June 09, 2009

The American Way of COIN

A little over a year ago, Janine Davidson -- now the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Plans -- was charged with explaining counterinsurgency warfare to a junior senator from Illinois who had just become the front-runner to be the next president. This latest release from Brookings is a cleaned-up version of a memo she drafted with the minor help of a then-pseudonymous blogger, who is credited at the end along with the soon-to-be Mr. Davidson. I still think the Hon. Dr. Davidson's memo -- coming in at just under five pages -- is as good an introduction to COIN for policy-makers as you are going to find anywhere, so Senate and House staffers, take note: this memorandum isn't the 100% solution, but it's short enough for your boss to read in between meetings and come away better prepared for his or her next hearing on Afghanistan.