Victory in Counterinsurgency: Adaptation and Innovation
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Small wars are not a problem of the past. The selective engagement in small wars will continue to be a decision for U.S. national leaders, but the protection of U.S. interests around the world will eventually result in limited conflicts. The U.S. must accept their eventuality and continue to prepare for the counterinsurgencies that will accompany low intensity conflicts. Arguably, the American public is tired. Political leaders want to avoid new conflicts post Iraq and Afghanistan that could result in costly, non-decisive wars. The Department of Defense DoD is shifting priorities away from limited regional wars by preparing for security conflicts with potential regional hegemons that could challenge American geo-political interests. These conditions create an environment in which the most serious lessons from America s recent counterinsurgencies are neglected, improperly remembered, or worst of all, not harnessed to develop innovative strategies for the future. Victory in counterinsurgency will require innovation that utilizes past failures as a catalyst for adaptation in order to properly identify the center of gravity and balance the operational factors in response to emerging security challenges.
- Unconventional Warfare