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Subject: Counter Insurgency Talking Points
DGreat1    9/15/2008 9:54:34 AM
Discussing Counter Insurgency Talking Points By Terrance Jones 1. At the strategic level, the risk to the United States is not that insurgents will win in the traditional sense, take over their country, and shift it from a partner to an enemy. Dr. Steven Metz, Rethinking Insurgency If the United States pulls its forces out of Iraq in 2011 as scheduled, the insurgents will have won in the conventional/traditional sense. This assertion is based on the following factors: A. The insurgents will have outlasted the US led coalition in the war of attrition. B. The heavily armed Shiite insurgents will have significant influence over the Shiite controlled Iraqi government. C. The Shiite insurgents will become a proxy war subordinate of the Shiite controlled government, therefore setting the stage for a sectarian based allegiance shift from Washington to Tehran. This move would facilitate a Shiite triumvirate composed of Iran, Iraq and Syria. As you can see, the possibility of the insurgents winning is a very credible threat should the United States choose to leave Iraq prematurely without disarming and decisively defeating the insurgent forces. 2. Because of globalization, the decline of overt state sponsorship of insurgency, the dynamics of contemporary insurgency are more like a violent and competitive market than war in the traditional sense where clear and discrete combatants seek strategic victory. Dr. Steven Metz, Rethinking Insurgency Because of America?s two front wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, overt state sponsorship of insurgency is actually increasing in the Middle East, as Iran, Syria and even Pakistan who is America?s partner in the global war on terror, have been tied to insurgent activity. In fact, insurgent groups have become proxy war subordinates of state sponsors of terrorism like Iran, Syria and Pakistan. 3. Protracted conflict, not insurgent victory, is the threat. Dr. Steven Metz, Rethinking Insurgency The United States made some critical mistakes concerning the war in Iraq. This included totally destroying the infrastructure of the Iraqi Army and setting up a new Iraqi government before disarming and decisively defeating the insurgent forces who would threaten it in its infancy stages. The Shiite insurgents now have the ability to shut down many of the social services that serve the Iraqi people therefore, giving themselves significant leverage with the Shiite controlled Iraqi government. Because of these mistakes, the absence of a protracted war would mean immediate victory for the insurgents who would see their power and influence grow once the US forces pull out of Iraq. In this particular scenario protraction is necessary to correct the mistakes and implement more efficient initiatives. A failure to do so would only facilitate a Shiite triumvirate as Iran and Syria stand poised to take over as Iraq?s mentor and allies. 4. In this era of globalization and interconnectedness, new regimes are particularly vulnerable to outside economic and military pressure and thus unlikely to Undertake actions which would give the United States or some other state a justification for intervention. Even if the Iraqi or Afghan insurgents won, for instance, they would probably have learned the lessons of 2001?serving as a host to transnational terrorists is a dangerous business. Dr. Steven Metz, Rethinking Insurgency There is no reason to suggest that insurgents in Iraq or Afghanistan have gotten the message as insurgent forces in both theatres are stronger than ever due to mistakes that were made by United States military planners. Because of this, the President of the United States must make a difficult sell to the American people in regards to convincing them that a protracted war is in our best interests. 5. While radicals can question America?s ability to sustain counterinsurgency, there is no doubt that the United States can (and will) overturn regimes which overtly support transnational terrorism. Dr. Steven Metz, Rethinking Insurgency If America does not disarm and decisively defeat insurgent forces in Iraq and Afghanistan they will have a difficult time holding together a formidable coalition force. This will make it even more costly to topple regimes who support or harbor terrorists. Reference Metz, Steven. Rethinking Insurgency, Strategic Studies Institute 2007
 
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