×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War
     

Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War

by Douglas Porch
 

See All Formats & Editions

Counterinsurgency has staked its claim in the new century as the new American way of war. Yet, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have revived a historical debate about the costs - monetary, political and moral - of operations designed to eliminate insurgents and build nations. Today's counterinsurgency proponents point to 'small wars' past to support their view that

Overview

Counterinsurgency has staked its claim in the new century as the new American way of war. Yet, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have revived a historical debate about the costs - monetary, political and moral - of operations designed to eliminate insurgents and build nations. Today's counterinsurgency proponents point to 'small wars' past to support their view that the enemy is 'biddable' if the correct tactical formulas are applied. Douglas Porch's sweeping history of counterinsurgency campaigns carried out by the three 'providential nations' of France, Britain and the United States, ranging from nineteenth-century colonial conquests to General Petraeus's 'Surge' in Iraq, challenges the contemporary mythologising of counterinsurgency as a humane way of war. The reality, he reveals, is that 'hearts and minds' has never been a recipe for lasting stability and that past counterinsurgency campaigns have succeeded not through state-building but by shattering and dividing societies while unsettling civil-military relations.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this brilliant volume master historian Douglas Porch shatters the myth of contemporary counterinsurgency by exposing its raw historical roots. American counterinsurgents often preach moralistic sounding bromides like 'protect and serve the local populations'. Porch deconstructs the mythical universe of counterinsurgency and lays bare the historical truth that they are ultimately wars of death, destruction, and often brute conquest."
Colonel Gian Gentile, United States Military Academy, West Point

"Douglas Porch has written one of the single most outstanding reviews and critiques of the modern theory of counter-insurgency. It fully exposes the myths and legends behind a fundamentally flawed and pernicious approach to conceptualising human conflict. This book should be essential reading for military students, scholars and laymen alike."
Alex Marshall, The Scottish Centre for War Studies, University of Glasgow

"... [an] illuminating and feisty book."
The Chronicle Review

"This is a rich, well supported study of a tendentious topic ... it pulls together material on a remarkable variety of cases to make a powerful point that is valuable in the undergraduate and graduate classroom as well as for broader practitioner and public audiences."
Jacqueline L. Hazelton, H-Diplo

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781107699847
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
09/30/2013
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
360
Sales rank:
614,355
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Porch is Distinguished Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. A specialist in military history, he advises on security issues all over the world. His most recent book, The Path to Victory: The Mediterranean Theater in World War II, received the Award for Excellence in US Army Historical Writing from The Army Historical Foundation.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews