Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War

By Corum, James S. | Joint Force Quarterly, January 2007 | Go to article overview

Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War


Corum, James S., Joint Force Quarterly


Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War.

by Robert M. Cassidy

Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006 202 pp. $49.95

ISBN: 0-2759-8990-9

Robert Cassidy, who has served as a Special Operations Forces battalion commander and authored a book on peacekeeping (Peacekeeping in the Abyss: British and American Doctrine and Practice after the Cold War, Praeger, 2004), examines the problems that major powers face in dealing with modern counter-insurgency. He focuses on how national military cultures affect nations' approaches to dealing with asymmetric warfare and provides three case studies as a base of analysis: the United States, Britain, and Russia.

Cassidy is on solid ground in his highly critical analysis of the U.S. military in its understanding of modern counterinsurgency. He argues that despite extensive experience with counterinsurgency, the U.S. military is generally indifferent to such warfare because of a traditional intellectual preference for big conventional wars, in which advantages in resources and technology give the Nation an unquestioned edge. Cassidy is spot on in his critique that the U.S. military leadership since Vietnam has generally resisted trying to understand the very different requirements of fighting unconventional enemies. This approach, which has its roots deep within U.S. military tradition, forces planners to relearn many of the basic principles that should have been learned through the counter-insurgency operations of the past. There is nothing really new in this analysis, as many authors have discussed the Armed Forces' lack of basic understanding of counterinsurgency since they became engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq. Still, it is important to keep hammering the point home, as the U.S. military needs to fundamentally alter its view of counterinsurgency if it wants to succeed in these operations.

In discussing the cultures of militaries with which he does not have personal experience, the author is much weaker. In examining London's response to counterinsurgency issues, Cassidy correctly points out that the British military takes the study of counterinsurgency much more seriously than does the U.S. military (Northern Ireland made sure of that). But all too often, the author buys into the popular myths concerning Britain's special competence in counterinsurgency. For example, he emphasizes that since the massacre at Amritsar in 1919, the British have employed the principle of minimum force in countering insurgents. In fact, many British counterinsurgency efforts have been marred by excessive force and major human rights violations. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror: Military Culture and Irregular War
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.