Latin American Counterinsurgency: Early 20th Century Lessons for Afghanistan Today
AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE, AIR UNIVERSITY MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE United States
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The Sandino rebellion in Nicaragua and the Punitive Expedition into Mexico confirm counterinsurgency best practices and provide insight into, and lessons for, the current conflict in Afghanistan. This papers framework is a quick look exploratory case study of Afghanistan, the Sandino Rebellion and the Punitive Expedition with a comparative analysis of the cases lessons learned to each other through the prism of current thought on counterinsurgency best practices.The Sandino Rebellion and the Punitive Expedition were chosen for their parallels to the current counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and the hunt for Osama bin Laden. The cases comparisons to current counterinsurgency best practices show cross-cultural and cross time applicability of the Latin American counterinsurgencys lessons to Afghanistan. They show the US is now on the right path in Afghanistan, but still needs to educate the military, government and civilian populace better in counterinsurgency.