Friday, February 08, 2008
From our recent reading "Knowing the Enemy" from the December 2006 edition of the New Yorker it seems that disaggregation could be a word many of us will have to get used to.
Just as containment was the defining strategy of the Cold War, it appears disaggregation could be the defining strategy of and equally long "worldwide counterinsurgency" as defined by David Kilcullen.
In disaggregation, Kilcullen emphasizes that strategy should be specific to very local concerns. For instance, forces should be concentrated at the Pakistani border to keep insurgent ideology from bleeding into cross border regions or population centers.
Although the US is very good at "big, short wars" it is miserable at local counterinsurgencies because its focus is global and national. If the US wants to win this "long war" on terror it must take cues from past successes in Indonesia and Malaysia. Moreover, it must combine economic intervention with cultural knowledge to stem the spread of dangerous ideology much like it did quite accidentally in the humanitarian interventions in the Indonesian state of Aceh post tsunami.
If this new strategy does appear to be as successful as its potential demonstrates then disaggregation may be the next containment. Is it too much to ask then, if Kilcullen is the next Kennan?
In photo above:
First Lt. Nicholas Ziemba (far left), Capt. Blake Keil (left), Capt. Dustin Walker (center), and Maj. Matt Zimmerman (right rear), all of the 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), out of Fort Drum, N.Y., spoke with Dr. David Kilcullen (right front), counterinsurgency adviser to Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, at the Mahmudiyah Iraqi Army Compound June 3.