Military historical case studies provide insight for military planners. Military planners cannot afford to ignore history when planning in today’s complex environment. This thesis analyzes military doctrinal changes and adaptation during Britain’s Boer War and the French counterinsurgency war in Algeria. The Boer War serves as an example of doctrinal change during a counterinsurgency campaign. The French experience demonstrates the difficult task of fighting against an ambiguous enemy who uses terrorism as its primary tactic. A counterinsurgency comparison and analysis focuses on three issues present in both case studies: population control measures, operational tactics, and the civil military operations. The conclusion offers solutions to the military situation today based on the British and French counterinsurgency. This thesis argues history provides US military planners with the background to develop a successful counterinsurgency strategy for today’s environment.