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I also don't care for a lilypads strategy given its potential impact on the character of the "citizen army" as you've written about in your "legionaries, auxiliaries and mercenaries" posts, which I found absolutely illuminating. I'm hoping you work that issue into one of your future "counterinsurgency is hard" posts (she says, greedily).


There's a clear disjuncture between a War on Terrorism conceptualised as a worldwide counterinsurgency and the current Rumsfeld command structure. He has assigned SOCOM the leading role in the WOT, which makes sense in this context as most effective activity will be by Special Operations Forces, but on the other hand makes no sense because it puts command and control firmly in Tampa, and then Washington DC, which only makes sense if you expect the war to be one of discrete and rapidly terminated strategic raids.

If, on the other hand, you are doing counterinsurgency on a worldwide scale, you need local and regional knowledge and relationships, which means that the regional and subregional commanders are the obvious lead. But if you are pursuing a global Air Cav policy of making sudden bangs in faraway lands and returning to base in North Carolina, you want centralisation.

Does Rumsfeld want to win at counterinsurgency? I don't think he actually does. I think he is still locked into the traditional US obsession with state sponsors and wants a private army he can control from Washington.

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