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May 25

Written by: Diana West
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 8:16 AM 

It may or may not not have bullets, but COIN is on the march.

From Navy Times:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has directed the military services to adopt a set of counterinsurgency tools modeled after ones instituted in Afghanistan by Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, said a senior Pentagon official.

Gates signed a directive on Monday ordering the services to “take McChrystal’s COIN training and proficiency standards ... and adapt those for the whole force,” Garry Reid, deputy assistant secretary of defense for special operations and combat terrorism, told Defense News on Tuesday.

The idea is to take the kinds of COIN training and “proficiency” standards that McChrystal, the top American general in Afghanistan, implemented there with his “AfPak Hands” program.

They're working so well?

The “Hands” effort was formally launched last fall with the endorsement of Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen.

A Joint Staff fact sheet calls it a language and cultural immersion effort under which U.S. forces gain skills to help them carry out counterinsurgency missions.

Just no clue about jihad.

Military officials have made gaining the trust and support of local populations in Afghanistan a cornerstone of the ongoing allied mission there — AfPak Hands is aimed at bolstering that effort.

It's working so well?

Gates wants the new military-wide training and proficiency standards to be “in line” with those used in McChrystal’s “Hands” program, Reid said.

“Every service member needs some understanding” of the local population, culture and language “when they’re going to be on the ground,” he said during prepared remarks at an industry conference in Arlington, Va.

But only "some" (no Islam).

The memo instructs the Pentagon’s top policy shop in coming months to develop the framework for the standards. It will then be up to the services, Joint Staff and other military components “to fill those out — as they would with anything else,” Reed said.

Eventually, Reid told the conference, the COIN standards could be expanded.

They're working so well!!

“Ideally, we will [one day] have a global approach,” he said, adding the standards might be amended to reflect “region-by-region” specifics.

It's a COIN, COIN, COIN, COIN World.

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