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date: 10 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the colonial roots of counterinsurgency practices deployed by the US after September 11, 2001 in Iraq and Afghanistan. Drawing on a broad range of primary sources produced by the US military and its officers and soldiers, the chapter argues that the counterinsurgency practices were intended as liberal forms of warfare that through the use of law, administration, and procedure intended to facilitate the conquest and management of intransigent populations in those two countries. Given the broader failure of such practices to pacify the conquered populations and the high cost-in blood, treasure, and political credibility—of maintaining such futile warfare, the US has now changed gears to counterterrorism, which is far more about direct violence than it is about imperial management and transformation of conquered populations.

Keywords: counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, US military, Iraq, liberal warfare, violence, War on Terror

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