"After The Surge" - ISW Releases New Iraq Report

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Contact: Megan Ortagus
(863) 398-8164 cell
October 5, 2010

LTC David Hodne, has authored a first-hand account of how Task Force Raider conducted operations under the Security Agreement (SA) in Iraq

Washington, D.C. - The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has published a new report by ISW contributor, LTC David M. Hodne, After The Surge: Task Force Raider's Experience in Iraq, as part of ISW's Best Practices in Counterinsurgency series. This report is a first-hand account from the commander of the 3rd Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, regarding his unit’s implementation of the historical bilateral Security Agreement (SA).

ISW's Best Practices in Counterinsurgency series examines case studies of pivotal COIN operations executed in Iraq by publishing reports and interviewing the soldiers who designed, participated in, and led the successful missions in theater. These products record the lessons learned on the battlefield and serve as an educational tool for current and future military thinkers.

Much attention was paid to the successful counterinsurgency operations in Iraq during the Surge of U.S. forces, which brought Iraq back from the brink of civil war. However, after the Surge ended, coalition forces had the grueling task of keeping enemy groups at bay, while also maturing the Iraqi security forces, and helping to build a lasting peace in Iraq. Published by ISW, LTC David M. Hodne's report explains how U.S. forces, operating under the new guidelines of the Security Agreement, were able to help Iraqis make gains in security and governance which ultimately led to a more stable state.

Download After The Surge: Task Force Raider’s Experience in Iraq, by LTC David Hodne

Key facts from the report:

  • Following the implementation of the SA, U.S. military formations operated in an unfamiliar construct given perceived constraints on tactical operations.
  • For example, no detentions or arrests could be carried out by the U.S. forces except through an Iraqi decision issued in accordance with Iraqi law.
  • Among the first coalition units to implement the historic Security Agreement, 3rd Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry developed a phased network-centric strategy focused on building effective Iraqi capacity within local government institutions and Iraqi security forces.
  • This was a departure from previous security-centric strategies that sought solely to reduce enemy influence or protect the local population.

Steps in the strategy:

  • Understand the tribal and societal fabric.
  • Define all of the networks operating within this fabric.
  • Develop a strategy to enable friendly networks while simultaneously disabling enemy networks.
  • Restore the natural hierarchy of Iraqi society, which would survive long after U.S. forces departed Iraq.

About the Author

Lieutenant Colonel David Hodne is from New City, New York and received his commission in the Infantry upon graduation from the U.S. Military Academy in 1991. He served in leadership positions from the platoon to the battalion level in mechanized, light, and Ranger units and most recently commanded 3rd Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division prior to assuming command of 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment in June 2010.

Throughout his career, Lieutenant Colonel Hodne participated in numerous contingency operations including two deployments with the First Cavalry Division in support of Operation Intrinsic Action and Operation Iris Gold in Kuwait (1992-93); and while assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment (2002-2007) conducted multiple deployments to both Afghanistan and Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. LTC Hodne returned to Iraq with 3rd Squadron, 4th U.S. Cavalry during Operation Iraqi Freedom Rotation 9-11 (2008-2009), in the year that marked the implementation of the historic Security Agreement and Strategic Framework Agreement.

Lieutenant Colonel Hodne earned a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Aerospace Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy and a Master of Arts in Military Studies in Unconventional Warfare from American Military University.

Lieutenant Colonel Hodne's awards and decorations include three Bronze Star Medals, four Meritorious Service Medals the Joint Commendation Medal, Commendation Medals from each Service (Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps), the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Senior Parachutist Badge (with Combat Jump Star); and Israeli, Canadian, and Brazilian Parachutist Badges. His units earned the Joint Meritorious Unit Award and the Meritorious Unit Commendation for actions in combat.

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The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization. ISW advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S. strategic objectives.