Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the 21st Century: Reconceptualizing Threat and Response

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the 21st Century: Reconceptualizing Threat and Response

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the 21st Century: Reconceptualizing Threat and Response

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the 21st Century: Reconceptualizing Threat and Response

Synopsis

Modern insurgency warfare presents fresh challenges for the United States, which must re-conceptualize its approach to fighting such conflicts. Because the dominant characteristics of insurgency--protractedness and ambiguity--effectively stymie the American military's approach to war, the United States needs to reorient its strategic thinking. The key to success is not for the U.S. military to become better at counterinsurgency, but for the U.S. military (and other elements of the government) to be skilled at helping local security and intelligence forces become effective at it. Adapting tactics and strategies to the realities on the ground is not only pragmatic, but also crucial to success.

Excerpt

This monograph comes at a time when U.S. and other world political and military leaders are struggling with the “new” politicalpsychological aspects of unconventional conflict. Unfortunately, the strategic theory of unconventional political war has played little part in the discourse. Yet political-insurgency war is the most likely type of conflict to challenge the maintenance and enhancement of global and regional security over the near-to-long term. Contemporary political-insurgency war is a threat we can ill afford to ignore.

Through the analysis of the cases of Argentina (1969-79), Peru (1962-present) and Italy (1968-82), the author identifies the politicalstrategic challenges of modern unconventional conflict. He stresses the political complexity of insurgency and the broader implications for the promises of democracy, free market economies, and prosperity implicit in the mandates to civil-military forces that confront global and regional instability. These cases are significant because they address counterinsurgency as much as they do insurgency. As a consequence, this examination is a logical point from which to begin to understand how governments and international organizations might ultimately control--or succumb to--the strategic challenges of political-insurgency war.

The author’s recommendations impose no easy set of tasks. Nevertheless, if the U.S. and other global leadership ignore the highly political aspects of modern unconventional conflict, the resultant instability and possible state failure will adversely shape the security environment in which all nations must struggle to survive. the Strategic Studies Institute is pleased to offer this cogent monograph as a part of the ongoing debate on global and regional security.

Douglas C. lovelace, jr. Director Strategic Studies Institute . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.