A view from the teeth in the war of the flea an analysis of U.S. Army tactics in Iraq
Faulkner, Dennis W.
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This thesis examines the tactics used by the U.S. Army during 2004-2005 in Iraq. The central aim of this study is to understand why the Army chose tactics that were ill-suited to the conflict and why it took nearly three years to adapt to conditions in Iraq. The Army applied doctrine that was familiar to it as an institution and was reluctant to accept tactics and changes in conduct that might violate its culture and doctrine. Tactics employed by many Army units were more akin to a counter-terror campaign rather than a counterinsurgency. A counter-terror operation is focused on the defeat of the enemy directly through kinetic means while a counterinsurgency focuses on defeating the enemy indirectly by interrupting the insurgents' ideology and base of support. The greatest inhibitors to innovation in Iraq were commanders who resisted innovation because they did not understand the nature of the conflict in which they were engaged. They also were restricted by traditional Army culture.
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