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Will We Ever Learn?

Jun 02, 2008
The Rand Corporation is “a nonprofit research organization providing objective analysis and effective solutions that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors around the world.”

In their sixth paper on counterinsurgency, “Doctrine of Eternal Recurrence,” they discuss the military's tendency to ignore its own counterinsurgency manuals that stress winning the hearts and minds of the populations they are struggling to subdue in favor of the old tried-if-not-so-true methods involving large-scale operations and heavy firepower. It's déjà-vu all over again as the mistakes that made Vietnam such a horror show are made again in Iraq and Afghanistan. From the report's summary:

[T]his paper casts doubt on the military's ability to truly be a "full-spectrum force," because attempting to optimize for the full spectrum of conflict may produce a force that is not particularly good at any one aspect of that spectrum.
tags: Militarism

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