Dave Dilegge provides a basic background to understand counterinsurgency doctrine and operations in Iraq and elsewhere.

Just to highlight the key points: legitimate government; military-civilian cooperation; politics is 80% of the battle; understand the regional culture; intelligence drives operations; separate insurgents from civilians; provide law and order; long-term commitment.

These type wars take roughly 10 years, sometimes 50 years, you know how it is. They burn at a very low intensity, so you cannot expect anything immediately decisive.

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