thored with Lt. Gen. James Amos of the Ma-
rine Corps in December 2006, a few months
before returning to command forces in Iraq.
March 2009 suggests that counterinsurgency
thinking has come long way since the inva-
tary is already increasing its role in develop-
ment efforts. It now directs 22 percent of U.S.
development assistance, as opposed to 3.5
armed Peace Corps, which can keep the peace
in troubled countries and can operate with
multinational partners. At the same time, it
must also direct reconstruction efforts in
dangerous places, while protecting NGOs and
civilians engaged in reconstruction.
onto a war-fighting institution. Radical Is-
lamists regularly carry out these transforma-
tions, quickly fielding forces who speak the
language, know how to augment existing so-
cial service provision networks to provide
basic services, and can protect themselves. Hez-
bollah demonstrated all those abilities in the
reconstruction of South Lebanon after its war
with Israel in the summer of 2006. Muqtada
al-Sadr's forces showed the same flexibility in
Iraq within months of the occupation.
stan, two important questions remain. First,
fore service provision is effective as a con-
structive counterinsurgency approach? Sec-
ond, even if that strategy is effective and the
counterinsurgency campaign is won, will the
local government have the strength and legit-
imacy to retain power, or will it collapse any-
way in the absence of permanent foreign sup-
port, as did the government of South Vietnam
in an earlier era?
provision creates the institutional base for
most of the dangerous radical religious rebels.
contain international terrorist threats ema-
nating from countries exporting terrorism.
question should not be how expensive na-
tion-building is, but whether it is more cost-
effective in protecting our troops and allies
than the traditional approach. The United
States and other Western countries spend
hundreds of billions annually protecting do-
mestic targets from the terrorist fallout of re-
bellions abroad. While highly visible protec-
tion for domestic targets reassures the public,
it is probably a much more expensive ap-
proach to protecting the homeland than is
undermining terrorism abroad.
alternative form of political expression to members.