Thursday, December 18, 2014

Paper - "Rethinking Victory in Counterinsurgency"

Colonel Michael C. Griffin, a USMC officer, has wrote a paper entitled "Rethinking Victory in Counterinsurgency". He suggests replacing the term "victory" with "success". According to Griffin victory is almost always unobtainable in a counterinsurgency but success - an endstate that can be defined in many different ways - is sometimes obtainable. He subscribes to the theory that counterinsurgency is 80% political and 20% military (I am in strong agreement with him on this point). He further states that defeating an insurgency or at least achieving a political solution that causes the insurgency to go away requires eliminating the "root causes" of the insurgency. (He is right again!). This is a very good paper that places counterinsurgency in its proper context; especially in light of the events in Iraq and Afghanistan this past year (2014). The paper (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 42 pages, 1.2 MBs big) was published in October 2014 by the United States Army War College Press, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania and is available to read online or download at the link below.

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