More Small Wars

Counterinsurgency Is Here to Stay

Max Boot
Same old story: a U.S. soldier and a Vietcong fighter, South Vietnam, October 1966.
Same old story: a U.S. soldier and a Vietcong fighter, South Vietnam, October 1966. (Bettman / Corbis)
Washington doesn’t have the luxury of simply avoiding insurgencies, so it needs to figure out how to fight them better. Drawn from more than a decade of war, here are ten lessons for doing so.

In Perspective

Jonathan Kay
A decade from now, Canadians will remember this week as one in which two mentally unstable Islamic converts staged amateurish, low-yield, one-man suicide attacks on Canadian soldiers. They will not remember it as a turning point in the nation’s history.

The Tunisia Model

Brian Klaas and Marcel Dirsus
On October 26, Tunisians will finally have a real and unrestricted choice at the polls. Other transitioning regimes in the Middle East and the world should take note: Democracy is not about exclusion, but about giving people a genuine choice—even, or especially, when it’s an uncomfortable one.
News & Events

What's Inside the New Issue

Lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq; Xi Jinping's reforms; an interview with Joko Widodo; and more.
A palace official looks inside the door of the Royal Palace in Casablanca, April 4, 2014.
Intissar Fakir and Maati Monjib

Arab Spring–driven reforms might have seemed inconsequential when they were introduced in 2011. But they may be changing Morocco’s political system more than anticipated.

Omar G. Encarnación

Although the modern gay rights movement was initiated in the United States, the country can no longer plausibly claim to be a pioneer. Recent progress on gay marriage pales in comparison with strides made elsewhere in the world.

Alexander Lebedev and Vladislav Inozemtsev

The world needs a new international convention to combat corruption -- a global epidemic that erodes government institutions, fuels unrest, and increasingly threatens the stability of the West.

A school boy, carrying a backpack, walks past burning fuel tankers, October 7, 2010.
Gideon Rose and Jonathan Tepperman

Few would argue that Washington’s approach to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq has been a success worth emulating. So the most important question now is what can be learned from the failures.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a military parade in Belgrade, October 16, 2014.
Eric Lorber and Elizabeth Rosenberg

U.S. policymakers are considering giving global companies a choice: stop providing long-term financing and energy assistance to major Russian companies or be kicked out of the U.S. financial system. Such measures resemble the sanctions the United States placed on Iran a couple of years ago. But Iran was a different problem. And treating Russia the same way would be a mistake.

Benigno Aquino III

The president of the Philippines talks to Foreign Affairs about economic reform, political corruption, and Chinese aggression.