About this blog...

I am a former leader of a Human Terrain Team in Iraq. My intent with this blog was to identify relevant, open-source materials on Iraqi culture, society, politics, religion and economics - just about anything on or about the Iraqi population in general.

I am continuing the blog now only sporadically, as a means of information distribution in support of efforts to improve a vital program hamstrung by failures in execution.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Arrested Development

There's a new article in Joint Forces Quarterly that has some useful observations on detention policies in a counter-insurgency. Among it's most useful observations: try not to arrest too many innocent people, be careful which confirmed insurgents you release and don't let them use your detention center as a training facility or base of operations. Ok, this should all be stunningly obvious, but it seems like one of the biggest problems with COIN doctrine are "practitioners" that read the manuals, say "duh, of course I would/wouldn't do that..." and then proceed to do the opposite. Too often, COIN seems to come down to having to do the smart thing that you really don't want to do. Hopefully, though, missteps will always be balanced with innovative ideas.

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