The Tragedy of Counterinsurgency
By Taylor Marvin
“I don’t care about the apology. The only option I have is to pick up a Kalashnikov, RPG or a suicide vest to fight.”
Miscommunications like this are going to keep happening. As tragic as they are, they’re a product of fighting a hot war in an environment full of civilians. While scaling back NATO air missions to the lower levels seen under General McCrystal would help, such a reduction would likely mean more dead US soldiers. Air power is an important asset, and restricting its use restricts one of NATO troops’ biggest safeguards. Of course, as long as air strikes kill civilians more Afghans will be pushed into the insurgency by justifiable grievances. There isn’t a way out of this trade- it’s inherent to counterinsurgency, and military power in general. Military operations kill people, and create enemies where there weren’t before. This is important to remember when considering the value of a no-fly zone over Libya.