But COIN theory is, to say the least, not correct. It runs on a rigid adherence to an ideology and not on an appraisal of the facts. In the service of this ideology, the alleged actions of a staff sergeant have been greatly exaggerated in their overall relevance to this war waged by nations to serve as a crutch for COIN. Tragic as they are, the apparent murders of 16 Afghans -- a figure that wouldn't move the needle a notch in the Taliban tally of death -- now become another excuse to explain why COIN isn't working, why the Afghan people -- sorry, 'the noble Afghan people' -- aren't being won over, hearts and minds.
So wed to COIN are our leaders, military and civilian, that they eschew logic, preferring to enter into the Islamic maelstrom of aggrievement and apology, promising to do better. Good 'dhimmi' that we are (no one said even a cross word about six American murders by Afghan forces last month), we have just about promised to take this soldier, brain injury or not, too many COIN combat tours or not, and string him up to sate the bloodlust of the noble Afghan people -- anything to quell Islamic rage. Naturally, we will continue to send our men on ever more IED death marches (foot patrols), happily. We do it all for the noble people of Afghanistan. Do they like us yet? No? We'll do more.
They call this strategy COIN and wear uniforms, but really it's psychosis and these strategists should be wearing hospital robes.
Meanwhile, if Afghans were 'with us,' if they were actually against the true butchers, the Taliban, if they were concerned about which side had innocent blood on its hands and which side did everything humanly possible to prevent such violence, even at the expense of its own people, Afghan hearts and minds would have been 'won' long ago.
But that will never be. In fact, guess what happens if ISAF reaches its goal of zero civilian casualties?