"Washington’s current enthusiasm for counterinsurgency is based largely on its apparent success in stabilizing Iraq--even though it’s not clear that the doctrine’s sophisticated tenets deserve all or even most of the credit."
"Indeed, an argument is brewing in military circles about whether the doctrine’s potential has been oversold."
"What happens next in Afghanistan could settle it"
Pretty much the money shot from "The Cult of CounterInsurgency" , aside from detailed shout outs to America's Combat Rock Stars, poses the quiz that Rumsfeld's vision of a lean mean civilian friendly killing machine may be developing into a cult of sorts - off mission.
Instead of focusing on annihilating nation states and enemy panzer groups in old school set piece battles, the army has been perfecting the art of Surging.
Actually, that argument is kinda elderly - TMP Barnett's "Pentagon's New Map" describes Great Satan has having two 30 year in the future militaries:
"Leviathan Force" - including everything from Carrier Battle Groups with attendent peripheries of air, missile and sub protection to maintaining Air Dominance, as well as, humanitarian interventions. Armored panzer divisions with heavy infantry and air components with the power to strike into the Gap at a moment's notice and wipe out rogue states or terrorist camps with ease.
"Sys Admin" - the "cop on the beat" or Surge ala COIN to maintain security and stability in these foreign lands until such time as new Core-oriented states could be developed.
This seems to be precisely what's going on now - if Army and Marines can perfect Surge - to use COIN in a wide variety of places and circumstances - it would be the maintaining force to escort scary, crazy places that seem home base to creepy intolerants heck bent to go out of their way to kill innocents in America into functional nation states that prep for this life instead of racing off to the next one.
Great Satan must take the lead in this endeavor, because only she has the power to do so.
Hoping for the best or freaking out and trying to hide in isolation is no exit strategy - simply because there is no exit
Pic "1932 Edition of Von Juntz' 'Uausspechlichen Külten"