Where Are the Women? The Unfortunate Omission in the Army’s COIN Doctrine

Counterinsurgency operations have been infamously described as “armed social work; an attempt to redress basic social and political problems while being shot at.” The foundations of COIN rest entirely on the population—the objective is to win over the hearts and minds of the people. The major literature concerning counterinsurgency places a significant emphasis on the need to engage local populations; however, most work neglects to acknowledge gender as a factor that can influence an operation’s success. Drawing from experiences in Indochina, Greece, and Algeria, French military officer David Galula concluded that in counterinsurgency, the aim of war is to...

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