The Failure of Counterinsurgency

Why Hearts and Minds Are Seldom Won

This book examines the implications of counterinsurgency warfare for U.S. defense policy and makes the compelling argument that the United States' default position on counterinsurgency wars should be to avoid them. Les mer
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This book examines the implications of counterinsurgency warfare for U.S. defense policy and makes the compelling argument that the United States' default position on counterinsurgency wars should be to avoid them.

Given the unsatisfactory outcomes of the counterinsurgency (COIN) wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the U.S. military is now in a heated debate over whether wars involving COIN operations are worth fighting. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the effectiveness of COIN through key historic episodes and concludes that the answer is an emphatic "no," based on a dominant record of U.S. military or political failure, and inconsistency in the reasons for the rare cases of success. The author also examines the implications of his findings for U.S. foreign policy, defense policy, and future weapons procurement.









Examines a wider breadth of historical cases than other books on counterinsurgency, allowing for more accurate assessments and conclusions about the efficacy of COIN based on the lessons learned across history



Presents research-based evidence that the Unites States should get involved in counterinsurgency warfare only in the rare cases in which U.S. vital interests are at stake



Provides thought-provoking discussion of the domestic negative effects resulting from overseas counterinsurgency operations



Questions the effectiveness of COIN strategy by utilizing numerous historical examples covered throughout the book



Covers major instances of COIN warfare in history, including the French in Algeria and Indochina, the British in Malaysia and Afghanistan, the United States in Vietnam and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and numerous others



Appeals to readers and students of military history, strategy, and defense

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Om forfatteren

Despite having the technical advantage, American forces are often outmatched in counterinsurgency operations.Ivan Eland, PhD, is director of the Center on Peace and Liberty at The Independent Institute in Oakland, CA. His published works include Praeger's Putting Defense Back into U.S. Defense Policy: Rethinking U.S. Security in the Post-Cold War World.