Counterinsurgency and American Strategy, Past and Future

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Americans often assume that insurgency is a modern phenomenon, invented by Mao Zedong and refined by his emulators. The notion permeates official thinking, including Department of Defense definitions and doctrines. In reality, insurgency has existed ever since states and empires began attempting to impose their will on people too weak to resist with conventional military means. Indeed, counterinsurgency is a common function for most states and an inevitable one for empires. That said, the strategic significance of insurgency has ebbed and flowed over time. When the chance of direct conflict between great powers was high, insurgency became background noise in […]

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