I might not agree with the way Uncle Jimbo puts everything in this video about the counterterrorism utility behind a counterinsurgent focus on reducing civilian casualties, but he dispenses quite effectively with the canard that counterterrorism can be successfully divorced from a strategy that invests the local populace in Blue Team/White Hat advances.


Perhaps there’s a better way of doing that than a resource-intensive counterinsurgency strategy, but I’ve yet to hear one that persuades me.

(And before you get hung up on what Jimbo says about Iraq, he acknowledges that the Awakening preceded the surge, and then Gen. Petraeus made the strategic decision to support the Awakening, and then mitigation resulted. I guess someone could object that Jimbo implies that What Worked In Iraq Will Work In Afghanistan, but I think that’s an uncharitable interpretation of his basic point — which is that people whose families you needlessly kill aren’t gonna be so favorably disposed to diming out your enemies. Simple and plain and true. What a goddamn hippie.)