View Full Version : What to Make of COIN Doctrine in Iraq

09-10-2007, 10:43 AM
What to Make of COIN Doctrine in Iraq (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/09/what-to-make-of-the-petraeus-s-1/) - SWJ Blog by Dave Dilegge.

Note: This entry is a longer version of an article written for Military.com (http://www.military.com/warfighters) with the intent to provide basic background, things to look for and potential roadblocks concerning our counterinsurgency doctrine in Iraq. The article on Military.com should be posted later this morning.

Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I) has been subject to more than their fair-share of Monday-morning quarterbacking by retired generals and colonels; active duty officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted; Representatives, Senators, reporters, pundits, bloggers and think-tankers without throwing yet another so-called “expert” opinion into the hopper.

Moreover, the release of the recent National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq and General Accounting Office report combined with the partisan bickering in Congress only add to the fog of war as these documents, as well as other reports, have been interpreted by both sides of the aisle as either an encouraging sign of progress or confirmation of a bad war heading south.

The need for restraint in second-guessing and adding to the noise level is especially true leading into General David Petraeus’ and Ambassador Ryan Crocker’s much awaited progress report to Congress.

What I offer here are “the basics” - background on the “new” counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine and a quick-look guide on what to look for in reports and commentary concerning the dynamic and complex operating environment in Iraq – all against assumptions that “we don’t know what we don’t know” and everything we hold as ground-truth is nothing more than a snapshot in time of a long campaign that is subject to rapid and dramatic change for good or for bad on a recurring basis...