The Forgotten Front: Patron-Client Relationships in Counter Insurgency

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 22, 2017 - Political Science - 346 pages
"A critical error lies at the heart of American thinking about counterinsurgency: the assumption that the U.S. will share common goals, priorities, and interests with a local government it is supporting, which will make it relatively easy to convince the partner to adopt America's preferred counterinsurgency prescription. In fact, the historical record suggests that maintaining power is frequently the priority for the incumbent regime, which means that many of the standard reform prescriptions for counterinsurgency - reducing government corruption, ending patronage politics, embracing disaffected minority groups, streamlining the military chain of command, or engaging in economic reform - can appear more threatening to a besieged government and its supporters than the insurgency itself. Therefore, while the United States has provided its local allies with overwhelming amounts of money, materiel, and political support it has frequently had difficulty convincing its partners to abide by its counterinsurgency doctrine or address what it sees as the political and economic "root causes" of the insurgency. If, as the 2009 U.S. Government Counterinsurgency Guide asserts, "any COIN campaign is only as good as the political strategy which the affected nation adopts," this lack of influence would appear to pose a significant problem for U.S. interventions."--
 

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Contents

The Trouble with Allies in Counterinsurgency
13
Influencing Clients
53
Americas Boy? The Philippines 19471953
85
The Political Effort 19511953
131
The Puppet That Pulled Its Own Strings? Vietnam
144
The Lesser of Two Evils? El Salvador 19791992
213
Conclusion
289
Bibliography
314
Index
341
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

Walter C. Ladwig III is an Assistant Professor in the Department of War Studies at King's College London and an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, London. His work has appeared in International Security, the Journal of Strategic Studies, and Small Wars and Insurgencies, as well as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

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