Best Defense

10 questions about COIN (II): Some issues to address before trying to do it

10 questions about COIN (II): Some issues to address before trying to do it

By Major Tom Mcilwaine, Queen’s Royal Hussars

Best Defense guest columnist

Question Group Two — Can you fight an expeditionary counterinsurgency campaign? Isn’t it really something you only do on home turf? Like the Turks, or the Sri Lankans, or even the British? It strikes me as a strange type of war to fight on someone else’s home turf. Isn’t that more — well — imperial? Is it really classic pacification? And if so, what does that mean? Does it mean that we might need to acknowledge that this changes the context of the war? Does it mean that we might have to accept at the start that we can only achieve very limited objectives?

(To be continued)