the traditional doctrines still applicable

  • New Factor-- Need for an extensive, expensive and coordinated media campaign

  • Counterinsurgency CAN succeed- One can win in Iraq – but appropriate counterinsurgency equipment and training and intelligence doctrines needed


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COALITION MILITARY ASSISTANCE TRAINING TEAM

I R A Q

Iraqi Armed Forces:The Way Ahead


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