The Political Impossibility of Modern Counterinsurgency: Strategic Problems, Puzzles, and Paradoxes by M.l.r. SmithThe Political Impossibility of Modern Counterinsurgency: Strategic Problems, Puzzles, and Paradoxes by M.l.r. Smith

The Political Impossibility of Modern Counterinsurgency: Strategic Problems, Puzzles, and Paradoxes

byM.l.r. Smith, David Jones

Hardcover | May 19, 2015

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The counterinsurgency (COIN) paradigm dominates military and political conduct in contemporary Western strategic thought. It assumes future wars will unfold as "low intensity" conflicts within rather than between states, requiring specialized military training and techniques. COIN is understood as a logical, effective, and democratically palatable method for confronting insurgency-a discrete set of practices that, through the actions of knowledgeable soldiers and under the guidance of an expert elite, creates lasting results.

Through an extensive investigation into COIN's theories, methods, and outcomes, this book undermines enduring claims about COIN's success while revealing its hidden meanings and effects. Interrogating the relationship between counterinsurgency and war, the authors question the supposed uniqueness of COIN's attributes and try to resolve the puzzle of its intellectual identity. Is COIN a strategy, a doctrine, a theory, a military practice, or something else? Their analysis ultimately exposes a critical paradox within COIN: while it ignores the vital political dimensions of war, it is nevertheless the product of a misplaced ideological faith in modernization.

M. L. R. Smith is professor of strategic theory in the Department of War Studies at King's College, University of London. Among his publications are Fighting for Ireland? The Military Strategy of the Irish Republican Movement and The Strategy of Terrorism: How It Works and Why It Fails.David Martin Jones is associate professor in the ...
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Title:The Political Impossibility of Modern Counterinsurgency: Strategic Problems, Puzzles, and ParadoxesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:272 pagesPublished:May 19, 2015Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231170009

ISBN - 13:9780231170000

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. What Is Counterinsurgency Meant to Counter? The Puzzle of Insurgency2. Counterinsurgency and Strategy: Problems and Paradoxes3. Counterinsurgency and the Ideology of Modernization4. The Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency and Globalization5. The Illusion of Tradition: Myths and Paradoxes of British Counterinsurgency6. The Puzzle of Counterinsurgency and EscalationConclusionNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

A penetrating study... The Political Impossibility of Modern Counterinsurgency shows itself to be confident and decisive in its sceptical outlook, and a powerful and authoritative contribution to the literature of counter-insurgency.