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Fort Leavenworth insurgency expert to join Petraeus in Iraq


Gen. David Petraeus is taking more than memories of Fort Leavenworth with him to Iraq. He's taking people.[The Washington Post reports:][1] Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new U.S. commander in Iraq, is assembling a small band of warrior-intellectuals -- including a quirky Australian anthropologist, a Princeton economist who is the son of a former U.S. attorney general and a military expert on the Vietnam War sharply critical of its top commanders -- in an eleventh-hour effort to reverse the downward trend in the Iraq war.Army officers tend to refer to the group as "Petraeus guys." They are smart colonels who have been noticed by Petraeus, and who make up one of the most selective clubs in the world: military officers with doctorates from top-flight universities and combat experience in Iraq. The two most influential members of the brain trust are likely to be Col. Peter R. Mansoor and Col. H.R. McMaster, whose influence already outstrips their rank. ... Mansoor, who commanded a brigade of the 1st Armored Division in Baghdad in 2003-04, received a PhD at Ohio State for a dissertation on how U.S. Army infantry divisions were developed during World War II. He will be Petraeus's executive officer in Baghdad, a key figure in implementing the general's decisions._Mansoor most recently served [as the director of the Army-Marine Counterinsurgency Center at Fort Leavenworth][2]. In October, he gave an interview to the Journal-World outlining some concepts of how to fight an insurgency like the one raging in Iraq.[Some excerpts:][2]ON THE NEW SKILLS SOLDIERS NEED TO FIGHT INSURGENCIES: _We used to say that if you could fight a big war, you could ramp down and fight a small war. And what we're finding out is that that's not necessarily the case.The skills that are required to fight a big war in some cases translate to a smaller conflict. In some cases you need a whole new, different set of skills. Counterinsurgencies require civil military operations, information operations, public affairs, different types of intelligence -focusing on human intelligence, and the ability to work with interagency partners. It really is a skill set that has to be trained and educated in its own right, not just as a subset of high-end combat._ON THE NEED FOR TOOLS BESIDES BULLETS: _One of the great shortfalls we're addressing is the need for more cultural awareness, language capability, not just in the special forces, but in conventional, regular forces as well.The scale of the effort in Iraq is so immense that you can't rely just on special operating forces to carry the burden. ... Being more culturally aware, the ability to speak the language, are two facets that are just extremely important. Which is why we're taking that on in Training and Doctrine Command, implementing a lot of initiatives to improve cultural awareness and language capabilities in the force.But there's a lot more weapons in counterinsurgency than bullets, and some of the best weapons don't shoot. Money is an extremely important weapon. Jobs, which usually goes hand-in-hand with money. Different pieces of expertise like medical and dental care. The ability to reform a judicial system. All of these things are really, really important. The ability to interact with the media and get your message out, in terms of information operations. The ability to counteract the enemy's message. These are all things that are more important than bullets._ON HOW TO TELL IF YOU'RE WINNING OR LOSING: _The center of gravity in a counterinsurgency is the population.Back in 2003, when we first went into Iraq, there was a common sense that the people were a condition of the battlefield. But in fact, they're the prize. They're not an obstacle between you and the enemy. If you secure the population, you're going to be able to eventually target the enemy, or he's going to fade away, or he's going to quit. Because he lives among the people.So if the population is secure, you're going to know by the amount of intel that they're going to give you; by the degree of satisfaction, which you can determine through polling; by the number of people that work, that are willing to go out and walk the streets. There's a palpable sense that things are going your way.I've seen it, I've seen it in the differences between different areas of Baghdad; I've seen it in Karballa, before and after we destroyed the Mahdi army there. You know when you're winning. But it's not you that can determine that, based on any kind of body counts or determination of what stage the enemy's in.ON HOW LONG IT TAKES TO FIGHT: _If you've looked at the history of insurgencies, counterinsurgencies, they tend to take a long time. Decade is about average. It could take much less, it could take much more._Other headlines today:Fort Riley[(emilitary.org) Army Picks Top Environmental Programs:][3] Six installations, one team and one individual have been declared winners in the fiscal 2006 Secretary of the Army Environmental Awards. The awards honor the Army's top programs in endangered species protection, historic preservation, waste reduction, environmental cleanup and pollution prevention. Installation winners are Fort Lewis, Wash., Fort Drum, N.Y., Fort Riley, Kan., Letterkenny Army Depot, Pa., Camp Edwards Training Site, Mass., and U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwoehr, Germany. The team award went to Radford Army Ammunition Plant, Va., and Karstin Carmany-George of the Indiana National Guard took the individual award. ... The Fort Riley environmental staff helped make land available for a Tactical Unmanned Aerial System operational area, earning the Environmental Restoration, Installation award.[(KCCI News) Soldiers Prep To Train Afghan Army:][4] Fifty soldiers from all over central and northern Iowa will soon be leaving Iowa on a mission to train the Afghan National Army. ...Once the soldiers leave Camp Dodge, they won't go directly to Afghanistan. Instead, they will spend a couple months in Fort Riley, Kan. One of the things they'll learn to do is speak Arabic. "They've got an Army that's about four years old approximately. Our army's probably going on 400. I think when I look at it in that context it's a huge, monumental task, but it's also one that will be remembered for years to come," Demory said. [1]: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/04/AR2007020401196.html [2]: http://www2.ljworld.com/search/?sortby=date&q=peter+mansoor&go.x=0&go.y=0&go=Search [3]: http://www.emilitary.org/article.php?aid=9748 [4]: http://www.kcci.com/news/10946708/detail.html


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