Casebooks on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare

US Army Special Operations Command and Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory National Security Analysis Department have put together a useful reference for small wars students and practitioners entitled "Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare Volume II:  1962-2009."  The resource is available for download in PDF format here.  If you are wondering where Volume I is, that government document covers post-World War I insurgencies and revolutions up to 1962 and can be downloaded in PDF here.  The original was published by the Special Operations Research Office at The American University in 1962.

Volume II is broken down by conceptual categories as can be seen by the table of contents:

 

I. REVOLUTION TO MODIFY THE TYPE OF GOVERNMENT........... 1 

1. New People’s Army (NPA).............................................................5 

2. Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC)..........39 

3. Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path)............................................71 

4. 1979 Iranian Revolution............................................................113 

5. Frente Farabundo Martí Para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN)...151 

6. Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA)................................195 

II. REVOLUTION BASED ON IDENTITY OR ETHNIC ISSUES........ 229 

7. Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)...............................233 

8. Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO): 1964–2009............277 

9. Hutu–Tutsi Genocides...............................................................307 

10. Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA): 1996–1999............................343 

11. The Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA): 1969–2001...379 

III. REVOLUTION TO DRIVE OUT A FOREIGN POWER.................. 423 

12. Afghan Mujahidin: 1979–1989..................................................427 

13. Viet Cong: 1954–1976................................................................459 

14. Chechen Revolution: 1991–2002..............................................489 

15. Hizbollah: 1982–2009................................................................525 

16. Hizbul Mujahideen....................................................................569 

IV. REVOLUTION BASED ON RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM.... 605 

17. Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ)......................................................609 

18. Taliban: 1994–2009....................................................................651 

19. Al Qaeda: 1988–2001.................................................................685 

V. REVOLUTION FOR MODERNIZATION OR REFORM................. 725 

20. Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND)....729 

21. Revolutionary United Front (RUF)—Sierra Leone.................763 

22. Orange Revolution of Ukraine: 2004–2005..............................801 

23. Solidarity.....................................................................................825 

 

The original was broken down regionally and included chapters on Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaya, Guatemala, Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Tunisia, Algeria, French Cameroon, Congo, Iraq x 2, Egypt, Iran, Sudan, Korea, China, Germany, Spain, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.

 

This project has been the vision of Paul Tompkins, a retired Special Forces Warrant Officer who works in the USASOC G3 and has had the support of the senior Army SOF leadership (see forwards from LTG Mulholland and MG Sacolick).  This is the first of several products that will be published on human factors In revolutions and insurgencies as well as undergrounds and auxiliaries.  

"In a rare spare moment during a training exercise, the Operational Detachment-Alpha (ODA) Team Sergeant took an old book down from the shelf and tossed it into the young Green Beret’s lap. “Read and learn.” The book on human factors considerations in insurgencies was already more than twenty years old and very out of vogue. But the younger sergeant soon became engrossed and took other forgotten revolution-related texts off the shelf, including the 1962 Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare, which described the organization of undergrounds and the motivations and behaviors of revolutionaries. He became a student of the history of unconventional warfare and soon championed its revival as a teaching subject for the US Army Special Forces. When his country faced pop-up resistance in Iraq and tenacious guerrilla bands in Afghanistan during the mid-2000s, his vision of modernizing the research and reintroducing it into standard education and training took hold. 

This second volume owes its creation to the vision of that young Green Beret, Paul Tompkins, and to the challenge that his sergeant, Ed Brody, threw into his lap."

H/T to Dave Maxwell  

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Tags : COIN, counterinsurgency, history, insurgency, reference, revolutionary warfare

Comments

I had considerable misgivings about reading the case study on the Afghan mujahidin but the gushing overview convinced me to read on. I found the societal political insights to be consistent with my experiences and the historical aspects very much factual; as I at least understand them to be. However even 20/20 hindsight didn’t prevent some glaring errors.

The 5 million refugees living in the deserts of Pakistan and Iran are recorded as “several thousand.” An ocean of human misery which lasted 30 years for 5 million people in some of the worst deserts in the world as thousands? It was like someone saying 5 people were killed in the WTC. Considering this is where the Taliban originated from it is important to get it right.

The FIM-92 is described as “laser guided” missile. I wish it was a beam-rider as you might have got around the decoys, shutter strobe jammers, exhaust coolers, ground clutter and FLIRN equipped night helo raiders. As it happened Soviet aircraft losses went down.

However the most damning criticism is what it doesn’t say about our enemies and more importantly our ‘friends.’ In fairness it rightly points out at the height of the military aid flowing from the US and Saudi Arabia the battlefield reports correctly indicated the muj were getting hammered worse than ever by the Soviets. Not many historical accounts of the period have noted this.

Battlefield commanders (as opposed to the ‘air-conditioned muj’ in Peshawar ) were screaming out that nothing was getting through to them. It was alleged that the ISI was hoarding 90% of the all aid meant for the muj in country. Some intelligence agencies were hearing similar reports from intercepts targeting Soviet comms as far away as Europe.

Teams were dispatched in theatre and a careful count was made during the April to November fighting season. It was found that it was worse than expected ie. less than 10% was getting thru. Some equipment which was presumed to be aid was in fact captured Soviet and not Chincom, Egyptian or Pakistani so it didn’t come thru the ISI pipeline. There were no comms, very little medical, no boots, clapped out vehicles and the amounts leaving Pak were minuscule.

In other words Wilson and the US Congress had been completely hoodwinked by the ISI. Obviously that does not surprise anyone today but in the mid-1980’s any suggestion that the whole ISI effort was a crock could get you a bullet in the back of the neck - not just either side of the border but back home as well.

It does identify the origins of the ALQ but it affiliates them with the wrong muj group. However what it doesn’t mention that during this time it was reported by the teams monitoring the weapons pipeline that these individuals were not interested in fighting the Soviets (many where actually Warsaw Pact trained) and where all rabidly anti-American.

We are constantly reminded that understanding the OE is paramount and the criticality of the Human Domain to the tactical, operational and strategic outcome. The trumpeting of this case study indicates to me that we have made very little real progress.

I can only hope for all our sakes the other 1000 pages are much more enlightening.

Regards,
RC

@ Randcorp -

Why do you think this 'hoodwinking' keeps happening? It's not just the 80s, either. It has happened every decade in that region since the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War. Every decade, even during periods of a supposed "break" when we were involved in the South Asian region via proxy organization like the IMF/World Bank. My ethnic community in the states developed all these weird theories to try and explain this repeating pattern. Some parts I get, we based so much of Pax Americana and our Cold War stance on Saudi oil and its relationship to our treasuries and economy, etc.

I still don't get it. Is it just NATOism? Is it just habit? What is it? Why are we continually hoodwinked? Generation after generation, practically, of foreign policy intelligentsia and Pentagon types.

PS: It's like some people get UW at the highest levels and "grab us by our belts" (you know, that one Vietnam book/theory) to fight us, just at the UN/NATO/World Bank/ world trade organizations level, etc. I guess we do it, too.

PPS: I still like the basic attempt at categorization, although I know that is always tricky business.

Madhu,

Unfortunately they are not being ‘hoodwinked’ in a real sense they are just choosing to appear to be outsmarted in order to cover their corruption.

We used to play a game where we would disclose on a strictly need to know basis at which point we would cross the frontier and the approximate time. We would choose an advantageous over-watch position and wait out the Border Guard ambush at the fore mentioned time and location.

Sure enough after lying in the hot sun they would get fed up and reveal themselves. We would cross elsewhere and return bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and report our successful mission. We would repeat this and each time the dragnet would get bigger but because the extra troops were green garrison troops and not Interior Ministry troops it became more heavy-handed and clumsy. Every smuggler, moonshiner, farmer looking for lost livestock, petty criminals, drug dealer, peeping Tom, common law fugitive etc would get pounced on and suffer a severe beating whilst incomprehensible English was screamed into his ears.

Eventually the whole region would be up in arms and I assume the informants were struck off as unreliable or whatever and the spooks would have to go back to the city and explain to their bosses the uproar their 'wild-goose chase' had caused.

There were two schools of thought. One was the Pentagon and Langley had been penetrated by a KGB operative and the other (nearly always held by those born and bred in or around the Beltway) that the betrayal was for money or something just as pathetic.

I was very much an advocate of the former but with the revelation of Ames, Walker, Pitts, Hanssen, Nicholson etc it would appear I was mistaken. Unfortunately what this means is that the demise of the USSR has not changed a thing. Anyone wanting more money, better office view, prettier mistress, PA with bigger tits, get one over an office rival is up for malfeasance and there are plenty of people who are more than happy to communicate with them and accommodate their particular grievance.

There’s a thread on SWJ:

Disruptive Technology and Reforming the Pentagon Establishment—Part I
by Thaddeus L. Jankowski

which I dare say will tap into the very ‘hoodwinking’ we are talking about.

Regards,

RC

Eric Wolf—a veteran of the 10th Mountain Division, FWIW—did something similar 40+ years ago.

Agree with carl. This is fantastic. The groupings (and the "overlapping" between categories, because life is complicated, all "multifactorial", constantly moving and non-linear) is just the thing, isn't it?

Peter:

This is great. Please alert us when additional products come out.