How Major Powers Fail in CounterinsurgencyeBook - 2008
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.
Four case studies--Algeria, Cyprus, Vietnam, and Iraq--reveal the common mistakes military and civilian leaders make when confronting insurgencies.