Guess what? Killing people is no way to win hearts and minds!

I guess this comes under the heading of 'better late than never,' but there isn't a horse in sight of that there barn door:


The U.S. Army and Marines are finishing work on a new counterinsurgency doctrine that draws on the hard-learned lessons from Iraq and makes the welfare and protection of the civilian population a bedrock element of military strategy.
The doctrine warns against some of the practices used early in the war, when the military operated without an effective counterinsurgency playbook…
Wha-wha-what?!? After Vietnam and countless little proxy wars in various jungles, we still went into Iraq without "an effective counterinsurgency playbook"? Oh my Lord.
It cautions against overly aggressive raids and mistreatment of detainees. Instead it emphasizes the importance of safeguarding civilians and restoring essential services and the rapid development of indigenous security forces.
"The Army will use this manual to change its entire culture as it transitions to irregular warfare," said Jack Keane, a retired four-star general who served in 2003 as the acting chief of staff of the Army.
Three years, seven months and ten days have past since the invasion of Iraq, but it's never too late to get a clue.

This will no doubt assuage the guilt felt by various liberal hawks, and let them indulge their fantasies that massive firepower is quite "smart" and humane and nobody but bad guys get hurt and then only in bloodless, dramatic little TV-movie deaths.

But I'll take staying the fuck out of other illegal and pointless wars before I get too jazzed over a better field manual, if it's all the same to you.

Bonus stuff:

Speaking of bad behavior, it looks like Italian prosecutors are moving in on a bunch of CIA agents and embassy officials over extreme rendition, also known, in this case at least, as "kidnapping."

Fox News:
Prosecutors have completed their investigation into the alleged CIA kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in Italy and were preparing to ask that more than two dozen Americans and several Italian intelligence officials be ordered to stand trial, lawyers said Saturday.
Prosecutors say [suspect Moustafa Hassan] Nasr was taken by the CIA to the joint U.S.-Italian Aviano air base, flown to Germany and then to Egypt, where he says he was tortured. Prosecutors and a lawyer for Nasr say he is being held in a Cairo prison.
Former Premier Silvio Berlusconi, in power at the time of the kidnapping, always maintained that his government and Italian secret services were not informed about the operation and had not taken part in it.
However, prosecutors say top officials at SISMI -- including the agency's director, Nicolo Pollari -- collaborated with the Americans to abduct Nasr.
If Benito Berlusconi were still at the helm, you know this case would somehow be killed (although maybe not; Italians were really pissed when the story came out). But whether Berlusconi or Prodi, I don't see American intelligence officers ever actually being turned over to stand trial on foreign soil without a gunfight.

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