If we cannot get the highlighted line imprinted in our brains or at least tattooed on the inside of our eyelids we will never be successful at working through and with indigenous or host nation forces. This is probably our single most problematic weakness with all the concepts of building partner capacity, train advise and assist, organize, train, equip, rebuild and advise, and yes even foreign internal defense. We have spent the last 14 years believing we could organize and train Afghans and Iraqis and others and yet we have not learned from history and we have tried so hard to create not only militaries in our image but also many other institutions. We have spent so much time coming up with new concepts with new names and variations on foreign internal defense that have NOT been built on the important history we should have learned long ago and instead we continue to conduct social experiments to try to create armies and governments in our image. Until we understand and accept the sentence below we will never be able to work effectively with host nation forces.
Can the Iraqis readjust their army to better reflect culture and clan in time for the next offensive? Can the United States commit to an air campaign to rival Desert Storm? Can we provide enough moral and technical support to make all this possible by the beginning of the next campaign season in April and May 2016? I don't know. But I do know that history has been harsh to those who try to build alien armies in their own image. All the American firepower and "boots on the ground" will be for naught unless we allow the Iraqis to fight their war their way.