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Rage Against the Machines


The United States has a paradox in its approach to conducting war. It has immense military might but continues to struggle with weaker actors. Worse, it has a propensity to 'lose the peace' and SEI member, Dr. Isaiah 'Ike' Wilson, shows in his book the reason is the way the nation defines war and how the U.S. military is currently organized for warfare.


On this same line of thinking he would later write an epic article, "Rage Against the Machines: Explaining Outcomes in Counterinsurgency Wars."


In this study, he and Jason Lyall, argue that increasing mechanization within state militaries, since World War I, is responsible for a paradigm shift where states were once successful in defeating insurgents but now are not.


Modern military units possess force structures that inhibit information collection among local populations. Their understanding of local social-political dynamics is diminished. Military units may therefore inadvertently fuel, rather than deter, insurgencies.


Both of these works are worth a read for strategists. Thinking Beyond War here and Rage Against Machines here.

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