Changing Societies and Making COIN Work
A thought-provoking article from the National Defense University Press on counter-insurgency operations. It was originally published in 2011, but still relevant today. The author, Amitai Etzioni, sheds some basic common sense on working with different cultures, including the following points:
- Don’t imagine you will recreate a society in your own image (especially from afar, and in two years)
- Build on what you have instead of demolishing it to start anew
- Try to understand the local perspective
- Respect cultural norms as much as possible
- Don’t overreach
These ideas bear repeating and can be applied to development programs in just about any country emerging from conflict.
This article is well worth a read.