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Accession Number ADA566571
Title U.S. COIN Doctrine: Betting the Future on a Too Distant Past.
Publication Date May 2012
Media Count 57p
Personal Author C. J. Byrd
Abstract While the outcome of the Iraq war seems to have validated the U.S. Army's counterinsurgency manual, FM 3-24, the war in Afghanistan seems to indicate there are fundamental problems associated with its historical principles and concepts. Dr. Kilcullen and Dr. Gorka in 'An Actor-centric Theory of War: Understanding the Difference Between COIN and Counterinsurgency' claim that the historical cases upon which the COIN doctrine was based were too limited and do not represent contemporary insurgencies. The research, therefore, was directed at verifying their claim. To evaluate their claim, the research sought to answer three key questions. First, is FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency based upon theories and concepts derived in the unique context of the 20th century. Second, is the doctrine too reliant upon customary scientific principles to be relevant in addressing complex human and social phenomena such as insurgency. Lastly, in light of a historical contemporary conflict, is the doctrine an adequate guide for action in the apparently uncertain and more complex 21st century. The evidence collected showed that FM 3-24's writers relied heavily on well-documented 20th century insurgencies to define COIN principles that would guide action in the 21st century. As a result, FM 3-24 emphasizes principles and practices derived from post-colonial and Marxist contexts, not from conflicts occurring in the 21st century. The manual's over reliance on general principles indicates that the writers used a scientific approach to understanding and describing complex human and social phenomena. Examination of the Algerian Civil War further revealed that understanding context is an important factor in insurgencies because the principles codified in the manual may not be relevant to insurgencies occurring in the 21st century. These findings are troubling because they imply that the U.S. Army and other COIN forces may initiate future counterinsurgency campaigns with an inadequate guide to action.
Keywords Afghanistan
Civil disturbances
Civil war(United States)
Frequency modulation
Manual operation
Rand corporation

Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 74G - Military Operations, Strategy, & Tactics
95D - Human Factors Engineering
Corporate Author Army Command and General Staff Coll., Fort Leavenworth, KS. School of Advanced Military Studies.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note Monograph.
NTIS Issue Number 1307
Contract Number N/A

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