Counterinsurgency and the Allies

Forum: Progress, Dissent and Counter-Insurgency: An Exchange, Gian P. Gentile;  Thomas Rid;  Philipp Rotmann;  David Tohn; Jaron Wharton, Survival, vol 51, iss 6, p. 189-202

In the August-September 2009 issue of Survival (vol. 51, no. 4, pp. 31-48), Philipp Rotmann, David Tohn and Jaron Wharton argued that the US military’s change to a counterinsurgency posture in the on-going conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq was catalysed by two products of an institutional culture that strove to be self-learning: the response of junior leadership to tactical problems and senior institutional dissidents driving deep, controversial changes in doctrine and culture. In this Survival Exchange two experts offer US and European perspectives on the authors’ argument and recommendations to preserve and advance this dynamic in anticipation of future requirements for rapid change. A response from Rotmann, Tohn and Wharton concludes the debate.

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Germany’s Options in Afghanistan

Noetzel, T. and T Rid "Germany's Options in Afghanistan" Survival 51/5, October-November, p. 71-90

Germany’s military mission in Afghanistan has become increasingly politicised in the eight years since it was launched. Political and ideological differences between parties and even between ministries are becoming more pronounced, not less. This trend narrows the room for manoeuvre and limits the strategic debate. Greater instability in Kunduz province, at the heart of Germany’s area of regional responsibility in Afghanistan, has two immediate effects: it both increases the need to act decisively and it heightens the risk of political paralysis in Berlin. This article argues that the latter is likely to prevail.

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