Small Wars Journal

Ground Truth: Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

Ground Truth: Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

Center for Naval Analyses Briefing

When: Monday, 7 March 2011, 10:30 am -- 12:00 pm

Where: Capitol Hill, Cannon House Office Building, Room 122

This briefing will feature the key findings of a recent CNA study, Counterinsurgency on the Ground in Afghanistan: How Different Units Adapted to Local Conditions (by Dr. Jerry Meyerle, Megan Katt, and Jim Gavrilis). The study includes 15 vignettes (from 10 provinces) about different units from the US Marines, Army, and Special Forces; the British Army and Marines; the Dutch Army and Marines; and the Canadian Army.

In these cases, it was up to small units on the ground to adapt counterinsurgency principles to the unique conditions they faced in different areas of Afghanistan. The briefing will feature two officers, a U.S. Army colonel and a U.S. Marine captain, who were involved in two of these cases. They will describe the diverse conditions their units faced, how they responded to these conditions, what worked and what did not, and the successes they achieved.

In addition, the authors will discuss recurring themes from the 15 vignettes, lessons learned at the tactical and operational levels, and what they mean for future conflicts.

Some of the book's key themes include:

Dealing with a localized insurgency

Navigating the political terrain

Searching for political solutions

Engaging the population and building popular support

Employing restraint in the use of force

Operating with little strategic guidance

The agenda can be found here. For more information regarding CNA's work on issues related to stability and development, please refer to this website.