Back in the office…

…after the better part of five weeks away. I find that I didn’t really miss it that much…some interesting new content in the inbox though and this week will be largely occupied by book reviews I think:

  • MAJ Jim Gant has completed his  Tribal Engagement Team paper and the full text is available with a broad range of comments on Steven Pressfield’s blog. The closing paragraph says it all: ” There may be dozens of reasons not to adopt this strategy. But there is only one reason to do so—we have to. Nothing else will work.”
  • JFCOM has released JP 3-24 Counterinsurgency, the US DOD’s joint slant on COIN which should encapsulate and further develop the themes in FM 3-24. There is some comment on JP 3-24 on the COIN Center blog.
  • The US Army is developing its Army Capstone document Operating under Conditions of Uncertainty and Complexity in an Era of Persistent Conflict for a planned release date of December 2009. For all those who have been happy to sit back and snipe at US policy and doctrine here is your chance to have some input: the draft document has been published online and comments may be submitted through the Small Wars website (you do have to join up). The news release has more information.

In other COIN-related news

The UK is reroling four armoured and mechanised battalions into light infantry for service in Afghanistan on the understanding that these units will be able to revert back at a later date and noting that this will take possibly up to five years. This move is somewhat unusual in light of public comment in the UK this month regarding the overly-light nature of British vehicles in Afghanistan and the perception of a direct link between this and a number of battle casualties. The Canadians not only swear by their LAV3s in this theatre but also reversed a decision to get out of the tank game and are spending some billions of dollars for the rapid acquisition of Leopard 2A6M tanks. The US has deployed SBCT 5/2 into Afghanistan as well and initial reports indicate that Stryker is as effective here as it has been in Iraq. One wonders if this move is driven more by efficiency than by effectiveness?

I am (really, I am) making some progress in redrafting the paper on Countering Irregular Activity and it might even be complete next month…after that, Josh has been cracking the whip for the Future War rewrite/update…

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