Counterinsurgency Reader

Special Edition


COIN Reader1

Military Review
Special Edition


Table of Contents

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SEP-OCT 2004

Winning the War of the Flea: Lessons from Guerrilla Warfare

Lieutenant Colonel Robert M. Cassidy, U.S. Army

America’s enemies use guerrilla tactics to protract the war in Iraq and to erode America’s will.



Best Practices in Counterinsurgency

Kalev I. Sepp, Ph.D.

Studying the past century’s insurgent wars can help us discern “best practices” common to successful COIN operations.



Winning the Peace: The Requirement for Full-Spectrum Operations

Major General Peter W. Chiarelli, U.S. Army
Major Patrick R. Michaelis, U.S. Army

Task Force Baghdad’s campaign plan created the conditions to keep our soldiers safe and our homeland sound.


NOV-DEC 2005

Changing the Army for Counterinsurgency Operations

Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, British Army

U.S. Army Transformation needs to focus less on its warfighting capability and more on developing a workforce that is genuinely adaptive.

Operation Knockout: COIN in Iraq

Colonel James K. Greer, U.S. Army

In November 2005, coalition and Iraqi forces again demonstrated the flexibility and agility needed in successful COIN operations.


JAN-FEB 2006

Learning Counterinsurgency: Observations from Soldiering in Iraq

Lieutenant General David H. Petraeus, U.S. Army

The Army has gained a great deal of experience in Iraq and Afghanistan about COIN operations. Here, one of the Army’s most experienced commanders details 14 lessons learned.

The Object Beyond War: Counterinsurgency and the Four Tools of Political Competition

Montgomery McFate, Ph.D.
Andrea V. Jackson

Beating the opposition requires COIN forces to make it worthwhile for the civilian population to support the government. How? By providing security—or taking it away.


MAR-APR 2006

So You Want to Be an Adviser

Brigadier General Daniel P. Bolger, U.S. Army

One of the Army’s top advisers in Iraq offers a vivid description of what it is like to train Iraqi security forces.

CORDS: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Vietnam for the Future

Dale Andrade
Lieutenant Colonel James H. Willbanks, U.S. Army, Retired, Ph.D.

Historians Andrade and Willbanks describe how the Civil Operations Revolutionary Development and Support (CORDS) program worked in Vietnam. A similar program might work in Iraq.

Unity of Effort and Victory in Iraq

Major Ross Coffey, U.S. Army

An innovative solution to the unity of effort in Vietnam, CORDS offers a blueprint for realizing the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq.



Massing Effects in the Information Domain—A Case Study in Aggressive Information Operations

Lieutenant General Thomas F. Metz, U.S. Army, et al.

III Corps’s former commander in Iraq is “absolutely convinced that we must approach IO in a different way and turn it from a passive warfighting discipline to a very active one.”

The Decisive Weapon: A Brigade Combat Team Commander’s Perspective on Information Operations

Colonel Ralph O. Baker, U.S. Army

Based on his experiences in Baghdad, Baker tells us how the 1st Armored Division’s 2BCT improvised an effective tactical IO program.

“Twenty-Eight Articles”: Fundamentals of Company-level Counterinsurgency

Lieutenant Colonel David Kilcullen, Ph.D., Australian Army

Plain speaking from an experienced ally about how to do counterinsurgency at the tactical level.


JUL-AUG 2006

Advising Iraqis: An Operating Philosophy for Working with the Iraqi Army

Lieutenant Colonel Carl D. Grunow, U.S. Army

A straight-from-the-field assessment of the current advisory effort and a prescription for what it takes to succeed in Iraq.

Countering Evolved Insurgent Networks

Colonel Thomas X. Hammes, USMC, Retired

Insurgency is a competition between human networks. We must understand that salient fact before we can develop and execute a plan to defeat the insurgents.

Producing Victory: Rethinking Conventional Forces in COIN Operations

Lieutenant Colonel Douglas A. Ollivant, U.S. Army
First Lieutenant Eric D. Chewning, U.S. Army

The combined arms maneuver battalion, partnering with indigenous security forces and living among the population it secures, should be the basic tactical unit of counterinsurgency warfare.

Unit Immersion in Mosul: Establishing Stability in Transition

Major Paul T. Stanton, U.S. Army

Tactical units living and working with the population “provide the flexibility to gather and disseminate information, influence host-nation political development, and neutralize threat activity.”


SEP-OCT 2006

Networks: Terra Incognita and the Case for Ethnographic Intelligence

Lieutenant Colonel Fred Renzi, U.S. Army

To analyze dark networks like Al-Qaeda, we need more than cultural awareness. We need ethnographic intelligence.

Intelligent Design: COIN and Intelligence Collection and Analysis

Major Dan Zeytoonian, U.S. Army, et al.

The methodology for IPB—intelligence preparation of the battlefield—has undergone a wholesale change since the cold war days.


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