Learning by Doing: The Pakistan Army’s Experience with Counterinsurgency

On February 1st, the South Asia Center launched its new report, Learning by Doing: The Pakistan Army’s Experience with Counterinsurgency, by Director Shuja Nawaz.

The report offers insight into the Pakistan Army’s counterinsurgency (COIN) operations and suggestions for improved effectiveness through better support from civilian authorities, integration of COIN and counter-terrorism efforts, and the addressing of socioeconomic and political issues in the affected areas. The event was introduced by Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President and Director of the International Security Program at the Atlantic Council. Shuja Nawaz summarized his findings and recommendations.

A predominantly conventional army trained to fight against India, the Pakistan Army had to switch gears and turn to asymmetric warfare after taking on the militancy in the border regions abutting Afghanistan. After an inauspicious start, it appears to have learned many lessons from its experience and is now altering its approach and training system to fighting a homegrown insurgency and the rising threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).