In reply to Dave Kilcullen's post on religion and insurgency:
The problem is that the insurgency in Iraq and elsewhere is fueled, if not based on an Islamic jihad. The element most intransigent and so far impervious to counter methods is the suicide bomber who believes that he goes to heaven for killing men, women and children in the name and the cause of an extreme religiosity.
The counterinsurgency (COIN) manual was based on selective abstracts from past insurgencies that were at base political movements, where the allegiance of the people could be swayed by one side or the other. In Iraq, no Sunni is going to convert and become a Shiite, or vice versa. Granted, the Baathists behind the curtain believe they can manipulate the jihad extremists, but AQI has displaced them as the field leaders. And AQI does intend a caliphate based on its interpretation of religion.
The COIN manual was based on a different model, one that does not apply to the root cause of the insurgency - a radical religion whose adherents are not susceptible to having their hearts or minds won over.
Many of the TTPs in the COIN manual do apply. But no country has written the manual for eradicating the virulent disease of Islamic jihad based on a twisted interpretation of religion, God and the kingdom of heaven.