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October 08, 2009

Oh Dear God...Obama Didn't Know COIN Meant More Troops?

One of the confusing things about Obama's hesitancy about adding troops to Afghanistan is that many thought this was settled back in March when the Administration announced a comprehensive new strategy focusing on Counter Insurgency.

Turns out, Obama and his team had no clue what they were agreeing to at the time.

That conclusion, which was later endorsed by the president and members of his national security team, would become the first in a set of recommendations contained in an administration white paper outlining what Obama called "a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan." Preventing al-Qaeda's return to Afghanistan, the document stated, would require "executing and resourcing an integrated civilian-military counterinsurgency strategy."

To senior military commanders, the sentence was unambiguous: U.S. and NATO forces would have to change the way they operated in Afghanistan. Instead of focusing on hunting and killing insurgents, the troops would have to concentrate on protecting the good Afghans from the bad ones.

And to carry out such a counterinsurgency effort the way its doctrine prescribes, the military would almost certainly need more boots on the ground.

To some civilians who participated in the strategic review, that conclusion was much less clear. Some took it as inevitable that more troops would be needed, but others thought the thrust of the new approach was to send over scores more diplomats and reconstruction experts. They figured a counterinsurgency mission could be accomplished with the forces already in the country, plus the 17,000 new troops Obama had authorized in February.

Turns out some of the big brains on Team Obama thought it meant more diplomats and aid workers...you know, the community organizers of the government. Yes, those elements are part of COIN but they come after the military operations...Clear, Hold, Build. You can't send in reconstruction teams to areas where the enemy is running wild or can come back and destroy what you have created.

Now they are stuck with the reality of what their strategy announcement meant and are lost.

Were any of these idiots paying attention to the last 3 or so years in Iraq? Is there anyone who pays the least bit of attention to the news who doesn't know the general outline of modern day COIN methods? Of course Obama isn't just anyone, no he's the smartest, most deliberate thinker ever. Hell, he was on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker gave their presentations about the Iraq 'surge'.

Maybe he would have paid more attention to this if he thought COIN and reconstruction efforts had some contracts that could be directed to his friends at ACORN.

If this story is true, it is criminal incompetence.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:13 AM

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