COIN Dogma and Afghan Legitimacy

One of the ironies of human thought is the way in which a new conceptual paradigm initially empowers effective action by challenging outmoded assumptions, only to later become hardened and resistant to empirical challenges itself. At that point, the once-revolutionary system of thought often does little more than empower the stubborn preference for theory over reality. That process used to take generations, but with the advent of modern communications, the pace has accelerated. I think it’s possible to argue that in the case of the U.S. Army’s COIN doctrine, we now have an example of it happening over the course […]

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