Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

COIN for aviators: Herb opens fire

Exum went and hired away my star piracy columnist, Cdr. Herb Carmen. I’m not gonna get into a bidding war, but the door’s open whenever that Tennessee moonshine wears off, Herbal. Meantime, while Herb mulls his journalistic options, here is a link to the very good statement he wrote for Ex on how an aviation unit ...

The U.S. Army/flickr
The U.S. Army/flickr
The U.S. Army/flickr

Exum went and hired away my star piracy columnist, Cdr. Herb Carmen. I'm not gonna get into a bidding war, but the door's open whenever that Tennessee moonshine wears off, Herbal.

Meantime, while Herb mulls his journalistic options, here is a link to the very good statement he wrote for Ex on how an aviation unit can prepare to operate in support of counterinsurgency operations. He has a lot of thoughtful advice, such as:

Bring in guys who have been there to talk about their experiences. Aviators are keenly interested in hearing from the folks that have 'been there.' That knowledge and wisdom is soaked, and aviators build a human connection to the unit they're supporting. JTACS, company commanders, battalion commanders would all make great guests.

Exum went and hired away my star piracy columnist, Cdr. Herb Carmen. I’m not gonna get into a bidding war, but the door’s open whenever that Tennessee moonshine wears off, Herbal.

Meantime, while Herb mulls his journalistic options, here is a link to the very good statement he wrote for Ex on how an aviation unit can prepare to operate in support of counterinsurgency operations. He has a lot of thoughtful advice, such as:

Bring in guys who have been there to talk about their experiences. Aviators are keenly interested in hearing from the folks that have ‘been there.’ That knowledge and wisdom is soaked, and aviators build a human connection to the unit they’re supporting. JTACS, company commanders, battalion commanders would all make great guests.

Speaking of Ex, he challenges my view that the surge worked tactically but failed strategically. Knock yourself out, Ex Man. (Fwiw, I’d be more persuaded by a chart that didn’t begin with the outbreak of a civil war, but rather with the outbreak of the insurgency two years earlier. "Hey, casualties are way down since Antietam!") But luring away the staff…

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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