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      Tuesday
      Jun052012

      In Response to The End of Counterinsurgency

      The US Army-Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual.I was glad to see evidence-based realism in George Friedman's appraisal of counterinsurgency at Stratfor. Unfortunately, there seems to be a cult trying to resurrect the South Vietnam Phoenix Program – see the US Army-Marine Corps Field Manual and writings of David Kilcullen.

      The key to this revisionist military history is its placement of blame on politicians, anti-war groups and public opinion in the US, not the dubious premise that Vietnamese nationalism, backed by the Soviets and Chinese, could be defeated by a huge American force allied to a venal client regime.

      The lesson should be that counterinsurgency’s Achillies’ heel is its dependence on unpopular and client regimes. But I was surprised at the minimal nature of Friedman's proposed mission for combat troops; e.g. Small infantry or marine units to protect sea lanes, in the example given. I agree there could be such a role, but then what is the reason for sustaining a massive Pentagon budget, hundreds of bases, et cetera? It sounds as though America is turning into Gulliver.

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