Three Years and You're Out

If you can't beat 'em, keep trying to beat 'em? The United States needs a new counterinsurgency strategy—and soon.

Issue: Jan-Feb 2008

AS THE insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan fester and grow, we need to face facts. Americans are only prepared to support major counterinsurgency operations for about three years. Yet, when the United States enters a war, it doesn't base its strategy on this inevitability. Instead, we tell ourselves that we're in for as long as it takes. That may be morally satisfying, but it's politically unrealistic. With this certain wane in public and congressional backing, we need to choose our confrontations wisely and rethink our tactics.

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