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Literature Review Wrong Turn In America's Counterinsurgency

802 words - 4 pages

Colonel Gian Gentile is a retired U.S. Army seasoned combat battalion commander. He served in the Iraq War. Has taught history for the United States Military Academy at West Point. Presently, acts as senior historian for the Rand Corporation in his book Wrong Turn: America’s Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency questioned, “The necessity and efficacy of the doctrine of counterinsurgency (COIN) which is essentially armed nation-building.”
Gentile a trained historian with an eye for detail draws upon our Nation’s foreign interventions in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan in hopes of gaining additional insight into where we have been and where we are going with the strategy of waging ...view middle of the document...

Gentile questions the effectiveness of America’s counterinsurgency strategy in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Gentile discusses the ongoing debate of whether the Vietnam War was winnable or unwinnable. With that in mind, he references George Herring, an eminent diplomatic historian, “Summing up this interpretation best when he wrote that the Vietnam War was unwinnable at a (moral or material cost) most American deemed acceptable” He notes the United States did have limits to where we would go to win a war. Launching attacks on neighboring countries that bordered the war torn region was not acceptable. Neither, was sending, “millions and millions of troops to do it – the war was simply could never have been won.” Gentile asserts the war was unwinnable for the United States and the South Vietnamese.
General David Petraeus is called into question with the surge of troops into Iraq in the fall of 2007. Gentile states the, “lowering of violence that began during this time is a combination of critical factors”. Namely, the “Awakening of Sunni tribes in Anbar Province, which had been developing two years before the surge began.” To make clear the nature of the difficulties, the Sunni tribes, which were located in western Iraq, had reached their social acceptable limit of the massive killings of Iraqi civilians at the hands of al Qaeda group located in Iraq. The tribespeople had grown weary of al Qaeda’s domination and oppressive manner by dictating Sunni women marriage customs...

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