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Shades of CORDS in the Kush : the false hope of "unity of effort" in American counterinsurgency

Author: Henry Nuzum; Army War College (U.S.). Strategic Studies Institute.
Publisher: Carlisle, PA : Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, [2010]
Series: Letort papers, no. 37.
Edition/Format:   Print book : National government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Counterinsurgency (COIN) requires an integrated military, political, and economic program best developed by teams that field both civilians and soldiers. These units should operate with some independence but under a coherent command. In Vietnam, after several false starts, the United States developed an effective unified organization, Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS), to guide the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Case studies
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Nuzum, Henry.
Shades of CORDS in the Kush.
Carlisle, PA : Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, [2010]
(OCoLC)697760484
Material Type: Government publication, National government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Henry Nuzum; Army War College (U.S.). Strategic Studies Institute.
ISBN: 9781584874355 158487435X
OCLC Number: 609874133
Notes: "April 2010."
Description: xii, 132 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm.
Contents: Summary --
The stage --
The state and the insurgency : theory in the American context --
Different models --
Public support : the center of gravity --
The American response --
COIN operations --
Today's challenges in Afghanistan --
Conventional bias --
Provincial reconstruction teams --
Afghanistan by design --
Origins --
The concept --
Structure --
Chain of command --
Nation team --
A shift in strategy --
The move to Kabul --
Reorganizing the military --
Civil-military reality --
Problems at the national and regional levels --
Changes in Kabul --
Regional dynamic for the PRTs --
INTRA-PRT dynamics --
Lack of guidance and uncertain command --
Cult of personality --
The difficulty of distant command --
Military dominance --
Antecedents from Vietnam --
A long road --
Focus on counterinsurgency --
Failure to change --
The arrival of Komer --
CORDS : "can OCO really do something?" --
Civil-military integration, at last --
Vertical organization --
Team structure --
Assessment by participants --
Chain of command --
Performance in the field --
Problems --
Effects and evaluation --
Results --
Finale --
Lessons from Vietnam --
The Army's reaction to the Vietnam War --
Why the segregated response? --
Cultural differences --
The Military --
State and other civilian agencies --
Pink on pink --
"It didn't take Lincoln this long" --
World War II, its general, and the American psyche --
The American way of war --
Team America --
MacArthur's legacy --
The role of unity of command : an examination of doctrine and language --
Unity of effort : the fruit of unity of command --
The path to unified authority within the military --
Joint doctrine and the principle of command --
Unity of command begets unity of effort --
Unity of effort : the best hope in absence of unity of command --
The multiagency alternative --
Differences in joint publication terminology --
Foreigners --
JP 3-08 terms and the broader government --
Prospects --
Insurgency --
The concerns about unified authority --
The ameliorative effects of unified authority --
Eliminating remote management --
Diminishing the role of personality : lifting the floor, not raising the roof --
Coupling authority with responsibility --
A new structure --
Model --
The country team --
The tactical level --
ISAF --
Achieving the new model --
CODA.
Series Title: Letort papers, no. 37.
Other Titles: Shades of Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support in the Kush
Responsibility: Henry Nuzum.

Abstract:

"Counterinsurgency (COIN) requires an integrated military, political, and economic program best developed by teams that field both civilians and soldiers. These units should operate with some independence but under a coherent command. In Vietnam, after several false starts, the United States developed an effective unified organization, Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS), to guide the counterinsurgency. CORDS had three components absent from our efforts in Afghanistan today: sufficient personnel (particularly civilian), numerous teams, and a single chain of command that united the separate COIN programs of the disparate American departments at the district, provincial, regional, and national levels. This paper focuses on the third issue and describes the benefits that unity of command at every level would bring to the American war in Afghanistan. The work begins with a brief introduction to counterinsurgency theory, using a population-centric model, and examines how this warfare challenges the United States. It traces the evolution of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) and the country team, describing problems at both levels. Similar efforts in Vietnam are compared, where persistent executive attention finally integrated the government's counterinsurgency campaign under the unified command of the CORDS program. The next section attributes the American tendency towards a segregated response to cultural differences between the primary departments, executive neglect, and societal concepts of war. The paper argues that, in its approach to COIN, the United States has forsaken the military concept of unity of command in favor of 'unity of effort' expressed in multiagency literature. The final sections describe how unified authority would improve our efforts in Afghanistan and propose a model for the future."--Page iii.

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