CSC friend Matt Armstrong a.k.a. Mountainrunner has a new post at Small Wars Journal about the importance of capitalizing on recent gains in Iraq by following through with success in the reconstuction effort:
The U.S. needs to take a systematic, holistic â€œwhole of governmentâ€ approach to reconstruction and stabilization that puts the focus on meeting the basic needs of the people in these countries. This shouldnâ€™t be about what the U.S. needs or wants, but what the people of the country in question need and want. Basically, when people are safe, secure, full (not hungry), engaged and comfortable, they have no need to fight or support terrorists. Terrorists work by instigating and sustaining instability, fear, and discomfort (disillusionment) and if the USG fights buys-in to this approach by fighting back with hard-power only, it just perpetuates the cycle.
I would also add that it’s one way to rebuild badly needed credibility in the region, the lack of which is hindering us in the quest to effectively use soft power in the fight against terrorist groups.