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  •  There's another parallel: Hearts and minds. (3+ / 0-)
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    The Nose, Hound Dog, Larsstephens

    This is a policy which cannot work, ever, in a counter-insurgency war.

    Why? Because it is executed by US troops, and even if it is wildly successful and the troops garner great affection from the indigenous people, that affection does not transfer to the supported government.

    The issue isn't what the insurgents and potential insurgents think of us, but what they think of the government against which they fight.

    It is simple logic. We are not, nor can ever be, the vital component outside our own country. Insurgencies abroad are simply not about us.

    It falls to the native government to win the hearts and minds, and if they cannot, for whatever reason, there is little we can do for them.

    That said, another parallel comes to mind. Regardless of policy, the boots on the ground think in more immediate terms and attach labels to the indigenes. I'm thinking, here, of the parallels between "slopes" "gooks" and "towelheads."

    These labels reflect the alienation the troops feel in a foreign land, and also serve to dehumanize both the purported enemy and those in whose name the war is supposedly being waged.  

    If war is human nature, why are so many soldiers psychologically broken by it?

    by oxon on Tue Oct 05, 2010 at 11:16:56 AM PDT

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