October 23, 2017

William Smith, managing director, Center for Statesmanship, published an article in the American Conservative about counterinsurgency strategy.

... For the last decade, a rough consensus has emerged about the 2006 revised U.S. counterinsurgency manual written by General David Petraeus. Its boosters say it improved Army and Marine Corps tactics against insurgents and led to the deescalation of violence and stabilization of a number of areas in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the same time, it is beyond dispute that the manual failed to achieve its most important goal—political reconciliation in those two nations. While there has been endless analysis of the counterinsurgency strategy’s success during the “surge” in Iraq, there has been very little consideration of other essential questions. Why has this new strategy ultimately failed to win these wars? And why have the short-term successes on the battlefield had no long-term political resilience? ...

Continue reading in the American Conservative.