Monday, July 12, 2010
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.