Global Counterinsurgency: A Way Out of the Global War on Terrorism Quagmire?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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With the attacks of September 11th, by a transnational, global, terrorist network, the full danger of this new security threat was revealed. The initial response of the U.S. Government to this threat resulted in the birth of the Global War on Terrorism GWOT. Since its birth, the GWOT has taken center stage as the default Foreign Policy and National Security Strategy of the United States. In the execution of this strategic construct the United States has deployed its military instrument of power to two regional conflicts -- Afghanistan and Iraq -- and numerous other low-level, special operations throughout the globe. This monograph examines the effectiveness of the GWOT and its current relevancy as a strategic concept after more than 6 years of implementation. The monograph addresses the background and origins of GWOT to include the arguments for and against its use and its strengths and weaknesses as a strategic construct. It specifically examines the current security environment in which the GWOT is being applied and finds it to be insufficient. The author proposes that the security environment is more accurately defined as a global insurgency conducted by a transnational terrorist network with global reach. Further, the best way to address this security environment is to replace the construct of GWOT with a global counterinsurgency COIN strategic framework. In doing so, the author replaces the primacy of terror or terrorism as the overarching threat with a clear identification of the enemy -- al Qaeda and associated groups and movements. The research delves into the strategic goals and operational objectives of al Qaeda, and assesses its effectiveness as a global insurgency using the criteria established by contemporary and historical insurgency theorists, such as David Galula, Bard ONeill, Steven Metz, Raymond Millen, Bruce Hoffman, and others.
- Unconventional Warfare