A number of years ago David Kilcullen wrote a very thought provoking article about tanks on the modern unconventional battlefield. It was originally for internal use only and I was fortunate enough to be sent a copy by a colleague. The article is titled Bombers and Tanks: Understanding the Myths and is available with downloading the Australian Army Journal Volume III Number 3. (Sorry I could not find a link to the single article.) The article is written from an infantryman’s perspective about why tanks are still useful on the battlefield today. Events in Iraq have no doubt confirmed a lot of what Kilcullen wrote here. I recommend this article as a good read about tanks on the modern ‘low intensity’ battlefield.
For those who have not heard of David Kilcullen then I recommend that you read this article from the New Yorker. Kilcullen is a former Lieutenant Colonel in the Australian Army who has a PhD based on field study he did in Indonesia of the former Darul Islam insurgency. He actually lived in West Java for a year doing research. He is now working at the US State Department assisting with counterinsurgency policy development. A good review of that body of work, plus links to Kilcullen’s articles on counterinsurgency, is contained in this post.
I also recommend his other works on counter insurgency and I can see why he has achieved some fame for his views. His article Counterinsurgency Redux is particularly good about why the current counter insurgencies (Iraq, Afghanistan and Global War on Terror) are not the same to what he terms classical counter insurgencies (Vietnam and the Malayan Emergency.)