"Lawrence of Arabia was a man whose government sent him to a remote area of the world to learn about the culture and people of that foreign nation. His and other governments found that deploying individuals for extended periods was an economical way to gain an in-depth understanding of a remote area and develop a relationship with the local power brokers. The United States needs to reintroduce this practice to wage its Global War on Terrorism more effectively. Small groups of specially selected and trained advisory teams that live in remote regions of the world will enhance its Partner Nations' ability to control ungoverned spaces and defeat transnational terrorists. This monograph begins by examining Counterinsurgency (COIN) theory to demonstrate that successful COIN operations require a detailed understanding of the local population and its culture. The paper then looks at historical examples of the how these tenets were either upheld or violated by the British in Malay, and the United States in Vietnam and El Salvador, and what the consequences were for them. The monograph then delves deeper into methods for gaining an understanding of foreign peoples and cultures, not only how governments have historically attempted to gain an understanding of foreign populations, but also how business and humanitarian organizations use Social Marketing to learn about a population's wants and needs. Next, the monograph shows how the U.S. Government has traditionally tried to enhance Partner Nations' ability to protect their people from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency through its embassies, Regional Combatant Commands, and Security Assistance programs. While this approach has been somewhat successful, deficiencies in manpower and information can be surmounted by using specially selected and trained advisory teams who are embedded at the battalion, country, and regional levels to help control ungoverned spaces and defeat transnational terrorists."
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. School of Advanced Military Studies