COIN: It may work in the real world, but does it work in theory?
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 at 12:07AM
Thomas P.M. Barnett in Citation Post, SysAdmin

A serious piece, I am sure, in the Washington Quarterly that explores the "impossible trilemma" of counterinsurgency.  Got it via WPR Media Roundup.

This was the para that caught my eye.

While at present there is general agreement on how to carry out counterinsurgency,3 a clear analysis of the tradeoffs that all counterinsurgents have to deal with is still lacking. While challenges within the field remain, counterinsurgency still faces numerous challenges in theory. Neither scholars nor practitioners have developed a theoretical framework that has been able to explicitly specify the existing tradeoffs among the three typical goals involved in this doctrine.

Only an academic could write that with a straight face.

I guess I don't see the challenge lying primarily in the realm of theory but rather in fieldable technology (e.g., tagging, facing recog, sensors, etc.).

But, by all means, if it doesn't work in theory, we should back off!

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