Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gen Zinni Comments on Modern Battlefield

General Anthony Zinni (USMC Ret) is the former Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM). He provides, in an interview by Octavian Manea of the Small Wars Journal, some excellent commentary on modern warfare in today's environment and looks back on our Iraq and Afghan experiences. His focus in this interview is on the lack of strategy which is tied to military operations. Zinni offers some enlightened analysis of how the United States lacks an understanding of the political context of war. Although his remarks are concentrated on the Middle East in general he has some interesting comments on Afghanistan. These include taking our eye off the ball to invade Iraq, inability to deal with Taliban sanctuaries in Pakistan, building up host nation conventional armies instead of a military that is capable of fighting a counterinsurgency, lack of resources for a whole-of-government approach to quelling insurgencies, and using metrics to show progress (body counts, attrition of enemy, etc.) instead of measuring the support of the population.  You can read "Reflections on the Modern Battlefield: A Discussion with General Anthony Zinni", Small Wars Journal, September 12, 2014 at this link.

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