Theory and Reality

Daniel Whittingham, Stuart Mitchell

An account of the evolution of modern counterinsurgency strategies and tactics employed by armies.
Publication date:
May 2021
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Illustration :
30 black and white photos and diagrams
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612009483

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
In Stock

Regular Price: £20.00

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• Covers the development of modern insurgency, and the varied responses employed by western armies over the last century
• Includes diagrams and a timeline

Counterinsurgency is defined as efforts to defeat and confine a rebellion against a constituted authority. While it has become a buzz-word in the last twenty years, it is as old as society itself. This concise history discusses the development of modern counterinsurgency over the last two hundred years, beginning with the origins of modern insurgency from the concept of ‘small wars' and colonial warfare, through the ideas of early insurgents including Clausewitz and the theories of Lawrence of Arabia, to the methods of 20th-century insurgents, including Mao and Che Guevara.

It then examines a number of post-1945 insurgencies and how western armies have tried to counter them, in particular how the French tried to counter insurgencies in Indochina and Algeria, and then the US in Vietnam, and the reaction to the American experience there. This is compared with the British approach in the years after World War II, particularly in Malaya, but also in Kenya and Northern Ireland. Against that backdrop there is an examination of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and Iraq, the rise of COIN literature, and the subsequent backlash against that literature. The book concludes with a discussion on the future of COIN.


…an excellent account of the components of effectiveness in counterinsurgency campaigns. […] accompanied by a valuable discussion of the evolution of counterinsurgency doctrines in the British and American militaries.
Perspectives on Terrorism

…concise introduction to modern counterinsurgency, involving the methods and tactics that those currently serving will immediately recognise. […] a fairly academic overview of the subject, but it's concise format ensures that the tempo of reading remains manageable.
Royal Anglian News

Quite apart from its merits as a more than useful reference for members of the Armed Forces I commend this book as a ‘must read' for politicians, diplomats, policy makers, political advisers, Foreign Aid practitioners, officials across government and the Treasury.
Sir Andrew Graham Bt CB CBE