And why is it a "nightmare"? Like the frustrating dream in which cries of "Look out!" are stifled, like the cult whose high priests make reality a taboo, COIN doctrine overrides all comprehension of the Islamic crucible of laws and practices in which the peoples of Afghanistan and the greater umma (Islamic community) are forged. Instead, COIN-deployed troops are ordered to execute fantasies of cultural relativism that make lefty sense in a PC classroom, but are nothing short of appalling on the front line. And McChrystal admitted as much in the infamous article. After spending 20 tense minutes in front of a white board diagramming COIN concepts for soldiers at an outpost where COIN's restrictive rules of engagement (ROEs) had recently led to the death of a corporal, Rolling Stone reported, McChrystal sensed the men's frustration: "'This is the philosophical part that works with think tanks,' McChrystal tries to joke. 'But it doesn't get the same reception from infantry companies.'"
That's because COIN doesn't work, and the men on the ground know it. Founded on a deadly pretense -- namely, that fundamental cultural differences don't exist between Islam and the West -- COIN proposes that elevating generic "population protection" over generic "force protection" will someday, some way, convince that generic protected population (in this case, grossly primitive, Islamically oriented, female-oppressing, girl-molesting tribal peoples) to fall in with the American Way -- or at least to support the U.S.-propped Karzai government. It is this COIN theory that is directly responsible for the unconscionably restrictive ROEs that have been attracting media attention, a postmodern form of human sacrifice staged to appease the endlessly demanding requirements of political correctness regarding Islam. There is no separating the two. If we have COIN, we have these same heinous ROEs.
It is this COIN travesty that should have made Washington hyperventilate, not tidbits of glossy-mag gossip. And it is for ramping up this COIN travesty that McChrystal should have been fired, as I first wrote back in September 2009.
But no. And there is no sign of the COIN nightmare ending anytime soon. Alas, the new commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, is the man who literally wrote the COIN book.