COIN's Siren Song
Please read this essay from Sic Semper Tyrannis, as cited at Fabius Maximus, on the challenges of effective counterinsurgency where the indigenous folks don't want to be pacified.
...In its fullest form the doctrine [of counterinsurgency] can be reduced to three basic elements:
1-Political warfare designed to eliminate the symbolic causes of revolt. This would include such efforts as a reduction of public corruption, adequate representation in government for all parts of the population, etc.
2- Economic development that provides incomes sufficiently large for the masses so that they are not inclined to risk the hazards of support for insurgents.
3- Counterguerrilla operations. Such operations must be a hazard for the insurgents and NOT for the population. We have not been doing well at that in Afghanistan. These counterguerrilla operations are conducted so as to provide a protective "screen" behind which "1" and "2" can occur.
Basically what is attempted in this doctrine is the construction of a society that is more attractive and viable than that promised by the insurgents...(emphasis added)
As the situation in North America continues to devolve over the next decade, anyone care to set odds on the ability of an impoverished and discredited Washington (or Ottawa) being able to construct "a society that is more attractive and viable than that promised by the insurgents" -- especially if the "insurgents" are preaching a gospel that says, "We won't take your money, we won't take your property, we won't interfere in any way, shape or form with your family, and we'll help you stop anybody who tries to do those things"?
Freedom could be very popular.