May 27, 2010

Making Burgers out of Sacred Cows

I'll have a longer post when I get the chance about how students and practitioners of counter-insurgency operations and strategy need to constantly question and test our assumptions about the state of the art lest we fall prey to treating COIN like some unfalsifiable ideology like Marxism rather than as an operational choice in need of constant refinement and study. Until, then, though, check out this summary report from a conference held in the UK a few months back (at which I presented an early draft of "Leverage"). There is some great stuff in here about the actual effectiveness of some of the non-kinetic lines of operation in COIN (that we tend to blindly assume are good things but in cases do nothing and in others make the problem worse). Kudos to Andrew Wilder, Edwina Thompson and Robert Grant for putting this together.

On the other hand, who can we send in to make sure Adm. Olson walks the line? Malcolm Tucker, perhaps? (NSFW)