Late August marked a significant milestone in U.S. foreign policy and military strategy, even if its implications are yet to be properly recognized. The death toll of U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan has now reached two thousand.
Half of that number came in the first nine years of the campaign. The second half came in just the past twenty-seven months, after the implementation of the counterinsurgency strategy (COIN) in Afghanistan. Five years after COIN’s ascendancy, it is time to critically analyze the empirical evidence from the strategy. The empirical data suggests that the predominant U.S. military strategy of the past half decade has not worked.