Counter-Insurgency (DIP 600)
Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce
Robert M. Farley
Office: Patterson 467
DIP 600 (Counterinsurgency) introduces students to the historical and contemporary literature on counter-insurgency, and the history of the development of counter-insurgency theory. The course is designed to give future policymakers and practitioners a foundation in counter-insurgency theory, such that they can understand contemporary doctrinal debates. The course load assumes that all students have read David Kilcullen’s The Accidental Guerrilla, and that they will complete FM 3-24 by February 14.
This course will be conducted as a graduate seminar, with minimal lecture. I expect everyone to attend, have studied the readings, and have a familiarity with current events. Any major reputable newspaper will suffice for the latter, although I prefer the New York Times. I also expect that every student will regularly read the blogs Small Wars Journal, Danger Room, Threat Matrix, Abu Muqawama, and Democracy Arsenal.
Grading will be based on class participation (25%), and three 7-9 page analytical papers (25% each).
Each of the three 7-9 page analytical papers must be typed and double-spaced. Please do not exceed the page limit. Although specific topic is up to you, one paper should have a regional focus, while the other should concentrate on a particular nation-state. The papers need not hold to any particular format (policy oriented memo, for example), but should be internally consistent in focus. Additional research is welcome, and may be necessary for the adequate presentation of some topics. One paper is due on the week of your presentation (see below), one on the final day of the course, and one at any time during the course other than those two dates.
You will be required to make an oral presentation and defense of one analytical paper during class. You must indicate to me a preference for which week to present by the second week of the course, such that I can stagger presentations. The presentation should last about fifteen minutes, and will be followed by a fifteen minute question and answer period. The presentation will make up 50% of your participation grade, or 12.5% of the total grade.
The papers will be evaluated on both content and presentation. Information must be accurate, arguments must be well thought out, and style must be compelling.
Purchase of the following books is strongly recommended.
Week 1: January 24: Introduction and Foundations
Week 2: January 31: Foundations II
Sadie Jones, Small Wars: A Novel
Week 3: February 7: COIN and Organizational Learning I
John Nagl, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife
Week 4: February 14 COIN and Organizational Learning II
David Ucko, The New Counter-Insurgency Era: Transforming the US Military for Modern Wars
Week 5: February 21 Vietnam
Andrew Krepinevich, The Army and Vietnam
Karl Marlantes, Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War
Week 6: February 28 Iraq I
James Russell, Innovation, Transformation, and War
Speaker: Colonel James Crider
Week 7: March 7 Iraq II
Peter Mansoor, Baghdad at Sunrise
Speaker: Colonel Peter Mansoor
Week 8: March 21 Afghanistan I
Antonio Giustozzi, Koran, Kalashnikov, and Laptop
Speaker: Brigadier General HR McMaster
Week 9: March 28 Afghanistan II
Gregory Feiffer, The Great Gamble: The Soviet War in Afghanistan
Week 10: April 4 The Other Side: Insurgents
Thanassis Cambanis, A Privilege to Die
Week 11: April 11 COIN and Airpower
Week 12: April 18 Journalism and COIN
David Axe, War is Boring
Speaker: Spencer Ackerman
Week 13: April 25: The Way Forward