Well, we need to be doing something new, and this strategy seems less “shock and awe” and more “hearts and minds.”

From the NY Times:

The doctrine warns against some of the practices used early in the war, when the military operated without an effective counterinsurgency playbook. It cautions against overly aggressive raids and mistreatment of detainees. Instead it emphasizes the importance of safeguarding civilians and restoring essential services, and the rapid development of local security forces.

However, the success of these ideas seems to go back to what I’ve been saying time and time again: more troops.

The current military leadership in Iraq has already embraced many of the ideas in the doctrine. But some military experts question whether the Army and the Marines have sufficient troops to carry out the 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,� said Jack Keane, a retired four-star general who served in 2003 as the acting chief of staff of the Army. “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 warfare.�

Still, just hearing that this could be implemented is encouraging. This is a war of ideas and the only way we’re going to win it is by convincing people that we’re better than them.

Key quote:

“The more force used, the less effective it is,�

We can no longer do “boot on neck” democracy. A different reality is upon us and being quick to respond is essential.

Let’s hope we have the time, patience and resources to get it done.

Politics A New Doctrine To Handle Iraqi Insurgency?