By 1st Lt. William Carraway
Media Relations Officer, Public Affairs Office
April 27, 2012
Dr. Terry Tucker, author of Counterinsurgency Methods & The Global War on Terror, and former instructor at the US COIN academy in Kabul, examines the role of conventional operations in a counter-insurgency (COIN) environment. This month, we asked Dr. Tucker:
What is the decisive point in counterinsurgency and can conventional operations be decisive in a COIN environment?
Dr. Tucker: I don’t want to be cliché, but regrettably I need to be. The Human Terrain is what is decisive. Everything we do must work across security, governance, and economics to begin to achieve that decisiveness.
Everything that we do in stability operations, COIN, or security cooperation should strive to achieve support from the Human Terrain. In COIN, it is an accumulation of many small successes which run in packs across multiple lines of operation that can make the outcome decisive on a political, economic, and social level. It is decisive when the locals support your integrated actions.