The U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Center has begun the revision process of Army Field Manual 3-24, “Counterinsurgency.” First published in December 2006, it is perhaps one of the most widely read and followed field manuals in history.
FM 3-24 has its critics and its apologists, but nevertheless, U.S. Army forces depend on it to guide planning and operations for on-going deployments worldwide. At the core of the manual are enduring principles and fundamentals based on history and lessons from contemporary operations. This revision will attempt to adapt applicable lessons from Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines and other counterinsurgency and irregular conflicts worldwide to inform the writing team and contributing agencies and stakeholders.
How to improve it?
The Counterinsurgency Center has constructed an analytical framework that seeks to include not only a thorough review of lessons and contemporary literature, but also voices and opinions of counterinsurgency theorists, academicians and practitioners, wherever they are and regardless of their opinion.
The resulting manual will be constructed so that Soldiers will want to read it because it is relevant to them at the tactical and operational level. It will serve to inform the activities of men and women in uniform into the foreseeable future. It will consider the range of irregular threats U.S. ground forces will confront in the future operational environment. It will contain tactics and procedures and principles, underpinned by analysis and theory.
The Counterinsurgency Center wants your input.
This is a U.S. Army and Marine Corps field manual, so decisions on content, writing style, and format are made by both services. However, the Counterinsurgency Center will engender a collaborative environment that capitalizes on the collective intellect, expertise, and vested interests of critical stakeholders.
The Counterinsurgency Center asks qualified persons to submit input. The first preference is for contributors to complete a questionnaire; however, any input is desirable that is substantiated both by personal qualification and research. See the Counterinsurgency Center public website to access a copy of the questionnaire at http://coin.army.mil (FM3-24 Revision tab). The questionnaire and any additional input will focus on doctrinal gaps which include:
- Gaps in what is not in the current FM.
- Duplicative material in the current manual that is covered in other doctrinal pubs.
- Information in the FM that is too narrowly focused, i.e., Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Incorrect information in the current FM that does not meet guidelines of the Doctrine 2015 construct.
Respondents need not answer all the questions found in the questionnaire. Many questions were posed to ensure adequate depth was provided to stimulate thinking and discourse. Thanks for your interest and we look forward to your contribution. E-mail responses to email@example.com.
Lt. Col. John Paganini is the director of the Counterinsurgency Center.