david kilcullen

War on Terror

On the 16th anniversary of Afghanistan, see why we lost

Summary: On the 16th anniversary of the Afghanistan War, let’s ask why our investment of much blood and money in the WOT has accomplished so little. Despite our weak foes. To see why, look at advice given our troops in 2006. It was bad advice. Obviously so at the time. But our hubris made it …

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A look back at the madness that led us into our wars

Summary: Now that we’re extricating ourselves from the first two nations we occupied in the War On Terror, with no gains to offset the cost in money and blood, let’s re-examine the advice that led us into those holes.  Like the memos planning the Vietnam War, after the war they’ll read as madness.  Historians will …

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COIN as future generations will see it (and as we should see it today)

Summary:  COIN will be seen by future generations as a manifestation of early 21st century American hubris. How will future generations see our nation-building in foreign lands at gunpoint (aka COIN)?  Perhaps they’ll marvel at our self-esteem.  Here are two examples. (1)  One of the most arrogant statements in the entire military literature Article #1:  Know …

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A major function of our intelligence agencies is to shape the narrative, molding history like clay on a wheel

Summary:  Another in a series about the effectiveness of our intelligence apparatus.  Today we examine one of its greatest accomplishment, the creation of the global jihad.  Just-in-time salvation for the 21st century military/intelligence apparatus, facing the prospect of post-communist obsolescence.  Previous chapters:  (1)  How useful are our intelligence agencies? To what degree are they blinded by prejudice and institutional needs? …

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Stratfor: “The Khost Attack and the Intelligence War Challenge”

This Stratfor articles discusses a critical component of our occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan:  intelligence.   At the end are links to other posts about this subject. As usual, Stratfor gives an authorative analysis on the several dimensions of this topic.  But the authors “bury the lede”, putting their most disturbing conclusions deep in the article: …

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