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28 Counter-insurgency Strategies

February 5, 2007

While all the debate regarding what to do in  Iraq  plays out everywhere in the media and in Washington, I thought it’d be relevant to post something that David Kilcullen wrote last year (Hat Tip: LewisMumford):

Twenty-eight Articles: Fundamentals of Company-Level Counterinsurgency (pdf)

Very interesting read.   There’s definitely a disconnect between what wanna-be right wing pundits like Debbie Schlussel think our troops are trying to do in Iraq and what they are actually trying to do.

Kilcullen looks at the ‘war on terror” from a anthropological point of view (from the New Yorker):

“After 9/11, when a lot of people were saying, ‘The problem is Islam,’ I was thinking, It’s something deeper than that. It’s about human social networks and the way that they operate.”

Somehow, I don’t think that opinion is too popular over at LGF.  Nevertheless, Kilcullen is one of the counterinsurgency gurus that Bush (and the rest of us ) are relying on to turn this Iraq effort around.  He’s got some ideas that make sense to me:

Last year, in an influential article in the Journal of Strategic Studies, Kilcullen redefined the war on terror as a “global counterinsurgency.” The change in terminology has large implications. A terrorist is “a kook in a room,” Kilcullen told me, and beyond persuasion; an insurgent has a mass base whose support can be won or lost through politics. The notion of a “war on terror” has led the U.S. government to focus overwhelmingly on military responses.

Where the hell has this guy been for the last 6 years? 

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