Counterinsurgency in Africa: The Portuguese Way of War, 1961-1974

Overview

The first comprehensive account in English of how the Portuguese Armed Forces prepared for and conducted a distant counterinsurgency campaign in its African possessions with very limited resources, choosing to stay and fight despite the small odds for success. The Portuguese military crafted its doctrine and implemented it to match the guerrilla strategy of protracted war, and in doing so, followed the lessons gleaned from the British and French experiences in small wars. The Portuguese approach to the conflict ...

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Overview

The first comprehensive account in English of how the Portuguese Armed Forces prepared for and conducted a distant counterinsurgency campaign in its African possessions with very limited resources, choosing to stay and fight despite the small odds for success. The Portuguese military crafted its doctrine and implemented it to match the guerrilla strategy of protracted war, and in doing so, followed the lessons gleaned from the British and French experiences in small wars. The Portuguese approach to the conflict was distinct in that it sought to combine the two-pronged national strategy of containing the cost of the war and of spreading the burden to the colonies with the solution on the battlefield. It describes how Portugal defined and analyzed its insurgency problem in light of the available knowledge on counterinsurgency, how it developed its military policies and doctrines in this context, and how it applied them in the African colonial environment. The uniqueness of its approach is highlighted through a thematic military analysis of the Portuguese effort and a comparison with the experiences of other governments fighting similar contemporaneous wars.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
From the perspective of the Portuguese military, tells the story of the decade-long struggle to maintain control of Angola, Guin<'e>, and Mozambique in the face of indigenous wars of independence and a general international distaste for keeping dependent peoples as formal colonies. Explains the overall strategy of maintaining security long enough to open negotiations with the rebels, military organization, Africanization, intelligence, mobility, social operations, and other aspects. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

JOHN P. CANN, a former naval flight officer and retired captain, served both on the staff of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict and subsequently on that of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

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Table of Contents

Tables
Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 A Remarkable Feat of Arms 1
2 Commitment to the Ultramar 13
3 O Exercito na Guerra Subversiva: Portuguese Counterinsurgency Doctrine on the Eve of War 37
4 Portuguese Organization, Education, and Training for Counterinsurgency 61
5 Portuguese Africanization of Counterinsurgency 87
6 Portuguese Intelligence Network in Counterinsurgency 111
7 Portuguese Approach to Mobility in Counterinsurgency 129
8 Portuguese Social Operations and Aldeamentos 143
9 Selected Aspects of Logistical Operations 169
10 The Portuguese Way 187
Selected Bibliography 197
Index 207
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