General Petraus has just released his counterinsurgency guidance for Afghanistan. There’s been some speculation ever since Gen. McChrystal left that there would be some significant changes in how things are done. Most of that centered around the idea that we were fighting with ‘one hand tied behind our back’ and fueled by unverified (and highly dubious) stories about soldiers forced to go around without ammunition, read everyone Miranda rights before returning fire and offering free hugs.
For those who were hoping for permission to ‘stick more bayonets into more people’, I’m afraid they’ll be disappointed. In fact, I really don’t see anything new from previous guidance from the past year apart from Petraus’ signature. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s enough to calm the criticism of those who complain we’re going about things like a bunch of pansies.
Also, the COIN center has a webcast from Maj Springer which talks about the:
application of COIN principles for small unit leaders and soldiers. Discussion included importance of developing personal relationship through spheres of influence with soldiers, team leaders, squad leaders, etc and techniques for purposefully generating and maintaining relationships that support unit COIN objectives.
I listened to it today and it was interesting, unfortunately the sound has a some distortion and it can be distracting. Try to power through that though, there are some good lessons learned there.