The Challenge of Counterinsurgency

The Challenge of Counterinsurgency

The days of conventional warfare are numbered and the modern military has to deal with a different kind of warfare: insurgency. What happens when the world's only superpower is faced with insurgents who employ guerrilla tactics? 

On this America Abroad, we examine the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, and how American troops are being trained to counter this emerging threat. The program also looks back at the history of US counterinsurgency efforts, from the Philippines to Vietnam, and explores America's efforts to support El Salvador during its war against Marxist guerillas in the 1980's. 

Guests on this program include:

  • Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli
  • Lt. Gen. David Petraeus
  • Lt. Gen. William Odom
  • Ambassador Carlos Pascual, vice president and director of Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution
  • Conrad Crane, director of the US Army Military History Institute
  • Brian Linn, professor of military history at Texas A&M University
  • Thomas Pickering, former US ambassador to El Salvador
  • John Waghelstein, commander of the US Military Group in El Salvador
  • Roger Fontaine, former director of Latin American Affairs at the National Security Council
  • Professor Kalev Sepp of the Naval Postgraduate School
  • Max Boot, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations
  • Gary Anderson, retired US Marine Corps Colonel
Segment 1

Ray Suarez examines the US military’s response to the threat of insurgency with two leading high-ranking generals.

Segment 2

Garrick Utley narrates an archival audio tour of the history of US counterinsurgency efforts, from the Philippines to Vietnam.

Segment 3

Steve Roberts looks back at US efforts to support El Salvador in its war against Marxist guerillas in the 1980s.

Segment 4

Marvin Kalb is joined by Kojo Nnamdi of WAMU 88.5 to moderate a special town hall event in Washington, DC on US counterinsurgency efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.