When COIN Isn’t COIN

In many ways, Stephen Metz’s recent Small Wars Journal post is an echo of the ongoing debate over whether the ascendancy of counterinsurgency doctrine in the U.S. military will lead to a strategic shift towards more counterinsurgency wars of choice. COIN practitioners have argued that the enormous costs and complexities of counterinsurgency combined with the limited chances of success argue against widespread use. Their mantra is, Don’t confuse tactics with strategy. Metz, though, gives anecdotal evidence to the effect that the COIN focus on stabilizing states has already crept into the strategic assumptions of military futurists. He questions counterinsurgency not […]

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