Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Unconventional warfare lessons - from Tom Sawyer

SOCOM.MIL(PDF document)

“I want you to move into that province, oust the al Qaeda, co-opt the locals (click here for a good example of this), and bring security to the region. Take as many Afghan forces as you can muster and be ready to move as soon as you can. What are your questions?”

Those were the orders I gave the Special Forces A-Team commander as he and his 12-man
team moved into the Lware District in Afghanistan during the winter of 2003/04. In short, I tasked him to conduct unconventional warfare in that region by fighting the terrorist by, with and through the indigenous forces rather than by using primarily U.S. military might. What is unconventional warfare? The Department of Defense Dictionary of Military...

...After reading through Joint Publications, Army Manuals and military history, I realized I learned much of what I need to know about unconventional warfare in the eighth grade. It was then that I read Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer.” In that book, Tom Sawyer was tasked to paint the fence in front of his aunt’s home. In order to accomplish this task, Tom co-opted his friends and neighborhood pals to paint the fence for him. He painted just enough himself to inspire and instruct his surrogates. In the end, the fence got painted, the whole community had bought into the project, and he did not get paint on his overalls.

In a nutshell, Tom Sawyer was demonstrating unconventional warfare tactics. He was accomplishing his goal working by, with and through his community members. In war fighting, if you are fighting by, with and through indigenous forces or if you’re collecting...

No comments: