…an increasing number of Sunni Arab religious leaders have changed their minds about armed resistance to democracy, and coalition forces. This has made it easier for Sunni Arabs to pass on information to the police.
This reminded me of something I read recently. Please permit a seeming digression. I’ll bring it around. I was looking for something comprehensive on the Australian military participation in OIF. This led me to the Australian Defense Force Journal. This led me to a review of a book about General Ted Serong, a man I had never previously heard of. He was, in a way, the Australian John Paul Vann. This led me to this article, “`Get Me Ten Years’: Australia’s Ted Serong in Vietnam, 1962-1975.” (This is a brilliant article which you should read, but which I will not elaborate on here.) Serong was one of the last people off the roof of the US embassy. He had been in Vietnam for 13 years. He was a counter-insurgency and jungle warfare expert. His ideas were not heeded, unfortunately. As you will recall, the communists won that one.
One passage jumped out at me. In 1962 Serong gave a presentation to the Americans, saying that all their calculations of why they were winning were wrong:
You could get impressive figures by counting missions flown, casualties taken and inflicted, stores delivered and ammunition expended, he said, but the only real indicator of progress in a war of counterinsurgency was the volume of intelligence spontaneously offered by the population, since this was the indicator of whether or not the people believed you really could offer them security.
I thought: There is Rumsfeld’s missing “metric”. It has been supplied by General Serong, God rest his soul. And it is favorable.
Sounds like we may actually be winning in Iraq.