Over at Abu Muqawama, a fashionable blog hangout for the COIN set, host Andrew Exum and his commenters dissect Col. Gian Gentile's recent article for ForeignPolicy.com, "Think Again: Counterinsurgency."
Exum takes issue with Gentile's argument that the U.S. Army has moved too far away from its traditional focus on warfighting:
You have got to be kidding me. Just look at the budget and where the money is being spent. Governing is budgeting. From the limited perspective of the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan, I could see where Gian might be able to argue that we have embraced COIN whole-heartedly. (As well we should have, as those are counter-insurgency campaigns.) But there are two other services in the U.S. military against whom the U.S. Army and Marine Corps compete for budget share. And the Congress, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the defense contractors, the defense industry, and many within the uniformed officer corps of all services have interests in keeping the U.S. military focused on conventional warfare -- and the big, expensive, job-producing weapons systems needed to fight conventional warfare.
And Gentile fires back:
You know, I sit down at my little desk in my quarters along the banks of the Hudson opening up my WP Atlas Map Series to prep for my class on World War I and the eastern front, and BAM!! Brother AM throwing HEAT at me. OK, game-on, Let's see if I can hit the f...ing bull!
Read the whole thing, as they say.