In 2003, as resistance to occupation intensified in Iraq, Counterinsurgency re-entered mainstream consciousness for the first time in a generation. In 2005, as the Afghan war escalated, Counterinsurgency also began to dominate the discourse of European, American and allied governments, either openly or under cover of terms like ‘the comprehensive approach’. After decades in the dark, the controversial art of counterinsurgency was suddenly thrust again into the spotlight, provoking a vigorous and rancorous debate. By 2007, after a remarkable period of rapid adaptation and organizational change in the US military, a re-introduced Counterinsurgency doctrine was making a major difference on the ground in Iraq. The publication of the Army and Marine Corps field manual, FM 3-24 Counterinsurgency, in December 2006, and General David Petraeus’ successful application of methods from that manual during the surge in Iraq in 2007-8, led some commentators to see Counterinsurgency (or COIN) as the solution, or at least as the new dominant paradigm in Western thinking on intervention in complex conflicts. In this chapter, as I have done elsewhere, I will argue the exact opposite: namely, that not only is classical COIN not the new dominant paradigm for Western intervention, but that it should not be – and that a debate that focuses too narrowly on the efficacy or applicability of a set of Cold War concepts from the late 1950s is both destructive and distracting.