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Not with a sword

Reader comment on item: Must Counterinsurgency Wars Fail?

Submitted by michael (United States), Sep 15, 2008 at 09:31

The central question is: what do you do when a sizable portion of a country's population is prepared to like you, while a smaller fraction hates you? The US approach has been to depose their government, destroy the political and physical infrastructure, leave the economy in tatters, decimate employment and public health, and bomb into rubble any civilian area rumored to harbor people who don't like you. We have to ask what effect this has on our popularity.

Would it not be a far more efficacious approach to secure the perimeter, police internally without going to great lengths to punish or destroy wide swaths of territory, and put the mass of our efforts into creating a solid economy? People with jobs to go to and families to support don't spend their time building car bombs. So the common sense approach would be to create stability and jobs. Insurgencies are only unwinnable the way we address them. Every other approach will win them over.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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