Arab Way Of War 04
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Arab Way Of War 04 Presentation Transcript

  • 1. THE ARAB WAY OF WAR Norvell B DeAtkine [email_address] June 2009
  • 2. Application of Culture to Warfare
    • Generally not done or if done stereotypically applied
  • 3. What is Stereotyping?
    • Taking a kernel of truth and creating a broad all-inclusive generalization
    • It can lead to disaster in threat assessment
  • 4. Example
    • The Indo-Pakistan War, 1971
      • Pakistan outgunned and outnumbered by India launches an attack on India…….WHY?
      • “ One Pakistani soldier equals 20 Indians”
  • 5. Culture and Stereotyping Disasters in History
    • Hitler’s assessment of U.S.
    • war making capability
    • Our assessment of the
    • Japanese in 1940
    • German assessment of the
    • Eastern Europeans prior to
    • Operation Barbarossa
  • 6. Culture and Stereotyping
    • Arab view of the Jews prior to 1948
    • Our assessment of the North Vietnamese in 1966
    • Israeli view of the Egyptian military in 1973
  • 7. Culture and Stereotyping
    • Iraqi assessment of the U.S. in 1990….and perhaps again in 2003?
    • Ben Laden’s view of the U.S.?
  • 8. Culture is nevertheless, a prime determinant of the nature of warfare as the history of its development in Asia clearly demonstrates. John Keegan The History of Warfare The beginning and the ending of handling Arabs is the unremitting study of them TE Lawrence The Arab Bulletin Aug 1920
  • 9. Attributes Not Applicable to Cultural Studies in Warfare
    • Courage
    • Human Intelligence
    • Genetics
    • Example:
    • Roman Imperial Army
    ACCULTURATION NOT GENES
  • 10. Arab Warfare in History
    • Amazing Arab/Islamic expansion in 7th Century due to number of historical and social factors, but also because of………
      • Extensive battle experience
      • Excellent leadership
      • Adaptability
      • Excellent mobilization
  • 11. ARAB WAY OF WAR
    • All peoples have a distinct cultural approach to warfare. As Americans we have our own strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to minimize the weaknesses and use the strengths. EXAMPLE;
    • Kasserine Pass in WWII demonstrated our weaknesses.
    Kasserine Pass
  • 12. General Observations on Styles of War American
    • Vaunted position of “smart weapons” and technology
    • Quick resolution demanded
    • Decisive victory expected
    • Firepower decisive
    • War must be socially beneficial
    • Requires clear demarcation between peace and war
    • Ambiguity avoided and/or the complex oversimplified
  • 13. Arab Style of War
    • Political context
    • Evasive/Indirection
    • Delay/attrite
    • Standoff
    • Deception
    • Defense over offense
    • Psychological warfare
    “ Victories without battles” - T.E. Lawrence 1921
  • 14. STRENGHTS OF ARAB MILITARY
    • * low soldier maintenance.
    • * Inured to austere living conditions
    • * Tradition of obedience to authority
    • * Islam and the Arabic language are great vehicles for motivation and control.
    • *Dogged in Defense
    • *History of “rising from the ashes”
  • 15. ARAB Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities
    • Overly Centralized
      • Decisions made at higher levels
      • No subordinate input
      • Written orders a must
      • Top-heavy rank structure
      • Very little latitude given subordinates
      • Stovepipe organization inhibiting lateral communications
  • 16. Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities
    • Inhibitions on individual initiative
      • “Nail that stands up gets hammered down”
      • Byproduct of an authoritarian culture
      • Comparison of the Israeli and Egyptian Suez crossing in 1973
      • Soviet training reinforced top-down command style
  • 17. Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities
    • Decision-making and taking responsibility
      • U.S. E-7 equals authority of most Arab O-5/O-6
      • Always at the top
      • Tendency to reject personal responsibility
  • 18. Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities
    • Distrust of military, especially ground forces
      • Balance of forces
        • SANG and SALF
        • Iraqi Army and Republican Guard
        • Egyptian Army and Central Security Force
        • Syrian Army and Republican Guard Division
      • Dual-edged sword
      • Examples
        • Syrian in 1967
        • Egypt in 1973
        • Iraq in 1991
  • 19. Weaknesses and vulnerabilities
            • Other effects of the environment of distrust;
            • - Lack of effective joint operations
            • - Lack of effective coalition war
            • - Inhibitions on large –scale training
  • 20. Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities Arab
    • The Heavy Hand of Politicization
      • The Islamist threat
      • The ethnicity problem
      • The waning but still important place of certain ideologies
  • 21. Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities Arab
    • Manipulation of information and security
      • Information is power
      • Paranoia on security
      • Examples
        • Egyptians in 1973
        • Egyptians and Syrians in 1973
  • 22. Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities Arab
    • Dissimulation and Objectivity
      • Killing the messenger
      • “The lie which facilitates is better than the truth which confronts”
      • Arabic language as a powerful cultural influence
  • 23. Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities Arab
    • The Education Process
      • By rote
      • Instructor/instructors never challenged
      • Rigid classroom etiquette
        • Questioning
        • Grading
        • Ranks
  • 24. Weaknesses and Vulnerabilities Arab
    • Officers and Enlisted Gap and Unit Cohesiveness
      • Non-existent NCO Corps
      • EM treatment execrable
      • No communication
      • Typical Egyptian Army weekend in tactical unit
  • 25. Considerations in Assessing Arab Military Effectiveness Arabs have a flair for the dramatic and present Outstanding “dog and pony” shows.
  • 26. ARAB WAY of WAR
    • The maintenance system is culture
    • dependent, e.g.,
    • mechanical aptitude
    • trust in subordinates
    • the educational system
    • infrastructure
    • dependence on outside support
    Logistics and maintenance are perennial problems.
  • 27. ARAB WAY OF WAR
    • Urban warfare is the Middle East warfare of the past and future
      • 1948 Jerusalem: Israeli-/Arabs
      • 1967 Jerusalem: Israeli conquest(reconquest)
      • 1970 Amman: Jordanian conflict with PLO
      • 1973 Suez City: Egypt stops Israeli attack
      • 1975-1990 Lebanon: The civil war
      • 1980/1981 Iran –Iraq: Khoramshar
      • 1980 and 1982 : Syria. Islamist revolt
      • 1989- 2002 Intifadah I and II in Palestine
  • 28. Arab Way of War
    • Israeli Tank in Bethlehem
  • 29. THE ARAB WAY OF WAR Look For a strategy of urban terrorism : The lesson learned in the evolution of the PLO strategy is that terrorism, not conventional or guerrilla war, works.
  • 30. As we must face in parts of Iraq
  • 31. ARAB WAY OF WAR
    • To begin to understand the apparent Arab propensity for self-sacrifice in terrorist attacks, one must read Eric Hofer, The True Believer, and Raphael Patai’s The Arab Mind .
    •  
    • “ Dying and killing seem easy when they are part of ritual, ceremonial, dramatic performance ……..”
  • 32. ARAB WAY OF WAR
    • “… One of the main tasks of a real leader is to mask the grim reality of killing and dying by evoking in his followers the illusion that they are participating in a grand spectacle.”
    •  
    • “ Glory is a theatrical concept. There is no striving for glory without a vivid audience…..the knowledge that our mighty deeds will become known to our contemporaries……….”
    • Above quotes from Eric Hofer
    •  
  • 33. ARAB WAY OF WAR
    • “ It is a characteristic of the Arab mind to be swayed more by words than ideas and ideas more than facts”.
    • George Attiyeh in The Arabs.
    Palestinian suicide bomber
  • 34. ARAB WAY OF WAR
    • The Influence of Arab Culture on Arab Military effectiveness
      • A PHD THESIS by Kenneth Pollack completed in 1996 at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • HIS PRIMARY CONCLUSION
      • “ Arab culture had a tremendous influence on the ability of Arab militaries to conduct maneuver warfare, and the weakness of Arab militaries in maneuver warfare was the single most detrimental aspect of their poor military performance.”
  • 35. ARAB WAY OF WAR
    • Other findings of Pollock:
    • Weakness in mechanized warfare
    • Socio-economic backwardness
    • Politicization of officer corps
    • Focus on internal security
  • 36. ARAB WAY OF WAR
    • Concluding Observations
    • In the Arab World if the right hand is active, keep a sharp eye on the left.
    •  
    • Reverse the Clausewitzean theorem; War is not a continuation of politics but actually politics is a continuation of war.
    •  
    • The Middle Eastern wars will be most often fought in urban areas.
    •  
  • 37. ARAB WAY OF WAR
            • QUESTIONS?