COINdinistas losing confidence

The new fighting season in Afghanistan is beginning and the COINdinistas are losing confidence both in the troops increase and the strategy / doctrine.

Here is a blog text that comes close to representing the mood. It also shows the basic errors between its lines.

First, the author looks at the worst case scenario, then he writes about how there's no obvious way how to influence that outcome decisively (allowing the antagonists no influence on the outcome) and then he's kind of depressed.

The basic - and extremely widespread- errors are


The focus on 'worst' case scenarios leads to wrong reasoning. A fixation on the 'worst' case doesn't allow you to hope for a good outcome and thus keeps you from attempting something risky. After all, you're a pessimist and only care about the risk, not the promise, of a risky approach.
This forces you into a dilemma, for there is usually no risk-free approach offering total success.


Many people have never learnt to be satisfied with their country having some influence on outcomes. They want it to define the outcome by itself, favourably. This greedy behaviour leads to an inability to let the things just flow, to allow others to intervene somewhat in their best interests, which are often rather advantageous for many nations.
This greed for decisive influence leads to terribly expensive policies. because it's so damn difficult to force your will on others

The COINdinistas are in my opinion mostly people with a 'we need to win and it's my job to push for victory' fixation. They lost sight of what's important in the greater picture due to this fixation, but eventually the crushing depression of many years with no real success is exacting its toll. We've been almost a decade in Afghanistan, but the situation is worse now than nine years ago.


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