Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content





On the Ground in Afghanistan: Counterinsurgency in Practice

On the Ground in Afghanistan: Counterinsurgency in Practice provides a glimpse into what relatively small military units—teams, platoons, companies, and highly dispersed battalions—have done to roll back the insurgency in some of the more remote areas of Afghanistan.

The book includes 15 vignettes about different units from the U.S. Marines, Army, and Army Special Forces; the British army and marines; the Dutch army and marines; and the Canadian army. The case studies cover 10 provinces in Afghanistan’s south and east. They describe the diverse conditions the units faced in these provinces, how they responded to these conditions, what worked and what did not, and the successes they achieved.

Key themes include:
• Dealing with a localized insurgency
• Navigating the political terrain
• Searching for political solutions
• Engaging the population and building popular support 
• Using reconstruction funds

Acknowledging Limits Photo




On the Ground in Afghanistan

To view the book in two-page format once Adobe Reader is open,
go to View>Page Display>>Two-Up

Adobe PDF ReaderDownload the full text in PDF

Back to MCU Press Catalog


Jerry Meyerle is a political scientist in the Stability and Development Program at CNA. He is the author of several widely read studies on the insurgency in Afghanistan, as well as studies on the Afghan army and articles on regional security and political violence in Pakistan and India. Meyerle is a frequent speaker on these issues at conferences, seminars, and briefing sessions to deploying units and has also served on Afghanistan and Pakistan policy reviews for U.S. Central Command. In 2008, he was an advisor to the commander of the Kunar Provincial Reconstruction Team in eastern Afghanistan, where he worked on Pakistan border issues. He speaks Urdu and has a PhD in political science and South Asian studies from the University of Virginia.

Megan Katt is a research analyst in the Stability and Development Program at CNA. Most of her work at CNA has focused on various aspects of the insurgency and counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. Prior to joining CNA, she supported research on international security and national defense issues at the RAND Corporation. She holds an MA in international security studies from Georgetown University and a BS in business marketing from San Diego State University.

LtCol James A. Gavrilis, USA (Ret.), is a senior advisor in the Stability and Development Program at CNA. He is a former U.S. Army Special Forces officer with more than 24 years of experience in the infantry and special operations. Gavrilis has served overseas in Africa, the Balkans, and the Middle East in training, peacekeeping, and combat operations. He has commanded and directed operations focused on urban unconventional warfare, counterterrorism, and counterinsurgency. A graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, he has an MA in international studies from Old Dominion University and a BA in political science from Pennsylvania State University.



Marine Corps University Press | 3078 Upshur Avenue | Quantico, VA 22134 | (703) 432-4879