The Alexandrian Defense Group (ADG) was founded in early 2009 for the purpose of assembling original thinkers and leaders in that field of endeavor known as counterinsurgency warfare; otherwise known by the acronym COIN. The focus was to be on analyzing the practice of countering an insurgency and, of course, this included analyses of intelligence and the philosophy that incorporated all of those things associated with the planning and execution of COIN. The idea has always been to provide the best possible analyses for regional and national defense considerations. It was acknowledged from the outset that, more often than not, the best practices of COIN or ADG’s best COIN advice would run counter to the short-term political goals of partisan politics. However, the founders of ADG also believed that their organization’s ideas had to be above the partisan political fray save for when grievous errors were made in COIN planning and practice that simply could not be left unchallenged. Accordingly, it was planned, inherent to ADG’s fundamental precepts, that the organization was never to be found under the sway of PAC’s or funding bodies that would, in turn, divert ADG from discerning the best way forward – regardless of partisan or governmental preference.
The founders of ADG discerned that the successful approach to COIN comes about as a result of purposefully blending strong tactical knowledge with a comprehensive understanding of the adversarial culture and way of thinking. Of course, this meant that ADG's analyses had to be based upon an unshakable recognition of just what constitutes an insurgency and how such an insurgency is best countered. This discernment is of strategic and critical importance because the very terms 'insurgency' and ‘counter-insurgency’ have been so manipulated and, thus, debased by political leaders before the watershed of September 11th, 2001 and even far more so since. In order to undo this adulteration of critical terminology and set the accurate language of COIN back on a sound course, ADG’s founders looked to the simplicity and profundity of Confucian philosophy; for, the clearest rendering on this sort of problem was made by Confucius some five hundred years BC. Essentially, Confucius discerned that trouble and disintegration came about as a result of a failure to deal with reality. The cause of this disorder, more often than not, was the result of a failure to call things by their proper name(s). Here is how Confucius revealed this fundamental principle of clarity via the means of a dialogue between two characters: "If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success….Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect." When one applies this to the misuse of the word 'insurgency' and the term 'counter-insurgency' we can see how far off the mark things have got and thus how “affairs [could not] be carried on to success" in either Afghanistan or Iraq. For example, it is wildly inaccurate to claim that an incumbent government, whether it is to our liking or not, forms up an 'insurgency' if we invade their country and overthrow them with the result that this incumbent government takes exception to such violence by, subsequently, retaliating with a an armed attempt to drive off the invader and regain office. In these cases, and there are far too many of them now, we are only deceiving ourselves if we call the erstwhile incumbent government an 'insurgent' group fostering an insurgency and that we are attempting to counter it. Furthermore, this self-deception inculcated via a gross violation of terms which, subsequently, leads to poor thinking and planning, holds the seed of our failures to secure the lasting peace we claim we are seeking by overthrowing incumbent governments in the first place. With the on-going civil/sectarian power-vacuum in Iraq, our horrible debacle there is made plain, and the Taliban will take over Kabul if or when the United States and NATO stop paying the five and a half billion dollars per annum to prop up the government, army and police there. These horrors are the direct result of our armed interference subjected to thinking and terms that were self-deceptive at best and, at worst, were intended to deceive the voting public in the United States and other NATO countries involved.
True and accurately defined insurgency is this: an incumbent government is faced with a political insurrection that has taken up the means of violence with which the rebel party manifestly intends to overthrow the incumbent rulers just mentioned and thus seize governing political power unto itself. In short, an insurgency is the attempt to seize political power by armed force. By this clearly defined terminology it is made abundantly clear that, in fact, we (the United States and NATO) were the insurgent force in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Accordingly, the founders of ADG believe that one of our most salient reasons for being is to make certain that a true ‘compass-heading’ be maintained as to what constitutes an insurgency and what does not. In accomplishing this fundamental true orientation, we hope to remain as the essential 'yard-stick' for determining the veracity of any political claim concerning what is an insurgency and what is not. In short, ADG will set the standard whereby what governments/political parties claim can be measured in this field of marshal endeavor.
The founders of ADG also envisioned that, eventually, our scope would expand to cover matters that analysed all manner of phenomena that led to or were constituent to the persecution of small wars, civil wars and insurgencies; these would include terrorism, the use of drones, psychological and religious linkages.