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The most important elements of counter insurgency

Among military experts is has become almost axiomatic that it is impossible to defeat a determined and well-equipped insurgency by military means alone. Within the continuous line of military failures in Iraq, military experts have come to realize the relevance of political instruments in fighting insurgency.

Despite the traditional loyalty to military counterinsurgency strategies, these are gradually turning into an outdated means of conducting wars; and as globalization and the transformation of international relations invariably impact the structure and quality of modern wars, politics becomes the predominant element driving the success of counterinsurgency strategies and tactics all over the world. The American invasion to Iraq was expected to signify the dominance and power of military strategies in local wars.

However, the United States’ long-standing loyalty to military instruments in conducting its wars did not bring the anticipated results. The U. S. has failed to establish peace in the Iraqi territory; as a result, the state had to restructure its vision of counterinsurgency and the role of military elements in it. Although military tactics have not completely lost their relevance, “the great unknown is whether such commitment would be sustainable politically here at home. ”

Objectively, and in the light of the recent counterinsurgency operations, conventional military tools are being replaced with political instruments. While conventional conflicts still emphasize the role and importance of the military, a counterinsurgency strategy that totally relies on military forces and ignores political and social aspects of insurgency is initially doomed to a failure. Moreover, in contemporary military practice, the military plays only a supplementary role, with politics forming the crucial 80 percent of success in counterinsurgency operations.

The problem is that for many years, the United States has been moving to conventional military perfection. In part, this perfection was justified by the need to eliminate conventional armed threats on the side of potential enemies, and to deny conventional warfare as the means of resolving political disputes with the United States. For years, the U. S. was keeping to an illusionary idea that technology and technological advancement could combat any insurgency. Unfortunately, the U.

S. was not able to evaluate the decreasing marginal value of military technology in local and international military conflicts, and now, at the edge of the new war in the Middle East, “non-military instrumentalities of national power may have an equal or even greater role to play than military forces. ” Modern counterinsurgency operations make the militaries seek assistance among those, who would have hardly participated in military operations in previous decades.

These are engineers, constructors, economic professionals, and professional politicians. After the massive use of explosives, mortars, and small-unit attacks, reconstruction and political assistance is expected to work as a peacemaking factor that will simultaneously signify the success of the American counterinsurgency operations in Iraq. Now, when conventional wars are becoming highly asymmetrical, the American way of warfare development should revolve around civilian leadership and the non-military politics of counterinsurgency.

To guarantee that we are able to fight a determined and dangerous enemy, we should be prepared to facing intellectual and intelligence challenges of the new war, and only political, social, and economic instruments will support the striving to defeat the enemy in the long run. Conclusion Among present day military professionals it has become almost axiomatic that a good counterinsurgency strategy cannot solely rely on military means.

The recent military failures in Iraq suggest that excessive reliance on military technologies does not bring the anticipated results. With modern wars becoming more asymmetrical, military instruments are gradually losing their relevance, giving place to political, economic, and social factors that currently form no less than 80 percent of success in counterinsurgency operations. BIBLIOGRAPHY Alderson, A. “US COIN doctrine and practice: an ally’s perspective. ” Parameters, Winter 2007-08, 33-45. Barno, David M.

“Challenges in fighting a global insurgency. ” Parameters, Summer 2006, 15-29. Corum, J. S. “Getting doctrine right. ” JFQ, no. 49 (2008): 93-97. Feaver, P. D. “Anatomy of the surge. ” Commentary 125, no. 4 (2008): 24-8. Garamone, J. “Progress moving forward in rebuilding Iraq. ” U. S. Department of Defense, May 12, 2005. Accessed January 1, 2009 at http://www. defenselink. mil/news/newsarticle. aspx? id=31666 Record, J. “The American way of war. Cultural barriers to successful counterinsurgency. ” Policy Analysis, 577 (2006): 1-19.

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