GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Monday, July 12, 2010

In their book Counterinsurgency and Modern Warfare, editors Daniel Marston and Carter Malkasian examine the failures and successes of counterinsurgency campaigns in the 20st and 21st centuries. Through their selected case studies, the editors offer a wide range of military experiences, including the usually studied campaigns in Malaya and Vietnam but they also choose some unexpected campaigns off the usual COIN beaten path by examining Northern Ireland, Rhodesia and even German anti-partisan operations on the Easter Front in World War II.

Each essay is a standalone product from an acknowledged expert who not only offers the chronological and event highlights, but offers crucial observations and lessons learned. The essays on Northern Ireland and Rhodesia were particularly eye-opening for me.

In Northern Ireland, the British ran a classic law enforcement type COIN effort where the military played very much a background role, minus the occasional action by the SAS, and they managed to successfully “criminalize” and insurgency and essentially delegitimize the IRA and force them into a political settlement.
In Rhodesia, the white government essentially fought the insurgency to a stand-still through very unconventional light infantry patrols and attacks by a military that literally operated on a shoe-string, but was forced to submit to the now crazed and lunatic Mugabe government by global political pressure.

Overall, this is a really excellent collection of essays for anyone wanting to discover the wide range of COIN operations and how different militaries have won or lost to insurgencies.  For the serious student of current military affairs, it is a needed addition to your book shelf.

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