U.S., Pakistani military develop counter-insurgency plans
August 11, 2009
ATLANTA (Aug. 11, 2009) -- Senior leaders from the Pakistani and United States armies met in Atlanta for U.S. Army Central's counterinsurgency seminar July 20-24.
Lt. Gen. William G. Webster, USARCENT commanding general, delivered the opening comments and stressed the importance of the week-long event.
"We consider it a rare privilege to be able to meet face-to-face with our Pakistani counterparts (and) to have an exchange of ideas and tactics, techniques and procedures for success in counterinsurgency operations," Webster said.
The seminar not only provided a venue for discussion and learning, it also fostered relationships between the two countries while attendees studied past events to shape future operations.
"This week, we presented some lessons learned in counterinsurgency," said Col. Daniel Roper, director of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Center. "We used those lessons to stimulate conversation and took our previous experiences in Iraq and applied them to our current status. We exchanged our viewpoints on the challenges in Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Asia at large."
The Pakistani military played a key role in the seminar, explained attendee Maj. Tony Thacker, USARCENT.
"Pakistan is a pivotal country in our current operations," Thacker said. "The Pakistan military actually just came out of fighting the insurgency over there to bring their knowledge to us."
Roper said an Army must look ahead to anticipate how its actions now might change outcomes in the future.
"Problems change as you engage them," Roper said. "Even if you fix it, another problem arises. You have to think in the second and third orders and not just fix the first order. We all have common challenges. We may see them from slightly different perspectives, but at the end of the day, we are Soldiers trying to solve complex problems."
Thacker agreed, explaining the importance of the seminar in building relationships to work together on overseas contingency operations.
"When you talk about building trust and relationships, the more often you have schooling and conferences together, the more this will be fostered," Thacker said. "The more interaction we have, (the more that) will bring trust on both sides."
Brig. Farhat Abbas Sani, Pakistan Military Air Defense Brigade, also noted the impact the seminar had on his team.
"My team (and I) have learned a lot," Farhat said. "There is a lot we can carry home and apply in our home environment. We are complementing each other and being coalition partners. Our aims and objectives are the same: to bring peace and stability to the region."