Oct 22, 2007

Iraq, Afghanistan, and Self-Inflicted Wounds

From the slides accompanying a briefing titled Iraq, Afghanistan, and Self-Inflicted Wounds by Anthony H. Cordesman (30-page pdf):

Only Local Allies Can Win Hearts and Minds, Achieve Information Dominance

  • The US can do much to justify its own position and actions, but cannot win at a broader level.
  • The host country and regional actors will dominate the information battle and war of perceptions:
  • The US and UK will never be Muslim states or be able to deal with underlying religious issues.
  • The nations in the Long War have their own cultural, social, and political values and they are not American.
  • Western forces and spokesman will always be seen as outsiders, if not imperialists and occupiers.
  • The credibility of what local governments and security forces say, not Americans, is critical to popular support.
  • Local conciliation and compromise are the key to sectarian, ethnic, and other factional issues.

Enemies become superfluous after enough self-inflicted wounds

Self-Inflicted Wounds in Seeking “Information Dominance”

  • Impossible demands and expectations.
  • Unkept promises. Exaggerated reports of progress.
  • Lack of local government follow-up.
  • Tactical operations that alienate the population; Bull in the China Shop
  • Disregard/lack of language and culture experience.
  • “Christian”and “secular”force.
  • Detainments.
  • Collateral damage.
  • Civilian casualties.
  • Worst case incidents dominate; strategic corporal.
  • Conspiracy theories. Desire to export the blame.
  • Primacy of local and regional media.
  • PAO=Pangloss
  • Ties to Israel.
  • Life is not fair, but it is real.


Adrian said...

No picture!??!?!??!?

Meatball One said...

Bastard. We tell ourselves the pictures are superfluous - that they're, in the final analysis, just a hassle for us and our work place viewers. And now you remind us in no uncertain terms that we are nothing without our skanky graphics. That we must remain enslaved by our pornification to remain dear to other. Bastard, bastard, bastard! ;)

Lurch said...

Does the lack of picture mean the post and its contents are irrelevant?

Meatball One said...

Actually, yes!

We can mean nothing without juxtaposition.