Dimensions of Counter-insurgency : Applying Experience to Practice book cover
1st Edition

Dimensions of Counter-insurgency
Applying Experience to Practice

ISBN 9780415761994
Published April 28, 2014 by Routledge
240 Pages

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Book Description

The once-neglected study of counter-insurgency operations has recently emerged as an area of central concern for Western governments and their military organizations. While counter-insurgency represents a hugely challenging form of contemporary warfare, there exists a considerable body of experience that offers assistance in the form of examples of both good and bad practice.

The main aim of this book is to present these examples and the lessons that can be drawn from them. Such lessons can be of considerable benefit to today’s policy-makers and military practitioners. The book also considers how these lessons can actually fit into the contemporary framework – as defined by military, political and institutional logic – that shapes and bounds today’s counter-insurgency warfare. Dimensions of Counter-Insurgency explores a number of key themes including: the experience of counter-insurgency in the Middle East; the contribution of maritime and air forces; the challenges posed in adapting Western armed forces to their new tasks; and the responses made – in light of the perceived need for international action against insurgencies – by multilateral institutions such as NATO and the European Union. This book features a broad range of contributions from academics and military thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic.

This was previously published as a special issue of Contemporary Security Policy.

Table of Contents

Introduction / Tim Benbow


Countering Arab Insurgencies: The British Experience / Rod Thornton

Orde Wingate and the Special Night Squads: A Feasible Policy for Counter-Terrorism? / Simon Anglim

The Strategic Information Campaign: Lessons from the British Experience in Palestine 1945-1948 / Kate Utting


The Blue, Green, and Brown: Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency on the Water / Martin N. Murphy

Maritime Forces and Counter-Insurgency / Tim Benbow

Countering Insurgency from the Air: The Postwar Lessons / David Jordan

Air Power in Counter Insurgency: A Sophisticated Language or Blunt Expression? / Harry Kelmsley


Rethinking US Army Counter-Insurgency Doctrine / James S. Corum

Of Romans and Dragons: Preparing the US Marine Corps for Future Warfare / Terry Tarriff


NATO and Counter-Insurgency: Strategic Liability or Tactical Test / Sean Kay and Sahar Khan

The European Union and Counter-Insurgency; Capability, Credibility and Political Will / Tim Bird

Staying the Course in ‘Fourth-Generation Warfare’: Persuasion, Perseverance in the Era of the Asymmetric Bargaining War / Simon Murden


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Tim Benbow and Rod Thornton are both lecturers in the Defence Studies Department of King's College, London and at the Joint Services Command and Staff College.  Tim Benbow is co-editor of Maritime Power in the 1990-91 Gulf War and the Conflict in the Former Yugoslavia, and author of The Magic Bullet? Understanding the Revolution in Military Affairs. He is a research associate, and Honorary Fellow, of the School of Historical , Political and Social Studies at the University of Exeter.  Rod Thornton is a regular guest lecturer on Terrorism at the NATO Defence School in Rome, and on Terrorism/Asymmetric Warfare at Southampton and Oxford Universities. He is the author of Asymmetric Warfare: Threat and Response in the 21st Century.