Counterinsurgency Challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan Comparison Essay by NMcRae

Counterinsurgency Challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan
A comparative exploration of the challenges faced by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.
# 144847 | 1,645 words | 16 sources | MLA | 2009 | AU

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This paper compares the challenges faced by the U.S. in its counterinsurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with those faced in the Vietnam War and those faced by the USSR in the Soviet-Afghan War. In comparing, this paper focuses on the challenges of insurgent foreign support, public support at home for the counterinsurgent forces, and the effectiveness of counterinsurgency doctrine. Through this research, this paper concludes that the counterinsurgency challenges faced by the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan are nothing new.

From the Paper:

"Today, the United States (U.S.) finds itself in counterinsurgent conflicts in both Iraq and Afghanistan. On September 11th 2001, global Islamist Jihadists belonging to Al Qaeda and led by Osama Bin Ladin, performed a succession of devastating attacks on the U.S. Subsequently, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 in order to punish what it believed to be those Islamic Jihadists that had attacked them, and to oust the Taliban government in place that it believed to have harboured such jihadists. A secondary result of the September 11th attacks was the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which was conducted as the U.S. said it believed Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and was linked to the jihadists that had attacked them. Since these invasions, the U.S. has become bogged down in counterinsurgency efforts largely against those Islamist jihadists it had aimed to attack in the first instance. Indeed the global Islamist jihadist movement coordinated primarily by Al Qaeda is fighting an unrestricted war against the West."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Akbarzadeh S. and Mansouri F. (Eds.), Islam and Political Violence: Muslim Diaspora and Radicalism in the West, Tauris Academic Studies, New York, 2007.
  • Krepinevich A. 'Second in a Series: Iraq and Vietnam: Deja Vu All Over Again?', Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, 2004.
  • Cassidy R. 'Back to the Street Without Joy: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Vietnam and Other Small Wars', Parameters, 2004, pp. 73-83.
  • Cordesman A. 'The Iraq War and Strategic Lessons for Counterinsurgency', Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2005.
  • Cordovez D. and Harrison S. Out of Afghanistan: The Inside Story of the Soviet Withdrawal, Oxford University Press, New York, 1995.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Counterinsurgency Challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan (2010, October 13) Retrieved February 07, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Counterinsurgency Challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan" 13 October 2010. Web. 07 February. 2023. <>