Treading on Hallowed Ground: Counterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces

Hardcover | October 13, 2008

EditorC. Christine Fair, Sumit Ganguly

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After America's Iraq adventure devolved into a debacle, a chorus of commentators and analysts noted that the U.S. military had no plan to fight a counterinsurgency campaign. Given the failure of conventional tactics, America in the last two years has redoubled its efforts to develop a newstrategy to fight the Iraqi insurgency, and has gone so far to place our leading counterinsurgency expert, General David Petraeus, in charge of the Iraq theater. In sum, there seems to be a growing consensus that for better or worse, counterinsurgency will be a core tactic in future Americanmilitary campaigns. Iraq, of course, presents special problems to the U.S. because of the intensity of religious belief and sectarianism. How do we fight against an insurgency that so often strategically positions itself on 'hallowed ground'--mosques and shrines? Yet Iraq is not unique. As thecontributors to Treading on Hallowed Ground show, counterinsurgency efforts on religiously contentious terrain is a widespread phenomenon in recent times, ranging from North Africa to Central and Southeast Asia. Here, C. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly have assembled an impressive group of expertsto explore the most important counterinsurgency efforts in sacred spaces in our era: churches in Israel, mosques and shrines in Iraq, the Sikh Golden Temple in India, mosques and temples in Kashmir, the Krue Se Mosque in Thailand, and the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia. Taken together, the essayscomprise the first comprehensive account of this increasingly pivotal component of contemporary war.

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After America's Iraq adventure devolved into a debacle, a chorus of commentators and analysts noted that the U.S. military had no plan to fight a counterinsurgency campaign. Given the failure of conventional tactics, America in the last two years has redoubled its efforts to develop a newstrategy to fight the Iraqi insurgency, and has ...

C. Christine Fair is a senior political scientist with the RAND Corporation. Prior to rejoining RAND, she served as a political officer to the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan in Kabul and as a senior research associate in USIP's Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention. Her research focuses upon the security compet...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 6.18 × 9.29 × 0.79 inPublished:October 13, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195342038

ISBN - 13:9780195342031

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsC. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly: Introduction1. Ron E. Hassner: Counterinsurgency and the Problem of Sacred Space2. C. Christine Fair: The Golden Temple: A Tale of Two Sieges3. Sumit Ganguly: A Mosque, a Shrine and Two Sieges4. Manjeet S. Pardesi: The Battle for the Soul of Pakistan at Islamabad's Red Mosque5. Pascal Menoret: Fighting for the Holy Mosque: The 1979 Mecca Insurgency6. David Siddhartha Patel: Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq's Sacred Spaces7. Joseph Chinyong Liow: Iron Fists Without Velvet Gloves: The Krue Se Mosque Incident and Lessons in Counterinsurgency for the Southern Thai ConflictNora Bensahel: Conclusion: Counterinsurgency in Sacred Spaces