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date: 24 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

Counter insurgency has been a major component of warfare for more than half a century yet Western strategies and doctrines have scarcely advanced. While this could indicate convergence on a successful formula, the lack of success in western counter insurgency campaigns from Algeria and Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan suggests the opposite. This chapter reviews the history and current state of counter insurgency in both theory and practice. It traces the evolution of counter insurgency from colonial policing through the Cold War and the resurgence of counter insurgency after the attacks of September 11, 2001. It concludes with observations on the limit of counter insurgency in the twenty-first century.

Keywords: counter insurgency, COIN, civil wars, Cold War, modernization, colonial policing

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