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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Army is about to undertake a doctrinal change wherein its training for soldiers will shift from counter-insurgency, or COIN, to more conventional tactics over the next five years – even though the Department of Defense itself projects that the nation will be fighting counter-insurgency for many years to come, a DoD source told Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
“They’re dressing it up as ‘troops have entirely forgotten how to fight a conventional force-on-force (tank-on-tank) fight,’ and we need to get back into doing that,” the source quoted army commanders as saying.
“Commanders would rather kill something than build something,” he added, “but they will never say that outright.”
The source said that the statement that there’s been no force-on-force training for the past 12 years has been “disingenuous” when training has continued as before but with the added COIN element included.
Counter-insurgency does not just involve “building something” and training soldiers to be more involved in building relationships with the local population where U.S. troops are engaged but also how to “fight a guerrilla like a guerrilla,” other sources said.
The DoD source said that the U.S. experience in undertaking counter-insurgency activities may have fallen short of more successful efforts by other countries, such as the French.
He pointed out that COIN was “loosely based” on the French experience in Algeria from 1957 to 1959 and “we only sort of imitated the ideas without ever actually going to the lengths the French went to.”
“Going to a primarily conventional posture is totally counter-intuitive,” the DoD source said, “unless it’s based on the (Obama) administration getting us entirely out of the two theaters regardless of conditions on the ground, ASAP, or possibly we’re anticipating something else.”
He indicated that the “something else” may also be due to “expecting something conventional, and big, coming down the pipe relatively soon.”
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