Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!”

Strengthening a third-party government could be a broad US policy expressed in a variety of ways.  Or it may mean, the US military training and equipping certain host nation agencies for particular tactical skills, or leading these allies in counterinsurgency operations.  By itself, “strengthening” appears to me to be better described as a form of “Ways” in the classic “Ends-Ways-Means” triad of strategy. It may or may not be the best option to take – some governments are truly their own worst enemies.

Whether it is a good idea for the US to take upon itself the task of strengthening the host nation state in the first place, is a more strategic question.

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14 comments on this post.
  1. seydlitz89:

    zen-

    Interesting interview.  I agree with your comment as to confusion of “ways” and “ends”.  From a strategic theory perspective, it has always come across to me that Dr. Nagl’s/the current version of pop-centric COIN turned David Galula on his head.  Their assumptions in regards to the governments they are/were attempting to prop up (Iraq & Afghanistan) are quite different from those Galula makes in regards to his theory of Counterinsurgency Warfare.  Looking at these wars from Galula’s original perspective would have indicated the improbability of US success in either . . . imo. 

  2. Lexington Green:

    I don’t see us getting heavily involved in another one of these any time soon.  

    Stick to command of the commons and stay out of the contested zones on any long term basis.

    http://web.mit.edu/ssp/people/posen/commandofthecommons.pdf

    Nagl may be right about the best way to do these things.  That does not implicate the question of whether to do them at all.  

    Now, if Mexico were in a death spiral, maybe we’d need to help.  Otherwise, forget it. 

     

  3. Trevor Loudon's New Zeal Blog » Watcher’s Council Nominations – The Gipper’s Edition:

    [...] – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S [...]

  4. This Week’s Watcher’s Council Nominations | therightplanet.com:

    [...] – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S [...]

  5. Watcher’s Council Nominations – The Gipper’s Edition | askmarion:

    [...] – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S [...]

  6. Watcher’s Council Nominations – The Gipper’s Edition | Virginia Right!:

    [...] – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S [...]

  7. Watcher of Weasels Council – The Gipper’s Edition | Maggie's Notebook:

    [...] ZenPundit – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD [...]

  8. Bookworm Room » Voting day at the Watcher’s Council:

    [...] – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S [...]

  9. The Weekly Strength |:

    [...] ZenPundit – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD [...]

  10. Watcher of Weasels News | Independent Sentinel:

    [...] ZenPundit – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD [...]

  11. This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results | therightplanet.com:

    [...] place *t* with 1/3 vote -ZenPundit – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S [...]

  12. Trevor Loudon's New Zeal Blog » The Council Has Spoken!! This Week’s Watcher’s Council Results:

    [...] place *t* with 1/3 vote – ZenPundit – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S [...]

  13. Ah-ha! |:

    [...] place *t* with 1/3 vote -ZenPundit – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!”submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S [...]

  14. Bookworm Room » Watcher’s Council winners for February 10, 2012:

    [...] place *t* with 1/3 vote -ZenPundit – Nagl: “COIN is not Dead!” submitted by GrEaT sAtAn”S [...]