Producing Victory: Rethinking Conventional
Forces in COIN Operations
Sunrise over Baghdad finds a maneuver battalion
executing several missions. Two platoons are on patrol, one sweeping
a main supply route for improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the
other escorting "Team Trash"-a dump truck and bucket
loader-through a poor Shi'a neighborhood. A third platoon is still
at the brigade detention facility in-processing several insurgents
captured the previous night, while a fourth escorts the battalion
medical platoon for a medical outreach in one of the battalion's
assigned neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the battalion commander and
a company commander prepare to attend a neighborhood council meeting;
the executive officer updates the agenda for the weekly fusion-cell
meeting; and the operations officer meets with the district police
chief and an Iraqi Army representative to discuss security for
an upcoming holiday. Shift change is taking place for both the
American platoons and the Iraqi Security Forces guarding the U.S.
forward operating base (FOB), and the American military liaison
officer-an assistant operations officer-accompanies a squad-sized
Iraqi patrol to clear the FOB's perimeter. The headquarters company
commander and the battalion logistician are negotiating a local
contract for a crane to help reposition barrier materials in the
neighborhood to respond to an emerging threat. The battalion intelligence
officer (S2) reads the previous night's patrol reports before
meeting his Iraqi counterpart for tea at the FOB's civil-military
operations center (CMOC). Later in the day, the civil affairs
team leader and a company executive officer will join the assistant
S2 and a local sheik at the CMOC to discuss the merits of a proposed
reconstruction project. Finally, yet another platoon prepares
to conduct a precision raid against an insurgent cell after dark,
based on intelligence gathered from a walk-in informant and confirmed
by a local cleric's security chief. So begins another day in Baghdad.
Our thesis is simple: The combined arms maneuver
battalion, partnering with indigenous security forces and living
among the population it secures, should be the basic tactical unit
of counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare. Only such a battalion-a blending
of infantry, armor, engineers, and other branches, each retrained
and employed as needed-can integrate all arms into full-spectrum
operations at the tactical level.1 Smaller
conventional forces might develop excellent community relations,
but they lack the robust staff and sufficient mass to fully exploit
local relationships. Conversely, while brigades and divisions boast
expanded analysis and control capabilities, they cannot develop
the street-level rapport so critical for an effective COIN campaign.
Unconventional forces are likewise no panacea because the expansion
of Special Operations Command assets or the creation of stability
and reconstruction or system-administration forces will not result
in sustainable COIN strategies.2 Recent
experience in Iraq affirms previously forgotten lessons: "Winning
the Peace" requires simultaneous execution along the full spectrum
of kinetic and non-kinetic operations.3
While political developments in Iraq and the United States might
have moved past the point at which our suggested COIN solution would
be optimal, we argue that the maneuver battalion should be the centerpiece
of the Army's future COIN campaigns. This paper examines why the
maneuver battalion is the premier organization around which to build
COIN doctrine, and it identifies current obstacles and future improvements
to such a battalion-centric strategy.
Back to the Future
Upon returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom
(OIF), we began to search older works on COIN, hoping to find hints
of a larger framework in which to ground our observations. The work
we both (independently) found indispensable was Counterinsurgency
Warfare: Theory and Practice, a 1964 book by David Galula. Based
on his firsthand knowledge of insurgencies in China, Greece, Southeast
Asia, and Algeria, Galula derives numerous lessons, several of which
reflected our own experiences.
The first lesson is that successful COIN operations
require assistance from the community. To earn such support, the
counterinsurgent must sell the host-nation population on an idea.
As Galula writes, "[O]n the eve of embarking on a major effort,
the counterinsurgent faces what is probably the most difficult problem
of the war: He has to arm himself with a competing cause."4
To realize the cause-in Iraq's case, liberal
democracy and free-market capitalism-the counterinsurgent must develop
the institutions responsible for its materialization. While the
counterinsurgent must create, the insurgent need only destroy. Galula
argues, "[T]he insurgent has really no cause at all; he is
exploiting the counterinsurgent's weakness and mistakes."5
Herein lies a vexing problem: The Army fights
and wins America's battles through land dominance, not by establishing
civic, security, and economic institutions in failed states. Such
nation building requires the strategic and operational application
of national power (a subject well beyond the scope of this paper),
but at the tactical level, COIN and nation-building tasks are the
same: Both call for grassroots support and require Soldiers to win
popular approval by solving practical problems: turning on electricity,
keeping the streets safe, getting fathers and mothers to work and
sons and daughters to school.6
Galula's second lesson is that a static unit
with responsibility for a specific area of responsibility (AOR)
is preferable to a mobile unit moving from area to area. While military
planners like to task organize and shift boundaries, these behaviors
are antithetical to effective COIN. As Galula writes, "The
static units are obviously those that know best the local situation,
the population, the local problems; if a mistake is made, they are
the ones who will bear the consequences. It follows that when a
mobile unit is sent to operate temporarily in an area, it must come
under the territorial command, even if the military commander of
the area is the junior officer. In the same way as the U.S. ambassador
is the boss of every U.S. organization operating in the country
to which he is accredited, the territorial military commander must
be the boss of all military forces operating in his area."7
Galula's third lesson is that no one approach
can defeat an insurgency. To surrender any single line of operation,
be it military, security, political, information, or economic, is
to concede the overall fight: "[T]he expected result-final
defeat of the insurgents-is not an addition but a multiplication
of these various operations; they all are essential and if one is
nil, the product will be zero."8
Collectively, these operations impact each demographic in the AOR
differently. Some groups require significant kinetic coercion, while
others benefit from less. It is the counterinsurgent, living among
the population and working with local security forces and opinion-makers,
who must integrate the operations to achieve the desired effect.
The fourth lesson is that the principle of
unity of command is even more important in COIN than it is in conventional
warfare. To haphazardly approach an insurgency guarantees defeat.
One single headquarters must, within an area, synchronize security,
physical and institutional reconstruction, and the information environment.
Again, quoting Galula, "[M]ore than any other kind of warfare,
counterinsurgency must respect the principle of a single direction.
A single boss must direct the operations from beginning until the
end."9 Finally, we saw in Galula's
work our own hardlearned experience that effective COIN requires
a grid of embedded units, which we believe should be maneuver battalions.
These battalions must be interlocked, must coordinate with each
other-often across the boundaries of their parent brigades and divisions-and
must see themselves as the ultimate authority in their respective
AORs. The grid must encompass the entire nation to prevent the development
of insurgent safe areas and to give the counterinsurgent a 10:1
or 20:1 ratio over the insurgent in every locality.10
Again we found ourselves relearning what Galula
had discerned 40 years earlier: "The area will be divided into
sectors and sub-sectors, each with its own static unit. The subdivision
should be carried out down to the level of the basic unit of counterinsurgency
warfare: the largest unit whose leader is in direct and continuous
contact with the population. This is the most important unit in
counterinsurgency operations, the level where most of the practical
problems arise, and in each case where the war is won or lost."11
With our own experiences reinforced by this
COIN classic, we began to examine just what it was about the maneuver
battalion that had made it, in our observation, the key headquarters
for a successful COIN campaign.
Maneuver Battalion Primacy
The current manifestation of COIN warfighting
is a chimera of military, intelligence, and government agencies.
In Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, maneuver units, Special Operations
Forces, civil affairs specialists, psychological operations detachments,
international development agencies, and intelligence and advisory
elements all operate simultaneously along the same lines of operation
without synchronizing effects among parallel units or commands.
In violation of a basic COIN principle, this independence leaves
no one person or unit completely responsible for COIN operations
in a given community. At the local level, only the maneuver battalion
can execute across the full spectrum of COIN tasks, harmonizing
disparate units toward a common effect and capturing synergies that
larger commands are unable to duplicate.
Combat and security operations. The maneuver
battalion alone is capable of providing sustained security operations
within a given community. Active security patrolling provides presence
that deters or reduces violence by increasing the possible costs
to criminals and insurgents.
The kinetic COIN fight mostly plays out at
the squad and platoon levels. But COIN does not guarantee low intensity.
As combat operations in Najaf and Fallujah in 2004 (inter alia)
showed, counterinsurgent forces need to be able to transition to
high-intensity conflict.12 This show
of force is the fundamental key in the information operation that
sets the baseline for the maneuver battalion's success. By being
the provider of security or, conversely, the implementer of targeted
violence, and by being able to surge or reduce presence in various
neighborhoods or around various structures, the maneuver commander
begins with a certain core of political power in his AOR that no
other force can duplicate.13
As Galula suggests, "[U]nits must be deployed
where the population actually lives and not on positions deemed
to possess a military value."14
For the local people to feel secure and provide intelligence, they
must have 24-hour access to the counterinsurgent force. Units with
control over an AOR should live in that neighborhood; indeed, every
part of an insurgent-plagued country needs to fall under a battalion's
control. Having a fortress mentality simply isolates the counterinsurgent
from the fight.
Ideally, the maneuver battalion operates from
a self-sustaining battalion-sized patrol base colocated with a local
security-force headquarters. Such forward basing creates several
positive outcomes. First, the counterinsurgent force projects power
through its proximity to the community. Integration with the community
creates obvious benefits for intelligence collection, information
operations, reconstruction, and community outreach. Second, spreading
units out creates fewer troop concentrations, thereby reducing the
"Mega-FOB" rocket or mortar magnet. Third, several smaller,
integrated battalion-sized bases reduce the outside-force footprint
and enhance community relations. And lastly, a maneuver battalion
joined to a local police station or an indigenous army post not
only visually and physically reinforces the counterinsurgent's intent
to assist the local government, but also aids his ability to shape
new security organs and coordinate actions.
Training local forces. Traditionally, the training
of indigenous security forces is a Special Forces mission. But when
the operational scale jumps from providing support to a host country
to rebuilding a host nation's entire military, the conventional
Army must get involved. Our security commitment to Iraq, for example,
requires the creation of 10 light infantry divisions of some 160,000
Soldiers. Only the "big Army" has the resources to accomplish
such an undertaking. As a result, maneuver battalions are tasked
to conduct training. Involving more than just putting an Iraqi face
on task-force missions, the animation of new security institutions
is critical to the Iraqi Government's success and a U.S. exit strategy.
As seen in Iraq and Vietnam, new local security
forces fight better when accompanied by their U.S. counterparts.15
Knowing they have the resources and experience of the U.S. Army
right behind them, in a battalion they share space with, instills
better morale, confidence, and discipline in newly organized forces.
It also allows U.S. maneuver leaders to be better mentors and to
identify local leaders willing to get the job done. Ultimately,
local security forces make real and irreplaceable contributions.16
Indigenous troops act as de facto covert information collectors
and subject-matter experts on local culture. They also are able
to undertake sensitive site exploitation, like mosque raids, and
act as a bridge between the counterinsurgent force and the community
even as they set the conditions for an eventual exit strategy.
Economy and reconstruction. The United Nations
Office of Project Services and International Labor Organization
recommends the implementation of a local economic development (LED)
approach for economic stimulation in conflict areas. This bottom-up
method is preferred to centralized, top-down strategies because
"the best knowledge regarding local problems, local needs,
local resources, local development potential, as well as local motivation
for promoting change, exists on the local level [and] it is of fundamental
importance that the local community sees its place in the future."17
Also stressing the importance of local economic
actors, a World Bank report notes that "support for micro and
small businesses is an appropriate early step in a post-conflict
situation because these businesses are resilient and nimble, adapting
quickly to new circumstances."18
The maneuver battalion plays a central role
in LED strategy during COIN operations. Optimally, not only does
the battalion have its own reconstruction monies, but it also facilitates
international development agency access to small businesses, trade
unions, local governments, and entrepreneurs. The counterinsurgent,
the community, and aid agencies all benefit from local coordination
of the economic, political, and security dimensions of reconstruction.
Even with the support of Army combat engineers
and outside construction firms, reconstruction work must still leverage
the support of local contractors. Through daily interaction with
the population, the battalion is able to gauge the real impact of
ongoing reconstruction and better allocate resources. If the campaign
has yet to reach this level of sophistication, the battalion remains
the only element able to provide sustained security for reconstruction
projects. Such development should focus on employing military-age
males, enfranchising repressed minorities, stimulating the local
economy, and co-opting local leaders. All of these are critical
parts of a successful COIN strategy.
Fostering political institutions. For Galula,
"the counterinsurgent reaches a position of strength when his
power is embodied in a political organization issuing from, and
firmly supported by, the population."19
Political decapitation, as the initial stages of Operation Enduring
Freedom and OIF proved, is a relatively simple matter for a superpower
such as the United States. But a regime is far more than just a
few high-ranking officials; rather, a regime consists of all who
benefit from the current political arrangement. Even those not in
formal offices profit from the distribution of political power and
must therefore be considered, at least peripherally, as part of
the regime. Additionally, any consideration of the regime must account
for the existing "modes and orders"-family ties, religious
commitments, financial interests, and the like-that will set the
stage for the installation or reshaping of the new government.
The ultimate goal of COIN warfare is to "build
(or rebuild) a political machine from the population upward."20
Initially, the counterinsurgent must empower, through elections
or appointment, local provisional leaders.21
The battalion provides security, trains local security forces, and
drives economic development, so a certain measure of paternalism
is unavoidable. Nonetheless, the legitimacy of local leaders rests
on their ability to solve their constituents' problems. The counterinsurgent
is a political operative, offering responsibility and resources
to those leaders who prove capable, allowing them to build a base
of popular support. As the work proceeds, tested leaders will emerge
in each locality. These proven leaders become the nucleus of national
and regional parties. The formation of national-level parties can
only progress after their development at the local level.22
As representatives of the emerging government, the local leaders,
with the critical assistance of the maneuver battalion and indigenous
security forces, must exert hegemony over hostile tribes, militias,
religious movements, and the remnants of the preexisting regime
in order to pave the way for a new political order.
The scale and scope of the maneuver battalion
can generate tactical synergies that no other unit can duplicate
during COIN operations.23 Underlying
this observation are two key points. First, as an organization's
modified table of organization and equipment expands, it can undertake
a wider range of missions over a larger battlespace, but this increase
in size makes it harder for decision makers to understand the population
intimately, and it makes the organization less adaptive. Generally,
the larger a military echelon, the less often (if ever) its commander
is in direct contact with the average man on the street. While recent
transformation empowers the brigade as the Army's primary unit of
action, COIN operations require an even greater powering down of
assets. As Galula recommends, the basic unit of COIN warfare is
the largest unit whose leader is in direct and continuous contact
with the population.24 This basic unit
is the maneuver battalion. Brigades, divisions, and other higher
headquarters must establish objectives, coordinate actions, apportion
terrain, and allocate national resources among subordinate units.
These higher commands are responsible for establishing the channels
and means that allow locally embedded maneuver battalions to engage
in decisive, practical problem-solving.
The other point is that COIN operations require
leaders to be pentathletes. Staffs and troop commanders must be
able to juggle the simultaneous outcomes of small-unit actions,
humanitarian assistance missions, and intelligence collection. Successful
COIN campaigns are the product of multiple lines of operations.
As such, synergies develop when a unit is able to execute along
several of these lines. These synergies benefit both the counterinsurgent
force and the community.
For the counterinsurgent, a Soldier who trains
local security forces will understand the culture better, which
should aid him when he conducts combat patrols. A commander who
attends city council meetings to promote reconstruction projects
shapes the battlefield for security operations. For the community,
the local counterinsurgent force respon sible for combat operations
is also the unit able to compensate for property damage and provide
information about detained individuals. The unit responsible for
coordinating with the local security forces also manages their recruiting
and training. Conducting security operations, promoting economic
development, training indigenous security forces, and fostering
political institutions work together collectively to deny the insurgent
access to the population.
The counterinsurgent force must be large enough
to conduct an array of focused activities simultaneously, thereby
capturing the synergies from their collective employment. At the
same time, however, it must be small enough and flexible enough
to bond with the local population and adapt to changing circumstances.
The maneuver battalion meets both these criteria.
A battalion-focused COIN strategy offers many
benefits, but perhaps the two greatest have to do with civil-military
operations (CMO) and intelligence collection.
CMO. Civil-military operations are green-tab
issues. Reconstruction, economic development, and community relations
are not phases in war planning; they are principles of COIN. As
such, the commander responsible for the security of a specific area
must also be able to determine reconstruction priorities and control
assets responsible for their implementation. An increased Army-level
emphasis on CMO does not necessarily mean (and, in our opinion,
should not mean) more civil affairs Soldiers or the creation of
special reconstruction and security forces. Instead, we must acknowledge
that money is the power behind CMO. Many vital non-kinetic actions-reconstruction,
community outreach, information operations, and intelligence collection-are
not possible without putting targeted cash into the local economy.
Higher headquarters must resource maneuver
commanders with dedicated reconstruction budgets and operational
funds.25 A process through which requests
are sent up for laborious and uncertain review inhibits the commander
by not allowing him to quickly or confidently commit resources to
a fight.26 Reconstruction funds are
combat power. It would be foolish for a commander to enter a conventional
fight not knowing how many tanks or infantrymen he could commit,
and it is just as unwise to send him into a negotiation with a local
leader not knowing what money he has been budgeted to allocate within
his AOR. The successful maneuver commander uses civic reconstruction
or initial construction to contour his area of operations. He can
use money to reinforce his presence in the area or to mitigate risk
in areas where he is practicing economy of force in terms of security
patrols. The commander employs projects to co-opt community leaders
or to create new opinion-makers by funneling money through them.
Civil affairs units assist maneuver commanders
by working with civil authorities and civilian populations in the
commander's AOR to lessen the impact of military operations. In
certain smallscale or domestic operations, civil affairs Soldiers
should retain their independence. But the objective of COIN operations
is for the maneuver commander to shape the conditions under which
a civilian population lives. As a result, civil affairs Soldiers
should be attached to the maneuver commander, acting more as staff
proponents and subject-matter experts than as primary actors.
In this environment, separate reporting channels
and rating schemes that dilute and confuse the chain of command
are also counterproductive. As the institutional Army gradually
recognizes the importance of full-spectrum operations, maneuver
commanders will realize the need to integrate kinetic and non-kinetic
targeting. Community relations are the main effort of the entire
counterinsurgent force, not just a specialized unit.
Tactical intelligence collection. Other than
the tactical Raven unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and a scout platoon,
the maneuver battalion does not own dedicated intelligence, surveillance,
and reconnaissance assets. Experience from Iraq and Afghanistan
demonstrates that human intelligence (HUMINT) is by far the most
valuable intelligence source for commanders engaged in COIN warfare.27
While the Military Intelligence School has belatedly tried to implement
an "every Soldier a collector" mindset, internal policies
stand in the way of effective HUMINT collection. For example, suppose
a local national comes to a checkpoint and tells Soldiers that his
neighbor conducts attacks against U.S. forces. None of the Soldiers
in the battalion, the S2 included, are allowed to task the informant
to provide additional information that would make the target actionable
(for example, a ten-digit grid and/or a guide to a house, a means
to positively identify the target, and sufficient legal evidence
to detain the target if captured). To ask the informant to return
with this information would cross a legal line and subject the well-intentioned
troopers to possible action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The Soldiers must instead defer to a tactical HUMINT team (THT)
to run the source. THTs, however, seldom operate under battalion
control (unlike Marine human exploitation teams), leaving maneuver
commanders in the undesirable position of outsourcing their most
valuable collection platform.
Tactical HUMINT collection would benefit from
a closer relationship between THTs and maneuver units. THTs are
in short supply and on their own can be ineffective, because the
information they gather loses value unless it is acted on quickly
by the maneuver unit owning the ground. Additionally, because the
maneuver commander maintains order and controls funding in his AOR,
significant personalities will want to speak to him. The THT can
be useful for interrogating detainees, but it is folly to believe
that a prominent sheik, imam, or businessman would want to speak
with a sergeant E-5. Indigenous populations understand our rank
structure and have definite ideas about who their social peers are.
Any potential source with truly significant influence will likely
want to be handled by someone who can provide incentives, both tangible
and intangible. To prevent information fratricide and to leverage
local leaders' spheres of influence, the maneuver commander should
be the one who manages all the key relationships in the battalion
AOR. This again reflects Galula's call for a "single direction."
Acknowledging that source operations require
specialized training, these missions should be managed by the battalion
S2 and executed by one of the battalion's intelligence officers
or by a THT under the S2's direct control. Such an arrangement would
also facilitate field interrogations and on-site document exploitation.
The interrogators would benefit from participating in the targeting
process from the onset. Understanding the battalion's reasons for
targeting a suspect and how the suspect fits into the S2's view
of the enemy situation would assist the interrogator in gleaning
In a HUMINT-rich environment, battalions need
an organic collection capability. Most information requirements
will never be satisfied by driving a tactical vehicle past a suspect's
house or by flying a UAV overhead. Such overt collection often warns
the target and may compromise a promising lead. Recent experience
in Iraq and Afghanistan bears out what Galula saw in previous COIN
campaigns. Everyone, not just the specialists, must participate
in HUMINT collection. Therefore, the bureaucracy surrounding intelligence
collection must be constructed with moderation and restraint.28
Our Army must plan for the COIN fight. Not
only are we currently engaged in such a battle on strategic terrain,
but our difficulties have surely not gone unnoticed by potential
adversaries. We must expect this kind of fight again.
We have argued that the combined arms maneuver
battalion should be the basic unit in COIN operations. Not only
do we believe in the battalion's inherent abilities to conduct tactical
full-spectrum operations, but we believe that other alternatives
are impractical or carry a significant downside. The creation of
pure nation-building, stability and reconstruction units, or system-administration
forces, would divert Department of Defense dollars to forces that
could not fight when (not if) we are again called on to engage in
mid- to high-intensity conflict. Beyond this inefficiency, it is
difficult to see these forces ever coming into existence. For all
the talk of joint interagency task forces, it would be a monumental
victory were we even able to embed representatives from the Departments
of State, Commerce, and Justice in each divisional headquarters.
Were we serious about truly implementing such interagency task forces
in 2015, we would have seen platoons of diplomatic, economic, and
legal trainees entering the system last year. We did not-and therefore
the Department of Defense must plan to have its personnel continue
to be the primary implementers of all aspects of reconstruction
for the foreseeable future.
This responsibility will require a quantum
shift in mindset for Army leaders. While Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster
may have overstated the problem in a recent critique of U.S. Phase
IV operations in Military Review, the problems regarding organizational
culture that he brings to light certainly ring true to these authors.29
The stateside and garrison Army, in particular, has been especially
reluctant to transform, because transformation implies that many
of the systems and modes of proceeding that the Army used to redefine
itself as it recovered from the "hollow Army" of the 1970s
may have outlived their usefulness. It will be difficult to abandon
mental models, systems, and institutions that have become central
to the Army's self-conception.
And in a final caveat, proposing the maneuver
battalion as the decisive headquarters is handicapped by a stubborn
fact. Due to the Army's generational cohort system, much of the
current senior leadership of these battalions-commanders, executive
officers, and operations officers-have never before served at the
tactical level in a counterinsurgency. It will require an exceptional
level of flexibility-and even humility-for these leaders to rely
on, and perhaps defer to, their more expert company-grade officers,
many of whom have had two or three tours in Southwest Asia. However,
if these leaders embrace Lieutenant General David Petraeus's key
observation that "a leader's most important task is to set
the right tone" and embrace the themes of COIN even if they
do not fully understand them, then their lower-level leaders can
drive the fight.30
These ifs notwithstanding, we maintain that
the battalion ought to be the primary unit in COIN. While we cannot
transform our hierarchical Army into a fully networked organization
overnight, powering down to the lowest practical level will enable
the most adaptive commanders to implement a Galula-like solution.
The war in Iraq may now have moved beyond this possible solution;
with the ceding of battlespace control to Iraqi Security Forces,
U.S. units will be required to take a subtler, more indirect approach.
But when we fight the next counterinsurgency-by engaging along all
lines of operations through a nationwide grid of locally embedded
maneuver battalions-we can bring American strengths into play against
the insurgents and demonstrate that we have learned and recovered
from our stumbling start in Iraq.
1. the current heavy combined
arms battalion includes two mechanized infantry companies, two armor
companies, a company of combat engineers, and a forward support
company. Depending on the tactical environment these forces trade
M2A3S (Bradley) and M1A2s (Abrams tank) for M1114s (up-armored HMMWVS).
Experience has shown that other types of battalions (engineer, artillery,
air defense artillery) can serve quite admirably in lieu of combat
arms battalions, and our use of "combined arms battalion"
should in no way be viewed as a slight to their performance. However,
terrain permitting, we believe that optimally this maneuver force
should be equipped with at least a company-size element of armored
vehicles, with the M2A3 Bradley being the currently optimal solution.
See also, Major (now lieutenant) General Peter W. Chiarelli, Major
Patrick R. Michaelis, and Major Geoffrey A. Norman, "Armor
in Urban Terrain: The Critical Enabler," Armor, March-April
2. For a discussion
of stability and reconstruction forces, see Transforming for Stabilization
and Reconstruction Operations, ed. Hans Binnendijk and Stuart Johnson
(Washington, DC: National Defense University, 2004). For a discussion
of "system administration" forces, see Thomas P.M. Barnett,
Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating (New York: G.P. Putnam's
Sons, 2005), especially xix.
3. See also LTG (then
MG) Peter Chiarelli and Major Patrick Michaelis, "Winning The
Peace: The Requirements For Full-Spectrum Operations," Military
Review (July-august 2005).
4. David Galula, Counterinsurgency
Warfare: Theory and Practice (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1964,
reprinted 2005), 101.
5. ibid., 101.
6. ibid., 95.
7. ibid., 93.
8. ibid., 87.
10. ibid., 32.
11. ibid., 110-111.
12. The authors were
members of 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry regiment, during its participation
in the Battle of Najaf Cemetery in August 2004 and the Second Battle
of Fallujah in November 2004.
13. See also Ralph
Peters, "A Grave New World," Armed Forces Journal (April
2005): 34. Peters touches upon several ideas also articulated here.
He argues for the importance of presence but also the need to reform
military intelligence to emphasize tactical human intelligence for
maneuver commanders. Peters also contends that money is a vital
component of non-kinetic combat power.
14. Galula, 111.
15. See also John
a. Nagl, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife (Chicago: University
of Chicago Press, 2002), 156-158.
16. See also Robert
M. Cassidy, "Back to the Street Without Joy: Counterinsurgency
Lessons From Vietnam And Other Small Wars," Parameters 34 (Summer
2004): 73-83. Cassidy points to the success of the Marine Corps'
Combined action Program and argues that this strategy led to greatly
improved tactical intelligence collection by greatly enhancing security
for the local population.
17. United Nations
Office of Project Services and International Labor Organization,
Economic Rights and Opportunities-Rehabilitation and Social Sustainability,
UNOPS/ilO, 19 October 2000, <http://www-ilo-mirror.cornell.edu/public/english/
18. the world Bank,
Middle east Department, report No. 27602, Interim Strategy Note
of the World Bank Group for Iraq, 14 January 2004, <http://siteresources.
19. Galula, 79.
20. ibid., 136.
21. ibid., 127-133.
Here Galula outlines the establishment of local political institutions
and their relationship to the counterinsurgent.
22. ibid., 133. Galula
contends that national parties can only emerge after they have been
vetted locally by the counterinsurgent.
operations, like commercial manufacturing, derive efficiencies from
their respective economies of scale and scope. In economic terms,
economies of scale refer to a firm's efficiencies associated with
increasing or decreasing the quantity of production, whereas economies
of scope are synergies associated with increasing or decreasing
the types of products produced. In counterinsurgent operations,
economies of scale apply to the echelon of command responsible for
controlling daily operations, while economies of scope refer to
efficiencies associated with increasing or decreasing the number
of lines of operations that unit executes.
24. Galula, 110-111.
25. See also Max Boot,
"The Struggle To Transform the Military," Foreign Affairs
(March-April 2005): 113. Boot speaks to the limitations of the Commander's
Emergency Response Program (CERP) used in Iraq and the need to reduce
the considerable bureaucracy associated with the use of money at
the tactical level.
26. Galula, 131.
27. See also Jeremiah
Pray, "Kinetic Targeting In Iraq At The Battalion Task Force
Level: From Target To Detainee," Infantry (July-august 2005):
28. Galula, 119-120.
29. Brigadier Nigel
Aylwin-Foster, "Changing the Army for Counterinsurgency Operations,"
Military Review (November-December 2005): 2-15.
30. Lieutenant General
David A. Petraeus, "Learning Counterinsurgency: Observations
From Soldiering in Iraq," Military Review (January-February
Also available online at: