Sunday, July 22, 2007

The COIN of the Realm

On Saturday Weekend Edition Scott Simon talks to Sarah Sewall about the U.S. Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual (which can also be downloaded from this site). The piece is an adoring assessment of US COIN in general and this manual specifically. Sewall gushes:

  • "...the statements from this administration, while they talk about a terror threat, don't do much in the way of providing a world view and a framework for thinking about the US role in confronting it - and ironically I think this field manual goes farthest in providing us with a useful framework."
  • "In counterinsurgency your goal is to enhance the legitimacy and the capability of the host nation government..."
  • [regarding minimizing civilian casualties] "...the manual says that VERY EXPLICITLY [stated with great sincerity and emotion]."
  • "It's a whole different mentality."
  • "...this doctrine tells us what we can do so that we're not making the mistakes that we've made in Iraq."
Of course, it never even comes up why an insurgency develops (injustice, dictatorship, exploitation, invasion, and occupation) or the fact that the US has historically sided with the most despicable side in its counterinsurgency struggles (El Salvador, Guatemala, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Philippines, etc.)

Tom Hayden has an informative, scathing critique of the collaborationist role that academics like Sewall are playing in our increasingly militaristic national policies.

1 comment:

larry, dfh said...

Thanks for the Hayden link.