Tal Afar and Ar Ramadi: Grass Roots Reconstruction (Military Review, March-April 2009)
ARMY COMBINED ARMS CENTER FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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American strategy for Iraq consists of three basic tenets clear, hold, and build. U.S. ground forces have been successful in clearing and holding key areas in Iraq however, the last tenet, build, as of February 2007 has been the most complicated to implement. Army Field Manual FM 3-0, Operations, states that ground forces should conduct stability operations to establish civil security and control, restore essential services, support local governance, and promote economic and infrastructure development. Most Army units in Iraq have been relatively successful at restoring essential services by using the Commanders Emergency Response Program CERP, which has netted many positive short-term gains. However, Army tactics to foster local governance and economic development have produced mixed long-term results. In addition, no clear linkage has existed between small-unit short-term goals and State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development USAID long-term development goals. This article highlights some tactical concepts developed and applied in Tal Afar and Ar Ramadi that, if successfully sustained, could lead to a stable Iraq and offers guidelines for future U.S. nation-building efforts. To this end, the Army must counter political disenfranchisement and economic depression to address insurgencys grass-root causes and eliminate extremist ideology.
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