The COIN Myth, Part III

Parts I and II discussed how our counterinsurgency doctrine’s requirements for a reliable host-nation government, a reliable host-nation security force, and reliable intelligence are impossible to achieve in our present wars. The third and final part of the series focuses on the futility of counterinsurgency itself as a tool of U.S. foreign policy. Our counterinsurgency … Continue reading “The COIN Myth, Part III”

The COIN Myth, Part II

Part I noted that two key requirements of our counterinsurgency doctrine – a legitimate host-nation government and a competent, trustworthy host-nation security force – will never be accomplished in Iraq or Afghanistan. Part II will illustrate the lack of reliable intelligence in our woebegone wars. The counterintelligence field manual that Gen. David Petraeus supposedly wrote … Continue reading “The COIN Myth, Part II”

The COIN Myth

The U.S. military’s fabled counterinsurgency field manual (FM 3-24) is an authoritative-sounding 281-page volume of balderdash. Even the legend of its origin is a fabrication. Gen. David Petraeus, former commander of forces in Iraq and now in charge of Central Command, supposedly "wrote the book," but the book was actually hammered together from plagiarized material … Continue reading “The COIN Myth”

Our National Cognitive Dissonance

“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” – Bertrand Russell Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on the Sunday gab circuit that rooting al-Qaeda out from Afghanistan is our only goal in that country. That’s interesting, considering that … Continue reading “Our National Cognitive Dissonance”

Tossing the COIN in Afghanistan

Our new counterinsurgency doctrine [.pdf] is obsolete before it has even been tried. If you have a high tolerance for asininity, go directly to the Web site of "President" Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan and feast your eyes on the litany of congratulations emanating from world leaders upon his election "victory." From an official statement by … Continue reading “Tossing the COIN in Afghanistan”