Sunday, May 17, 2009

The COIN Surge

Everyone interested in national security policy should read Celeste Ward's article in today's Washington Post. Ward talks about how prevalent counterinsurgency doctrine is these days--to the point that General McKiernan was fired in part for being too focused on "conventional" warfare--and how counterinsurgency is seen as a universal band-aid for any problems in Afghanistan.
I strongly agree with her main points. Although more knowledge of counterinsurgency doctrine and unconventional warfare is essential, they are not in and of themselves a solution to all our problems. Likewise, counterinsurgency is not some monolithic one-size-fits-all doctrine that you can just drop onto Afghanistan and hope it works. As I've been arguing recently, we need a real plan in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Get to work civilian advisors.

...counterinsurgency doctrine is again the proposed answer.

But to what question? Washington's ultimate objectives in Afghanistan remain unclear.

Well put.

No comments:

Post a Comment