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COIN Machine: The British Military in Afghanistan

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This article assesses the British military effort in Afghanistan looking at three key elements in the campaign: strategy, military operations, and the inter-agency "Comprehensive Approach." We start by recognising the scale of the challenge that has faced the British: of all the provinces in Afghanistan, Helmand is the toughest to stabilize and secure. We then examine the evolution of all three elements above and find significant improvements in each: a flawed strategy has been corrected; the military have received more resources and become significantly better at COIN; and there is significant progress in the development of the inter-agency approach. In short, what the Americans will find in Helmand is a British COIN machine; a little creaky perhaps, but one that is fit for purpose and getting the job done. We briefly conclude on the prospects and the key to success: namely the development of a more coherent international strategy that accommodates the challenges posed by both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Farrell, T. & Gordon, S. 2009, 'COIN Machine: The British Military in Afghanistan', Orbis (Kidlington): a journal of world affairs, vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 665-683.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-70049113049

Number Of Pages


  • 18

Start Page


  • 665

End Page


  • 683

Volume


  • 53

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • This article assesses the British military effort in Afghanistan looking at three key elements in the campaign: strategy, military operations, and the inter-agency "Comprehensive Approach." We start by recognising the scale of the challenge that has faced the British: of all the provinces in Afghanistan, Helmand is the toughest to stabilize and secure. We then examine the evolution of all three elements above and find significant improvements in each: a flawed strategy has been corrected; the military have received more resources and become significantly better at COIN; and there is significant progress in the development of the inter-agency approach. In short, what the Americans will find in Helmand is a British COIN machine; a little creaky perhaps, but one that is fit for purpose and getting the job done. We briefly conclude on the prospects and the key to success: namely the development of a more coherent international strategy that accommodates the challenges posed by both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

UOW Authors


Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • Farrell, T. & Gordon, S. 2009, 'COIN Machine: The British Military in Afghanistan', Orbis (Kidlington): a journal of world affairs, vol. 53, no. 4, pp. 665-683.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-70049113049

Number Of Pages


  • 18

Start Page


  • 665

End Page


  • 683

Volume


  • 53

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom