The U.S. Army has completed a long-awaited new manual (large pdf) presenting military doctrine on counterinsurgency. It is the first revision of counterinsurgency doctrine in twenty years.
In several respects, the new doctrine implicitly repudiates the Bush Administration’s approach to the war in Iraq.
“Conducting a successful counterinsurgency campaign requires a flexible, adaptive force led by agile, well-informed, culturally astute leaders,” the foreword states.
The new manual emphasizes the importance of planning for post-conflict stabilization, and it stresses the limited utility of conventional military operations.
“The military forces that successfully defeat insurgencies are usually those able to overcome their institutional inclination to wage conventional war against insurgents.”
A copy of the new 282 page unclassified manual was obtained by Secrecy News.
See “Counterinsurgency,” U.S. Army Field Manual 3-24, December 15, 2006 (12.9 MB PDF).