Wed, January 15, 2014
A Requiem for American Counter Insurgency

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All lectures are held in the multipurpose rooms of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The building opens at 6:30 p.m., the talk begins at 7:15 p.m., and the question period concludes around 8:30 p.m. All are welcome, and the event is free! For further information, please call 717-245-3972

January 15, 2014 (Wednesday)
Perspectives in Military History Lecture Series with Colonel Gian Gentile

Colonel (Retired) Gian Gentile
Senior Historian, Rand Corporation
Lecture Date: January 15, 2014
Title: "A Requiem for American Counter Insurgency"

When failure rears its ugly head, tough decisions must be made. In war, that means accepting defeat or trying a new strategy. In response to insurgencies, the U.S. Military's historical reaction has been to implement counterinsurgencies using a wide array of strategies and tactics. However, the benefits of the military's use of counterinsurgency (COIN) efforts are widely debatable. Colonel Gian Gentile was the first to expose the discord amongst military strategists, analysts, and academics in their philosophies regarding COIN and its effectiveness in accomplishing the U.S.'s goals in Afghanistan in his 2008 article, "Misreading the Surge," World Politics Review. In his new book, Wrong Turn: America's Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency, Gentile further explores the dissent surrounding COIN doctrine. Gentile, using his personal experiences as a battalion commander in Iraq, coupled with his research into historical counterinsurgency efforts, provides a summation of his historical findings and evaluates the success of current efforts in Afghanistan. In this lecture, Gentile will be brutally honest in his assessment and will provide critical analysis of COIN policy. The lecture will also highlight his historical findings regarding COIN doctrine and how history can help with the analysis and application of current military operations.

Colonel (Ret) Gian Gentile is the Senior Historian for the Rand Corporation and recently retired from the U.S. Army where he served as a professor of history at the United States Military Academy. Gentile has served as a visiting fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations, and is an award winning historian and accomplished author. Gentile has numerous publications regarding military policy, including his previous book, How Effective is Strategic Bombing? Lessons Learned from World War II to Kosovo. Gentile served in the U.S. Army from 1986 to 2014, commissioning through the ROTC program at the University of California at Berkeley, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He holds a Masters of Military Arts and Science from the School of Advanced Military Studies at Ft. Leavenworth and a Ph.D. in History from Stanford University. He served two tours of duty in Iraq in 2003 and 2006.