Yglesias

Do They Read These Manuals?

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CREDIT:

I have a Guardian item up about our reliance on airstrikes in counterinsurgency situations. Meanwhile, with regard to the new American offensive in Iraq, Robert Farley observes that we’re witnessing a return “to pointless and destructive sweep operations” that may represent a recognition within the command structure that the conditions in Iraq aren’t actually appropriate (in particular, we have neither the appropriate number of forces nor the appropriate sort of local ally) to conduct a textbook counterinsurgency — even according to the US Army’s brand new textbook.

As Farley says, these sweep “operations are emotionally satisfying, but by and large have never worked, and almost inevitably cause more damage than they prevent.”