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Small Wars and Big Armies, Richard J. Campbell

Small Wars and Big Armies, Richard J. Campbell

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Last year the Combined Arms Center (CAC) at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas announced therevision of FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency (COIN). When it was announced, I asked myself twoquestions: Is a revision needed and how should be organized? That was in November, 2011.Since then I have kept up with the progress of the revision and I’m concerned because it is apparent to me that the revision is having problems. I say this because of the products that have been produced related to the revision and because of the products that haven’t been produced. Whether or not a revision is needed, what is the process, and my concerns about therevision will be addressed one at a time.
Last year the Combined Arms Center (CAC) at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas announced therevision of FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency (COIN). When it was announced, I asked myself twoquestions: Is a revision needed and how should be organized? That was in November, 2011.Since then I have kept up with the progress of the revision and I’m concerned because it is apparent to me that the revision is having problems. I say this because of the products that have been produced related to the revision and because of the products that haven’t been produced. Whether or not a revision is needed, what is the process, and my concerns about therevision will be addressed one at a time.

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Published by: Richard J. Campbell (80K views in 460-days) on Mar 19, 2013
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SMALL WARS and BIG ARMIES Richard J. Campbell 29 Feb. 2012
“In no class of warfare is a well organized and well served intelligence
 Department
more essential than in against guerrillas”
 COL C. E. Callwell, Small Wars, 1896 Last year the Combined Arms Center (CAC) at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas announced the revision of FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency (COIN). When it was announced, I asked myself two questions: Is a revision needed and how should be organized? That was in November, 2011. Since then I have kept up with the progress of the revision and
I’m concerned because it
 is apparent to me that the revision is having problems. I say this because of the products that have been produced related to the revision and because of the products that
haven’t
been produced. Whether or not a revision is needed, what is the process, and my concerns about the revision will be addressed one at a time. However, before I begin please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Richard J. Campbell and I am the Training Developer at the Counterinsurgency Training Center-Afghanistan (CTC-A). I was offered this position after I wrote a book about training for irregular warfare. CTC-A is a part of the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM- A) and is located next to the ruins of the Taj Beg Palace just outside of Kabul. CTC-A has been responsible for the COIN Leaders Course (CLC), District Stability Framework (DSF) Course,  AFPAK Hands and Ministerial Advisor (MAC) training, and basic and intermediate COIN training in each of the regions of Afghanistan. The international staff is from nine different countries and has trained roughly 60,000 Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and Coalition Forces in the last year. In that same time, the Chief of Training position has been held by an Australian, US  Army, USMC, and British officer. Since the inception of CTC-A there has been an international and multi-service influence on COIN. For the reader that likes the bottom line up front; yes FM 3-24 should be revised because of new research and new manuals that have been published since the last revision along with NATO
s growing interest in more effective COIN doctrine. Off hand, I can think of three dozen or more new reports, articles, and manuals that should have a significant impact on the content of a revised FM 3-24. I have included a list of those documents in
APPENDIX A
. The list is by no means complete. I am sure there are many new documents I missed. If a revised FM 3-24 were published tomorrow there are perhaps three dozen or more countries that would be directly affected the day it was released. The impact that a revised COIN manual will have on NATO and other countries, both immediate and delayed, has to be considered.
 
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Why? Because to me, it is in conceivable or naïve to think that the U.S. will be involved in any future COIN conflict by itself. It will be a mid-to-large-scale operation not unilateral; bound to be fought in a coalition context. COIN doctrine for the U.S. can no longer be written in a vacuum. To successfully put COIN in a box, there has to be input from other countries. Therefore, a commonality between doctrines is the only sensible solution and that common doctrine must include practical procedures for S
oldiers’
of many nations. There is no other way to do it; other countries must be considered and must be involved. How should FM 3-24 be organized? There is only one way the COIN FM should be structured. It should be arranged in a logical sequence with other proven learning techniques like vignettes and have annexes that contain guidance about advising / mentoring. The underlying theme should be support, assistance, building capacity, and capabilities in HN and HN security forces, so they teach and train their own forces. We are not the counterinsurgents, they are. This supports COIN operations within Security Assistance as defined in U.S. Code Title 22 (SA) and U.S. Code Title 10 (SC). A logical sequence means, describe how the U.S. and maybe NATO get involved in COIN, start to finish. For example, first the President, State Department, and Host Nation (HN), and other country officials and foreign diplomats get involved. Then Security Cooperation, Security Assistance, Internal Defense and Development, Foreign Internal Defense, Humanitarian Assistance, and Stability Operations come into play. All this is discussed before a single troop hits the ground. JP 3-24 does a good job of setting the stage
for COIN in the Executive Summary Commander’s Overview section.
In the revised FM 3-24, setting the stage should be upfront and should be a concise piece of no more than half a dozen pages. This section should have references that lead readers to source information. A brief explanation and the official definitions for insurgency and counterinsurgency should be next, chapter one. After that, in a logical order, sections on shape, clear, hold, build, and transition. The last section or appendices and annexes should contain
the “how to teach”
and train HN. All the tactics, TTPs, and references for shape, clear, hold, build, transition, and COIN enablers should be included in this area.
This should not be the “how to”
take charge and solve everything section. Advising, mentoring, and coaching, and by, with, and through the HN all have to be included. Dependency issues have to be addressed in the first phases of COIN. That is at the Presidential, State Department, and diplomatic levels, so Soldiers are not set-up for failure later on. Why a logical sequence? Because that is how COIN happens in real life. A logical sequence supports learning, understanding, and application. The separate parts and pieces and concepts in COIN are complex enough. The conceptualization of COIN as a whole is even harder. The FM must include proven teaching and learning methods to facilitate learning, understanding, and application. My first concern about the revision is COIN specific words, terms, definitions, and their use. Many of these need to be standardized and better defined, not only for the benefit of U.S. forces, but for the benefit of Coalition Forces and HN partners. An analysis of COIN doctrine, conducted by CTC-A, shows that certain key words, terms, and definitions in COIN today are not clear. The inconsistencies in doctrine are illustrated in
APPENDIX B
. The complete
 
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analysis can be found on the Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance (JCISFA) web site. The paper is titled in the following manner. Subject: FM 3-24 Revision Pre Analysis conducted by CTC-A (1/23/2012 8:47:01 AM). The commonalities and differences between past and present U.S. Army and USMC doctrine and international and U.S. doctrine must also be addressed. This is my second concern. There are lots of similarities, but there are also lots of inconsistencies in past and present and U.S. and international doctrine. Choice pearls of wisdom can be found during a thorough review and misconceptions, folklore, and inaccuracies can be dispelled. A brief comparison of past and present COIN doctrine published between 1940 and 2012 is presented in
APPENDIX C.
Concern number three is the target audience for the revision? This is a difficult question to answer and may take time to research and coordinate
with “Big Army”
 before it is solved. Research and doctrine supports the idea of a range of COIN training that is tailored towards a unit mission. For instance, units that do not leave the wire will need COIN training that focuses on inside the wire COIN. Their exposure to HN and locals will be limited, but those encounters are still very important. Whereas, a unit conducting VSO / ALP operations that stay outside of the wire will require a more advanced level and understanding of COIN. Tier level training as doctrine recommends, in my opinion, is the answer. The quotes from recent COIN doctrine that support this statement are listed in
APPENDIX D.
  Any decision about the target audience should be based on research, data, and a thorough analysis of the intent. To assist with this, data collected by CTC-A is included in
APPENDIX E.
The numbers and characteristics displayed in the slides represent a 90-day snapshot of the COIN Leaders Course. Perhaps this data will help. My fourth concern is related to standardization and intent. One key example of common doctrine is an intelligence / information collection format. None exists currently in COIN doctrine. Therefore, my suggestion is that the ASCOPE analysis is also taught as a collection format and added to FM 3-24, and all echelons of training doctrine. This will enable soldiers from the U.S. and other contributing nations, to start collecting information in a targeted manner from their arrival in the operational environment. A standardized collection format for COIN will also facilitate analysis and fusion, and enhance the use of data-mining search engines / databases such as CIDNE and Nexus 7. Knowledge and understanding of the civil considerations, as they are called in U.S. doctrine, is paramount and cannot be overstated or underestimated. The lack of a standardized collection format is a complaint that is heard quite often and so far the issue has not been officially addressed. The suggestion for ASCOPE to be used as a collection format as well as a method of analysis is detailed in
APPENDIX F
. Lessons learned have to be incorporated in the revision too, not only from U.S. forces, but from other countries. Currently there are discussions of drawdown and transition; this is the right time to schedule a COIN conference in Afghanistan for the purpose of the FM revision. If not, we are wasting an opportunity to reap the benefits of COIN knowledge from many other countries. The planned schedule is two more VTCs, a conference in May, and completed draft

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