The way to win hearts and minds in the shadow of military power is to put local oppressed women in charge of dysfunctional societies.
It's neither neo-conservative, nor fallacious to introduce equality back into a society by starting with gender.
What about Hong Kong? I know almost nothing about the history of Hong Kong, but I know that it still exists, even after the departure of the British occupiers, as an island of relative freedom and more western culture. How did that happen? How did the British win "hearts and minds" so effectively that China was forced to keep many of their institutions and structures in place by local demand, even after they left?
Probably. If the US were willing to destroy any village that attacked it, then by the process of elimination the only villages left would be the ones that didn't attack the US. Is the US military able to indiscriminately slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocent people? No - the US military cannot pursue this strategy due to domestic and international political constraints.
Finally, if I didn't bother to detail a full plan, it doesn't somehow make me wrong.
When you have nothing to lose, play for the good guys.
l Emphasis on intelligence.
l Focus on population, their needs, and security.
l Secure areas established, expanded.
l Insurgents isolated from population
l Single authority (charismatic/dynamic leader).
l Effective, pervasive psychological operations
l Amnesty and rehabilitation for insurgents.
l Police in lead; military supporting.
l Police force expanded, diversified.
l Conventional military forces reoriented for
l Special Forces, advisers embedded with
l Insurgent sanctuaries denied.
But there was another side to this Counterinsurgency theory. If you could persuade the local people to come over to your side - then that would leave the insurgents who lived among the people drastically weakened. [...] But to do that you had to identify the insurgents - and that meant getting information from your new "friends" the local villagers. [...] Then an American military officer points out that what Atkins is doing is exactly the same as Mao's revolutionary theories set out to do - "win the minds and the hearts" of the local people. [...] Whereas in ordinary war the objective is to destroy the enemy and occupy his territory, the guerrilla's aim is to control the population. This, therefore, must be the aim of the counter-guerrilla as well [...] The aim of the protected villages and all the incentives was to separate the population from the insurgents.[...] And so - in 2006 - General David Petraus' team dug up Counterinsurgency again. They took David Galula's ideas and made them the central architecture for a new idea of how to rescue Iraq from the horror that had engulfed it since the invasion of 2003.
You lose them [troops, money] anyway without culturally marginalizing an absolutist enemy
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