5 years, 7 months ago
Fred Kaplan at Slate, whom we always enjoy reading even when we disagree, has an interesting article about Paul Yingling who took on higher command and their handling of the campaign in Iraq (in the broader context of leadership and the associated responsibilities). As it turns out, Yingling has an interesting new duty – that of applying counterinsurgency inside of the prisons of Iraq. More specifically, these prisons are where those who have been arrested during U.S. kinetic operations are being held, somewhat outside of the Iraqi judicial system.
These prisons are becoming breeding grounds for jihadists, and COIN techniques are seen as being very important in dealing with the prison problem, lest we eject 20,000 jihadists back into Iraqi culture. Note, however, that we had noted the prison issue in The Nexus of Religion and Prisons in Counterinsurgency, five months ago. The Captain’s Journal saw the importance of this.
Marine Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone, commanding general of detainee operations in Iraq, is fighting what he has called “the battlefield of the mind.” He has instituted extensive screening of incoming prisoners and has made available about 30 training and education courses, including religion and civics, to the 25,188 prisoners under his control …
One result already seen, he said, is that moderates in the prisons are identifying extremists, thus facilitating their segregation from the rest of the population. At Camp Bucca, about 1,000 extremists were identified and pulled from among the 21,000 prisoners, and “that made a big difference,” he said.
It looks like Major General Stone who implemented this program, has a good commander in his corner. We wish them success in this endeavor and expect good things.
More: Small Wars Journal Blog