Counterinsurgency Since 9/11 and its Future

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Recent US experience in Iraq and Afghanistan has proven that COIN, however revised and updated to fit the globalised era in which we live, is a problematic and ineffective solution to the irregular warfare waged by insurgents. The United States and the West in general will have to accept the chastening lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan lest they repeat it: that they are not good at waging COIN and must try to avoid getting involved in such costly campaigns again. If intervention abroad has to be undertaken, it will have to fulfill a set of demanding conditions. Nonetheless, while COIN in its contemporary guise has failed to deliver long-term, tangible results, thinking about how to counter asymmetric challenges, including the waging of irregular warfare, cannot be ignored, given the likelihood that external interventions will continue to be required in the future. Moreover, while COIN as the basis of a grand strategy is unrealistic, some of its basic principles are useful in orientating future approaches to insurgencies and terrorism towards comprehensive and collaborative approaches, as opposed to merely hard security operations unilaterally undertaken by States, which fail to address the underlying fundamental causes of political violence and which undermine long-term legitimacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-265
Number of pages21
JournalDefence Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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