Learning from Iraq and Afghanistan

Posted: May 2, 2010 by Jonathan Boyko in Israel, Palestinians, Peace Process, West Bank

IDF soldiers confronting rioters Let us be honest – the Americans blew it in Afghanistan and then they blew it in Iraq. The Bush administration was so confident Iraqis and Afghanis were a bunch of marauding barbarians; they believed it would take a few airstrikes to take both regimes down. It took thousands of dead Iraqis and American soldiers to make them re-think their strategy. For Bush, however, it was too late.

But the re-thinking did work. The job is undoubtedly hard, but the Americans still make an effort so the locals would discern between the terrorists (the bad guys, killing people for intimidation and profit) and the Americans (the good guys, rebuilding schools, hospitals and providing security). While tough, the US troops managed to change the Rules of Engagement, keep the finger off the trigger and even persuade some locals – many locals, in case of Iraq – that it’s better to cooperate with Uncle Sam. Yes, there is much to, but the GI’s have shown us some spectacular progress.

The Israelis were always different. We taught the Americans many tricks they had to know to blow the terrorists into the skies. We shared our knowledge on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency, making us invaluable allies. Our mailed-fist tactic won us few wars; our Special Operations units are some of the best. We are a great military power.

Continue reading my full article on News that matters.

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