The TAO of Special Forces: an analysis of counterinsurgency doctrine
Donahoe, Adrian A.
Reed, D. Todd, Jr.
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The unwillingness to correct deficiencies in current COIN Doctrine or to follow the correct methods within current doctrine will lead to continued instability and possible failure of counterinsurgency operations and governments in states with large Islamic populations. The conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq is insurgent in nature, therefore requires a Counterinsurgent strategy. Current US Army Doctrine focuses entirely on the Counterguerilla aspect of an insurgency, rather than viewing the insurgency in its entirety. Therefore, not only is the COIN doctrine is inadequate, it also requires an overall governing strategy which must include the engagements of both the populace, and the infrastructure of the insurgency, as well as counterforce operations against the guerillas. The entire hierarchy of COIN Doctrine is skewed in favor of the conventional units who write it. Currently all COIN operations fall under Support and Stability Operations, as do Counterguerrilla Operations in doctrinal hierarchy that is written by the US Army Infantry Branch. However, US Army Special Forces Branch writes Insurgency and Foreign Internal Defense Doctrine (COIN falls under FID for all Internal Defense and Development [IDAD] Programs). The unique qualifications of Special Forces units make them ideal for creating, developing, instituting, and commanding these operations. Special Forces soldiers are language and culturally trained to operate within these nations, and normally have habitual associations previously developed with the people and militaries of these nations.
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