Friday, December 11, 2009

Counterinsurgency: is it the population or the enemy?

There seem to be two dominant schools of thought regarding counterinsurgency. One is population focused. One is enemy focused. I just came from a lecture with the author of a recent book who thinks a third approach is more leadership focused. So which is most correct? I wonder if the answer is none of the above. Instead I wonder if there is an alternative option that is issue focused. What I mean is that each insurgent situation is unique. Granted there are similarities between all insurgencies and the counterinsurgent efforts against those insurgencies. But, they are all still different. Therefore, I wonder if in reality they each require a unique approach. If so, then the alternative, an issue centric approach, might make sense. Thoughts?