I can’t recommend this talk by retired Brigadier Justin Kelly of the Australian Army, which I had the opportunity to listen to in person, highly enough. “Justin Kelly is a recently retired Australian army officer. He commanded the Peace Monitoring Group on Bougainville, was deputy commander of the peace keeping force in East Timor and was director of strategic operations in the US headquarters in Iraq from November 2006 until September 2007.” He had a ringside seat on the Surge and reflects on what it means to win a counterinsurgency. As listeners will discover, it means first and foremost defeating the enemy in a basic military way. Kelly argued that as important as the developmental aspects of victory were, none of them were possible until basic security for the population could be established.
The first part of his talk is below. Parts two to six are on the Quadrant Magazine website, which, for those who have never heard of it, is one of the premier online conservative magazines in Australia. Follow the link and watch the rest for free.