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The COIN Conundrum: The Future of Counterinsurgency and U.S. Land Power

Authored by Dr. Thomas R. Mockaitis.

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Counterinsurgency (COIN) continues to be a controversial subject among military leaders. Critics argue that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made the U.S. military, particularly the Army, "COIN-centric." They maintain that equipping U.S. forces to combat insurgency has eroded their conventional war fighting capabilities. Those committed to preserving and even enhancing COIN capabilities, on the other hand, insist that doing so need not compromise the ability of the military to perform other tasks. They also point out that the likelihood of even a mid-level conventional war remains low while the probability of unconventional engagements is high. This monograph reviews the COIN debate, analyzes current force structure, and concludes that contrary to the more extreme positions taken by critics and proponents, the U.S. military has achieved a healthy balance between COIN and other capabilities.

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Also by the Author/Editor:

Soldiers of Misfortune?
Avoiding the Slippery Slope: Conducting Effective Interventions
Resolving Insurgencies
The Iraq War: Learning from the Past, Adapting to the Present, and Planning for the Future
Civil-Military Cooperation in Peace Operations: The Case of Kosovo

View other pubs in the following categories:

Landpower Employment & Sustainment
Military Change and Transformation
Military Strategy and Policy
21st Century Warfare
National Military Strategy

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