The Cunning, the Sleepless, and the Dead: The Origins and Development of Modern Counterinsurgency Doctrine

  • 2016

The Cunning, the Sleepless, and the Dead: The Origins and Development of Modern Counterinsurgency Doctrine

Author:
Cameron Albin
Abstract:

The military tradition forged in America’s “conventional” victories, coupled with the persistent Soviet threat of the Cold War, the failure of Vietnam, and the stunning success of Operation DESERT STORM, created public, professional, and even academic perceptions of conventional warfare as the “normal” mode of armed conflict, with small wars as the exception to the rule. However, a substantial body of evidence indicates that irregular warfare has been the primary occupation of American armed forces for the past two centuries. This paper will establish that COIN doctrine, as presented in 2006 was considered revolutionary in that it challenged the U.S. military’s focus on conventional regional conflict, in spite of the fact that the U.S. military has a long and clearly defined tradition of limited, asymmetrical conflict and Small Wars.