The most overlooked important story of the week
. ... It's a tragedy that it took the military so long to figure out that 'stabilizing worn-torn nations' is often as important as 'defeating adversaries on the battlefield.' Afghanistan and Iraq prove it. ... As noted a while back by then Armchair Gen. Savin Hill (now Armchair Gen. Brighton Center):
Like what the hell, the US Army didn't foresee a role involving occupation duties and guerilla-style insurgency -- a decade after Mogadishu?
Way back in September 2003, Marty Meehan was saying the same thing
as noted at the time in HB
The question is not whether to deploy more American soldiers or get our allies to add forces, but how to bring the right mix of people to the task.
We need more military police to help keep order, more civil affairs officers to guide the Iraqis in organizing basic government functions, more special operations commandos with experience in counterinsurgency operations, and more intelligence specialists to gather information. ...
Congress shouldn't try to micro-manage postwar Iraq. But the first barrier we must surmount is the Bush administration's stubborn resistance to any change in course.
From the start, the administration has been so tied to ideologically driven wishful thinking that it can't bring itself to admit that best-case scenarios have been overtaken by real-world events.
Remember: Meehan wrote these words in the fall of 2003, when the president was running around the White House saying he didn't want to hear the word 'insurgency' and Rumsfeld and his cheerleaders were still touting the anti-stabilization strategy of 'fly traps.' ... Remember too: The army had all but banned the study of counterinsurgency until 2005. ... P.S. - For three years after Meehan's op-ed, Congress never forced the White House to 'get serious about rethinking its plan.' It took the American people in the 2006 election to force the White House to 'get serious about rethinking its plan.' It took an election -- not military reality on the ground -- to finally change things. Think about that the next time the president brags he makes war decisions based on their military merits alone. ...