I lifted the following from the comment section of Big Lizards . Tomy posts directly from the document:
The recently released military doctrinal manual on counter- insurgency operations declares, “The cornerstone of any [counterinsurgency] effort is establishing security for the civilian populace. Without a secure environment, no permanent reforms can be implemented and disorder spreads.” This statement encapsulates the wisdom of generations of counterinsurgent theorists and practitioners. The importance of establishing security is manifold.
First, people who are constantly in fear for their lives and for their loved ones do not participate in political, economic, or social processes in a normal way. The fear of violence and death distorts everything they do, think, and feel, and it often changes how they interact even with neighbors and friends. When violence reaches a level at which most people feel themselves to be in danger, as it has in many areas of Baghdad and Anbar, then political processes largely cease to function.
It is not usually possible to use those collapsing processes to redress or control the violence, moreover. In Iraq, as in many other insurgencies, rebel groups take up arms in part to gain leverage that the political process would not otherwise give them. The Sunni Arab rejectionists in Iraq have preferred violence to democracy from the outset because they know that they will not control a truly democratic Iraq. They have therefore hoped to use violence and its threat to force the Shiite majority to give them a much greater say in governing Iraq than their proportion in the population would attain. As long as they believe that violence is providing them with political leverage, they will continue to prefer violence to dialogue. Encouraging the Shiite government to negotiate with them without first containing the violence only reinforces the Sunni Arab rejectionists’ belief in the efficacy of violence to advance their cause.
Ongoing violence within a state, finally, saps the legitimacy of that state’s government in the eyes of its citizens. As the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency manual explains, the first indicator of a government’s legitimacy is “the ability to provide security for the population (including protection from internal and external threats).” Providing security for its people is the core mission of any state. Continual violence and death eliminate the people’s support for the government, leading to an increase in violence as individuals and groups undertake to protect and avenge themselves independently of state structures, legal institutions, or government sanction. Allowing disorder to persist over the long term is extremely hazardous to the health of any government. And America’s objective in Iraq is creating a secure and sovereign national government elected by the Iraqi people. The U.S. government has not given priority to providing security to the Iraqi population from the outset of the war, however. The inadequacy of coalition forces at the end of major combat operations to maintain order is well-known and well-documented now. It is less well-known that American forces continued to under-emphasize the importance of establishing and maintaining security even after the military command and the administration recognized that insurgency and low-grade civil war were erupting in Iraq. America’s commanders in Iraq, notably Generals John Abizaid, commander of U.S. Central Command since mid-2003, and George Casey, commander of Multi-National Forces-Iraq (MNF-I) since mid-2004, have instead emphasized the need for Iraqis to solve their own security problems. The leading U.S. commanders have, therefore, prioritized using U.S. troops to establish and train Iraqi Security Forces. Indeed, American military commanders have never pursued the defeat of the enemy even after it became obvious that Iraqi forces lacked the ability to do so. As a result, the United States has ceded the initiative to the enemies of the United States and the Iraqi government and permitted the steady deterioration of the security situation.
This was in response to Dafydd's post on the flip and flop of the Democrats when it comes to increased troops strength. Needless to say they were for it before they were against it. If these people were regular human beings instead of politicians this latest reversal would be seen as a sign of a serious mental health problem. Multiple personality maybe?
Friday morning links
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