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COIN-strategier och dess oundvikliga bieffekter
Swedish National Defence College.
2016 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In recent years, experience from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq has led to considerable debate regarding counterinsurgency theories and their application in reality. Therefore, it could appear strange that both International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and American forces applied strategies in Afghanistan that contradict fundamental knowledge of counterinsurgency theory. One example is the use of indiscriminate force when combating insurgents, resulting in the loss of civilian lives, even though civilian casualties risk alienating the local population from the counterinsurgent.

This thesis aims to examine if the three objectives of force protection, destruction of the insurgent, and protection of civilians can be achieved at the same time in counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare, or if a trilemma-like relationship exists between the three, whereby only two of the three objectives can be achieved simultaneously. By examining statistics such as death tolls within the categories of civilians, insurgents and own forces – and comparing the results over two time periods – some conclusions can be drawn with regard to what happens when the strategic focus changes. This thesis focuses on two time periods, 2006-2009 and 2009-2012, and investigates the strategic focus in COIN operations in each period, and whether or not the outcome in terms of death toll can be explained accordingly.

The result of the thesis reveals that the statistics point toward the fact that a trilemma like relationship indeed does occur between the three objectives of counterinsurgency. From these results the thesis suggests that this theoretical framework could prove useful in future conflicts by helping to foresee what will happen when working towards the three different objectives. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 34 p.
Keyword [en]
Trilemma, COIN, Afghanistan, Force Protection
Keyword [sv]
Civila dödsoffer, upprorsbekämpning
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6195OAI: diva2:941205
Subject / course
War Studies Thesis
Educational program
Officersprogrammet (OP)
Available from: 2016-08-18 Created: 2016-06-22 Last updated: 2016-08-18Bibliographically approved

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