Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Recruitment Pipeline

  1. #1
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Van down by the river
    Posts
    23,165

    Recruitment Pipeline

    The Recruitment Pipeline

    If insurgents win by not losing, then the question <is>: How do they lose?

    They lose by wasting away. Their numbers diminish by death, captivity, or discouragement and they are unable to replenish themselves with new recruits. Recruiting is an essential part of any insurgency, because the occupiers will always appear to be winning the battle of attrition. Occupying soldiers are trying to kill insurgents while insurgents are trying to avoid occupiers, so any body count will favor the occupiers - right up to the day they admit defeat and pull out.

    In a successful insurgency, warriors are only the tip of a large iceberg. Even though the number of active warriors may be small, a much larger segment of the population is at some earlier stage of recruitment. Some sympathize with the insurgents silently; they know who the warriors are, but chose not to tell the occupiers. Some help in small ways, by delivering messages, holding money, or even hiding weapons. Some harbor warriors and help them hide from the occupiers. Some will not fight, but will act as look-outs and report the movements of occupying troops. A successful insurgency is always losing warriors (sometimes by intentional suicide attacks), but the pipeline of recruitment is full of people moving to ever greater levels of commitment.

    Occupiers who continue to think in a symmetric, conventional-war mindset (with its sharp distinctions between soldiers and civilians) do not see these flows of sympathy and commitment. If the insurgency has, say, ten thousand warriors, then these occupiers believe they win by removing ten thousand insurgent pieces from the board.

    But they don't win, because in the course of removing those ten thousand pieces the occupiers push some number of sympathizers further down the path of commitment to the insurgency. Ten, twenty, thirty thousand insurgents may die or be captured, and still the war goes on. A man who stays out of the war for fear of losing his house will join it when his house becomes "collateral damage." Each family that loses a member in an occupier attack - especially an innocent member like a child - will move further down the path of recruitment.

    In the beginning, an insurgency is a small group of warriors moving in a large sea of people who are waiting to see what happens next. Maybe the occupier will be gentle. Maybe life will go on in some acceptable way. The insurgent's first goal is to goad the occupier into using its overwhelming force so that life cannot go on in an acceptable way. A foolish occupier swats flies with hammers, creating disproportionate damage and forcing the previously ambivalent population to choose sides.

    Once the insurgency's pipeline of recruitment is well established, the only exclusively military solution available to the occupier is genocide, or some form of ethnic cleansing that will move the insurgent-sympathizing population somewhere else. An occupier who is unwilling to go that far must accept the fact that overwhelming force alone is not enough. Military force must continue to play a role, but only in support of a political solution that gives the asymmetric warriors a reason to lay down their arms.

    Occupier Strategy

    If a direct kill-the-insurgents strategy is doomed to failure, what can the occupier do?

    The Vietnam-era notion of "winning hearts and minds" is not just a way for guilt-ridden liberals to feel better about themselves. It deals with the real problem: the whole pipeline of sympathy and recruitment, not just the comparatively small number of active insurgent warriors. Every policy of the occupier - and especially any use of force - must be examined in light of its effect on insurgent recruitment. A search-and-destroy operation may kill dozens of insurgents with only minor occupier casualties, and still be a net loss if it pushes the general population further down the recruitment pipeline. A lawnmower may cut down dozens of dandelions, but if it scatters their seeds hundreds more will pop up.

    All effective anti-insurgent strategies involve drying up the supply of recruits by isolating the insurgents from the larger population. In the so-called "ink spot" strategies the isolation is geographic: a small area is pacified and reconstructed to the point that it becomes governable. The population, seeing the benefits of peaceful governance, resists insurgent efforts to infiltrate. The surrounding areas come to envy the pacified area, and the governable "ink spot" spreads. Other kinds of isolation can also work, as long as the population comes to see a clear separation between itself and the insurgents rather than a slippery slope.

    Insurgency by its nature is a low-lifespan occupation. Lenin's line about revolutionaries - that they are dead men on furlough - applies even moreso to insurgents. They must take action to stay relevant, and any action they take carries great risk. Without a constant resupply of recruits ready to die, an insurgency withers.

    In order to disrupt that supply, the occupier need not be loved. It need only convince the population that ending the occupation is not worth dying for.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    More about symmetrical vs. asymmetrical warfare... http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/7/31/172013/456

  2. #2
    flushingjet
    Guest
    Oh great...

    another kos kiddie

    tell me all about a world without israel

    zzzzzzzzzz

  3. #3
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    14,534
    happens to be an absolutely brilliant piece, although I think the conclusions he goes on to are wrong.

  4. #4
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Van down by the river
    Posts
    23,165
    Quote Originally Posted by doggin94it
    happens to be an absolutely brilliant piece, although I think the conclusions he goes on to are wrong.
    It IS from an uber-liberal site...so take a grain of salt too I just thought the take on the recruitment of insurgents was an interesting perspective. There was actually a link to this from one of those Soldiers Blog/Diaries...

  5. #5
    flushingjet
    Guest
    while it makes some good points this piece ultimately rings holllow because it does not completely characterize the "insurgencies" of the ME.

    Unlike some cases in the past-and even many of those
    are questionable-
    Iraq and Afghanistan are flooded with $ and "insurgents"
    not wholly insourced but from external sources
    like Iran Syria Pakistan and most/all other countries of the ummah.

    Without that foreign sh*tstirring these "insurgencies" wouldve
    been over months ago-theyre winding down now anyway except in the
    minds of the MSM and the kos kiddies

    For those who think every/any US soldiers death is a reason to pull out ,
    (even though 20%+ are from non combat related causes just like back home)
    just think of how many bad guys we've nailed - estimated at 60,000+ minimum!
    thats a lot of bad guys for such a peaceable society

    The US has long had enough casus belli to extend the ME wars to
    its neighbors, particularly Iran - we've taken a very cautious, steady route
    Last edited by flushingjet; 08-21-2006 at 01:26 PM.

  6. #6
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    14,534
    I think the real key is the Ink-spot approach that it talks about, which points to what the US should be doing. Instead of attempting to defend the entire countryside from insurgent attacks, or to root them out of places like Fallujah, we should be concentrating our forces in a few cities: Mosul, Kirkuk, Baghdad and Basra, and focusing on totally clearing those cities of illegal weapons and ensuring that no other weapons are brought into the city by any route. Make those four cities work, stop the sectarian violence in those four cities, and protect and train up enough Iraqi forces (police, army) in those cities to do the job.

    That would accomplish two things - first, it would make US troops safer (if you try to defend everything, you end up defending nothing). Second, and more importantly, it provide that all too necessary ink spot. And, as Iraqi forces are trained to do so, they could slowly replace the US troops who could then move on to create another ink spot in another city. Slow and steady is the only way to win.

  7. #7
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    LI
    Posts
    20,857
    There are a finite number of morons in the world; we just haven't reached it yet.

  8. #8
    Hall Of Fame
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    14,534
    Quote Originally Posted by quantum
    There are a finite number of morons in the world; we just haven't reached it yet.
    unfortunately, they breed

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Follow Us