Mosaic War:

The war against insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan is a “mosaic war,” said Conrad Crane, director of US Army military history at the Army War College. Speaking at a Cato Institute policy forum in Washington on Thursday, Crane said the war differs by time and place, which, in his view, means the coalition must develop a local, decentralized plan for each area. Crane said the varied missions in Southwest Asia—from providing clean water for a village to rooting out insurgents—are completely different tasks that require different capabilities and different plans for success. Crane also believes that the US military is missing an important component for success—collaboration with other agencies, an observation Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) agrees with. Reed told a Brookings Institute forum last month that the “build” portion of the Administration strategy has failed. Crane also apparently believes the “interagency process is broken.” He says there are many necessary—but not traditional military—missions that would be “better done by nongovernmental organizations and other government groups.”