April 07, 2008

Gentile vs. Petraeus

Gian Gentile is a gentleman and a scholar and a fine public servant, but it doesn't take David Galula to figure out that we here at Abu Muqawama have some serious disagreements with his reading of the Iraq War and the U.S. military's new focus on counter-insurgency warfare. Our main man Yochi Dreazen, though, has a nice article in today's Wall Street Journal on Gentile and "his self-appointed role as military gadfly." It's a nice article that does justice to both Gentile's arguments ...

"We've come up with this false narrative, this incorrect explanation of what is going on in Iraq," he says. "We've come to see counterinsurgency as the solution to every problem and we're losing the ability to wage any other kind of war."

... and the counter-argument, nicely expressed by Col. Pete Mansoor:

"I do not agree that the U.S. Army's growing focus on counterinsurgency is leaving the service unprepared to fight high-intensity conventional wars," Col. Mansoor said in an interview. "The belief that an army that focuses on counterinsurgency warfare cannot at the same time fight well in conventional combat is a false dichotomy."

Why Yochi gave no love to the Abu Muqawama crew is anyone's guess. (What? Too cool to give a shout-out to your college buddies in the Wall Street Journal? Abu Muqawama hereby hopes the Bears go 1-15 this fall.) But Abu Muqawama is glad to see Gentile's quixotic efforts given some play ahead of the Petraeus testimony. The U.S. public needs to be aware of the debate that's going on here and over on the older, more sober alternative to this blog, Small Wars Journal.


David Betz.

The original Small Wars Journal discussion board.

Phil Carter. (Snap! Phil's got a new blog at the Washington Post. Abu Muqawama doesn't want to say he played a huge roll in landing Phil this sweet gig, but Abu Muqawama played a huge roll in landing Phil this sweet gig. Abu Muqawama: He's connected.)

Update: In Charlie's mind, she was the first to suggest Phil's name to AM...but her memory is a bit hazy on this point (occupational hazard, especially when your occupation is "social butterfly"). But we're thrilled AM's stellar connections came through and got Phil this sweet hook up. Good on ya!