Redefining the War on Terror
It looks like this will be worth buying in hard copy. I'm betting the article won't be on-line.
In the December 18, 2006, issue of The New Yorker, George Packer reports on a radically new approach to fighting the war on terror (“Knowing the Enemy,” p. 60). Packer talks to a remarkable theorist named David Kilcullen, an Australian anthropologist who is also a lieutenant colonel in his country’s Army and the chief strategist in the U.S. State Department’s Office of the Coördinator for Counterterrorism. Kilcullen, who is “on loan” to the U.S. government, claims that the notion of a “global war on terror” is fundamentally misguided, and argues that America is in fact facing a “global counterinsurgency.”I've been saying this since before Bush went into Afghanistan, but nobody listens to me.
As Packer writes, “The change in terminology has large implications . . . The notion of a ‘war on terror’ has led the U.S. government to focus overwhelmingly on military responses. In a counterinsurgency, according to the classical doctrine . . . armed force is only a quarter of the effort; political, economic, and informational operations are also required.” In other words, America can’t simply win battles; it must win the political support of the civilian populations that feed radical Islamic movements.