Capt. Tim Hsia, a U.S. Army active duty infantry captain, writes in The New York Times‘ At War blog:

The limits of a counterinsurgency strategy without adequate troop numbers are evident after events such as Kamdesh and Wanat. United States Army counterinsurgency doctrine stresses living close to the populace, but this proximity can also be extremely dangerous where soldiers are living in combat outposts, which cannot quickly be reinforced with additional troops.

The weekend’s events also highlight the conundrum faced by military leaders when placing soldiers in dangerous areas. In the military, a common mantra is “mission first, men always.” At first glance this remark seems blindingly obvious, but upon closer scrutiny one begins to realize that there are situations in which force protection and mission accomplishment can run counter to each other.

David Kilcullen, an Australian army reservist who is an influential expert on counterinsurgency and modern warfare, and top adviser to Gen. David H. Petraeus during the troop surge in Iraq, has recently written a book titled The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One. He presents in his book a fresh perspective on the War on Terror and uncovers the face of modern warfare.  The Economist and Wall Street Journal have reviews of the book.

Kilcullen was interviewed by the Washington Post wherein he talks about the biggest problem during the surge was a hostile American Congress; lessons learned in Iraq that apply to Afghanistan and within one to six months we could see the collapse of the Pakistani state.  Click here to read the interview.

H/T: Small Wars Journal