Secrecy News

“Tactics in Counterinsurgency” Again Online

“Tactics in Counterinsurgency” (large pdf), a new Army Field Manual that was published on the website of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and then removed from public access, is now available on the FAS website.

The new manual, a substantial addition to the literature of counterinsurgency, was reported last week in the Washington Post and Inside the Army.  “After The Post raised questions about its contents last week,” wrote Walter Pincus of the Post on March 31, “it was taken down” from the Army website, even though the document is marked for unrestricted release.

An email inquiry to the Army inquiring why it had been removed was not answered.

See “Tactics in Counterinsurgency,” U.S. Army Field Manual Interim 3-24.2, March 2009 (6.2 MB PDF, 307 pages).

“Setbacks are normal in counterinsurgency, as in every other form of war,” the new manual advises (p. C-5).  “You will make mistakes, lose people, or occasionally kill or detain the wrong person….  If this happens, don’t lose heart, simply drop back to the previous phase of your game plan and recover your balance.”