Monday, August 29, 2005

Email of the day 
An OIF field-grade officer writes in his assessment of the Oil Spot Strategy:

I must agree, I read his article and it made no sense to me.

It is based, IMHO, on a faulty assumption, that the Army is doing sweeps, instead of a more terrain based approach anyway. From what I saw when I was there, in the Baghdad AO, this is how brigades are laid out anyway, and since they all have secondary missions of training Iraqi security forces that is what we are doing. It is a terrain based deployment based on cities and there is minimal movement in bdes throughout their tours, and very few big arrow movement.

What I find funny is that the aforementioned "Sweeps", if you were to ask him to define his terms, are those like "Matador" that the Marines do, which when the numbers get crunched end up being 1-2 bn operations. SO at any one moment there may be 2-4000 people, mostly USMC, in western AL Anbar province almost exclusively, doing "sweeps", as opposed to the other 130000, who are not. In terms of maneuver battalions these sweeps are 5-8% of the total effort.

Basically a false premise but a logical argument, and a false conclusion. Krepinivich is smart enough to realize this is not a Vietnam-level of search and destroy if he crunched the numbers. The fact that this paper was in "Foreign Affairs" strikes me as odd, because that is the sort of bunch that doesent know the tactical facts that he disregarded and/or overlooked. Most of the other stuff, and metrics, are tracked, and he is pushing on an open door.

If he was to read Michael Yon's writing, for example, the two units Yon traveled to (the 1/25 strykers, and 1 ID) stayed more or less in the same areas through out their tours. Sounds like oil spot to me.


Won't stop the usual bunch of amateurs from hoisting him on their shoulders and parading him through the streets, though.


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