Sunday Light Reading

Will Hartley, Insurgency Research Group, has a great lineup of documents recently posted on the 'Net. Here are several examples:

Rethinking Counterinsurgency - John Mackinlay, Alison Al-Baddawy, Rand.

During the period of decolonization in Asia and Africa, the United Kingdom faced more insurgent activity than any other Western power. British government officials and military forces proved proficient at defeating or controlling these rebellions. However, these uprisings were much less complex than the modern jihadist insurgency. Past insurgent movements were primarily monolithic or national in form, had very specific local goals, and derived most of their power from the local population. These limitations made past rebellions vulnerable to strong military responses. In contrast, the modern jihadist insurgency is characterized by its complex and global nature...

Country Reports on Terrorism 2007 - US State Department.

US law requires the Secretary of State to provide Congress, by April 30 of each year, a full and complete report on terrorism with regard to those countries and groups meeting criteria set forth in the legislation. This annual report is entitled Country Reports on Terrorism. Beginning with the report for 2004, it replaced the previously published Patterns of Global Terrorism.

Iraq after the Surge I: The New Sunni Landscape and Iraq after the Surge II: The Need for a New Political Strategy - International Crisis Group.

The US military surge contributed to a significant reduction in violence but has reached the limit of what it can achieve. Without fundamental political changes in Iraq, success will remain fragile and dangerously reversible. The second of two companion reports, The Need for a New Political Strategy, analyses reasons for the current deadlock and suggests a way forward.

Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958 - Rand 2006 reprint of 1963 David Galula article.

Thus begins Lt Col David Galula's account of his two years commanding a company of French troops in the Kabylia district, east of Algiers, at the height of the 1954--62 Algerian War of Independence. That uprising against French rule is remembered, if at all, as the last of the immediate post--World War II nationalist struggles waged by a colonized population against its European masters. For that reason, perhaps, France's experiences in Algeria were mostly ignored by other countries, including the United States, which later found itself fighting remarkably similar insurgencies in Southeast Asia and Latin America, and today in Southwest Asia (e.g., Iraq).

Much more at Insurgency Research Group to include recent Small Wars Journal magazine offerings. Hat tip to ya Will.

Lastly, one not on the IRG list - American Counterinsurgency Doctrine and El Salvador by Benjamin Schwarz of Rand.

This report assesses the political and social dimensions of American counterinsurgency policy in El Salvador. It attempts to explain why low-intensity-conflict doctrine has not produced the desired results and to reassess that doctrine's future utility. The author's appraisal of U.S. involvement in El Salvador leads him to conclude that there is a vast disparity between U.S. objectives and achievements there. For a decade, U.S. policy toward El Salvador tried to synthesize liberal and conservative aims: foster political, social, and economic reform, and provide security to a country whose freedom from communism the United States deemed essential. In attempting to reconcile these objectives, however, the United States pursued a policy that used means unsettling to itself, for ends humiliating to the Salvadorans, and at a cost disproportionate to any conventional conception of the national interest.

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