Sunday, January 14, 2007

Yet Another Way to Win in Iraq

I have posted a number of times on the (bloody, senseless and ill considered) war in Iraq. In fact, I've suggested several concrete ideas, such as waging peace and choosing our time to leave.

Now I bring you another one: How to Win the War in Al Anbar (a PDF of a Powerpoint presentation) by Captain Travis Patriquin, US Army (deceased). It boils down to understanding and working with the people of Iraq. That includes growing moustaches (because Iraqis trust people with moustaches) and working with the local leaders. Everyone interested in this war should read and comprehend the simple truth of Capt. Trav's presentation.

The sad thing is, of course, that Capt. Trav didn't make it. He was killed by an IED, probably indirectly related to the fact that he didn't have the Army's ear. The ABC news story has more detail, but I found out about him from some military friends. It seems Capt. Trav's presentation has struck a nerve among tacticians. I emailed it to President Bush (yes, really) but didn't really expect an answer.

It always seems to be the way. In spite of all the bureaucratic obstacles thrown in their paths, some tactical field officers manage to break the code. It happens in every war, in every army. You don't believe me? Have a read of The Savage Wars of Peace or Queen Victoria's Little Wars.

The Washington Post has a page for Capt. Trav on their Faces of the Fallen.

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