Insurgency, resistance, and AFRICOM’s role

Resistance? Insurgents?

The US Army has fallen hard for counter insurgency, COIN. However, NPR reports:

An internal Pentagon report is raising concerns about whether the Army’s focus on counterinsurgency has weakened its ability to fight conventional battles. The report’s authors — all colonels with significant combat experience — say the Army is “mortgaging its ability to (successfully) fight” in the future.

The counterinsurgency doctrine emphasizes the use of minimal force, with the intent of winning the hearts and minds of a civilian population.

The idea in a counterinsurgency campaign, Nagl says (Lt. Col. John Nagl, one of the Army’s top experts on counterinsurgency doctrine) is to drive a wedge between the civilian population and insurgents who live among them.

However, when we talk about counter insurgency, is it really counter insurgency we have in mind? In Iraq the “insurgency” looks a lot more like a resistance.

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