Monday, July 09, 2007

Headquarters, Department of the Army
FM 3-24
FMFM 3-24
June 2006 (Final Draft)

This manual is designed to fill a doctrinal gap. It has been 20 years since the U.S. Army published a manual devoted to counterinsurgency operations, and 25 since the Marine Corps published its last such manual. With our Soldiers and Marines fighting insurgents in both Afghanistan and Iraq, it is thus essential that we give them a manual that provides principles and guidelines for counterinsurgency operations (COIN). Such guidance must be grounded in historical studies. However, it also must be informed by contemporary experiences.
This manual takes a general approach to COIN. The Army and the Marine Corps recognize that every insurgency is contextual and presents its own set of challenges. You cannot fight former Saddamists and islamic extremists the same way you would have fought the Viet Cong, the Moros, or the Tupamaros; the application of principles and fundamentals to deal with each vary considerably. Nonetheless, all insurgencies, even today’s highly adaptable strains, remain wars amongst the people, employ variations of standard themes, and adhere to elements of a recognizable revolutionary campaign plan. This manual therefore addresses the common characteristics of insurgencies. It strives to provide those carrying out a counterinsurgency campaign a solid foundation on which to build in seeking to understand and address
specific insurgencies. A counterinsurgency campaign is, as described in this manual, a mix of offensive, defensive, and stability operations, conducted along multiple lines of operation. It requires Soldiers and Marines to employ a mix of both familiar combat tasks and skills more often associated with nonmilitary agencies, with the balance between them varying depending on the local situation. This is not easy. Leaders at all levels must adjust their approach constantly, ensuring that their elements are ready each day to be greeted with a handshake
or a hand grenade, to take on missions only infrequently practiced until recent years at our combat training centers, to be nation builders as well as warriors, to help re-establish institutions and local security forces, to assist in the rebuilding of infrastructure and basic services, and to facilitate the establishment of local governance and the rule of law. The list of such tasks is a long one and involves extensive coordination and cooperation with a myriad of intergovernmental, indigenous, and international agencies. Indeed, the responsibilities of leaders in a counterinsurgency campaign are daunting – and the discussions in this manual endeavor to alert them to the challenges of such campaigns and to suggest general approaches for grappling with those challenges. Conducting a successful counterinsurgency campaign thus requires a flexible, adaptive force led by agile, well-informed, culturally astute leaders. It is our hope that this manual provides the necessary guidelines to succeed in such a campaign, in operations that, inevitably, are exceedingly difficult and complex. Our Soldiers and Marines deserve nothing less. Download in PDF
Lieutenant General,
U.S. Army Combined Arms Center

Lieutenant General, USMC
Commanding General
Marine Corps Combat Development Command