COIN is Rapidly Moving to the Periphery

I wouldn't overreact and say that the COIN focus in the Army is dead. I would say that someone has begun to quietly move away from it. Without a real patron in the Army anymore, this shouldn't shock anyone. It shouldn't shock anyone in control of a massive land army or in command of a militia in a failed state.

The problem with building a military that focuses on COIN is, once you tell a policymaker what you can do, they'll send you out to do exactly that. No matter who ends up being the President next year, you don't want to sit there with a few hundred thousand troops who are trained to go into this podunk country or that failed state and start carrying out the COIN doctrine.

What you do want to have is a professional, capable force that can do a lot of different things, and do them well. I suspect that someone wearing a suit somewhere is thinking along those lines right now.