Zenpundit provides excerpts of a book review by Nagl, which explicitly states the objectives, goals, and requirements of counterinsurgency and nation building, which is shown to be quite compatible with Barnett’s work. On the other hand, Fabius Maximus has issues with this.
To recap, I say that Nagl’s strategy (based on this one paragraph) is
(1) neocolonial in view, putting us in opposition to a major trend in post-WWII history,
(2) puts us in opposition to local nationalists (ditto),
(3) weakens the legitimacy of the government we are attempting to help, in violation of a major theme of FM 3-24, and
(4) takes on the burden of structuring foreign polities, at which we will likely fail.
Each of these arguments can be refuted, and discussions such as those at Dreaming 5GW provide the intellectual soil from which one can do so, as CGW recently reminded us in Zen’s original post (link up top). Below I attempt to refute the first two points, regarding neocolonialism and the uncontrollable resistance of nationalism.
(1) Neocolonialism: there is, in fact, an ethical way to undertake nation building despite the West’s history of colonial oppression, occupation, and exploitation. Feldman describes it trusteeship, and invokes Burke to demonstrate that “there is nothing inherently oppressive about the idea of trusteeship applied to the authority to govern: it is endemic to representative democracy itself.”  If so, then ” the occupying force owes the same ethical duties to the people being governed that an ordinary, elected democratic government would own them. It must govern in their interests; and it must not put its own narrow interests ahead of the interests of the people being governed.”
Counterinsurgency principles and practice necessitate consistency with the principle of democratic trusteeship. It is fought primarily to protect the people, guarantee their security, practice good governance, and defend their interests. To fulfill this objective, modern counterinsurgents cannot assume they know everything about how the people define their security or how they want to be governed. Certainly we can make basic assumptions about the people’s interests , but to understand how they are defined, counterinsurgents must actively seek out this definition through social communication and interaction. In this way, the people produce an ‘input’ that allows the counterinsurgency provide them an ‘output’ that meets their demands. It is establishing this relationship between the people and the counterinsurgent that leads to victory. FM 3-24 is obviously aware of this, as
Intelligence in COIN is about people. U.S. forces must understand the people of the host nation, the insurgents, and the host-nation (HN) government. Commanders and planners require insight into cultures, perceptions, values, beliefs, interests and decision-making processes of individuals and groups. These requirements are the basis for collection and analytical efforts. 
Despite this, FM criticizes the use of Nagl’s language, emphasizing how the counterinsurgent assumes a dominant role over the population.
We protect. We allow them to control. We decide who is the insurgent and who the legitimate government. Nationalism has been one of the world’s most powerful social forces for several centuries, and this formula puts us in opposition to it. It will sound terrible to them, because it is inimical to their control over their land and society.
Who decides what are the “norms of the civilized world? The local people? The UN? Or us?
This is not inconsistent with Feldman’s notion of trusteeship: “we need to abandon the paternalistic idea that we know how to produce a functioning, succesful democracy better than do others.”  We don’t know what norms lead to that, only the locals do. It is they who decide what their norms are and then communicate them to us. We only exist to help them institutionalize their norms as the basis of their social stability. We enable and empower their conception of norms, not transfer and impose our own. If we are perceived as doing so, we become a threat or an enemy, creating a new anticolonial Self consistuted by a imperial Other. But, this is by no means a guarantee. It depends upon the words and deeds of the counterinsurgent.
Nationalism: The cultural identity to which one ascribes to is not fixed, essential, or primordial. Instead, we must recognize that one’s identity is socially constructed by interaction with Others. In my previous post, I discussed how counterinsurgents can manipulate the identity of a civilian population and build a shared identity with it. Doing so requires the population to not see the counterinsurgent as a threat, or “Your enemy must not feel that he is not on your side.” One can falsify being perceived as a ‘threat’ or an ‘enemy’ by taking actions that confound the expectations of what an enemy should do, namely threaten the existence and security of the population. If we act like neutrals, or even friends, the people will learn to perceive us that way.
Traditional colonialism easily leads to being perceived as an enemy by the people, as the colonial power is exploiting, subjugating, and espousing a general attitude of cultural dominance. The information flow is one-way, from colonizer to colonized, who must be tutored in the ways of civilization. On the other hand, counterinsurgecy/democratic trusteeship is a two-way information flow in which counterinsurgents and people learn from each other. In this way, they establish and routinize norms of behavior that recognize the autonomy and independence of each Other, and further the construction of a shared identity. Successful counterinsurgency makes appeals to anticolonial nationalism ultimately futile.
This is about the use of a poststructural form of power. Wendt identifies this as “the cultural constituion of identity” , citing Foucault. This refers to the fact that one’s identity, or understand of Self, requires validation by the social behavior and communication of social Others. Self knows who it is as confirmed by Others. When the identity ascribed to Self by Others changes, Self’s conception of identity also changes. Feldman scolds the American state building effort in Iraq for ignoring this crucial fact: “Power is not unidirectional but negotiated between different parties. Much to the consternation of American government officials who had not read their Foucault, negotiation is the reality of political power when nation building is taking place.”
Through actively communicating and interacting with the people, counterinsurgents can learn, accept, and act in the best interests of the people. They can learn what actions will be perceived as consistent with enmity and friendship. In turn, they act on this knowledge to falsify hostility and build a social experience of friendship through communication and social interaction. This same interaction creates the basis for the emergence of norms that guide the behavior of both sides, and falsifies identities that perceive each Other as an enemy. In this way, counterinsurgents use their presence in the social system of the people to reconstruct their social environment. This is consistent with the victory standards set by Nagl in his RUSI book review, as wars of the 21st Century are “only won when the conditions that spawned armed conflict have been changed.” 
 Noah Feldman. 2004. What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building. Princeton University Press, Princeton. p. 63.
 Ibid., p. 64.
 FM 3-24: Counterinsurgency Field Manual. see Chapter 3: Intelliegence in Counterinsurgency, FM 3-24, in particular sections 3-65 through 3-73.
 Ibid., section 3-2.
 Feldman, p. 70.
 Alexander Wendt. 1999. Social Theory of International Politics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. p. 177.
 Feldman, p. 80.
 Nagl, RUSI book review.
Update: The links finally work, apologies for my shoddy blogging. Also, Stathis Kalyvas (among others, including Stephen Biddle) reviews FM 3-24 in the latest issue of Perspectives on Politics, (via AM) and notes the implicit constructivism of the field manual. Part II of this reply will focus on the issues of the legitimacy of the host nation government, and the possibility of social engineering, AKA nation building.