Victory Has a Thousand Fathers: Evidence of Effective Approaches to Counterinsurgency, 1978-2008

By Small Wars Journal
Updated: 03/27/2012

By Christopher Paul, Colin P. Clarke, and Beth Grill, Small Wars Journal, January 2011

RebellionWhen a country becomes host to an insurgency, a prospect many African states face, what counterinsurgency approaches offer the best chance of prevailing? There are roughly 20 approaches that are commonly employed, including amnesties, strategic communication, or rigorous suppressive operations. An analysis of 30 insurgencies finds that successful strategies tend to employ multiple approaches and favor those that enhance the legitimacy of the government and security forces. Reliance on repressive measures more often led to failure.

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