Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Challenge

[posted by Callimachus]

Bing West has been one of the American writers consistently on top of what is happening on the ground in Iraq -- largely because he's been there, and I don't mean the Green Zone. His latest round-up/update at Small Wars Journal deserves the overused "must read" tag. It's informed, and neither glamored by idealism nor beclouded by pessimism. He gives you straight dope.

And a few interesting paradigms. Like this one:

In essence, Iraq is now a police war. Yet our briefings, our metrics and our frame of reference – how we organize, analyze and solve problems – are military. Our basic tool to combat this insurgency and sectarian war is the patrol, too often mounted. In contrast, a police station – the equivalent of our Combat Outpost – is divided into patrolmen and detectives (of which we are woefully short because we have not thought in those terms.)

It would be interesting to invite a few senior cops from the States to visit, say, Ramadi and three districts in Baghdad. Then ask them to present how they would organize their daily brief – what metrics they would demand from their police subordinates and what conops they would put in place.

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