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This article argues that the innovation of the US Army’s counterinsurgency doctrine between 2000 and 2008 was enabled by three factors. The first factor was that the relevant actors needed to have a common understanding of the need for change. Second, a consensus had to be achieved on which organizational actions should be undertaken. Last, external pressure was necessary to overcome the US Army’s inflexibility.
To demonstrate the above, this article will use a twofold approach. First, a framework will be identified to explain why and how militaries change. This will be done by providing an overview of the different theories on military innovation. It will be shown that there is no consensus on why armed forces innovate. Therefore, this article will use organizational learning theory and, within it, a model developed by Richard Downie. It provides a framework to track change and identifies factors influencing change. In the second step, this article will outline how the US Army counterinsurgency doctrine changed from 2000 to 2008. It will then use Downie’s model to identify the factors influencing innovation.
The timeframe from 2000 to 2008 was chosen because it encompasses the period from the start of the Global War on Terror to the implementation of the new counterinsurgency doctrine in Iraq. Although the analysis is limited to the US Army, as it was the service mainly concerned with conducting counterinsurgency operations, documents from the Department of Defence and other US government agencies are considered where necessary.
As this article is purely interested in identifying factors that influence innovation, this article will not try to answer the question of whether counterinsurgency is a viable concept or not.
Finally, regarding methodology, the article uses a deductive approach. It will first outline a model of organizational learning and then apply this model when analysing the development of the US Army’s counterinsurgency doctrine.
Overview of military innovation theories
This section will argue that although various explanations for innovation exist, no consensus on why armed forces change has been established. Before this statement is proven, we must first define how change or innovation is understood.
According to Farrell and Teriff, change can occur in three different ways; innovation, adaptation, and emulation. Innovation occurs through developing new technologies, tactics, or structures, while adaptation is made by adjusting existing military methods and means. Adaptation can lead to innovation if it leads to the development of new methods.1 On the other hand, adaptation can also hinder innovation by leading to success and reducing the incentive to innovate.2 Emulation means the adoption of existing structures and methods of other armed forces.3 However, Farrell and Terriff later concluded that a clear-cut distinction between innovation and adaptation might not be feasible, and the meanings might vary.5 The first one, civil-military relations, was developed by Barry Posen, who argued that military and civilian leadership dynamics determined if militaries would innovate.6 The second school of thought, inter-Service rivalry, argues that the competition between the Services leads to innovation.8
The only common point all these schools of thought have is that they see militaries as inflexible organizations that have difficulties introducing change. They, therefore, need an incentive to change. Consequently, Grissom assesses that military innovation is top-down driven.9 Thus, besides these points, no consensus exists on why armed forces change.
This was the reason why John Nagl used the theory of organizational learning to explain why armed forces innovate. He assessed that by tracing the learning process within an organization, he could identify factors that enabled or hindered change.10 The following section, therefore, will explain the organizational learning theory and assess its usefulness within the context of this article.
Organizational learning with armed forces
The theory of organizational learning is useful for analyzing change within military organizations. By using doctrine as a manifestation of institutional knowledge, change can be traced. In addition, it provides a framework for explaining the different forms of change, namely innovation and adaptation.
This article uses Richard Downie’s definition of organizational learning as: „A process by which an organization (…) uses new knowledge or understanding gained from experience or study to adjust institutional norms, doctrine, and procedures in ways designed to minimize previous gaps in performance and maximize future successes.“11 This definition provides us with answers to two essential questions. First, how do we learn, and second, how do we know that we have learned something?
Regarding the question of how we learn, this definition refers to two schools of learning, namely the cognitive and the behavioral school. The cognitive school assumes one can grasp and interpret situations and events through mental models, schemata, and structures. The behavioral school assumes that people learn through experience, observing, and analyzing the results of actions.12 By applying one or both of these schools, one learns.
In regards to the second question, Downie’s definition points us to the need to implement what has been learned, in other words, to institutionalize it. This institutionalization can take place in two ways. The first is the behavioral perspective, which sees learning as a systematic change of structures, rules, and standard operating procedures (SOPs). The second way is the cognitive perspective, which understands learning as a systematic change of standard models and the common understanding of members of an organization.13 If one follows the behavioral perspective of learning, then learning manifests itself in an organization’s structures, rules, and SOPs. Military doctrine, therefore, can be described as a manifestation of institutional knowledge. In a way, these products represent the memory of an organization. Consequently, doctrine can prove an armed force’s ability to learn. At the same time, the knowledge reflected in regulations represents the memory of the force concerned and is thus protected from oblivion. Therefore, regulations and their changes are suitable for demonstrating the extent to which armed forces can change.
After having established an understanding of organizational learning, we will now look in more detail into this theory. According to Chris Argyris and Donald A. Schön, there are three different forms of organizational learning: single-loop learning, double-loop learning, and deutero-learning.14 Single-loop learning is when “(…) members of the organization respond to changes in the internal and external environments of the organization by detecting errors which they then correct to maintain the central features of organizational theory-in-use.” This form thus adapts the existing theory to the prevailing conditions without fundamentally changing the theory. The focus is, therefore, on the adaptation of the existing system. The term single-loop learning results from the fact that there is only one feedback loop. This links the outcome of the organization’s actions to its procedures and assumptions. The feedback aims to increase the organization’s effectiveness within its goals and norms. However, the objectives and standards remain unchanged. Double-loop learning refers to how an organization changes its norms and standards with its associated strategies and assumptions. It thereby not only tries to improve the actions themselves but also the norms and goals of the organization are reviewed and changed if necessary. In this form, there is not only the feedback loop, which connects the result with the procedure but also another loop, which connects the result with the norms and goals of the organization. This process aims to adapt the organization’s goals to the needs. The final form is deutero-learning, which aims to improve the learning ability of the organization itself. Figure 1 illustrates the different forms of organizational learning according to Argyris and Schön.
Linking the forms of organizational learning back to the definitions of adaptation and innovation, we can conclude that single-loop learning falls under adaptation, as it adjusts existing methods and means. Double-loop learning, on the other hand, is a form of innovation as it changes the central features of an organization, such as doctrine or structures.
Using doctrine as an indicator for learning, organizational learning theory provides a useful model to track change within an organization such as the armed forces. In addition, the single and double-loop learning framework presents a valuable concept to discriminate between innovation and adaptation.
Critics of the organizational learning theory as a tool to assess change within an organization argue that it necessitates a deep understanding of that organization to comprehend the processes that led to change. Such an understanding often requires access to internal documents, which are often in the case of the military classified.15 Therefore, the analysis results might not reflect the real reasons for change within that particular organization. In the case of this article, the author assesses that the information provided by Conrad Crane’s16, Traver McLeod’s,17 and David Ucko’s18 books on the development of the Field Manual (FM) 3-24 Counterinsurgency and US approach to counterinsurgency, in general, provide sufficient detail to apply the theory of organizational learning successfully.
So far, we have established that organizational learning theory is a useful framework for analyzing change within military organizations. It enables us to identify and track the different forms of change. However, so far, it lacks the ability to identify which factors led to or prevented change. To do so, we have to identify a process of how change occurs within the armed forces. Consequently, the following chapter will look into a specific model within the organizational learning theory, which will provide us with such a process.
Downie’s model of organization learning
Richard Downie’s model provides a process of how organizations learn and thereby allows the identification of factors that enable or hinder change. Accepting various sources of change, as Downie’s model does, integrates multiple theories and does not exclude them from the analysis. In his analysis, Downie came up with two prerequisites for successful change: the consensus that there is a need for change and the agreement on how this change should occur. To achieve such a consensus, he concluded that it needs both external pressure and the implementation of an organizational learning process.19
Downie’s double-loop learning model is based on his analysis of US counterinsurgency operations in Vietnam and El Salvador. He points out that change is only necessary when existing methods are insufficient to meet existing challenges successfully. However, only if the armed forces have identified such a performance gap can they respond by looking for alternative ways to overcome the challenges. Identification of a performance gap, therefore, is the first factor that influences change. The second obstacle to change lies in developing alternative actions to overcome the performance gap because if no alternative is developed, agreed upon, or implemented, no change occurs. These two necessary conditions for change, namely, identifying a performance gap and agreeing upon an alternative action, can be influenced by external pressure because if the unaddressed challenge poses a significant threat to the state, the civilian leadership of the state will exert pressure on the armed forces. This pressure aims to initiate changes to meet the identified challenges. Once these obstacles are overcome, Downie’s process will lead to change. In line with Ucko’s and de Holan’s findings on institutional forgetting 20 21, Downie’s model underlines the importance of doctrine as it manifests change. However, the existence of a new doctrine does not mean change has occurred. To bridge the performance gap, organizational behavior must change. That need is reflected in the last step of Downie’s model.
However, Downie’s model does not provide a predictive explanation of why certain factors influence change; it instead acknowledges that change can occur for many reasons. The model, therefore, merges the various sources of change into an integrative approach.22 As this article tries to answer which factors enabled change rather than the sources of change, Downie’s model is assessed as an appropriate framework for answering the research question.
After having explained why the organizational learning theory and within it Downie’s model were chosen to identify the factors that influenced change, the following section will provide a descriptive overview of the evolution of US counterinsurgency doctrine between 2000 and 2008.
The US counterinsurgency doctrine from 2000-2008
After the end of the Vietnam War, the US Army shifted its focus from conducting counterinsurgency operations towards conventional warfare against Warsaw Pact forces in Europe. Counterinsurgency became less of a priority and was seen more as a distraction.[mote] Cassidy, Robert M., Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006.), 100-101[/note] In line with the so-called Nixon Doctrine23, the US Army only planned to participate in a supporting role in counterinsurgency operations. Such a role, also called the advisory approach, included using advisors and providing resources but excluded the actual employment of combat forces. According to Ucko, this focus on the advisory approach prevented the Army from thoroughly engaging with counterinsurgency theories.24 This approach did not change after the end of the Cold War despite the Army’s involvement in various stabilization operations (Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo).25
When George W. Bush became the US President in 2000, one of his foreign policy goals was to withdraw the USA from nation-building campaigns. The lengthy and challenging peacekeeping and nation-building operations undertaken by the Clinton administration in the 1990s were considered a waste of resources. Therefore, Bush and his Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, wanted to transform the US military into a lighter, more mobile force focused on winning wars.26 It was assumed that allies would take over nation-building once these wars were won.27 With the attack of Al-Qaeda on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001, and the subsequently proclaimed Global War on Terror (GWOT), which led to the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, the orientation of the US armed forces did not change.28 The rapid success in Afghanistan by Special Operations Forces supported by precision strikes seemed to confirm the theories of transformation. It soon became apparent that “an institutional resistance to irregular missions”29 prevailed within the US Army. It was recognized that sustained and long-lasting measures by ground forces were needed to win the battle of ideas and thus eliminate the ideological basis of the enemy. On the other hand, it was also soon apparent that a purely kinetic approach to destroying the enemy forces alone, as in the so-called enemy-centric approach to counterinsurgency operations, would not be enough to defeat them.30
Iraq did not come to rest despite US President George W. Bush’s declaration of victory on May 1, 2003. Although the US administration initially refused to admit it, it eventually concluded that there had been an uprising in Iraq against the coalition forces and the provisional government.31 In October 2004, the continued inability of the coalition forces to stabilize Iraq led to the publication of the Field Manual Interim (FMI) 3-7.22 Counterinsurgency Operations. This provision was intended to fill a gap in the regulatory landscape until a detailed regulation on the subject of counterinsurgency could be issued. The FMI 3-7.22 recognized that the population is the key to success and already showed approaches of the clear-hold principle. That principle stressed the importance of defending cleared areas against a reemergence of insurgents. Yet, the clear-hold principle was missing the build phase, in which governmental structures would be rebuilt. The FMI 3-7.22 and the general understanding of the US Army were based on the erroneous assumption that civilian agencies would take over the stabilizing tasks immediately after the end of hostilities. Accordingly, FMI 3-7.22 focused exclusively on the tactical procedures of the clear and hold phases rather than the stabilizing tasks armed forces can be forced to undertake in the build phase.32
However, the belief that counterinsurgency was a high priority within the US armed forces still needed to prevail. The US Joint Chiefs of Staff’s National Military Strategy (NMS) 2004 implied that counterinsurgency was a temporary distraction from the main task of fighting and winning conventional wars. Thus, the Joint Chiefs of Staff intended “winning the war on terrorism, enhancing joint warfighting and transforming for the future.”33 Rather than accepting the emerging new character of warfare and changing the procedures accordingly, the US forces tried to apply methods and procedures of conventional warfare. Counterinsurgency was therefore conducted in an enemy-centric and combat-oriented manner, despite regulations to the contrary.34
Despite a generally deteriorating security situation in Iraq, there were commanders whose area of responsibility remained relatively secure. These commanders emphasized cultural awareness and pursued a population-centric approach. The population-centric approach assumes that the essential task of counterinsurgency is to establish control over the population and the environment in which it lives. It consists of the above-described clear-hold-build phases and recognizes the requirement for military forces to provide stabilization tasks in case other organizations cannot do so.35 This was in stark contrast to the above-mentioned enemy-centric approach. The successful commanders were primarily so-called soldier scholars, i.e., academically educated officers. These were, among other things, the then Colonel H.R. McMaster and the then Major General Petraeus. These officers had been previously conducting research at civilian educational institutions on issues related to counterinsurgency.36 Building on this experience and knowledge, they formed a group with other soldiers and scholars to advocate a change in counterinsurgency methods. Together with increased publications on counterinsurgency operations in military journals, this led to a broad discussion. In these discussions, the counterinsurgency community propagated the need to change to a population-centric approach to counterinsurgency.37 Simultaneously, the Department of Defence also recognized the increasing importance of stabilization operations, which included counterinsurgency. This was decreed at the end of 2005 by the Department of Defense Directive 3000.05, which directed that stabilization operations should be prioritized and integrated along all Defense lines of Development.38 Both the counterinsurgency community’s efforts and Directive 3000.05 seemed to generate momentum for a change of mind within the Department of Defense.39
However, this change was not reflected in the Quadrennial Defense Review 2006. Admittedly, it emphasized the importance of irregular warfare, but the measures derived from this statement showed that counterinsurgency was given only a low priority. In line with the thinking after the Vietnam War, the Army’s role in counterinsurgency operations remained limited. Advising and assisting local security forces was seen as a task for Special Operations Forces. As a result, the number of such forces was massively increased.40 Furthermore, civilian organizations were still assumed to lead stabilization operations, while the military only had to provide security. However, this failed to recognize that the respective civilian organizations, such as other government departments or development agencies, did not have such capacity.41 Other priorities also emerged concerning the procurement processes. Investments were made primarily in capabilities that were mainly suitable for conventional warfare. Finally, the overall strength of the US Army and US Marine Corps was reduced, despite counterinsurgency operations being very labor-intensive. The QDR 2006 was thus in stark contrast to the experiences from Iraq. There the advisory approach had so far not led to success.
In 2006 the White House finally realized that the deteriorating security situation in Iraq required a change in the approach towards combating the insurgency. Referring to McMaster’s achievements, President Bush initiated the shift from an enemy-centric approach to a population-centric approach to counterinsurgency in a speech.42 The change was also apparent in the increased promotion of officers competent in counterinsurgency operations. An example of this alteration was the appointment of Lieutenant General David Petraeus as Commander of the US Army Combined Arms Center, which was responsible for doctrine development within the US Army, in 2005.43 Petraeus intended to develop a new comprehensive doctrine for counterinsurgency within a short time. He emphasized that the US Army and the US Marine Corps should develop a common counterinsurgency doctrine to facilitate practical implementation. In addition, many domestic and foreign experts, some of them outspoken critics of the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, from various fields of expertise (e.g., human rights experts, historians, social scientists, etc.) were involved in the preparation of the field manual.44 Within just 13 months, FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency was written and published in December 2006. Excerpts from the doctrine had already been published in scientific journals in advance to stimulate discussions on this topic. The fact that the manual had already been downloaded two million times only two months after its publication indicates its importance. The manual was twice as extensive as FMI 3-7.22 and focused on the battalion level and above. It was written in the sense of the population-centric approach and thus clearly was a sign of the departure from the enemy-centric approach.45 In contrast to previous field manuals, making incorrect assumptions was avoided. It was explained that civilian organizations are often unable to act quickly and with sufficient strength in crisis areas. The implication was that US forces must be able to perform stabilizing tasks in operations and followed the clear-hold-build principle.46 It also abandoned the advisory approach by stating that counterinsurgency requires deploying a significant number of land forces.47 However, FM 3-24 also made the difference between theory and practice visible because the change in the understanding of counterinsurgency that had been emerging since 2004 still needed to arrive in Iraq, with some exceptions.
The defeat of the Republicans in the congressional elections at the end of 2006 further incited the Bush administration to change its approach to the GWOT. As one of the first measures, the former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, was replaced by Robert Gates. In his State of the Union address of 10 January 2007, President Bush finally announced the reorientation towards a population-centric approach to counterinsurgency in Iraq, combined with an increase in troops, the so-called surge.48 Petraeus was tasked to implement the new approach when he took command of the Multinational Force Iraq at the beginning of 2007. Immediately after he took command, Operation Fardh al-Qanoon was launched. The operation, which proceeded according to the principles of the population-centric approach, was seen as a test for the new understanding of counterinsurgency. Security in the Baghdad area was to be restored using the additional troops made available during the surge. Although the number of engagements and losses of the US troops increased, the first successes were soon achieved. The number of attacks and civilian deaths fell noticeably over the next few months, resulting in a visible improvement in security. In the eyes of the counterinsurgency community, the surge was perceived as a success, and the new population-centric approach to counterinsurgency was therefore seen as validated.49
However, not everyone linked the increased security situation to the surge and the population-centric approach to counterinsurgency. Some scholars, such as Austin Long, argued that the Sunni Tribal rising was the main reason for the decline in violence.50 A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the security situation of 2007 concluded that the surge combined with the Sunni tribal rising is the most likely reason for the enhanced security situation.51 To other critics, the validity of the population-centric approach was of minor importance; they instead criticized the focus on counterinsurgency per se. It was argued that the US Army had become a “counterinsurgency-only force” due to its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. As was the case after the Vietnam War and in the 1990s, it was argued that the US Army would lose its ability to wage a conventional war by focusing on counterinsurgency. From the critics’ point of view, this was fatal because the next war in which the US Army would be deployed would be a conventional one. 52 The danger of focusing solely on counterinsurgency was also expressed in the National Defence Strategy (NDS) 2008.53 The discussion on which role counterinsurgency should have within the US Army and if counterinsurgency per se is a viable concept is still ongoing. However, this did not stop the population-centric approach from becoming and still being the cornerstone of the US and allied counterinsurgency doctrine.54
The following section will use Downie’s model to explain the factors that influenced the innovation of the US Army’s counterinsurgency doctrine within the above-described setting.
Enabling factors for innovation
In line with Downie’s model, this section will show that the main factors for change were the consensus on identifying a performance gap and a common understanding of how this gap should be overcome. Pressure from external actors proved essential to achieving such a consensus.
According to Downie, the prerequisite for change is identifying a performance gap. Regarding the above case study, this performance gap was soon identified after the primary combat operations when the security situation quickly deteriorated. The US government had to admit that an insurgency was happening in Iraq. Using conventional methods, coalition forces could not defeat the insurgents and establish a safe and secure environment. After having identified a performance gap, the next step, according to Downie’s model of organizational learning, is to identify alternative actions. Two alternative organizational actions in the US Army emerged to overcome the performance gap. The first was to continue applying a mainly enemy-centric approach focused on deploying Special Forces and advisors. Within this approach, adaptation took place as actions were modified to adjust the outcomes. However, existing norms, namely how the Army approached counterinsurgency, remained unchanged. The other option called for a change of existing norms by focusing on a population-centric approach to counterinsurgency that involved large numbers of troops necessary to establish the required control over the population. In line with the military innovation theory, the US Army proved inflexible and reluctant to initiate change. It continued applying the enemy-centric approach to counterinsurgency operations, which was more in line with its existing approach.
However, the further deteriorating security situation in Iraq and domestic political pressure led in 2006 to an intervention by the US civilian leadership. The Bush administration supported and promoted members of the counterinsurgency community, who were supporters of the population-centric approach. This correlates with Downie’s model, which sees external influence as a decisive factor in overcoming internal differences. Consequently, this led to an accepted consensus within the US Army and US Marine Corps on how to overcome the performance gap, namely how to defeat insurgencies. The outcome of this consensus was the development of FM 3-24 and later the appointment of General Petraeus as commander of Multinational Force Iraq. In line with Downie’s model, this appointment enabled him to transform the newly developed doctrine into changed organizational behavior, which again is instrumental for change. During Operation Fardh al-Qanoon, the new approach to counterinsurgency operations was successfully applied and led, together with other factors, to improve the security situation in Iraq.
This article has identified three factors that enabled innovation.
First, all relevant military and political actors must understand the requirement for change. This is only possible if the necessary information is available to all actors, political and military. Therefore, a culture of information exchange between military and political institutions, such as parliamentary hearings, must exist or be established.
Second, discussion on alternative organizational actions must be allowed and promoted. This requires a culture of open discussion within military organizations, expressed, for example, in military journals, conferences, or lessons learned/ lessons identified processes.
Third, external pressure was necessary to overcome institutional inflexibility and achieve consensus. This third factor must be seen in conjunction with the others. Only if all actors agree on the existence of a performance gap and decide on coordinated actions to overcome this gap can change occur.
Before coming to the above conclusions, this article had to prove that the organizational learning theory is a valid alternative to other military innovation studies. This is the case as organizational learning theory allows us to identify and track the different forms of change. However, it was also stated that using this theory is only possible if a deep understanding of that organization is given. This article used the theory as the existing literature provided such an understanding.
Yet, to identify factors that influence change, it was necessary to identify a process for how change occurs. Downie’s model provided such a process. It not only enables the identification of factors but also merges the various sources of change into an integrative approach, enabling a comprehensive analysis. So by using an integrated approach to analyze the evolution of the US Army’s counterinsurgency doctrine, this article was able to identify factors that enabled innovation without excluding any specific sources of change.
As a limiting factor, it must be acknowledged that only one case study verified the above findings in this article. Although Downie and Nagl also used the model with similar conclusions, additional case studies are necessary to prove that these findings apply more broadly.
Christopher Goed is a lieutenant colonel in the Austrian Army currently working in the Austrian MOD. His international experience includes tours in Syria, Kosovo and Afghanistan as well as being a graduate of ACSC 26. I hold a PhD in interdisciplinary legal studies, where I looked at the role of legitimacy in counterinsurgency operations.
- Farrell, Theo, and Terry Terriff. The Sources of Military Change: Culture, Politics, Technology. Boulder, (Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002.), 6.
- Sergio Catignani. “Coping with Knowledge: Organizational Learning in the British Army?” Journal of Strategic Studies 37, no. 1 (February 1, 2014): 38. doi:10.1080/01402390.2013.776958.
- Farrell, Theo, and Terry Terriff. The Sources of Military Change: Culture, Politics, Technology. Boulder, (Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002.), 6.
- Theo Farrell, Frans Osinga, and James A. Russell. Military Adaptation in Afghanistan. (Stanford, California: Stanford Security Studies, 2013.) 7. https://discovery.ebsco.com/linkprocessor/plink?id=5c01def8-dfe2-31ff-8349-e872e34a973a.[/note] By defining innovation as having a “greater degree of novelty and disruptive organizational change than adaptation”, this article follows Farrell’s and Terriff’s understanding.
Coming back to the statement at the beginning of the chapter, four schools of thought have, according to Adam Grissom, emerged within the field of military innovation studies. These are civil-military relations, inter-Service rivalry, intra-Service rivalry, and cultural factors.4Adam Grissom. “The Future of Military Innovation Studies.” Journal of Strategic Studies 29, no. 5 (October 1, 2006): 908–919. doi:10.1080/01402390600901067.
- Barry R. Posen. The Sources of Military Doctrine: France, Britain, and Germany Between the World Wars. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984.), 232-235.
- Adam Grissom. “The Future of Military Innovation Studies.” Journal of Strategic Studies 29, no. 5 (October 1, 2006): 910–913. doi:10.1080/01402390600901067.[/note[ The intra-Service rivalry school of thought does not see the military as a unitary body; instead, it consists of various actors and groups such as branches. The competition between these branches leads to innovation. The fourth school of thought is based on Farrell’s argument that culture is a primary factor for innovation.7Farrell, Theo, and Terry Terriff. The Sources of Military Change : Culture, Politics, Technology. Boulder, (Colo: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002.), 7-8.
- Adam Grissom. “The Future of Military Innovation Studies.” Journal of Strategic Studies 29, no. 5 (October 1, 2006): 919–925. doi:10.1080/01402390600901067.
- John A Nagl. “Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife(N1).” World Affairs 161, no. 4 (March 1, 1999): 194- 195
- Richard D. Downie, Learning from Conflict: The U.S. Military in Vietnam, El Salvador, and the Drug War. (Westport: Praeger, 1998.), 22.
- Carol C Leavitt. Running Head: Three Organizational Learning Theories. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED523990.pdf (accessed January 30, 2023)
- Sergio Catignani. “Coping with Knowledge: Organizational Learning in the British Army?” Journal of Strategic Studies 37, no. 1 (February 1, 2014): 34. doi:10.1080/01402390.2013.776958.
- Chris Argyris, Schön, Donald A. Organizational Learning: A Theory of Action Perspective. (Reading: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, 1978.), 18-28.
- John A Nagl. “Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife(N1).” World Affairs 161, no. 4 (March 1, 1999): 195
- Conrad C Crane. Cassandra in Oz, (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2016.)
- Travers McLeod. Rule of Law in War: International Law and United States Counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Oxford: OUP Oxford, 2014.)
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.)
- Richard D. Downie, Learning from Conflict: The U.S. Military in Vietnam, El Salvador, and the Drug War. (Westport: Praeger, 1998.), 5-10.
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 16-17.
- Pablo Martin de Holan, and Nelson Phillips. “Remembrance of Things Past? The Dynamics of Organizational Forgetting.” Management Science 50, no. 11 (November 1, 2004): 1607. doi:10.1287/mnsc.1040.0273.
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 15-16.
- Thompson, Sue. “The Nixon Doctrine and U.S. Policy on Regional Cooperation in Southeast Asia after the Second World War.” Journal of Cold War Studies 23, no. 1 (January 1, 2021): 126–27. doi:10.1162/jcws_a_00965.
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 37-41.
- The White House, Presidential Decision Directive/NSC-25, (Washington, 1994.), 1. https://fas.org/irp/offdocs/pdd/pdd-25.pdf (accessed January 25, 2023)
- Michael Gordon, and Bernard Trainor, Cobra II, The inside story of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. (New York: Pantheon Books, 2006.), 5.
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 57.
- Department of Defense, Quadrennial Defense Review 2001, https://history.defense.gov/Portals/70/Documents/quadrennial/QDR2001.pdf?ver=AFts7axkH2zWUHncRd8yUg%3d%3d (accessed January 23, 2023) V.
- Conrad C Crane. Cassandra in Oz, (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2016.), 17.
- Ibib. 13-14
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 38
- Ibid. 66-70.
- Joint Chiefs of Staff, The National Military Strategy of the United States of America, (Washington, DC. 2004.), VIII.
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 70-71.
- David Galula. Counterinsurgency Warfare. (London: Praeger Security International, 2006.), 51.
- Britannica, David Petraeus, https://www.britannica.com/biography/David-Petraeus (accessed February 7, 2023) and Hoover Institution, H.R. McMaster, https://www.hoover.org/profiles/h-r-mcmaster (accessed February 7, 2023)
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 75-77.
- Department of Defense, Directive 3000.05 Military Support for Stability, Security, Transition, and Reconstruction (SSTR) Operations, 2005, 2. https://policy.defense.gov/portals/11/Documents/solic/DoDD%203000.05%20SSTR%20(SIGNED)%2028NOV05.pdf (accessed January 28, 2023)
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 80.
- Department of Defense, Quadrennial Defense Review 2006, v-viii https://history.defense.gov/Portals/70/Documents/quadrennial/QDR2006.pdf?ver=2014-06-25-111017-150 (accessed February 2, 2023)
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 100-102.
- George W. Bush. President Discusses War on Terror and Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Clevland, Ohio, 20.3.2006) https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2006/03/20060320-7.html (accessed January 25, 2023)
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 75.
- Conrad C Crane. Cassandra in Oz, (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2016.), 50
- Ibid., 103
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 105.
- Ibid., 109
- George W. Bush. President’s Address to the Nation, 10.01.2007. https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2007/01/20070110-7.html (accessed January 27, 2023)
- David H. Ucko. The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars. (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2009.), 119-120.
- Austin Long. “The Anbar Awakening.” Survival (00396338) 50, no. 2 (April 1, 2008): 67–94. doi:10.1080/00396330802034283.
- Stephen Biddle, Jeffrey A. Friedman, and Jacob N. Shapiro. “Testing the Surge: Why Did Violence Decline in Iraq in 2007?” International Security 37, no. 1 (July 7, 2012): 36–40.
- Guy Raz, Army Focus on Counterinsurgency Debated Within, 2008: https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=90200038&sc=emaf?storyId=90200038&sc=emaf&t=1537900773475 (accessed February 15, 2023)
- Department of Defense. National Defense Strategy. (Washington, DC. 2008.), 8-13. https://history.defense.gov/Portals/70/Documents/nds/2008_NDS.pdf?ver=WEYyBjnf6UkNioPqfkSr3Q%3d%3d (accessed February 17, 2023)
- Etienne de Durand, “France” in Understanding Counterinsurgency: Doctrine, operations, and challenges, eds. Thomas Rid and Thomas Keaney (New York: Routledge, 2010.) 13.