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Thread: Sir Carl Quote of the Week

  1. #46
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Instead of trying to ferret Al Queda out, work with the Pashtuns to achieve a peace between the US and Al Queda pledged on the Pashtun honor. If Al Queda attacks us, the Pashtuns who have been dishonored turn them out. If they do not attack us, we leave them alone. I know this will eat at people, we want Bin Laden's head on a platter. But we don't have him and victory is not Bin laden but securing the US.
    That would be a little like Israel making peace with Hamas while the latter still officially calls for the destruction of Israel. AQ would have to completely revamp its principles and objectives for us to even consider a peace with them, in which case AQ would in effect cease to exist. What would CVC have said to that?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    That would be a little like Israel making peace with Hamas while the latter still officially calls for the destruction of Israel. AQ would have to completely revamp its principles and objectives for us to even consider a peace with them, in which case AQ would in effect cease to exist. What would CVC have said to that?
    AQ does not have to do anything. We make peace with the pashtuns, apolgize for the blood we spilled pay the bood price and walk away. However in doing so, we make it clear that any future AQ attacks on us from A-stan will beconsidered a dishonorable betrayal of us, the pashtun code and God by the Pashtuns.

    AQ would be free to ignore the Pashtun/US peace- but they would do it at their peril. The Pashtuns know where they are. I think CVC would have understood it as the indirect approach aimed at the real center of mass. AQ survives on the hospitality of the Pashtuns. If they act to remove that hospitality they get flushed out and we nail them. If they don't, we don't get attacked- home land secure= victory.

  3. #48
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Z:

    I took you to mean a peace with AQ as well.

    Instead of trying to ferret Al Queda out, work with the Pashtuns to achieve a peace between the US and Al Queda
    I wonder how JCOS would advise the civilian leadership if this became a serious proposal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    Z:

    I took you to mean a peace with AQ as well.



    I wonder how JCOS would advise the civilian leadership if this became a serious proposal.
    Bad phrasing on my part, but a serious peace between the US and the Pashtun tribes based on the Pashtun code might well render A-stan and Pakistan the least hospitable places on earth for AQ. They would be free, but yet in a gilded cage.

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    Administrator Tarek Morgen's Avatar
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    Uh I am assuming this one was locked by accident and am reopening it.

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    Thanks! Just us mods and such rootin' about...
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    S-2, the Pastun culture is much more your area than mine. What do you think of using our enemies culture as a tool to secure the region?

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    Z,

    Your thoughts are intriguing but to be effective you'd need a trans-pashtun tribal accord that spans both borders. There are a lot of competing pashtun interests at play.

    Then there are social elements that are non-pashtun within the area-Nuristanis and Chitralis, as example. Most Chitralis, I believe, are Dardic aryans and speak a variety of non-pashtu dialects centered on a language known as Shina. It's interesting that speculation has centered on OBL being in the Chitral region. It's remoteness and inaccessibility would certainly be attractive. I don't know if the cultural composition would be an attractive factor (or not) with his possible relocation there.

    Finally, there's the question of A.Q.s value within pan-Islamic militancy. Is it a doctrinal core? Is it a technical repository? Both? Neither? To what extent has it gone viral where containment of OBL doesn't connote containment of the ideals?

    "S-2, the Pastun culture is much more your area than mine."

    Then we've the blind leading the blind. I fear there are nuances to pashtunwali little understood by westerners acquainted with the term.
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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Thinking back to Bush's elaborate efforts to build a public consensus for invading Iraq, I was wondering if anything comparable was undertaken by leaders in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. And what, if any, stress does Sir Carl put on consensus building as a necessary prelude to war?
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    Administrator Tarek Morgen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    Thinking back to Bush's elaborate efforts to build a public consensus for invading Iraq, I was wondering if anything comparable was undertaken by leaders in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. And what, if any, stress does Sir Carl put on consensus building as a necessary prelude to war?
    Would not the Ems Dispatch be a prime example for creating a census (and getting the enemy to declare the war for you)? Then again, that was hardly early 19th century.

    Does the build up to American revolution count?

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarek Morgen View Post
    Would not the Ems Dispatch be a prime example for creating a census (and getting the enemy to declare the war for you)? Then again, that was hardly early 19th century.
    I plead ignorance.

    Does the build up to American revolution count?
    I don't think so. The run-up to the revolution was long and full of pent-up frustrations over the mother county's offhanded treatment and disregard of the colonies. The Declaration of Independence did not come easy. It was preceded by many efforts on the part of colonial representatives to head off a revolution. The abuses of the Crown, real and perceived, and the colonies efforts to end them were well known by the citizens of all the colonies. In short, a majority of the people, were more than ready for revolution when the Declaration of Indendence was finally ratified by all 13 colonies.
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    In 1868 the Spanish Throne was vacant after the Spanish revolution. This Throne was offered to Leopold zu Hohenzollern, a German noble. After he refused the Spanish Government requested the Prussia to try to pressure him into it. France was worried about a Hohenzollen on the Spanish throne (due being encircled) and demanded the offer to be refused. While their protest was iniatily succesful, they then demanded that no Hohenzoller would ever ascend to the Spanish Throne, which was send to Berlin via Telegram. This Telegram (now known as Ems Depeche) was released by Bismark in an edited form to the Press, where it caused public outrage. This edited version was than again republished in a further edited translation in the French press, causing even more outrage on their side (with each side feeling insulted). For France this was enough to delcare war on Prussia and to start the war of 1870. On the German side Prussia had already ensured the support of the nothern German states due the creation of the Northern German Conferderancy, but had also secret defense treaties with the southern German states which required them to come to Prussias aid should France declare war (but not of Prussia delcared it), while France believed that the southern German states would intervene on their side and use the chance to attack Prussia.

    Due the release of the edited Depeche Bismark united the then still fractioned German people and states, and (due the declaration of war) made the French look like the aggressors to the German public. The result was not just a united German front and a succesful war, but the foundation of a German national state under Prussia's and Bismarks leadership.

    Of course all this is very simplified, but a good explanation would hijack this thread way too much.

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

    Regarding the American Revolution: I was under the impression that there was quite some trouble to convince all the colonies to take up arms, but you surely know more about this piece of history than I do.

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    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tarek. So that is the Ems Dispatch. I knew only of the war not of the tampering. Yes, that would qualify as building a consensus for war, although I seem to recall that uniting the German was his motive. I wonder if Bismark could have gotten away with it today. We'll leave that for another thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    I'd caution against weighing President Obama's words from the West Point speech too heavily - the indirect approach to Pakistani stability through stability in Afghanistan is tough enough for folks versed in strategy analysis to weigh, much less expecting that the average citizen to be able analyze it from a 2 minute news clip, provided that they even understand the indirect approach. What would be interesting would be to see how the NSC team analyzed this as a reason - I haven't read Obama's Wars yet and so I don't know if this tougher analytical question was a point of discussion or not.
    This counter-intuitive approach is indeed confusing to an average person like myself.

    Can you provide your thoughts on the "indirect approach" vs CvC's dictum of "economy of forces"?

    It seems to me that the "indirect approach" almost always ends up tallying a bigger bill in the long run (hence uneconomical). The "indirect approach" must be resorted to only when there are absolutely no resources in the immediate present to do a "direct approach", and one is resigned to footing the bigger bill as and when additional resources are generated/freed-up in the longer run.

    Why/How is this reasoning unapplicable with regards to Pakistan and the threat it poses/may-pose to US interests?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cactus View Post
    This counter-intuitive approach is indeed confusing to an average person like myself.

    Can you provide your thoughts on the "indirect approach" vs CvC's dictum of "economy of forces"?
    How do you mass against an insurgency? Since the insurgents almost always retain the ability to refuse battle by hiding weapons and simply living normal lives until the danger has passed. To really get at insurgents requires either a massivie force able to physically isolate them from the population and means of support, or an indirect approach aimed at denying them the means of victory through other efforts.

    It seems to me that the "indirect approach" almost always ends up tallying a bigger bill in the long run (hence uneconomical). The "indirect approach" must be resorted to only when there are absolutely no resources in the immediate present to do a "direct approach", and one is resigned to footing the bigger bill as and when additional resources are generated/freed-up in the longer run.
    I think your refrencing escalation not the indirect approach. The slow escalation of force such as in Vietnam failed becuase it was slow. The enemy was given time to adapt physically and mentally to the war and as such it dragged on. An indirect approach is simply the use of assets in an unconventional way preferrably against un or under protected centers of gravity. While it was originally a purely tactical/operational idea it has expanded to include all forms of warfare.

    For example, in WWII the liberation of Europe required the destruction of the German Army. The direct approach- force on force such as the Soviets used would have required a much larger US Army using much better protected tanks. Instead the US invested in the air. While the heavy bombers had minimal industrial impact due to a poor understanding of German economic centers of gravity, they did force the Luftwaffe to fight and die over the Reich. This left the German forces in France uncovered. When the invasion came even greats like Whittman who could decimate whole regiments could not strike back against the massive number of jabos thrown at them.

    Today the use of air power is no longer indirect- its become part and parcel of moder war. But the concepts are the same even in the war on terror. Killing masses of taliban fighters has had little effect, so we have started going after Taliban leadership with Drones. This in an attack on a center of gravity the enemy did not expect. On the flip side, IED's are an indirect approach as well. I feel both will continue to decrease in effectiveness as each side adapts.

    Why/How is this reasoning unapplicable with regards to Pakistan and the threat it poses/may-pose to US interests?
    Like I said I think you approached it from the wrong angle. The average person equates victory with the enemies battlefeild defeat. This can be, but it is not always the case. The indirect approach needs a clear objective to be effective. Simple body counts don't work. For example, the Taliban relies on the drug trade and Gulf donations to fund its operations since it relies on rent-a-bombers from local warlords. These sources of financing are protected by weak Arab governments that allow the donations as a presure relief valve and Afghan farmers who need to plant. If we pressure either one, we work against our own interests.

    However, what if we paid more for wheat from the farmers than the Taliban would pay for poppy? And instead of cash paid in kind- tractors, trucks, generators, schools, clinics, wells, satelite dishes and TV's. Less cash for the Taliban means less fighters, less fighters means more military defeats, more defeats dries up donations which means less fighters....

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