Best Defense

The British post-1945 COIN scorecard

I’ve been reading an examination by British Col. I.A. Rigden of the British record in counterinsurgency campaigns. Here’s the post-1945 scorecard, by his accounting: Wins: 7 Losses: 5 Ties: 1 Incompletes: 2 (Iraq and Afghanistan) Well, it’s a tough league. Rigden has an interesting bio — he commanded a Gurkha battalion in Afghanistan, and spent ...

AdamKR/flickr
AdamKR/flickr

I’ve been reading an examination by British Col. I.A. Rigden of the British record in counterinsurgency campaigns. Here’s the post-1945 scorecard, by his accounting:

  • Wins: 7
    Losses: 5
    Ties: 1
    Incompletes: 2 (Iraq and Afghanistan)

Well, it’s a tough league.

Rigden has an interesting bio — he commanded a Gurkha battalion in Afghanistan, and spent seven years in company command. That’s more troop time than most U.S. Army officers probably get in 20-year careers. Anyone out there who knows how the British Army works that very different approach to officer management? 

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. @tomricks1

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