A new documentary explores the tactic of 'Hearts and Minds' 20 years after the start of the war with which it is associated.
British military commanders and soldiers on the ground in Iraq used the term when working with local people.
A film from Forces News takes a look at its origin, how it was applied in Iraq, and, talking to key military players, asks if it is still relevant today.
In a rare TV interview, Lieutenant General Sir Graeme Lamb, the British commander in 2003, says hearts and minds "underpins everything I ever did in uniform".
He was Director of Special Forces and, in Iraq, played a key role in the development of counter-insurgency.
General Lord Dannatt, the Chief of the General Staff from 2006 to 2009, explains why winning hearts and minds was so important.
"A counter-insurgency campaign is always going to be about the people. That's why war is in any sense a human activity. It's amongst the people."
The documentary also hears from leading war studies academic, Sir Lawrence Freedman, and a soldier on what it was like going into Iraqi homes and schools as troops on the ground put the idea into practice.
The film explores the impact latterly of the deteriorating security situation.
Colonel Tim Collins, who famously gave a rousing eve-of-invasion speech to his soldiers, compares hearts and minds to taking a course of antibiotics.
"You have to stay and grip it until the problem has gone away and that's quite a long time. If you stop half-way through, withdraw to barracks, you have no control of what's happening." he said.
The film Hearts and Minds: A Very British Tactic is available to watch on the Forces News YouTube channel from 23 March.
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