30 May '12, 9am

Pop-centric COIN - Where from and where to?

, Britain’s Chief of Defence Staff General Sir David Richards asserts ‘If we needed reminding, the major UK interventions in the first decade of the twenty-first century have reinforced the simple truth: the principal task for security forces in COIN is to secure the population from violence’. This article does not enter the debate whether or not this is indeed the ‘principal task’ of security forces in a counter-insurgency war. This may be right. The intention of this article is more basic. It is to argue that far from being a ‘simple truth’, securing the population as the principal task of security forces is a recent, Anglo-Saxon orthodoxy, promoted by US doctrine and parroted by America’s most faithful ally, the British. It is not shared and certainly not practised by most European allies, even in the same war. It has been followed by other Anglo-Saxon allies, in limite...

Full article: http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-simple-truth-sec...

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