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Influences of the Canadian Armed Forces on the revision of US Army Field Manual 3-24

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Technical Report

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US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States

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In 2006, the United States Army published FM 3-24, Counterinsurgency because of the growing insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The impacts of this new doctrine were profound not only in the United States military, but also with its policy and strategy makers, the media, and throughout American society. FM 3-24s ideas also resonated within Western military communities. The doctrine defined the paradigm by which Western society would conduct counterinsurgency at the beginning of the 21st century. Yet, eight years after its publication, the US Army updated and released a new version of its counterinsurgency doctrine. This monograph will argue that Canadian doctrine and its operations in Afghanistan in 2009-2010, was a critical influence on the 2014 revision of FM 3-24, Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies. This projects foundations are in the social sciences and uses a process-tracing approach to analyze a single case study. Blending ideas of social constructivism, scientific investigation in the form of paradigms, and an analytical, historically based model of doctrine, the monograph explains how Canada influenced a key aspect of American counterinsurgency doctrine. For it was Canadian doctrine and military operations in southern Afghanistan that saw the CLEAR-HOLD-BUILD approach transform into the current SHAPE-CLEAR-HOLD-BUILD-TRANSITION framework. Counterinsurgency campaigns and the associated debates about capabilities and capacities, from 2005 to 2014, used the CLEAR-HOLD-BUILD approach as a nucleus to the narrative. Considering future counterinsurgency operations will likely us the SHAPE-CLEAR-HOLD-BUILD-TRANSITION framework as the nexus for future dialogue and debate, and it is clear that Canada has had a significant impact upon its greatest ally.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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