As I have written before, the new army counterinsurgency manual is "old wine in new bottles." It is merely the re-packaging of the same methods of counter-insurgency which we and the French learned at great expense in the middle of the last century. After the Vietnam War, the United States abandoned the idea of participating in further counter-insurgency campaigns and deliberately "forgot" everything we had known about this subject. Vast quantities of documentation were destroyed in a quest for true forgetfulness.
We succeeded in forgetting about counter-insurgency but apparently did not succeed in eradicating the possibility of insurgency as a method of warfare. It returned as a methodology in Iraq to the surprise of both the neocons and the US armed forces.
There is a lot of talk these days about "generations" of warfare. Pay it no mind. The concept of "4th Generation Warfare" is a fraud perpetrated as a marketing device by scholars of warfare for the purpose of assuring senior officers that they are not to blame for their ignorance of military history. The various kinds of warfare (generations) have always existed on a contemporaneous basis (at the same time).
"Quadrillage?" A French term from our earlier doctrine. It denotes a method of dividing into "squares" a counter-insurgency terrain or population objective in order to isolate the people within while combing through the enclosed area in a search for insurgents and their supporters.
Evidently, that is what we are going to do in Baghdad. We are going to divide up the Sunni (initially) parts of the city, isolate them, and then use Iraqi (Shia and Kurdish) troops and police to comb through these "squares." To make sure that this gets done we are going to put a smallish American force in each "square" as a "stiffener" and reinforcing reserve for the "Iraqis."
That means that we will have numerous small garrisons placed alone in "Indian Country" in positions that will come to be well known to insurgent reconnaissance. These garrisons will have to be supplied in spite of IEDs, anti-aircraft ambushes and sniping. The widely dispersed garrisons will be co-located with Iraqi security forces. This is an inherent security problem. Tactical reserve (QRF) forces will have to be large and highly mobile.
Along Haifa Street on the "seam" between Sunni and Shia Baghdad recent fighting has shown the necessity of building demolition to achieve desired results. Let us hope that the areas that will be fought in will be evacuated by civilians before this decisive battle by "Quadrillage" begins. pl