Counterinsurgency in the Post-COIN Era (World Politics Review Features)

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Government in a Box? Counter-insurgency, State Building, and the Technocratic Conceit. JavaScript is currently disabled, this site works much better if you enable JavaScript in your browser. Publishing With Us. Book Authors Journal Authors.

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Buy Softcover. FAQ Policy. About this book The notion of counter-insurgency has become a dominant paradigm in American and British thinking about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Show all. Pages Biddle, Stephen et al. As we have learned over the past decade, the U. While critics sometimes deride the slowness with which the U. The challenge for the U. The Army will probably be able to manage when it comes to supporting functioning partner militaries, but it might be hard-pressed to create a partner military from scratch, as in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the broadest sense, the U. If done with skill, this will enable the United States to revive its counterinsurgency skills if they are needed again.

Quite realistic. He has embedded more than two dozen times with U.

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The first page of the U. A great start, quoting the most preposterous sentence ever written in a US military field manual. The military, which heretofore had enjoyed predominantly conservative support, was now feted by liberal commentators as well. A powerful observation. The militant American public puts the Left at a disadvantage, so they lust for wars they can support.

Good wars. Which our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were, for a long time. Insurgencies and uprisings are best dealt with by the host government fighting the war largely by itself, while receiving aid, training and some special operators — or relatively small numbers of troops — from outside sponsors.


This is what happened in the Philippines especially in the s — s , El Salvador and Colombia. However, if the war goes badly, the sponsor is often unable to keep itself from taking over the fight and throwing its armies into the fray. This is what happened in Afghanistan both the Soviet and American versions , Vietnam and, for a while, Iraq.

Once there, the outside power quickly goes about the task of trying to build up the local army and police, but it soon finds itself faced with crippling dilemmas. Before long, its presence offends national pride and leads even the political leaders on whose behalf the sponsor is shedding blood to repeatedly condemn its operations. To beat a guerrilla force, it is essential to make enemy combatants feel oppressed and vulnerable — so hounded, in fact, that they cannot imagine persisting in their cause for even another week.

Current U. But in practice, the choice is never as clear-cut as that. Nicely said. But this requires a far smaller military than we have today. Like it or not, manpower-intensive stability missions have a peculiar way of finding us. Indeed, America has repeatedly tried to swear off large-scale interventions, to little avail. These things just keep happening!

Minting New COIN: Critiquing Counter-insurgency Theory | SpringerLink

Why does the US military, vastly larger than required to fight any combination of actual enemies, find itself repeatedly engaged in pointless manpower-intensive missions? Exum alone of all these experts dates state the obvious. Fortunately he immediately turns away from these unpleasant realities into pleasant myths. Many — though not all — of these claims have some merit. But contemporary U. Gentile, WPR, 22 November , counterinsurgency is not dead — far from it. This is in part because insurgency itself remains stubbornly alive. The U.