23 July 2007


Over the weekend I got caught up on some reading. One article, Knowing the Enemy, was recommended by Grim here. It's mainly about David Kilcullen and focuses on the concepts of Information Warfare and Disaggregation.

I'm not a military expert by any stretch of the imagination. But even I know it can take a long time to create and implement new military doctrine. A very long time.

So I was especially encouraged by this recent post by Teflon Don about what he called the transformation of a village in his unit's Area of Operations:

I recently spoke with a Chief Warrant Officer who had been serving at the COP during the transformation. He did not know it had been our platoon in the area that day, but he directly credited our aid and the PSYOPS followup as the events that sparked the transformation.

The Marines had spent months laying the groundwork - interfacing with the villagers, offering aid, and sweeping for bad guys. The Iraqis weren't buying into it.

In one day, that changed.

I was told that the Army PSYOPS unit attached to the Marines put on "the show of a lifetime". They went out onto the roads proselytizing via loudspeaker: "The insurgents say they are here to help you, but they only kill your children. The Americans are the only ones you can trust to help."

They opened the mike up to the villagers, and the response was overwhelming. People came from their houses to tell the insurgents "You killed my daughter. I will not sleep, I will not eat until I see you die!".

Iraqis came up to tell about the strange men that had appeared, threatening to kill families if they were not provided with shelter. They led Marines to caches and IEDs. Perhaps most importantly, they began to work with the Marines to secure their villages.

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