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Commentary – Obama’s withdrawal from Afghanistan & why counterinsurgency ain’t dead

My latest post on the National Journal expert blog lashes back against the current backlash against counterinsurgency:

Counterinsurgency is here to stay. It’s something the U.S. military will have to keep doing around the world for decades to come, because insurgencies that threaten U.S. interests are going to keep occurring around the world for decades to come. I sincerely hope we’ll never again have to do something on the scale of Afghanistan or Iraq, where we provide essentially all the troops required for years on end while we try to build local security forces from scratch – it is much more cost-effective in both blood and treasure for the U.S. to provide advisors and high-tech support to indigenous light infantry – but there’s no way to guarantee that won’t happen….I certainly understand the exhaustion with counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, but most of that exhaustion is with the Afghan war in general, not with the COIN strategy specifically, which we’ve only been undertaking in a serious way since the current surge began in 2009.


For the full post in the context of a discussion about the President’s drawdown plan for Afghanistan, go to the current topic on the NJ expert blog – but you’ll have to come back here to comment.

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