Field Manual 3-24: Counterinsurgency

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Field Manual 3-24: Counterinsurgency (FM3-24) (Marine Corps designation MCWP 33.3.5 is the principal counterinsurgency doctrinal manual of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. [1] proposes a structure that includes both insurgency and counterinsurgency (COIN). While military manuals rarely show individual authors, generals David Petraeus (U.S. Army) and James Amos (U.S. Marine Corps) are widely described as establishing many of this volume's concepts; other team members included John Nagl and Sarah Sewall. Sewall is a specialist in peace operations and brought a contrarian view.

It has become as dominant as was Field Manual 3-0: Operations, which codified the "maneuvrist", network-centric doctrines for conventional warfare. In principle, both capabilities are necessary, but some critics, such as Gian Gentile, have suggested that the Army, specifically, is letting conventional capabilities lapse in favor of counterinsurgency.[2]

Organization

  • Chapter 1: INSURGENCY AND COUNTERINSURGENCY
  • Chapter 2: UNITY OF EFFORT: INTEGRATING CIVILIAN AND MILITARY ACTIVITIES
  • Chapter 3: INTELLIGENCE IN COUNTERINSURGENCY
  • Chapter 4: DESIGNING COUNTERINSURGENCY CAMPAIGNS AND OPERATIONS
  • Chapter 5: EXECUTING COUNTERINSURGENCY OPERATIONS
  • Chapter 6: DEVELOPING HOST-NATION SECURITY FORCES
  • Chapter 7: LEADERSHIP AND ETHICS FOR COUNTERINSURGENCY
  • Chapter 8: SUSTAINMENT.
  • Appendix A: A GUIDE FOR ACTION
  • Appendix B: SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS AND OTHER ANALYTICAL TOOLS
  • Appendix C: LINGUIST SUPPORT
  • Appendix D: LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS
  • Appendix E: AIRPOWER IN COUNTERINSURGENCY

Evolution

Even supporters of the doctrine suggest the manual is a guideline rather than a rigid set of instructions; while there may indeed be counterinsurgency operations in the Afghanistan War (2001-) and the Iraq War, experience has taught that the two insurgencies are different and need different handling. There are continuing professional discussions about its interpretation and areas for improvement.[3]

References

  1. John Nagl, David Petraeus, James Amos, Sarah Sewall (December 2006), Field Manual 3-24: Counterinsurgency, US Department of the Army
  2. Gian P. Gentile (January 2008), "Our COIN doctrine removes the enemy from the essence of war", Armed Forces Journal
  3. "FM 3-24 / MCWP 33.3.5 Update Discussion", Small Wars Journal, (discussion start) 8 July 2008