Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan Analytical Essay by Nicky

Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan
An in-depth examination of the relevance of the counterinsurgency doctrine to the global war on terrorism.
# 148292 | 2,245 words | 19 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Oct 09, 2011 in Political Science (U.S.) , Political Science (Terrorism) , Hot Topics (Iraq Wars)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


The paper looks at America's past experiences with counterinsurgency and discusses how the US would gain by emulating the four broad principles of counterinsurgency that Britain employed to successfully target insurgency. The paper addresses the ethics of counterinsurgency, argues that counterinsurgency policies followed by the US were ruthless, inhumane, and even clumsy, and suggests the strategy of "disaggregation" in the war against terrorism. The paper emphasizes, however, that counterinsurgency doctrines cannot be abandoned altogether. The paper therefore concludes that combining force on an "as and when needed" basis with a focus on minimizing casualties and increasing nation-building activities would definitely bolster the counterinsurgency measures and be a significant step towards long-term peace and stability in the world.

Past Experiences
European Experience and the 4 Principles of COIN
Ethics of Counterinsurgency
Classical Counterinsurgency and New Methods
Lessons Learnt by the US Marines and the US Army
Military Victory versus Long-term Settlement/Peace

From the Paper:

"Insurgency is a combination of subversion and guerrilla warfare tactics used by a small fraction of a discontent population to enfeeble and finally conquer a nation from within. Insurgents normally operate from a materially and numerically weak position and operate within a discontented population by gaining the support of some adherents. They target government facilities, use hit-and-run tactics and use violence to focus attention to their cause. Countering such "low-intensity conflicts" which do not have the position of a full scale war, but are devastating nonetheless, is extremely complex and difficult. Such unconventional war robs the conventional forces of the advantages normally associated with firepower, mobility and numbers, engages the force in long drawn out engagements with an indefinite ending and confusing objectives and at the same time exposes them to criticisms from all quarters. (Joes, 1999, p. 26)"

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Amstutz, Mark R. 2005. International ethics: concepts, theories, and cases in global politics. Rowman & Littlefield.
  • Boot, Max. 2009. A New Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. [Online]. Available at: [accessed 28 April 2008]
  • Cassidy, Robert M. 2006. Counterinsurgency and the global war on terror: military culture and irregular war. Greenwood Publishing Group.
  • Danilowicz. n. d. Military Sciences Unconventional warfare fish out of water Applying counter insurgency doctrine in the war on terrorism. Naval war coll Newport RI joint military operations Dept. [Online]. Available at: [accessed 26 April 2008]
  • D'Souza, Shanthie Mariet. 2009. Weekly Fellows' Seminar Series - US Counter Insurgency Approach in Afghanistan Under Obama Administration: Does It Portend Change? [Online]. Available at: [accessed 28 April 2008]

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan (2011, October 09) Retrieved July 02, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan" 09 October 2011. Web. 02 July. 2022. <>