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Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies
National Styles and Strategic Cultures

$35.99 (P)

Beatrice Heuser, Jeannie Johnson, Robert Egnell, David Ucko, Jacques Frémeaux, Bruno Reis, Stephen Blank, Yitzhak Shichor, David E. Johnson, Henning Pieper, Efraim Inbar, Eitan Shamir, Jim Storr, Carmit Valensi, Rob Johnson, Spyridon Plakoudas, Eyal Zisser, Elie Tenenbaum
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  • Date Published: December 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316501009

$ 35.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • This book is a major new study of the extent to which national mentalities, or 'ways of war', are responsible for 'national styles' of insurgency and counterinsurgency. Leading scholars examine the ways of war of particular insurgent movements, and the standard operational procedures of states and occupation forces to suppress them. Through case studies ranging from British, American and French counterinsurgency to the IRA and the Taliban, they show how 'national styles' evolve, influenced by transnational trends, ideas and practices. They examine whether we can identify a tendency to resort to a particular pattern of fighting and, if so, whether this is dictated by constants such as geography and climate, or by the available options, or else whether there exists a particular 'strategic culture' or 'national style'. Their findings show that 'national style' is not eternal but can undergo fundamental transformations.

    • Provides an up-to-date resource for diplomats, journalists and students needing to research current conflicts
    • Challenges the concept of eternal 'ways of war', leading to a more nuanced analysis of the fighting styles of insurgent movements and states
    • Thirteen case studies highlight the patterns and differences in conflicts across regions, cultures and periods of time
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Over the last decades, so large has the literature on insurgency and counterinsurgency become that, had it been loaded on the Titanic, that ship would have sunk without any help from the iceberg. If any book on these subjects deserves to survive such an event, then it is this one.' Martin van Creveld, Professor Emeritus, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem

    'This is an important book at a critical time. Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies lays a strong foundation for thinking about an abiding form of conflict. As budget pressures, the perception of war weariness in the West, and fascination with military technology encourage a reductionist vision of future war, the contributors of this book remind readers of war's immanent political and human nature. Those charged with crafting strategic responses to complex problems such as the political and humanitarian catastrophe in the Greater Middle East might start with the conclusions that Heuser and Shamir draw from these superb essays.' Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster, National Security Advisor

    'This is an important book focussing on, and employing, concepts that scholars and governments neglect at their peril.' Colin S. Gray, Professor Emeritus of Strategic Studies, University of Reading

    '… clearly written with a purpose in mind … should be on the reading list for anyone seeking broad historical context to the study of insurgencies.' Thomas McDermott, The Strategy Bridge

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316501009
    • length: 396 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.55kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: national style and strategic culture Beatrice Heuser and Jeannie Johnson
    Part I. Coin Strategies:
    2. True to form? Questioning British counterinsurgency tradition Robert Egnell and David Ucko
    3. French counterinsurgency in the era of the Algerian Wars, 1830–1962 Jacques Frémeaux and Bruno Reis
    4. Russian counterinsurgency in perspective Stephen Blank
    5. Crackdown: insurgency, potential insurgency and counterinsurgency in modern China Yitzhak Shichor
    6. You go to COIN with the military you have: the United States and 250 years of irregular war David E. Johnson
    7. From fighting 'francs-tireurs' to genocide: German counterinsurgency in the Second World War Henning Pieper
    8. Israel's counterinsurgency experience Efraim Inbar and Eitan Shamir
    Part II. Insurgency Strategies:
    9. National liberation, Algerian style? Jacques Frémeaux
    10. Irish Republican insurgency and terrorism, 1969–2007 Jim Storr
    11. The evolution of Palestinian resistance Carmit Valensi
    12. The Taliban Rob Johnson
    Part III. Interaction:
    13. Guerrilla and counter-guerrilla Greece: tradition and change Spyridon Plakoudas
    14. Syria: insurrection and suppression 2011–13 Eyal Zisser
    15. Beyond national styles: towards a connected history of Cold War counterinsurgency Elie Tenenbaum
    16. Universal toolbox, national styles, or divergence of civilisations? Beatrice Heuser and Eitan Shamir

  • Editors

    Beatrice Heuser, University of Reading
    Beatrice Heuser occupies a Chair in International Relations at the University of Reading, and holds degrees from the Universities of London (BA, MA) and Oxford (DPhil), and a Habilitation from Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany. She has previously taught at universities in London, France and Germany, and briefly worked at NATO headquarters. Publications include The Evolution of Strategy (2010), Reading Clausewitz (2002), and many works on nuclear strategy, NATO, and transatlantic relations.

    Eitan Shamir, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
    Eitan Shamir is a Senior Research Fellow with the Begin Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA), Bar-Ilan University, Israel. He was formerly head of the National Security Doctrine Department at the Prime Minister's Office, Israel, and served in the Israel Defense Forces General Headquarters. Recent works include Transforming Command (2011), as well as many other articles in leading academic journals, and book chapters.


    Beatrice Heuser, Jeannie Johnson, Robert Egnell, David Ucko, Jacques Frémeaux, Bruno Reis, Stephen Blank, Yitzhak Shichor, David E. Johnson, Henning Pieper, Efraim Inbar, Eitan Shamir, Jim Storr, Carmit Valensi, Rob Johnson, Spyridon Plakoudas, Eyal Zisser, Elie Tenenbaum

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