What can broadly be considered raiding strategy deserves consideration as an alternative to global counterinsurgency. However, its utility is limited and must be bounded within a broader review of American grand strategy. This paper addresses the utility and limitations of raiding and punitive expeditions. Both raiding and global counterinsurgency are valuable approaches in pursuit of strategic goals but should not be elevated to the centerpiece of national security policy–especially in light of underdetermined grand strategy.
….Even if we could develop a metric for the requisite amount of force to be employed, we would still encounter objections to raiding based on an awareness of political affairs and bureaucratic infighting. Defense pundits discussing proposed strategies seem to implicitly assume that the United States is a state with strong executive planning organs and a political culture capable of digesting sophisticated strategies; a kind of 21st century version of Moltke’s Prussia. Instead, we live in a political culture more aptly chronicled by the creators of South Park.