February 21, 2017


How McMaster Could Change the Way the US Goes to War (PATRICK TUCKER, FEBRUARY 20, 2017, Defense One)

McMaster, who had first gained fame as the tank commander in the Gulf War's Battle of 73 Easting, then solidified his credentials as a thinking soldier with the well-received Dereliction of Duty, said that the chaos in Afghanistan and the parts of Iraq and Syria then held by ISIS was the fault of multiple parties but stemmed from a single cause: a failure to consolidate gains. Read that to mean the deployment of a substantial number of troops, enough to manage the transition of an occupied territory into a reliable U.S. ally, or at least a stable country. [...]

A better solution to Iraq would have looked something like the U.S. military occupation of  in Korea. Indeed, the Army had recently released its  U.S. Army Operating and Training Concept, a set of guideposts explaining its approach to training soldiers for the world of 2020-40. The section on "gains consolidation," highlights the need for Army commanders to "understand cognitive, informational, social, cultural, political and physical influences affecting human behavior...emphasis on early and effective consolidation activities as a fundamental part of campaign design enables success and achieves lasting favorable outcomes in the shortest time span."

"Now who consolidates gains should not matter as long as you are getting to that sustainable political outcome," McMaster said at the New America Foundation event. "But what's necessary to consolidate gains? It always has been military support to indigenous security forces who take on increasing responsibility, the development of security forces that are capable but also legitimate, you know, trusted by the population. It's military support to governance and rule of law consistent with their traditions...so you can deny the enemy the ability to operate freely among those populations."

Hard to think of a more asinine comparison given that we did not occupy Korea, just South Korea, after losing to the North.  And, of course, the South's stabilization owes as much to the totalitarian regime in the North as to us.  Had North Korea pursued a North Vietnam strategy the occupation would have looked like Iraq, at best, Vietnam at worst.

Posted by at February 21, 2017 5:33 AM