FM 3-24.2,Tactics in Counterinsurgency

By MAJ Michael Mulherin, TRADOCApril 7, 2009

FM 3-24.2, Tactics in Counterinsurgency

What is it'

FM 3-24.2, Tactics in Counterinsurgency establishes doctrine for tactical counterinsurgency (COIN) operations at the company, battalion, and brigade level. It is based on lessons learned from historic counterinsurgencies and current operations. This manual continues the efforts of FM 3-24, Counterinsurgency, in combining the historic approaches to COIN with the realities of today's operational environment (OE) - an environment modified by a population explosion, urbanization, globalization, technology, the spread of religious fundamentalism, resource demand, climate change and natural disasters and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

What has the Army done'

In October 2008, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) published Field Manual Interim (FMI) 3-24.2, Tactics in Counterinsurgency (recently designated an FM to reflect its more permanent status in the U.S. Army Doctrine inventory). This unclassified manual stressed a comprehensive approach to COIN operations by tying concepts of security, governance, economics, and information engagement together for brigades, battalions and companies. The document brings to the forefront five key concepts to the practice of counterinsurgency by establishing seven suggested COIN lines of effort (LOE), expanding upon clear-hold-build operations, discussing the importance of securing the population during COIN, creating tactical-level planning horizons in COIN, and helping units better understand the enemy they are fighting through the components and manifestations of an insurgency. It also describes typical offensive, defensive and stability operations in a counterinsurgency, as well as providing a framework to train and maintain host nation security forces.

Why is this important to the Army'

FM 3-24.2, Tactics in Counterinsurgency, provides brigades, battalions and companies a practical guide to achieving a comprehensive approach to successfully waging counterinsurgency operations over a significant period of time. For tactical leaders, who may not have time to read the entire manual, focusing on the five key practices - the sections on the seven counterinsurgency lines of effort, clear-hold-build operations, securing the population, planning horizons and the components and manifestations of an insurgency, should prove particularly useful. As one reviewer stated, FM 3-24.2 "will be a great benefit to units in the field."


Requires an AKO login: <a href="" target="_blank"> Approved final draft of FM 3-24.2, Tactics in Counterinsurgency</a>

<a href="" target="_blank">TRADOC Web site</a>