Hearts and Minds? Naaah! - Page 2




 
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March 19th, 2008  
A Can of Man
 
 
Maytime, being too hard on the locals isn't just an issue with the press. You actually create more real enemies and the enemies use it to gather support.
March 20th, 2008  
Del Boy
 
Red neck -nice one, but I think Maytime was looking for a little more than that.

And he sure wasn't asking for even more political hoo-hah, he wanted to know what he should do, in practical terms. He don't want to know where to put his vote? We can skip more of the same old, same old. We know it off pat, everybody knows it, even if they don't swallow it whole.

He surely has come to right place for his question. Soldiers and vets - can you help?


Geo W. said yesterday that the Iraqis respect the stronger horse, and that Al Quaeda is now the weaker horse, through American efforts and Iraqui intervention. He claims that Al Quaeda have been ousted and to a great degree have lost Iraq.

Could it be time for a little pride here. The morale of Brit troops in Helmand province seems high, militarily.
March 21st, 2008  
A Can of Man
 
 
You win over hearts and minds by giving them results
1) Give them stability and make sure they know the government IS in control.
2) Give them jobs. An economy worth half a damn. Only possible when there's stability
3) Then give them the opportunity to vote and the interim government can make way for the voted ones.
THIS is how you win hearts and minds. You don't win it by dicking around with candy and jugs of water.
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March 21st, 2008  
Del Boy
 
Right Redneck. Watched an interesting news report last night, with John Simpson in the dread city of Fallujah, where now the folk have come to terms with the Americans, who can patrol the streets in fairly relaxed fashion, even in crowded market areas, talking to kids etc. They then got an iraqi cameraman to ask Iraqis what they thought of things (without soldiers etc. nearby) and all the responses were favourable. They liked having the soldiers now settled inside the city centre because they had stability and protection. Which was what the extra troops were sent to do in the surge - protect the Iraqi civilians. In that city the message has come home - maybe on both sides. John Simpson strolled the streets also.
March 21st, 2008  
senojekips
 
 
It pretty much comes down to this. "If we haven't won their hearts and minds we are going to be fighting the insurgency until we kill damn near every person in Iraq. Those that are left will hate us just as much, but be too cunning to say anything until after we've gone.
March 21st, 2008  
Del Boy
 
The problem actually is to prevent them from killing each other, which is precisely why the troops should not be withdrawn too soon. If Obama or Hilary did that as promised, disaster would follow.
March 21st, 2008  
A Can of Man
 
 
To say that retreat is even on the table gives the enemy hope and people over there that depend on our guys a sense of hopelessness.
March 21st, 2008  
Maytime
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Del Boy
Red neck -nice one, but I think Maytime was looking for a little more than that.
Well, I meant it as more of a rhetorical question, since I already knew the answer and was trying to convey the confusing nature of dealing with civilians on the battlefield. I believe the surge strategy worked better than expected, since it got more of us living side by side with the people, instead of sitting in one great big FOB only to come out when there was a mission. The flow of intel skyrocketed once the civilians and local cops had a chance to get to know the servicemen and women on the ground.

Before, when units were conglomerated in a large-scale base (battalion level and higher), the only side of the soldier the locals saw was his or her game face. Our game face is different than how we are when not on a mission. It is aggressive, alert, and cautious. When they started to live with the indigenous personnel, buying their food, goods, and services, you have a population much more willing to cooperate with the hand that feeds them.

Redneck had a good point with the jobs and the voting, and especially the candy analogy. Even though random acts of kindness like giving a child candy is all good, it won't restore the infrastructure (roads, power, water, etc) that we take for granted every day.
March 21st, 2008  
Del Boy
 
Maytime - your report on the effects of the surge tally with the reports i have heard, even from Iraqis. I believe that is progress, and US military should be given a sound pat on the back.
March 22nd, 2008  
03USMC
 
 
The USASF guys are good at the winning the hearts and minds. Send in an ODA and a Civil Affairs attachment. Set up the areas infrastructure provide med and food and protection until the locals can take over.Then stay on and advise.

Thing is that they mainly work in the areas outside the major population centers and live in the communities. They become trusted by the populace.

It's harder in an urban enviroment. The larger the population the easier it is for the bad guys to blend in. The easier it is for them to put the general population at risk when they decide to go hot. And when there's causlities it don't matter who started the fire fight the occupiers are always gonna get the blame.
 


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