Friday, March 19, 2010

Counter COIN

India's Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses features an interesting bit by Colonel Dixit - nom d' guerr'd Challenges of Asymmetrical Warfare:

"Future threats embrace the full spectrum of disproportionate intimidation with which the countries might be faced, from international civil disobedience to criminality and right up to low intensity conflicts."

"Such threats range from cyber warfare through terrorism or rogue state nuclear blackmail to even use of weapons of mass destruction as much as national destabilization arising from mass migration."

Ah yes, 4th and a half Generation Hybrid Warfare

"Tactical success in future wars depends on at least one of two assumptions. Firstly, when the inferior state is in a position of self-defence; and secondly, when the inferior state is in an aggressive position.

"In the former, under attack or occupation from a superior power, it may be possible to use unconventional tactics such as hit-and-run and selective battles as an effective means of harassment without violating the laws of war.

"This was for instance practiced in the Vietnam War and American Revolutionary War. In the latter case, the inferior power is in an aggressive position but turns to tactics prohibited by the laws of war, as was the case in Chechnya.

"The fundamentalist, the revolutionary, the terrorist and the rogue state all can advance their cause in the face of the apparently overwhelming odds of developed and developing countries who continue to deploy organised military forces in the mistaken belief that they are superior and will not be militarily challenged."

Oh Snap! 'fundamentalist ... terrorist" Imperial M'Hammedists, casting fearful, covetous eyes on a new, hot! Iraq have concieved new schiz to counter Great Satan's Surge.

And the Field Manual for Caliphating Iraq (and getting it to stick this time) is "A Strategic Plan to Improve the Political Position of the Islamic State of Iraq"


Short, but fun to read, Counter COIN (COCOIN?) Caliphating is a

"55 page document, published under a pseudonym, is a remarkably frank "lessons learned" analysis which does not shy away from identifying where the ISI's strategy went wrong. It's not an "official" document, whatever that means, but it's fascinating nonetheless and demonstrates some deep thinking about the fortunes of the Islamic State in Iraq.

"It explains its setbacks, which it argues came at the height of its power and influence, on what it calls two smart and effective U.S. moves in 2006-07: an effective U.S. media and psychological campaign, which convinced many that the "mujahideen" had committed atrocities against Iraqis and killed thousands of Muslims; and the Awakenings, achieved through its manipulation of the tribes and the "nationalist resistance."

"Building upon a lengthy post-mortem on the Awakenings and the media campaigns, the Strategic Plan sets out a detailed agenda for the coming years during and after the U.S. withdrawal. It calls the coming war "a political and media war to the first degree", with the winner "the side that best prepares for the period following the withdrawal."

"It recognizes that the Islamic State can not control all of Iraq through military force alone, and that only a wise political strategy can succeed:

"It then offers a detailed five point plan, including a process to unify the ranks of the jihad, in part by reaching out to the old nationalist resistance and convincing them to return to the fold; detailed military preparations, including recommendations to conserve men and resources until the right time; and an enhanced media operation designed to rebut the most damaging charges against the Islamic State and carefully tied to a coherent political strategy.

"Perhaps its most striking concept is a detailed plan for creating "Jihadist Awakenings", mimicking the U.S. engagement of the tribes to create broader popular support.

Pic "Military institutions and the manner in which they employ violence depended on the economic, social and political conditions of their respective states."