About Army, Marines write new strategy for dealing with world's insurgencies
|October 5th, 2006||#1|
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Army, Marines write new strategy for dealing with world's insurgencies info
Byline: By PAULINE JELINEK
Date: 05 October 2006
WASHINGTON_Drawing on its successes and failures in Iraq, the U.S. military
is completing a new counterinsurgency strategy that emphasizes working with
and protecting civilians, defense officials said Thursday.
The Army and Marines have jointly written a new field manual that is to
provide commanders with a framework for thinking about counterinsurgency
missions _ explaining what they are, what to expect and how to operate in
The new doctrine is scheduled to be completed this month and released next
month, senior defense officials said Thursday.
A draft of the manual stresses the importance of work that troops are
already trying to do, with mixed success, in Iraq. It emphasizes the
importance of nonmilitary solutions, such as promoting economic development
and making sure basic services are restored, as a way to deprive insurgents
of support. It also urges interaction with the population and standing up
local security forces as quickly as possible.
"What we are learning is that counterinsurgency requires a comprehensive
approach," said Lt. Col. Lance McDaniel, the main Marine Corps writer of the
manual. "Protecting the people may be the ultimate priority, but you have to
do other things, too."
Criticism of the Iraq campaign has included that it has cost thousands of
civilians their lives and alienated many Iraqis by using heavy-handed
tactics against the population, as well as failing to sufficiently get
water, electricity and other basic services back in order.
"We want our soldiers and Marines to be savvy in going into these
complicated environments ... see what the problem is first ... recognize
that it might not always be a kinetic (combat) approach that's most
valuable," McDaniel said, adding that many of the ideas in the manual have
come from troops coming out of Iraq.
The New York Times, which first reported in Thursday editions that the
manual is near completion, quoted experts who question whether the Army and
Marines have enough troops to carry out the new doctrine effectively while
also preparing for other threats.
"The Army will use this manual to change its entire culture as it
transitions to irregular warfare," retired Gen. Jack Keane, a former acting
Army chief staff, told the Times. "But the Army does not have nearly enough
resources, particularly in terms of people, to meet its global
responsibilities while making such a significant commitment to irregular