Bad Strategies: How Major Powers Fail in Counterinsurgency

Bad Strategies: How Major Powers Fail in Counterinsurgency

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Bad Strategies: How Major Powers Fail in Counterinsurgency by James S. Corum, Dennis Showalter

It is the new way of war: Everywhere our military tries to make inroads, insurgents flout us--and seem to get the better of the strategists making policy and battle plans. In this book, an expert with both scholarly and military experience in the field looks at cases of counterinsurgency gone wrong. By examining the failures of strategies against insurgents in Algeria, Cyprus, Vietnam, and Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel James S. Corum offers rare and much-needed insight into what can go wrong in such situations--and how these mistakes might be avoided. In each case, Corum shows how the conflict could have been won by the major power if its strategy had addressed the underlying causes of the insurgency it faced; not doing so wastes lives and weakens the power’s position in the world.

Failures in counterinsurgency often proceed from common mistakes. Bad Strategies explores these at strategic, operational and tactical levels. Above all, Corum identifies poor civilian and military leadership as the primary cause for failure in successfully combating insurgencies. His book, with clear and practical prescriptions for success, shows how the lessons of the past might apply to our present disastrous confrontations with insurgents in Iraq.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616737627
Publisher: Zenith Press
Publication date: 08/15/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Retired army officer James S. Corum, PhD, associate professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in the Department of Joint and Multinational Operations at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, was recently a visiting fellow at Oxford University's All Souls College. While serving as a professor at the Air University Corum developed and taught the course “Terrorism and Small Wars.” He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Strategic Studies and Airpower Journal and the author of four books and more than fifty articles. Corum lives near Ft. Leavenworth with his family in Lansing, Kansas.

Table of Contents

Foreword   Dennis Showalter     7
Introduction: What is Strategy?     17
France's War in Algeria, 1954-1962     31
British Strategy Against the Cyprus Insurgents, 1955-1959     79
Vietnam-America's Longest War, 1950-1975     123
American Counterinsurgency Strategy in Iraq, 2003-2007     181
What is Needed     241
Maps     269
Notes     273
Index     297

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This volume provides a most useful analysis of the challenges faced by France, Great Britain, and the US in confronting four insurgencies. There is good background material on all four, and consistent thematic probing of the contradictory relationship between military sucess and political failure."

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