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Another COIN Myth Exposed - Protecting the Population

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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:28 PM
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Another COIN Myth Exposed - Protecting the Population
August 11, 2010

One of the more pernicious myths of the modern COIN fad is the focus on protecting civilians as an end goal in itself for COIN operations. As the argument goes, by protecting civilians counter-insurgents are able to shift the balance of popular support toward the government and away from the insurgent forces. The more people feel protected, the better chance they will reject the insurgent force and ally themselves with the government. The population is the center of gravity we are told.

For example, last spring here is how General McChrystal defined the fight in Afghanistan: ( )

Central to counterinsurgency is protecting the people, he said. . . Effectiveness is measured in the number of Afghans shielded from violence.

The New York Times endorsed this view, making the argument: ( )

Protecting Afghan civilians, and expanding the secure space in which they can safely go about their lives and livelihoods must now become the central purpose of American military operations in Afghanistan.

According to a new UN report, more than a year later, things are not working out too well: ( )

In its midyear report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said the number of civilians wounded and killed had increased by nearly a third in the first six months of the year, as coalition forces raised the level of military action against insurgents. In that period, 1,271 civilians were killed and 1,997 wounded, the report said, with more than three-quarters attributable to what it called antigovernment elements.

So what we have here is compelling evidence that our COIN strategy has been an dramatic failure; the US has largely been unable to protect Afghan civilians. In fact, their lives are now at greater risk than before we began to carry out a policy specifically geared toward protecting them . . .

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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 02:50 PM
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1. Well sad to say, but you win a war by losing soldiers.
That galvanises sympathy from status quo stuff, and people around those situations. The only other way is to push the norm and change it. And it seems what they think of as winning in Afganistan is changing the country.

So when casualties happen, the side that loses a person gains new recruits from that hurt. That does not mean you let people die, but when people are dying people around them want to help them. That is why there are so many false flag attacks in history.

Bullets really don't work.

And the US going into Afganistan almost has to be a goal of changing it and that has to be a 'world group goal' It is not about America or terrorism, but about bringing into the 'system' the countries not in what they think of as the system.

No way anyone in America cooked up the idea of that war without doing it for interest of multinationals. I would say it is a Saudi/Euro/Isreal/US and multinationals that like the idea. Who knows, probably other groups in on it to. Or maybe the idea is just to have war, hence why Pakistan was reported involved in the way it was. There are some that think there is a static level of violence in the world, and if it can be put in one place then it wont be elsewhere, they think that making enclaves of bad stuff keeps other people safe.

And if it is true that civilians are dying more, that does not mean he did not have the right idea, only that it was not effective.
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