The United States Army and Marines are finishing work on a new counterinsurgency doctrine that draws on the hard-learned lessons from Iraq and makes the welfare and protection of civilians a bedrock element of military strategy.
Duhhhhhh…REALLY? Ya mean, if ya wanna rule a buncha A-rabs, ya gotta MAKE IT SO THEY FRIGGING GET SOMETHING OUT OF THE DEAL? I mean, whodathunkit?
(Besides Xenophon, that is.)
If this stuff is only now becoming U.S. military doctrine, that explains not only why Iraq has been so completely FUBAR’d, but how we lost the war in Vietnam.
It’s one thing to be unable to deliver protection and services in the face of an insurgency (and, in the case of Iraq, at least 50% of a civil war). It’s another thing entirely not to know from the git-go that providing protection and services is the name of the game.
One sentence in the new field manual sums up the problem. Perhaps if Bush and Rumsfeld both had it tatooed on their foreheads, they might remember it when they meet:
Tactical success guarantees nothing.