Notes: Military technology innovation has always been a central component of strategic advantage; however, the precise conditions that enable successful innovation remain a matter of some debate. The recent introduction of biometrics onto the battlefield offers a useful case study for examining military innovation and identifying specific factors that enabled military forces to rapidly develop and field a new technology in response to urgent operational requirements. This paper considers how doctrinal design and war-fighting strategies became important catalysts for this process, but also how bureaucratic shortfalls and weak acquisition strategies ultimately limited military forces from realizing the full potential of these technologies. This case study proposes that effective military innovation can only occur by means of an integrated approach that takes into account the interdependent elements of technology, acquisition planning, doctrinal design and war-fighting strategies. It offers some general conclusions on the conditions that foster a fertile environment for military innovation and identifies lessons learned for future efforts at introducing new technologies into the field.
"It is not too soon to draw cautionary lessons from the inconclusive results of US performance during more than 11 years of Operation ‘Enduring Freedom’ in Afghanistan. As in Vietnam, fundamental difficulties persist in adapting enduring institutions to the requirements of strategy. At the heart of the matter is tension between the assumptions that underlie counterinsurgency as practiced in Afghanistan and organization of the US Armed Forces, State Department, and Agency for International Development. Knowledge of basic principles and necessary changes is available to answer the question, could the US have done better?" [FROM ABSTRACT]
Abstract:Is killing or capturing insurgent leaders an effective tactic? Previous research on interstate war and counterterrorism has suggested that targeting enemy leaders does not work. Most studies of the efficacy of leadership decapitation, however, have relied on unsystematic evidence and poor research design. An analysis based on fresh evidence and a new research design indicates the opposite relationship and yields four key findings. First, campaigns are more likely to end quickly when counterinsurgents successfully target enemy leaders. Second, counterinsurgents who capture or kill insurgent leaders are significantly more likely to defeat insurgencies than those who fail to capture or kill such leaders. Third, the intensity of a conflict is likelier to decrease following the successful removal of an enemy leader than it is after a failed attempt. Fourth, insurgent attacks are more likely to decrease after successful leadership decapitations than after failed attempts. Additional analysis suggests that these findings are attributable to successful leadership decapitation, and that the relationship between decapitation and campaign success holds across different types of insurgencies.
Abstract: The conventional wisdom holds that security in Iraq only improved after Gen. David Petraeus implemented a new counterinsurgency doctrine that stressed population security instead of aggressive operations against insurgent forces. This interpretation is strikingly similar to the historiography of the Huk Rebellion, the Malayan Emergency, and the Vietnam War. In each case observers criticized initial efforts as brutal and counterproductive, only to be rescued when enlightened new leaders arrived on the scene. This article challenges the familiar hero narrative, arguing that critics routinely exaggerate the importance of leadership changes because they view conflicts as experiments in counterinsurgency rather than exercises in state-building. Whereas counterinsurgency (COIN) theory emphasizes issues like public security and government legitimacy, theorists of state-building describe a bloody and protracted competition for power under conditions approaching anarchy. The upshot is that the “heroes” of late-stage COIN might actually depend on the earlier “villains” who did the dirty work of establishing political order and coercing the population into obedience.
ABSTRACT: This article argues that US counterinsurgency doctrine forms a programme of both liberal rule and liberal war whose ultimate purpose is the pacification of recalcitrant populations and their eventual (re)integration into the networks of liberal governance. Designed to promote ‘safe’ forms of life while eradicating ‘dangerous’
ones, the doctrine constitutes a response to both the biopolitical problematization of human (in)security and
the geostrategic problematization of US national security. Counterinsurgency aims to harness sociocultural
knowledge in order to conduct a form of triage between elements of targeted populations. It also seeks
to inscribe the divisions on which such a triage is based into space by means of practices that derive from
earlier methods of imperial policing. Ultimately, counterinsurgency’s production and implementation of a
biopolitical differentiation between ‘safe’ and ‘dangerous’ human lives is likely not only to reinforce existing
societal divisions within targeted populations but also to create new global, regional and local divisions and
to generate resistance to what many people will always view as imperial domination. The societal divisions
and resistance engendered by counterinsurgency may reinforce Western problematizations of insecurity and
hence lead to further counterinsurgency campaigns in the future. Counterinsurgency doctrine is thus not
so much a programme of peace and stability as one of spatially and temporally indeterminate pacification.
Three COINs in a Mountain: Training for Counterinsurgency
MILEVSKI, L. (December 2011). INFINITY JOURNAL, Volume 2, Issue 1, Winter 2011, pages 27-30. (the online edition requests registration. The article can also be requested to the Library. [Please contact the Library])
La campagne de contre-insurrection vise a creer un espace pour le developpement de solutions politiques menant a la paix. En Afghanistan, les moyens devolus ont ete brides par la priorite irakienne. Le soutien pakistanais aux insurges afghans demeure. La faiblesse du gouvernement afghan interdit d'en faire un relais efficace de l'action internationale et de valoriser au maximum l'aide recue. Tous ces problemes expliquent largement l'echec a creer l'espace de la sortie de guerre. [FROM ABSTRACT]
New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson discusses the ongoing war in Afghanistan and whether it’s time for coalition forces to leave the country. His article “Force and Futility,” in the May 16 issue of The New Yorker, tells what’s changed—and what has remained the same—in the region of Khost, Afghanistan, since the United States first tried to kill Osama bin Laden there in 1998.
Success in war depends on alignment between operations and strategy. Commonly, such alignment takes time as civilian and military leaders assess the effectiveness of operations and adjust them to ensure that strategic objectives are achieved. This article assesses prospects for the US‐led campaign in Afghanistan. Drawing on extensive field research, the authors find that significant progress has been made at the operational level in four key areas: the approach to counterinsurgency operations, development of Afghan security forces, growth of Afghan sub‐national governance and military momentum on the ground. However, the situation is bleak at the strategic level. The article identifies three strategic obstacles to campaign success: corruption in Afghan national government, war‐weariness in NATO countries and insurgent safe havens in Pakistan. These strategic problems require political developments that are beyond the capabilities of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). In other words, further progress at the operational level will not bring ‘victory’. It concludes, therefore, that there is an operational‐strategic disconnect at the heart of the ISAF campaign. [ABSTRACT]
This article analyses the conduct of British operations in Helmand between 2006 and 2010 and discusses the implications for the legacy and future of British counterinsurgency. A number of lessons stand out: first, competence in the field of counterinsurgency is neither natural nor innate through regimental tradition or historical experience. The slow adaptation in Helmand—despite the opportunity to allow the Basra experience to be a leading example of the need for serious changes in training and mindset—is an indication that the expertise British forces developed in past operations is but a distant folktale within the British Armed Forces. Substantially changed training, painful relearning of counterinsurgency principles and changed mindsets are therefore necessary to avoid repeated early failures in the future. Moreover, despite eventually adapting tactically to the situation and task in Helmand, the British Armed Forces proved inadequate in dealing with the task assigned to them for two key reasons. First, the resources of the British military are simply too small for dealing with large‐scale complex engagements such as those in Helmand or southern Iraq. Second, the over‐arching comprehensive approach, and especially the civilian lines of operations that underpinned Britain's historical successes with counterinsurgency, are today missing. [ABSTRACT]
The campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have had profound effects on both the British and US militaries. Among the most important is the way in which they have challenged traditional assumptions about the character of unconventional conflict and the role of the military within comprehensive strategies for encouraging sustainable peace. In the UK, the most important doctrinal response has been JDP 3–40 Security and Stabilisation: the military contribution. Security and Stabilisation is an ambitious attempt to synthesize elements of counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, peace support and state‐building within a single doctrine that reflects the lessons learned from recent British operational experience. This article examines the purpose, impact and potential value of this important innovation in British doctrine. To do so, the article explores the genesis of Stabilization; analyses its impact upon extant British doctrine for counterinsurgency and peace support; discusses its relationship with the most important related US doctrines, FM 3–24: the counterinsurgency field manual and FM 3–07: the stability operations field manual; and debates the function of doctrine more broadly. It concludes by summarizing the primary challenges Security and Stabilisation must overcome if it is to make a serious contribution to the theory and practice of such complex interventions. [ABSTRACT]
Since 1989 the international community has been called on repeatedly to address the
security dilemma posed by weak states. NATO has found this to be a particularly daunting
task given that the organization’s traditional resources make only a small contribution to
providing security in post-conflict states. As a result the alliance has attempted to create a
new capability that merges civilian and military efforts. This process has met with limited
success in Afghanistan. This article examines the evolution of the comprehensive approach
in NATO and specifically the UK’s attempts to implement the comprehensive approach in
the first Helmand campaign of 2006. [ABSTRACT]
The article analyzes U.S. strategy in the Afghan War, as of 2011, describing a proposed fallback plan. This would involve effectively partitioning Afghanistan, in order to focus on counterterrorism operations in the southern regions where the Taliban is centered, and nation-building efforts in the northern regions. It is noted that this plan requires continued U.S. involvement in the region, and the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama is criticized for emphasizing America's exit strategy when the war has not yet been won.
AAN translated and summarised two articles written by Mónica Bernabé, a Spanish free-lance journalist mainly for Madrid-based El Mundo, who witnessed an US operation to secure the district of Nerkh, in March.
Amidst the carnage in the Middle East and Japan, General Petreaus gave evidence to the US Senate Armed Forces Committee on continuing operations in Afghanistan yesterday. Behind his measured positivity lie hints of impending strategic failure, writes former Royal Irish Regiment Captain Patrick Bury
Etienne de Durand is director of the Security Studies Center at the Institut Français des Relations Internationales (IFRI) in Paris. He is also professor at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris and at the Ecole de guerre. He is the author of the chapter dedicated to France in “Understanding Counterinsurgency-Doctrine, operations and challenges” (Routledge, 2010) edited by Thomas Rid and Thomas Keaney. He is contributor to the Ultima Ratio (http://ultimaratio-blog.org/) a blog focused on debating contemporary security and defense issues.
EEUU y los miembros de la coalición que forman la Fuerza Internacional de Asistencia para la Seguridad (ISAF) de Afganistán han decidido poner fin a la presencia de sus tropas tras una década de intervención internacional. El proceso (inteqal) hacia una transferencia de la responsabilidad de la seguridad al gobierno afgano y a sus fuerzas de seguridad, Ejercito Nacional Afgano y Policía Nacional Afgana, comenzará en 2011 y finalizará en 2014. Tras varios cambios de estrategia y sin alcanzar los objetivos estratégicos fijados en la operación, la prioridad actual de las fuerzas internacionales es la de acelerar la formación y el despliegue de las fuerzas de seguridad afganas para que pueda efectuarse el relevo.Este ARI estudia los cambios de estrategias seguidos y el estado de la situación operativa y del proceso de transición en general. También analiza la misión española y su situación operativa en detalle. Finalmente, apunta dos escenarios de transición, favorable y desfavorable, cuya evolución no dependerá tanto del calendario fijado o de las condiciones sobre el terreno como de la percepción de las opiniones públicas.[RESUMEN]
A recent United States review of the progress of the conflict in Afghanistan gave the situation a more positive spin than perhaps it warrants. Richard Weitz assesses developments over the past year and examines whether they justify the withdrawal of US and NATO troops by the proposed deadline of 2014.
Engagement in various forms of peace-building has increased dramatically since the Cold War, yet what is the future of peace-building in the aftermath of the troubled intervention in Afghanistan? This article argues that while many Western and allied governments will feel chastened by the experience in Central Asia, their impulse to 'do good' internationally will not altogether disappear. Instead, to avoid manage the complexity of future interventions, intervening government may be tempted to reinvoke the traditional peace-building principles drawn from the 1990s - neutrality, consent-based operations, and the minimum use of force. Such a tendency, this article argues, is based on a flawed historical understanding of the experiences of the 1990s and underestimates what it takes to build peace after war. Dissecting the peace-building principles in light of more recent experiences with counterinsurgency, the article explores the full requirements for effective intervention in war-to-peace transitions. It then concludes by discussing what these requirements mean for those states that express interest in peace-building, but whose commitment and capabilities are often found lacking. [ABSTRACt] - Article published on 14 December 2010
The article analyzes the operational conduct of German forces in northern Afghanistan and the making of German strategy in the context of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) since the expansion of the Afghan insurgency to northern Afghanistan in 2007. It is argued that the German contribution to ISAF is characterized by a severe mismatch between politico-strategic planning and decision-making in Berlin on the one hand and operational conduct and requirements on the ground on the other. Since 2007, however, politico-strategic insistence that the German engagement in Afghanistan constitutes a contribution to a post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction effort is steadily eroding. Analysis of German operational conduct in northern Afghanistan makes evident the existing mismatch between strategy and operations, but also reveals that the deterioration of the security situation on the ground has lead to a bottom-up-development of counterinsurgency doctrine, capabilities, institutions, and modus of operandi. Operations have been driving the making of German strategy, not vice-versa, which has severely hampered German efforts to counter insurgents' progress in the north of Afghanistan.[ABSTRACT] - Article published on 14 December 2010
Based on close observation of Regional Command (South) personnel in and around Kandahar, Anthony King offers an early assessment of Hamkari, a counter-insurgency approach that prioritises the political. But does the West really understand the complexities of the tribal fabric of patronage that underpins Afghan society? ISAF must find a way to engage with the power-brokers, or risk ploughing resources and lives into an impossible vision of a centralised state.
Matt Waldman is an Afghanistan analyst, specialising in the conflict, who has recently completed six months of field research on the Taliban for the United States Institute for Peace. He writes on the insurgency, drivers of the conflict, geopolitical issues, and the prospects of negotiations. He has previously authored a number of reports on Afghanistan, including on peacebuilding, protection of civilians, civilmilitary affairs and aid effectiveness. He was a Fellow in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2009-10); Head of Policy for Oxfam International in Afghanistan (2006-09); and the Liberal Democrats' Foreign Affairs and Defence Adviser (2004-06). He trained as an international lawyer and holds a Master's degree in Human Rights from the London School of Economics [ABSTRACT FROM THE PUBLISHER]
At the CIHM Congress, Professor Douglas Porch (Naval Postgraduate School) placed counterinsurgency (COIN) methods in a historical perspective. He provided a reality check and warned against too much optimism about COIN.
At the CIHM Congress, Lt Gen Dr. Jonathan Riley (who was Deputy Commander of NATO ISAF 2007- 2008 in Afghanistan) analysed strategy and tactics for the present day’s asymmetrical nature of warfare. He draws on practical experience from conflicts in Northern Ireland and Afghanistan.
"The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has since the turn of the new century experienced a double transformation gap : between global and regionally oriented allies and between allies emulating new military practices defined by the United States and allies resisting radical change. This article takes stock of these gaps in light of a decade's worth of collective and national adjustments and in light of counter-insurgency lessons provided by Afghanistan. It argues first of all that the latter transatlantic gap is receding in importance because the United States has adjusted its transformation approach and because some European allies have significantly invested in technological, doctrinal, and organizational reform. The other transformation gap is deepening, however, pitching battle-hardened and expeditionary allies against allies focuses on regional tasks of stabilization and deterrence. There is a definite potential for broad transformation, the survey of officers' opinion shows, but NATO's official approach to transformation, being broad and vague, provides neither political nor military guidance. If NATO is to move forward and bridge the gap, it must clarify the lessons of Afghanistan and embed them in its new Strategic Concept." [FROM ABSTRACT]
Les conflits d’aujourd’hui se déroulent dans un environnement technologique bien plus sophistiqué que pendant la période de la décolonisation. De nouveaux moyens aisément accessibles permettent aux insurgés de communiquer de manière beaucoup plus souple et décentralisée. Les possibilités en matière d’opérations psychologiques s’en trouvent démultipliées au point de jouer un rôle absolument central.
"Rarely has a military commitment led to such intense discussion in the Netherlands as the Task Force Uruzgan (TFU) mission in Afghanistan. In February 2010, the Netherlands' coalition government even collapsed after the two largest parties failed to agree on the withdrawal of Dutch troops from Afghanistan later this year. This article deals first of all with the difficult discussion over the Afghanistan mission of the TFU. The authors then subject three ISAF operations to close scrutiny. The authors provide some suggestions to help understand better this pivotal point in the execution of the whole operation and thus give a fuller picture of the Dutch counterinsurgency approach in Uruzgan." [FROM ABSTRACT]
The article focuses on the issue about the role of private security firms in Afghanistan. It indicates that during the speech of President Hamid Karzai, his government has been facing issues to the role of private security firms particularly on the commercial providers of security and military services. Other issues include bad reputation of the private militias, private security firms and local policing or self-defense units. [ABSTRACT FROM THE AUTHOR]
"The war presses steadily on in Afghanistan, with proponents arguing the rationale for either counter-terrorism or counter-insurgency as the approach for achieving the most favourable outcome. But neither alone can unseat the enduring alliance between the Taliban, Al-Qa'ida and the Pashtun people who straddle the Durand Line. The Pashtun Belt is the key to success in this conflict: winning the support of the population there requires a combination of both approaches in a complementary way to stabilise the region, and to deny it to the likes of Al-Qa'ida and its ilk, while aiming for a broader regional rapprochement in the longer term." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"This article identifies the obstacles and prospects of implementing President Obama''s surge strategy in Afghanistan by examining four issues: (1) the origins and implementation of the Iraq surge policy; (2) U.S. counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan; (3) a comparative examination of Afghan and Iraqi tribal insurgent structures; and (4) suggestions for a counter insurgency policy more in sync with regional social and tribal structures." [Copyright Elsevier]
"One of the underlying assumptions of the contemporary debate over Afghanistan is that counterterrorism objectives can be achieved through counterinsurgency methods. The recent decision by President Barack Obama to deploy 30,000 extra troops to Afghanistan is premised on the idea that to disrupt Al Qaeda and prevent it from forming training camps in Afghanistan it will be necessary to first reverse the momentum of the Taleban insurgency. This approach—which places the US and UK on the offensive to disrupt terrorist plots before they arrive on their shores—assumes that the threats from Al Qaeda and the Taleban are intertwined and thus the strategy of response must seamlessly comprise elements of counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. In fact, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency are very different—often contradictory—models of warfare, each with its own associated assumptions regarding the role of force, the importance of winning support among the local population, and the necessity of building strong and representative government. Rather than being mutually reinforcing, they may impose tradeoffs on each other, as counterterrorism activities may blunt the effectiveness of counterinsurgency approaches and vice versa. The last four years in Afghanistan provide evidence that when employed in the same theatre counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategies can offset one another. To be in a position to begin the withdrawal of US troops before July 2011, the Obama administration will need to find a way to manage the tradeoffs between its counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategies in Afghanistan." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"En 2010, outre qu’ils en sont à leur neuvième année de guerre en Afghanistan, les Américains se sont engagés dans une nouvelle stratégie, leur ultime recours, la contre-insurrection, basée sur l’action civilo-militaire. Cette nouvelle stratégie, fortement inspirée par les recherches menées par des analystes français dans les années 60, n’a guère de chances d’être couronnée de succès, si elle ne peut dépasser des contradictions militaires et politiques." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"This article examines the coercive and deterrent utility of targeting the leaders of violent, non-state organizations with precision force. Building on the literatures on targeted killings and deterrence theory, this article provides a case study analysis of targeted killings in Afghanistan. Relying on publicly available and semi-private sources, the article presents a comparative analysis of four targeted killings conducted against Taliban leaders. Findings suggest that the eliminations degraded Taliban professionalism, diminished the group's success rates, influenced their selection of targets, and weakened morale. These findings speak to the efficacy of targeted killings in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency and to their value as both counter-capability and counter-motivation operations." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"The international intervention in Afghanistan has contributed to entrenched state weakness and rising insecurity. Despite increased references to the need for reconciliation with the Taliban and a political solution to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, few specifics have been offered by academics or policymakers. Building on research into conflict resolution and an analysis of the composition and motivation of the insurgency, this article addresses this gap by asking whether conditions are currently “ripe” for a negotiated settlement, how “ripeness” may be achieved, and, once achieved, how a political settlement might best be pursued." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"The article explores the contribution of improved cooperation with tribal and other community forces in Afghanistan for a successful U.S. counterinsurgency strategy. He claims that American stability and security strategy have been informed more by past experiences reconstructing nations with strong central governments than what is happening in Afghanistan. He stresses the importance of protecting the population through development of the Afghan National Army and National Police." [FROM EBSCO]
"In the August-September 2009 issue of Survival (vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 31-48), Philipp Rotmann, David Tohn and Jaron Wharton argued that the US military's change to a counterinsurgency posture in the on-going conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq was catalysed by two products of an institutional culture that strove to be self-learning: the response of junior leadership to tactical problems and senior institutional dissidents driving deep, controversial changes in doctrine and culture. In this Survival Exchange two experts offer US and European perspectives on the authors' argument and recommendations to preserve and advance this dynamic in anticipation of future requirements for rapid change. A response from Rotmann, Tohn and Wharton concludes the debate." [FROM ABSTRACT]
The operation in Afghanistan threatens to overburden the Atlantic alliance. In the face of a complex and growing Afghan insurgency movement, the world's most powerful military alliance struggles to maintain political unity and displays significant gaps regarding military capabilities. Will Afghanistan become NATO's 'Vietnam', leaving a deep negative imprint on the future of the Atlantic alliance ? Historical analogies should always be treated cautiously as no two wars are alike. Yet, as this article argues, NATO might well suffer similar politico-military consequences from trying to succeed in counter-insurgency as did US forces in Southeast Asia. Particularly, political issues of legitimacy and sustainability loom large. Further, in the case of 'defeat' at the Hindu Kush the Afghan operation will likely have a significant impact on NATO's future as an international security actor. While failure in Afghanistan will not result in the Atlantic alliance's demise, failure will nevertheless decrease the credibility of NATO as a global security actor and greatly diminish its capability for strategy-making. In the eyes of many allies, the demonstration of severe political and military limits when endeavouring to succeed in a complex contested nation-building scenario will greatly diminish NATO's utility as a Western instrument to project stability far beyond its traditional theatres of operation. [FROM ARTICLE]
"The demands of counter-insurgency have sparked much discussion about the need for army reform. But it is also the case that government, as a whole, must adapt to the present campaign. Britain has lagged behind the US in this regard, and it is not clear that sufficient political will exists in the UK for real change. However, British capacity is only ever the first step: ultimately, what matters for successful stabilisation is the capability and legitimacy of the host government." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"US President Barack Obama's current policy favours escalation in Afghanistan. The idea is that as the United States' military presence in Iraq is drawn down, the use of force can be refocused on Afghanistan to forge a more viable state. The principal instruments of this policy are more American troops with better force protection (a customised version of the counter-insurgency 'surge' employed with ostensible success in Iraq) and firmer bilateral diplomacy with Pakistan. The administration's policy appears to be overdetermined. The premise of the policy is that the United States must 'own' Afghanistan in order to defend its strategic interests. But that premise begs the question of whether US strategic interests actually require the United States to assume the grand and onerous responsibility of rebuilding the Afghan state. They do not." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"This article assesses the scope and nature of the current terrorist threat to the United States and suggests a strategy to counter it. Al-Qaeda continues to pose the most serious terrorist threat to the U.S. today. If the September 11, 2001 attacks have taught us anything, it is that al-Qaeda is most dangerous when it has a sanctuary or safe haven from which to plan and plot attacks. Al-Qaeda has acquired such a sanctuary in Pakistan's Federal Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and its North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and surrounding environs. Accordingly, the highest priority for the new American presidential administration must be to refocus our—and our allies'—attention on Afghanistan and Pakistan, where al-Qaeda began to collapse after 2001, but has now re-grouped. This will entail understanding that al-Qaeda and its local militant jihadi allies cannot be defeated by military means alone. Success will require a dual strategy of systematically destroying and weakening enemy capabilities—that is, continuing to kill and capture al-Qaeda commanders and operatives—along with breaking the cycle of terrorist recruitment among radicalized “bunches of guys” as well as more effectively countering al-Qaeda's effective information operations. The U.S. thus requires a strategy that harnesses the overwhelming kinetic force of the American military as part of a comprehensive vision to transform other, non-kinetic instruments of national power in order to deal more effectively with irregular and unconventional threats. This article first discusses the scope and details of the terrorist threat today and then proposes a counterterrorism strategy for the new presidential administration. It focuses first on creating a micro approach to address the deteriorating situation in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. It then considers the requirements of a broader macro strategy to counter terrorism and insurgency."[FROM ABSTRACT]
"The article discusses the U.S. war in Afghanistan and offers suggestions for achieving peace in the region. The author suggests that policies which include reconciliation between insurgency groups, the Afghan government, and military organizations are more likely to result in stability than military victories alone. The historical willingness of Taliban commanders to change allegiances, the specific tribal and traditional needs of involved groups, and the importance of national and international reconciliation in Afghanistan are addressed. The influence of the Afghan presidential election, efforts to improve Afghan governance, and effective increases in security are also discussed." [FROM EBSCO]
"This article examines Britain's capabilities and resources in Helmand Province, and assesses the high-level strategy and civilian-military inter-relationships that provide the overarching framework of current operations. In doing so, Theo Farrell and Stuart Gordon analyse the British counter-insurgency approach, arguing that the UK's troops have faced and overcome unique challenges in Afghanistan." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"The following article aims to examine current counter-insurgency (COIN) strategy in Afghanistan to posit an untried theoretical concept of operations for the war being waged there. By doing so it shall argue that Coalition and NATO forces operating there may be required to fundamentally recast Afghan war-policy if a resurgent Taliban and Al-Qa'eda are to be countered in both the military and political spheres of present day Afghanistan. By way of strategy this article shall posit that a more optimal strategy in Afghanistan, in light of the campaign's apparent difficulties, might be to seed local security apparatuses, designated herein as 'Rural Paramilitary Forces'." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"The article discusses U.S. counter-insurgency efforts in Afghanistan as of 2009. Afghanistan is a difficult theater of operations for outside military forces, the author indicates. Topics of discussion include U.S. and British failures to understand the extent of resistance in Afghanistan to anything that feels like foreign control, the 1979-89 war between the Soviet-backed Afghanistan government and its mujahadeen adversaries, and the power of non-state groups to rely on uses of force not controlled by any state." [FROM EBSCO]
"Recent counter-insurgency doctrine has largely ignored the justice sector. This article, referring to current multinational efforts in Afghanistan, contends that this is a serious mistake. It is an error not made by the Taliban, who are acutely aware of its importance." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"The need for COIN operations to tackle the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan is accepted by most coalition members. The German army has yet to adapt to this development. This article examines why the German political establishment still contests the need for counter-insurgency tactics in northern Afghanistan." [FROM ABSTRACT]
"The Tactical Conflict Assessment Framework was used by British forces in Helmand Province to attempt to quantitatively understand how best to combat the insurgency in Afghanistan - but it was soon discontinued. David Wilson and Gareth Conway examine why this method fell out of favour, the specific lessons learnt, and what methodologies may be more appropriate." [FROM ABSRACT]
"Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell IV, USA, is Commanding General of the NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan. Captain Nathan K. Finney, USA, is a Strategist serving with the NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan. PRISM is published by the National Defense University Press for the Center for Complex Operations."
The author calls for a strategic pause in the way America is executing its Afghanistan strategy. He focuses on three strategic misconceptions he believes require greater scrutiny : associating the Hearts-and-Minds strategy with government legitimacy, using the correlation of forces as the foundation of the strategy, and assuming unity of effort is a natural consequence of multinational endeavors. The author leaves the reader with the warning that it is incumbent upon decision-makers to instill greater intellectual rigor on issues involving counterinsurgency and state-building. [FROM ARTICLE]
"As 30,000 additional American soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan, the U.S. is also focusing on reintegrating Taliban insurgents into Afghan society. There has been speculation that this new focus is part of a quick-exit strategy for the U.S. While reintegrating as many local Taliban fighters as possible is a vital part of the counterinsurgency strategy, premature negotiations with Taliban leaders based in Pakistan could easily backfire. The Obama Administration must bear in mind that insurgents are more likely to negotiate if they fear defeat on the battlefield. The Taliban have steadily regained influence in Afghanistan over the last four years--and U.S. and NATO forces must first weaken the Taliban on the battlefield before engaging in serious negotiations with the leadership." [ABSTRACT]