Let's ask the real question about counterinsurgency. Not what the best approach to it is, nor even if it works.
The real - and only - question those who want to live in freedom should ask is:
What use has a free people for "counterinsurgency" of any sort?
Mostly to take the place of traditional employment. It's going away, and fast. Replacing that's just a start, of course.
But without a start ... we're finished.
I'm not talking about jobs going away. Or not just that. Because of course they are, and they're going to go faster.
(Just a side note: all those economists and pundits you see or read talking about "recovery"" aren't idiots. They're paid liars. Specifically, they're being paid to keep us cattle headed peaceably down the chutes to our dates with a hook and a sharp knife.)
No. What's going away is the entire concept of jobs, as traditionally thought of and constructed. And what's more, it needs to.
We need a new model to replace the old, dying ways. And I need you to help me figure out what it is. What they are, because one size never fits all. And then put all those new models into action. Soon.
From the world of sports comes a cogent reminder: if your superiors in a hierarchical organization find it necessary to give you a vote of confidence, you're 1000% toast. Bosses don't find it necessary to talk about how they're not about to fire you if they're not at least thinking about firing you. As this poor schmuck's almost certainly about to find out.
So why do organizations tend to lie so predictably with their "votes of confidence"? I suspect it's because truth is so toxic to hierarchies - specifically, to survival within the hierarchical power structure (which of course occasionally intersects with actual, you know, survival) that those with the skills to grab and hold power lie by reflex.
Scientists don't want to just go ahead and say there's life on Titan. That'd upset too many applecarts.
But they do want to puff up public excitement, so an increasingly poor proletariat will be excited enough to willingly ship them billions to pursue their hobby. And keep them from having to try to get jobs at McDonalds.
It's a tough task, entailing as it does trying to convince breadwinners to make the choice which child to starve on behalf of notional Science - in a politically-managed economy that right now is working hard to squeeze still more blood out of their stones with a slew of new taxes and regulations designed, like all the other ones, to make the powerful rich richer.
Thus this balancing act.
Is there life on Titan? Or Mars? I have no idea. What I do know is that what we are told depends completely on the political (and economic) interests of those who do the telling.
We have no reason to believe we know what really goes on in our world, much less on others. We may even be ignorant of basic laws of physics - or "know" things that're wrong. That's the whole reason there's such a thing as classified information.
Isn't it clear George W. Bush was the most liberal president ever? Or at the very least, in a long time?
Isn't it clear Barack Obama is the most conservative president ever? Or at least for a long time?
The current economic implosion results not from market failures, but government success. Government exists purely to centralize benefits and socialize costs; anything else is pure marketing.
The most effective means of transferring wealth from the productive classes to the plutocrats is inflation. Government is now dealing with the inevitable consequences of long-term inflation. Of course, the only thing they can do about it is what the US is in fact doing: inflate more.
All the bad behavior by Wall Street, the banks, and the other usual suspects was subsidized, hence encouraged, by the US government, whose partners in crime they were. (The US is massively subsidizing such behavior again, under the guise of "stimulus," i.e. direct transfer payments to the rich.)
How much of this is "capitalism" is a matter of semantics. I'm inclined to agree with Kevin Carson's "free-market anti-capitalism" formulation myself.
The collapse certainly has nothing to do with the markets being "too free." They've been manipulated every step of the way. Meanwhile it was the hard money and real free market types (not the neocons and their conjoined equally-evil twins, the neoliberals, passing off their mercantilism-warmed-over as "free markets) who predicted the meltdown all along.
Mainstream economists, who cheer-led the inflationary bubble and predicted it would expand forever, now tout the Bush/Obama Rich-Only Recovery as "green shoots." One wonders how much of this is innocent stupidity, and how much is paid.
Progressive taxation has first and foremost the effect of cementing the existing wealthy into an unassailable aristocracy. It's sold, of course, as somehow benefiting the poor. But its actual intent is to make it difficult - in time, impossible - to rise in economic status, by making it difficult to accrue wealth. Thus the Old Rich, who already have theirs, protect their positions of privilege and power from arrivistes, and in time transform themselves into a nobility in everything but name.
That's not the narrative we're taught, of course. Nor what most of us believe. Even "libertarians" and other believers in the real free market tend to accept that progressive taxation is meant to ensure more equal outcomes ... when the truth is the very opposite.
Why? Habit. Time to break it.
The simple singular fact of politics is that anything government does, it does for the primary purpose of increasing the wealth and power of its proprietors. Who, by the way, are never "the people" at large - the very fact democracy is designed to hide.
What "everything" means here is everything. If taxes are raised - and if taxes are lowered. If regulations are imposed - or abolished. All of these actions, apparently contradictory as they are, represent at the most the temporary ascendancy of one or another faction of the ruling class.
More usually, it's a shell game: mountains of paper designed to do nothing but hide business as usual. If it's not meant to cover another ruling class grab at power and wealth.
Here is the Big Truth, that I'll repeat over and over - a million times, if need to - until it actually enters your awareness:
The only purpose of government is to centralize benefit and socialize cost.
Anything else is a lie.
National Health: all the care some bureaucrat feels like giving you.
Look for the BushBama War on Terra to enter a phase of rapid expansion soon.
The new administration has already bettered its predecessor by expanding the illegal (and unwinnable) war in Afghanistan to an illegal, unwinnable war on Pakistan, a US ally. Now, after a ritual display of phony reluctance to mollify world opinion, plus those four or five US leftists who haven't turned into Limbaugh-like werewolves thirsting for the blood of swarthy foreigners with the inauguration of a Democratic-brand president, the US is caving into Israeli demands which include "massive new sanctions against the Iranian government."
This is likely a major step toward the US attack on Iran that's been hanging fire for years, awaiting the proper pretext to launch.
Meanwhile the US is looking to increase its military presence in Colombia. Aside from embroiling the US in yet another civil war, which US interference will inevitably make worse - look how well US drug-war "assistance" to Mexico has panned out - look for the bigger Colombian footprint to provide a launch-point for indirect, and eventually direct, military action against Venezuela.