10 years, 6 months ago
The Marines in Ramadi are quite capable of counter-insurgency (COIN) operations and the proper conduct of “small wars.” The bone of contention is the doctrine of use of proxy fighters to effect stability while signficant enemy remain. To the extent that this remains a pivotal doctrine of COIN strategy, it may be a failing strategy.
As backdrop for this post, I will give a few points to help the discussion below make some sense. My post Ramadi, Iraq: A Mess, continues to be one of the most visited posts I have made since the start of blogging, visited by multiple visitors every day since its post date of August 1, and many of the visits continue to be from military personnel using military network domains. In part, my thinking about Ramadi led me to publish my post on The Debate Over Diminished Force Projection. In my post Afghanistan’s Lessons for Iraq: What Strategy?, I argue that premature cessation of operations to combat the enemy (and hence, the premature invocation of counterinsurgency tactics) is counterproductive. In my post Will we Lose the Anbar Province?, I stated:
Remembering Iraqi politics is necessary to understand why these things have happened, and invoking the lessons of Vietnam is not very helpful. Politics teaches us that to refer to “Iraqis