Rethinking Western Approaches to Counterinsurgency: Lessons from post-colonial conflict

Russell Glenn

    Research output: Book/ReportBook


    This book critically examines the Western approach to counter-insurgency in the post-colonial era and offers a series of recommendations to address current shortfalls. The author argues that current approaches to countering insurgency rely too heavily on conflicts from the post-World War II years of waning colonialism. Campaigns conducted over half a century ago - Malaya, Aden, and Kenya among them - remain primary sources on which the United States, British, Australian, and other militaries build their guidance for dealing with insurgent threats, this though both the character of those threats and the conflict environment are significantly different than was the case in those earlier years. This book addresses the resulting inconsistencies by offering insights, analysis, and recommendations drawn from campaigns more applicable to counter-insurgency today. Eight post-colonial conflicts; to include Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone, Colombia and Iraq; provide the basis for analysis. All are examples in which counterinsurgents attained or continue to demonstrate considerable progress when taking on enterprises better known for disaster and disappointment. Recommendations resulting from these analyses challenge entrenched beliefs to serve as the impetus for essential change. Rethinking Western Approaches to Counterinsurgency will be of much interest to students of counter-insurgencies, military and strategic studies, security studies and IR in general.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationAbingdon, UK and New York, USA
    Number of pages330
    ISBN (Print)9781138819337
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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