Adopting Abrams' strategy

A CENTCOM update last week on Operation Steel Curtain seems to indicate that Coalition and Iraqi forces are implementing a counter—insurgency strategy that was proving to be highly successful in the latter stages of the Vietnam War.

When General Creighton Abrams took over from General Westmoreland in Vietnam, he implemented a 'secure and hold' strategy that effectively denied key terrain and villages to the NVA and VC.  Author Lewis Sorley describes Gen. Abrams' operations in his book, A Better War.  The strategy was so successful, that as Mackubin Thomas Owens notes:

...the British counterinsurgency expert, Sir Robert Thompson concluded US—ARVN forces "had won the war. It was over."

Operations in the Al—Anbar Province are following a similar pattern.  First, a security perimeter is established around the town while displaced civilians are screened and placed in temporary camps out of harm's way.  Then combat operations are conducted to defeat the enemy and clear the town.  Most importantly, an Iraqi Army presence is established in the town by construction of permanent bases and security patrols.  This is generally followed by humanitarian relief efforts with the assistance of USAID.  By the time the civilians return, security forces are in place and reconstruction projects have been started.

So far, bases have been built in Husaybah, Karabilah and Ubaydi, for the express purpose of ensuring the Iraqi Army's and US military's long—term 'security presence.'  The news release stresses:

Three aspects of the operation which makes Steel Curtain different from previous operations in the western Euphrates River Valley are increased Iraqi Army participation, immediate establishment of long—term security presence, and Iraqi Army Soldiers taking the lead in security and care of the citizens temporarily displaced by the operation.

Now, some members of Congress are now calling for withdrawing our troops just as we are on the verge of victory.  Rehashing the Vietnam playbook despite evidence of our progress in Iraq only shows their desperation to try anything, including promoting a US defeat in a war just to gain a measure of political revenge on the President.

Sorry, leftists.  It won't work this time around.

Doug Hanson  11—21—05

A CENTCOM update last week on Operation Steel Curtain seems to indicate that Coalition and Iraqi forces are implementing a counter—insurgency strategy that was proving to be highly successful in the latter stages of the Vietnam War.

When General Creighton Abrams took over from General Westmoreland in Vietnam, he implemented a 'secure and hold' strategy that effectively denied key terrain and villages to the NVA and VC.  Author Lewis Sorley describes Gen. Abrams' operations in his book, A Better War.  The strategy was so successful, that as Mackubin Thomas Owens notes:

...the British counterinsurgency expert, Sir Robert Thompson concluded US—ARVN forces "had won the war. It was over."

Operations in the Al—Anbar Province are following a similar pattern.  First, a security perimeter is established around the town while displaced civilians are screened and placed in temporary camps out of harm's way.  Then combat operations are conducted to defeat the enemy and clear the town.  Most importantly, an Iraqi Army presence is established in the town by construction of permanent bases and security patrols.  This is generally followed by humanitarian relief efforts with the assistance of USAID.  By the time the civilians return, security forces are in place and reconstruction projects have been started.

So far, bases have been built in Husaybah, Karabilah and Ubaydi, for the express purpose of ensuring the Iraqi Army's and US military's long—term 'security presence.'  The news release stresses:

Three aspects of the operation which makes Steel Curtain different from previous operations in the western Euphrates River Valley are increased Iraqi Army participation, immediate establishment of long—term security presence, and Iraqi Army Soldiers taking the lead in security and care of the citizens temporarily displaced by the operation.

Now, some members of Congress are now calling for withdrawing our troops just as we are on the verge of victory.  Rehashing the Vietnam playbook despite evidence of our progress in Iraq only shows their desperation to try anything, including promoting a US defeat in a war just to gain a measure of political revenge on the President.

Sorry, leftists.  It won't work this time around.

Doug Hanson  11—21—05