This is a fascinating brief history (complete with embedded film clips) of the absurd and terrifying results of Western "counter-insurgency" warfare, from Algiers to Vietnam to Iraq.
Personally I was shocked to learn that Gen. David "Surge" Petraeus found his inspiration in 2006 in none other than French military expert David Galula who advised the RAND Corp. and the U.S. military how to fight the Viet Cong. Said Galula:
"Revolutionary warfare requires a revolutionary approach on both sides in the struggle. Whereas in ordinary war the objective is to destroy the enemy and occupy his territory, the guerrilla's aim is to control the population.
"This, therefore, must be the aim of the counter-guerrilla as well."HOWEVER,"One basic difference between insurgency and counterinsurgency is that the insurgent starts out with nothing but a cause and grows to strength, while counterinsurgent often starts with everything but a cause and gradually declines in strength to the point of weakness."
And we all know how well Vietnam went for the U.S.
The point is that counter-insurgency, without any real cultural understanding of the native people, in the end always resorts to indiscriminate torture and killing. First we westerners train our local "allies" in new, aggressive guerrilla-like tactics; then our "allies" lead us, their "masters," by the nose to wreak havoc on their personal enemies and/or rival sects and tribes, until the violence becomes criminal, absurd, and seemingly indiscriminate. We kid ourselves into thinking we can sort the good guys from the bad.
By Adam Curtis
June 16, 2012 | BBC