Global Politics' Bob Tollast posted an interview with former COIN advisor Emma Sky. A short excerpt:
One of the main issues for us resulted from our conceptualization of non-legitimate extremists battling against legitimate government. This conceptualization led us to focus our main effort on building up the capacity of "government", particularly its security forces, and helping it to crush its opposition through force, rather than on brokering political consensus among the competing groups or helping build up the institutions or the processes to manage conflict and competition. What we are witnessing today in Iraq is in part the result of our building up the “security state” at the expense of the “democratic state”.
In both Iraq and Afghanistan, we created ‘elite bargains’ which excluded key constituents. The excluded groups refused to accept their marginalization, and turned against the Coalition as well as the new elites that we had put in power and who they did not regard as legitimate.