Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice / Edition 1by David Galula
Pub. Date: 09/05/2000
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
This volume in the Praeger Security International (PSI) series Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era defines the laws of insurgency and outlines the strategy and tactics to combat such threats. Drawn from the observations of a French officer, David Galula, who witnessed guerrilla warfare on three continents, the book remains relevant today as American policymakers,… See more details below
This volume in the Praeger Security International (PSI) series Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era defines the laws of insurgency and outlines the strategy and tactics to combat such threats. Drawn from the observations of a French officer, David Galula, who witnessed guerrilla warfare on three continents, the book remains relevant today as American policymakers, military analysts, and members of the public look to the counterinsurgency era of the 1960s for lessons to apply to the current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan. With a new foreword by John A. Nagl, author of Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam (Praeger, 2002).
Table of Contents
Revolutionary War: Nature and Characteristics
The Prerequisites for a Successful Insurgency
The Insurgency Doctrine
Counterinsurgency in the Cold Revolutionary War
Counterinsurgency in the Hot Revolutionary War
From Strategy to Tactics
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I've been to multiple military schools and our focus has largely been on how to win conventional wars. The Principles of War, Warden's Five Rings, etc., etc. are all about conventional ops. We need to ensure all of our schools have a core course on the Principles of Counterinsurgency Warfare. The last school I attended it was an elective course only... This book, "Counterinsurgency Warfare", should be one of the key texts for military strategists to read on the principles of winning counterinsurgency wars. I think it does superb job in contrasting how fighting an insurgency using a convential warfare mindset will be a losing strategy. America military's fighting strength is in the conventional realm, and we need to make books like this mandatory reading so that we can excel in both realms. I think the lessons learned we've taken from Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years mirror very closely what is taught in this book written in the early 60's.
Gulua writes the book that is has become "the must" read to get a basic of understanding of Counterinsurgency and how to conduct operations that will be succesful. Even though the book was written over 4o years ago, the principles and concepts remain relative today. It's the principles that allow you to employ counterinsurgeny stragidies no matter where you are. For those that are not in the military it is an easy read and not full of acronyms and terms that are difficult for civilians to understand. I believe it is a must for anyone deploying to Iraq or Afhganistan especially those leaders both NCO's and Officers, and battalion and below. Senior officers at brigade or higher, I believe should have already read this book. It should be read to ROTC as well.
I still have the copy I bought as a young CAP Marine in the 1960s. Most impressive is the simplicity of this timeless little book. Step by step, it guides the reader through the process of counterinsurgency. Much of the work is devoted to strategic operations on a regional and national level. But these principals were right on target, when operating tactically, in a populated agricultural area in Viet Nam's Dai Loc District, Quang Nam Province. Today it's a different war, but the fact that the Marines have revived the Combined Action Program, tailored to contemporary needs, shows that Colonel Galula's fine work is just as timely as when first published in the mid '60s.
This is THE BOOK on counterinsurgency warfare, and if you don't believe me, then believe noted Vietnam expert Bernard Fall (author of Street Without Joy and Hell in a Very Small Place). Fall considered it the best 'how-to' manual on counterinsurgency warfare. If the folks who started this war had only read two pages (Page 51 and 52) no one would have ever heard of Abu Garaib and Guantanamo. Only 143 pages, but it has all the answers.