Winning the Peace (Ch. 4) Redux

Winning the Peace (WTP and/or WP – Willy Pete?), and the FAOs in the program are organized within each partner nation similarly to an infantry platoon reinforced. Platoon commander (O-5), platoon sergeant (E-8), corpsman, radio telephone operator (RTOs), squad leaders (O-4), fire team leaders (O-3), and grunts (enlisted advisors). The total number of individuals deployed in WP units will be country and situational dependent, but assume a cadre of 20-30 deploying in-country for 7-13 months with the reinforcements being individuals lacking language and cultural expertise but bringing specific skill sets to bear in particular places for specific periods of time.

These FAOs may be from any branch of service as long as they are willing to eat and sleep with the rubes that they are working with, and possess street smarts, people skills, and “feel” for the environment vice an advanced degree in political science. Their training is focused on language (minimum Defense Language Proficiency Test score of 3/2+), history, partner nation military and paramilitary organization and leadership, geography, demography, economics, culture and religion, political and foreign affairs, Country Team structure, Foreign Internal Defense, and COIN operations.

The primary mission of WP units is to support regimes that prevent their countries from being used by violent extremist organizations (VEOs) to attack the United States, our citizens, and allies. The secondary mission is to support efforts that cause regime change in those countries from which, either by commission or omission, America and her allies are attacked. The support to friendly nations is steady state and the overthrow of hostile regimes would be contingency operations.

Professional Football Hall of Famer and Head Coach of the Green Bay Packers from 1959-1967, Vince Lombardi, famously said, “Some people try to find things in this game that don’t exist; but football is only two things – blocking and tackling.” Senior leaders try to find things in nation building that don’t exist either, but vice nation building, WP units are about the basics, like blocking and tackling.

At the operational and tactical level what Winning the Peace operators will do is teach Partner Nations military and/or paramilitary units to “block and tackle.” The three Rs of block and tackle for the military are move, shoot, and communicate. The “block and tackle” focus is not so much on the shoot (Special Forces do this); but almost exclusively on the move and communicate, including measures to prevent VEOs from illegal fund raising and transferring of funds. 

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