October 15, 2010

After COIN, Another Dumb Strategy

Michael Cohen, Democracy Arsenal

AP Photo

It's a dispiriting reminder of the extent to which COIN-fetishization has deeply distorted US military thinking over the last 4 years. COIN operations may occasionally have their place, but was always a terrible fit for US and NATO troops in Afghanistan because of the lack of host country support, the diminished US political will and growing timeline for withdrawal, the presence of unmolested safe havens in Pakistan etc. None of these arguments will seem novel to regular DA readers; but it's simply a damning indictment of our military (and their enablers in thinktankistan) that these counter-arguments were brushed aside out of a misplaced, almost evangelical, faith in counter-insurgency as military doctrine.

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TAGGED: COIN, Afghanistan


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