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?
One thing that Neocon A (McCrazy) and Neocon B (O’Bomber) agree on, along with almost everything else of import, is that the US needs More War. Especially in Afghanistan.
It strikes me that it isn’t sufficient simply to point out (what should be) the blazingly obvious truth: the US has no sensible strategic military reasons for its occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s not just that those occupations are militarily pointless. "Pointless" isn't value-neutral: it’s a very bad thing. Any pointless military action is an invitation to disaster.
Aside from the fact that they drain the US defense complex of the ability to defend the US against actual enemies – strongly suggesting no one in charge of US defenses believes any exist – and laying aside that the grotesque costs of the two pointless horror-shows have broken the economy to the extent that over a quarter-century of inflation-fueled boom has busted, probably beyond repair, we all seem to be overlooking one very important fact.
In the real world, successful pack alphas are never aggressive. They don’t go looking for fights.
Why? Because they can’t win anything.
If you’re the Alpha, that’s it. You’re top of the stack. What benefits can you gain by fighting?
None. There isn’t anything left. All you can do is keep the status quo. Or lose.
Three basic possibilities exist for the rewards to fighting for an Alpha:
... the batshit insane notion of incorporating the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Georgia into NATO never panned out?
Because guess what? If it had, you'd be at war with Russia now.
Russia, in case you've missed the last century somehow, has strategic thermonuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.
Feel better now?