Bringing the real world home and knowing their real world

Abu Muqawama linked to the Roger Cohen Op-Ed’s today, Bring the Real World Home. AM quoted the following in his post:

Counterinsurgency has been called armed social science. To win, you must understand the world you’re in.

Money quote. Yes, it is social science (sorry anthros). You’re "swimming in the sea of the people" as you struggle for the minds and wills, blah blah. Ultimately, you must know the definition and terms of "victory" with the societies you’re engaged with, which informs how you engage, how your actions and words are interpreted, etc. Victory hasn’t become different than it was, it has always been different in non-European countries that didn’t contribute to Jus in Bello. Look at the colonial experiences.