22 February 2012

Our Strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is it working?

COL Gian Gentile, the current Dean of History at the USMA, presents a very interesting case for Counter Insurgency (COIN) doctrine.  COIN is the current method of operation in Iraq and Afghanistan.  GEN Petraeus was the Iraq and Afghanistan commander who is credited with the 'huge success' in turning the corner in Iraq in 2008-09 with the Surge and COIN approach.

The questions he poses is that the success in Iraq was not due to a change in tactics from conventional to
COIN operations- it was due to other external and internal factors unrelated to COIN.  The supposed 'success' in Iraq would have happened without the 'surge' and GEN Petraeus' change in approach (COIN)

However, COL Gentile takes a look at history and COIN to debunk the myth(s) of COIN and its supposed success.  Furthermore, he presents historical evidence from Israel experiences in Lebanon to UK Colonial India to US involvement in Vietnam. 

His thinking will definitely challenge your thinking on Iraq and Afghanistan.  Furthermore, it is somewhat comforting to think that the 'Establishment' would allow someone like him who is opposed to the popular 'COIN' group-think to not only teach, but be the Dean of the department. 

Two articles that are very interesting in COL Gentile and how he has challenged the current 'COIN' thinking in the US Army and Department of Defense as a whole.



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