Bad Strategies: How Major Powers Fail in Counterinsurgency

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Voyageur Press, Aug 15, 2008 - History - 304 pages
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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.

 

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Contents

Foreword
7
What is Strategy?
17
Frances War in Algeria 19541962
31
British Strategy Against the Cyprus Insurgents 19551959
79
VietnamAmericas Longest War 19501975
123
American Counterinsurgency Strategy in Iraq 20032007
181
What is Needed
241
Maps
269
Notes
273
Index
297
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Retired army officer James S. Corum, PhD, associate professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in the Department of Joint and Multinational Operations at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, was recently a visiting fellow at Oxford University's All Souls College. While serving as a professor at the Air University Corum developed and taught the course “Terrorism and Small Wars.” He is a member of the editorial boards of the Journal of Strategic Studies and Airpower Journal and the author of four books and more than fifty articles. Corum lives near Ft. Leavenworth with his family in Lansing, Kansas.

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