Rule #1

When I saw the title of the post in the Small Wars Journal, “Phil Walter’s Five Rules for Counterinsurgency from a U.S. Perspective”, I was prepared to hate it but his Rule #1 changed my mind:

1. Don’t do counterinsurgency. Better to let the insurgents win and then engage their newly-formed country in state-on-state warfare, a U.S. strength, than to play the game the insurgent prefers.

Read the whole thing. It is short and to the point and advice I wish that American politicians would heed.

I would add one additional rule:

6. Never, ever do insurgency. It has never ended well for the United States.

6 comments… add one
  • Gray Shambler

    It always gets more complicated. Are we willing to let Venezuela become a Russian Protectorate? Let them settle for ten years, then take them out?

  • walt moffett

    How long did we tolerate a Russian dependency off the coast of Florida?

    Walter does make good points but how do we convince the TPTB flights full of civilian specialists and arms one way, cocaine on the back hail in unmarked planes is not the answer either?

  • bob sykes

    We did put down the Moro rebellion, which the Spanish couldn’t do for 300 plus years. But we had to kill several hundred thousand Filipinos to do so. We also put down our own Indian uprisings, mostly by killing any Indian we found, men, women and children. We no longer have the stomach for that sort of thing.

    I would recommend staying out of Venezuela. Maduro has substantial popular support and the support of the military. Some neighboring countries, like Bolivia, would help the Venezuelans oppose us. There would be widespread opposition throughout Latin America.

  • Some of the prerequisites for counterinsurgency are that a) you’ve got to plan to stay and b) you’ve got to think you’re entitled to do so. We don’t plan to stay in Afghanistan or Syria or Iraq, we certainly don’t think we’re entitled to stay, and most of the people of country don’t want us to stay. A successful counterinsurgency cannot be waged in those countries.

  • Gray Shambler

    bob sykes

    Just in. Brazil has recognized Maduro’s political opponent as Venezuela’s President. Lots of neighbors not happy there.

  • Andy

    “Are we willing to let Venezuela become a Russian Protectorate?”

    I don’t see why we should care. If Russia wants to sink its treasure into that basketcase, I say let them try.

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