Warrior Legacy Institute (WLI) has released a second paper on our options for Afghanistan and Pakistan explaining Counterterror (CT) strategy. Last week "A primer on population-centric counterinsurgency" was the first paper designed to help the public understand what possibilities are under consideration for the theater.
Gen. McChrystal has requested additional troops to implement the counterinsurgency strategy (COIN), but this does not mean that there is a choice between COIN and CT. Right now our efforts in Afghanistan are helping the CT efforts by generating intelligence and limiting the Taliban and al Qaeda from finding safe havens there. Ideally a fully-resourced COIN effort would safeguard the populace and assist the CT mission as noted. If we scale back our efforts in Afghanistan it will complicate and degrade our ability to effectively prosecute strikes against terrorists in the entire region. The idea that we can use CT as our primary effort and simply use drones to kill bad guys is completely misguided. It is telling that the prime proponents of that are Rahm Emanuel and Joe Biden, while Gens. McChrystal and Petraeus believe that COIN represents the best possibility of success.
WLI offers these two papers and accompanying videos to allow anyone who wants to an opportunity to see what the competing ideas are and form their own opinions. Please help us inform as many people as possible by forwarding this to others. If you have an email list, let them know, Facebook it, Tweet it. You know the drill. We are social media.
COIN Primer video