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counterinsurgency, COIN, Army, Marines, Afghanistan, Iraq, David Petraeus, James Mattis
As we prosecute the current campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and the Philippines, the military must also prepare for an uncertain security situation beyond the present theaters of conflict. It is a future that will be heavily influenced by global competition for declining natural resources, rapidly rising populations in underprivileged and underdeveloped areas, unstable economic markets, and the continuing resurgence of violent religious and secular ideologies challenging democracy as a credible political theory. Additionally, U.S. Force must account for the impact of rapid information transfer, porous national borders, globalization, increased indigent migrating populations with elevated expectations, and a proliferation of technologies associated with making and employing weapons of mass destruction.
To prepare for future contingencies in such a world, we must build capabilities that enable forces to rapidly adapt to crises emerging from unanticipated events. “Rapidly adapting” in this context means acquiring the ability to quickly change not only weapons and the way we supply ourselves, but the way we think and train to deal with new challenges in unfamiliar circumstances. To deal with this security environment, we must cultivate a whole-government intra-service and interagency culture of flexibility.
It was for the purpose of enabling U.S. land forces to see more clearly, understand more readily, and transform more quickly that the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Development Center (MCCDC) at Quantico, Virginia, took action to jointly establish the Counterinsurgency Center (COIN Center), located at Fort Leavenworth in 2006.
The information in this pamphlet outlines the COIN Center’s origin, current missions and purpose, and vision for the future. The COIN Center is still a work in progress. But it is one that is vitally needed to facilitate the development of a culture that enables us to more effectively adapt as a whole government when called upon to deal with future COIN or COIN-like threats.