Small Wars Journal

Abu Muqawama Says: Read Galula

Abu Muqawama; a blog dedicated to issues related to contemporary insurgencies, and counterinsurgency tactics and strategy; spins off from their recent COIN Reading List post with a new feature titled COIN Book Club. AB's first pick is a good one, David Galula's Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice.

This slim volume has probably had more effect on the way in which Abu Muqawama views counterinsurgency warfare than any other book or article. FM 3-24 is great doctrine, but Galula gives his reader a feel for counterinsurgency warfare in a way the field manual does not. It is also very short, and to-the-point. Which is why, over the past few years, Abu Muqawama has taken to mailing photocopies of this book to friends in the field. One friend, an infantry company commander outside of Baghdad, read the book a little over a year ago while deployed to Iraq and had this to say:

Just finished reading Galula's book. What a great read! It's so common sense, so right, so easy to understand, it begs the questions: Why haven't I heard of it before, and Why aren't they teaching this stuff at the Advanced Course?

Bernard Fall; author of Street Without Joy and prominent war correspondent, historian, political scientist, and expert on insurgencies and COIN; called Counterinsurgecy Warfare the best "how-to" guide.


If Galula was alive, he might say: "Read Abu Muqawama."

Yow! Not available on Amazon, but would be $75 if it was. How about scanning it and maybe putting it in PDF? People would pay to download that.