Sunday, April 29, 2007

Victory Plan for the War in Iraq

I have not yet read The Troops Need You, America! by Major Eric England, USAR, but the outline at the previous link covers many overlooked and unconventional strategies. Anyone who has any military experience knows the following, from point #2, has been true of our military for some time:

The staffs of higher military echelons in Iraq, such as division and corps, consider themselves combat forces and expect commensurate support, but it is actually the lower echelons, battalion and company, that are engaged in combat and should be supported. To develop a support mindset at higher echelons, the military should change the top-down training model so leaders at each level understand that their role in Iraq will vary between command and support. Assuming the latter role can be a difficult shift for some rank-conscious conventional commanders, but it is critical for effective counter-insurgency.

Other unconventional ideas include handing out U.S. cash, not coupons, to locals who are able to inform on insurgent activity. Major England also advocates giving the locals a cell phone, a video camera, and a laptop to directly report their observations to the local U.S./Iraqui command.

The last part of the outline describes a plan to counterattack the MSM message of defeat (a flaming car bomb has sex appeal on the nightly network news). Units would have a designated media person/blogger to produce reports weekly, sending them directly to the Pentagon, bypassing the bottleneck of internal bureaucracy. The best of these would be released to the public: "Pentagon complaints about media bias represent a lack of focus. We must provide credible, visually compelling stories to fill the media vacuum and contest the adversary’s current dominance of the information war in Iraq."

In summary:

The U.S. can succeed in Iraq without abandoning our strategy. The operational status quo, however, must change. Leaders in Washington and Baghdad should listen to the soldiers on the ground and make these six changes to better enable our brave troops to finish the mission our nation sent them to do.

Please visit here to contribute and/or buy the book if you are so inclined.

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