Insurgent Archipelago

Insurgent Archipelago

by John Mackinlay
     
 

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As a British Gurkha officer assigned to the jungle borders of North Borneo, John Mackinlay experienced firsthand the Maoist-style insurgencies of the 1950s and 1960s, and later in his career, as a scholar researching Muslim NGOs and preventative security, he witnessed the transformation of territorial, labor-intensive uprisings into the international networks of… See more details below

Overview


As a British Gurkha officer assigned to the jungle borders of North Borneo, John Mackinlay experienced firsthand the Maoist-style insurgencies of the 1950s and 1960s, and later in his career, as a scholar researching Muslim NGOs and preventative security, he witnessed the transformation of territorial, labor-intensive uprisings into the international networks of individuals and communities that operate across the world today. In this book, Mackinlay focuses on the situation in Afghanistan to see how threats from one theater of operation impact on us domestically in the UK and in the US. Mackinlay maps the transformation of insurgencies against the rapid modernisation of their origin cities, noting the ways in which technology has accelerated and complicated a variety of coalitions and the efforts to defeat them. Our current bin Laden era, Mackinlay argues, must be understood from a Maoist perspective of insurgency. The campaigns of mid-century are directly linked to the global movements of tomorrow, yet the past two decades of insurgent activity have also marked a new chapter in the practice, in which propaganda of the deed (ie, suicide bombings) has become centrally important. This shift presents new challenges to our traditional, time-honored response to terror and places a greater emphasis on mastering the virtual, cyber-based dimension of these campaigns. Mackinlay revisits the roots of global insurgencies, describes their nature and character, reveals the power of mass communications and grievance, and recommends how individual nations can counter these threats by focusing on domestic terrorism.

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Editorial Reviews

LTC; Military Review - Richard A. McConnell
The Insurgent Archipelago is an excellent addition to any military or civilian library.
Military Review - LTC Richard A. McConnell

The Insurgent Archipelago is an excellent addition to any military or civilian library.

Financial Times

Mackinlay makes a compelling argument for why we need to shift our focus to approaches closer to home.

Military Review
The Insurgent Archipelago is an excellent addition to any military or civilian library.

— LTC Richard A. McConnell, USA

From the Publisher

"Mackinlay makes a compelling argument for why we need to shift our focus to approaches closer to home."--The Financial Times

"This elegantly written book, without jargon and largely unburdened by academic hokum, provides an essential guide to the 'when the rubber hits the road' issues of global insurgency, what it is, how to understand it, and, possibly, how to deal with it."--British Army Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199326952
Publisher:
An Oxford University Press Publication
Publication date:
12/22/2009
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Hew Strachan

This is a book whose importance and timeliness cannot be overestimated. Written with a sense of context and continuity, it nonetheless makes clear the dangers inherent in a view of insurgency that is shaped disproportionately by history. The Insurgent Archipelago is essential reading, not only for policymakers, but also for anybody concerned with the difficulties and challenges faced by the West.

John Nagl

To succeed in the global counterinsurgency campaign we are fighting today means understanding how our enemies have adapted Maoist principles to the globalized world in which we live. John Mackinlay is a soldier and scholar whose work shows us how to disaggregate the insurgent archipelago and defeat it in detail. Highly recommended.

Dominick Donald

The Insurgent Archipelago is an ambitious attempt to trace the evolution of modern insurgency and responses to it from their defining origins to the present. John Mackinlay sweeps this most political of acts and explains how it has broken free from the confines of time and space. Essential to a proper understanding of insurgency's evolution and why current responses so often fail, Mackinlay's book provides the essential bridge that links a phenomenon rooted in space and time to its current, virtual, ethical self.

Dominick Donald

The Insurgent Archipelago is an ambitious attempt to trace the evolution of modern insurgency and responses to it from their defining origins to the present. John Mackinlay sweeps this most political of acts and explains how it has broken free from the confines of time and space. Essential to a proper understanding of insurgency's evolution and why current responses so often fail, Mackinlay's book provides the essential bridge that links a phenomenon rooted in space and time to its current, virtual, ethical self.

Dominick Donald, chief analyst and vice president, Aegis Defense Services

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