Skip to comments.Unlearning Afghanistan
Posted on 07/10/2013 3:34:38 PM PDT by JerseyanExile
The peace we think we have is only an interregnum before another cycle of conflict ~ Robert Kaplan, The Coming Anarchy, 2000
Respected American journalist and foreign correspondent Robert Kaplans quote is poignantly foreshadowing, being published when the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) were winding down from the most onerous of the Balkan operations in Bosnia and Kosovo, yet before being thrust into Afghanistan. As Western nations look beyond our current combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, questions arise regarding the reconstitution of our military forces. This is not a particularly new practice; peacetime armies have traditionally faced budget cuts and down-sizing, societies have de-militarized as its citizens clamoured for some elusive peace dividend, and military leaders and strategic thinkers have pondered the lessons from that conflict in order to forecast the way ahead. It is not difficult to see this being played out in Canada, where media stories relating to the military are increasingly scarce, save those attacking the government on aircraft and ship acquisitions, or some perceived Veterans Affairs scandal. So, where should the Canadian Armed Forces be going? Many of our parameters will be dictated by economics and government policy, but there remain several choices to be made, and this article will ultimately suggest a route in which we are not overly constrained by our Afghanistan experiences.
In several American military journals and websites, there are ongoing discussions on whether a force optimized for counter-insurgency (COIN), or one based upon traditional conventional war fighting skills, is the correct way ahead. Given the significant number of current CAF veterans whose operational perspective is coloured by Afghanistan service, this debate resonates north of the border as well.
(Excerpt) Read more at journal.dnd.ca ...