Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Clear and Hold

I've recently finished Anthony James Joes' Resisting Rebellion: The History and Politics of Counterinsurgency. It's worth a look, though it's fundamentally a distillation of existing research and while this is not necessarily a criticism, dedicated counterinsurgents may not find much new. Joes clearly writes with one eye on contemporary American military operations and therefore I do feel it would be of use to the serving officer (though NOT a substitute for the classic works). He also provides a service in that he deals with less well-trodden insurgency case studies, such as the Vendee in revolutionary France and Portugese operations in Africa.

On a more controversial note, Joes puts forward an alternative strategy for American success in Vietnam, which makes for an interesting read and which I'm still mulling over.

Anyway, worth a look. Absolute COIN novices will especially find much that is worthwhile. It's certainly an easier foundation text than Ian Beckett's Modern Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies and more affordable (and much shorter) than Asprey.

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