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Counterinsurgency and Operational Art: Is the Joint Campaign Planning Model Adequate?

Counterinsurgency and Operational Art: Is the Joint Campaign Planning Model Adequate? published on

Authored by U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

The United States has conducted or supported more than a dozen counterinsurgencies in the 20th century. The emerging strategic environment indicates that the US will be involved with counterinsurgencies in the future and there appears to exist operational shortfalls in the knowledge, planning, and execution of counterinsurgency. To manage the increasing complexity of the counterinsurgency environment, a coherent planning model based in operational art is needed in order to achieve ultimate success. The joint campaign planning model may provide an appropriate means to bridge these shortfalls.

The counterinsurgency environment is defined through an examination of the current operating environment and the nature of insurgency. Counterinsurgency theory and current US doctrine are evaluated in order to demonstrate that operational shortfalls exist. Operational art and campaign planning are examined and discussed to provide a basis of evaluation of planning shortfalls. Two historical case studies, the Philippines, 1948-1954, and El Salvador, 1980-1992, are presented to illustrate and analyze counterinsurgency doctrine and campaign planning methodologies and their relative success or failure in the overall conduct of the counterinsurgencies.

There is a significant body of knowledge on campaign design that can be applied to counterinsurgency. The joint campaign planning model provides an appropriate outline. There is an immediate need to reexamine US counterinsurgency doctrine in terms of operational art to address shortfalls. The challenge remains to define an integrated operational concept which fully articulates persuasive and coercive elements, through the application of all the elements of national power, into campaign design.

Publication Date:
Oct 09 2014
1502765594 / 9781502765598
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Related Categories:
Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism


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