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Thread: Army Still Too Focused On COIN

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    Army Still Too Focused On COIN

    I was always against COIN- if the US wants to wage war, $#@! the civilians. KTF (kill them first) win and go home. Never nation build. Destroy, conquer and move on.

    Army Still Too Focused On COIN

    The Army is still struggling to reorient itself on great power threats, said the commander of the infantry and armor training center at Fort Benning.

    After two decades of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq, “we’ve got to get east of the Vistula and north of the Han,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe, referring to rivers in eastern Poland and central Korea respectively.

    “We have to get onto the map sheets where our near-peer competitors may operate against us – and, therefore, we’ve got to take our own trainers out of what they’re comfortable with, [i.e.] the Middle East map sheet of your choice.

    “As we as we make that transition in our training, we really have to have a cognitive disconnect with our own experience” of the past two decades, Donahoe told a Fort Benning industry day on Wednesday.

    In other words, the Army has some unlearning to do.

    “When you walk around Fort Benning, as I have in the past eight months or so, oftentimes you’ll find that what we are training, and the scenario we’re using, is the cordon and search,” he said. That’s a standard technique in counterinsurgency, especially in urban areas, and after a generation of COIN, he said “it’s the default setting of our sergeants first class and our senior captains, junior majors.”

    Training needs to focus on fighting well-armed nation-state militaries instead of irregulars, Donahoe argued. “All too often, you’ll find in our training scenarios, it’s the two guys from a hybrid force with AK-47s and then another guy with an RPG,” he said. “That’s not the threat we need to be training our force against today.”

    That doesn’t mean the Army should forget the lessons of counterinsurgency, Donahoe said, just stop focusing on them.

    “[We] can’t lose and bury what we’ve learned over the past 20 years; we’ve got to maintain that learning,” he said. “We’ve got to maintain our doctrine for that — but now as we develop our new doctrinal manuals, there’s got to be the large scale combat operations focus to that. So we’ve got to look at the vignettes we use for our doctrinal manuals. We’ve got to look at the stories we tell and what’s in the base document, and what’s in the annexes. [The] base document’s got to be large-scale combat operations.”


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    I don't think we should target civilians, but we should not walk on egg shells to protect them either.

    That bothered me when I watched the true to life film "American Sniper." People who remain living among terrorists are collateral damage as far as I am concerned.

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