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Counterinsurgency in Crisis: Britain and the Challenges of Modern Warfare (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 250 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Review

Critical yet balanced, this book provides the best overall assessment of the British campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan currently in print. -- Theo Farrell, King's College London RUSI Journal A long overdue account of British counterinsurgency efforts during Iraq and Afghanistan... a highly insightful analysis... not only a valuable read for anyone interested in the application of counterinsurgency, but especially for anyone interested in military adaptation and organizational learning. Defence Studies

About the Author

David H. Ucko is associate professor at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University, and an adjunct fellow at the Department of War Studies, King's College London. His research areas include civil war, counterinsurgency, and war-to-peace transitions. He is the author of The New Counterinsurgency Era: Transforming the U.S. Military for Modern Wars and coeditor of Reintegrating Armed Groups After Conflict. Robert Egnell is visiting associate professor and Director of Teaching in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University. His research focuses on the conduct and effectiveness of different forms of stability operations and statebuilding. He is the author of Complex Peace Operations and Civil-Military Relations: Winning the Peace and coeditor of New Agendas in Statebuilding: Hybridity, Contingency, and History. Colin Gray is professor of international politics and strategic studies at the University of Reading, England, and an external researcher at the Strategic Studies Institute, United States Army War College.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 551 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0231164262
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press; Reprint edition (15 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00E25BHEW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #669,598 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I completed two tours with the UK military in Afghanistan and remain a frequent visitor to the Country. All the criticisms of the British approach to counter insurgency in this book chime with my experience and I would heartily recommend it to both military and foreign policy professionals. Whilst it does highlight failure at the operational level, it lets the senior leadership off lightly by blaming the middle ranking officers for failing to support their superiors' attempts to change direction - in my experience this is rarely the case and more likely a result of contradictory directions by the senior leadership (a failure to identify and resource the main effort - did none of them read Commander ISAF's 2006 intent prioritising the Afghan National Security Forces?)

At 200 pages it is a relatively compact analysis and there is much more to be written about both the Iraq and Afghan campaigns, particularly on strategic planning across Whitehall. However, hopefully it's brevity will ensure a wide readership among my late colleagues.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Simply the best book on the British campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq - which is NOT at a "boots on the ground" perspective. Well written, with copious footnotes and succinct in its criticism. Indeed sometimes the authors appear to drawback.

Two short passages give you a flavour: The case of Afghanistan thereby points to the significant problems inthe British way of preparing for and prosecuting modern wars: the failure to properly formulate and resource strategy; the failure of civil-military coordination at both the strategic and oerational levels; the limitations of military improvisation and of 'muddling through' in the absence of a plan; and the dangers of letting strategic intent and operational approach develop independently (pg. 108)

...there is no fig leaf large enough here to cover the deep flaws in the British government's own approach and conduct in these counterinsurgency campaigns (Pg. 147).

One wonders if the Chilcot Enquiry read this, it certainly would have helped. Worth reading alongside Douglas Porch's book, which has a broader perspective and is even more critical.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x949ecd44) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94afb054) out of 5 stars The best book on the British campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq 15 Jun. 2015
By davidbfpo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Simply the best book on the British campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq - which is NOT at a "boots on the ground" perspective. Well written, with copious footnotes and succinct in its criticism. Indeed sometimes the authors appear to drawback.

Two short passages give you a flavour: The case of Afghanistan thereby points to the significant problems inthe British way of preparing for and prosecuting modern wars: the failure to properly formulate and resource strategy; the failure of civil-military coordination at both the strategic and oerational levels; the limitations of military improvisation and of 'muddling through' in the absence of a plan; and the dangers of letting strategic intent and operational approach develop independently (pg. 108)

...there is no fig leaf large enough here to cover the deep flaws in the British government's own approach and conduct in these counterinsurgency campaigns (Pg. 147).

One wonders if the Chilcot Enquiry read this, it certainly would have helped. Worth reading alongside Douglas Porch's book, which has a broader perspective and is even more critical.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94afb2c4) out of 5 stars A great read, despite it not fully acknowledging 'two elephants ... 3 Nov. 2014
By G. Corfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A great read, despite it not fully acknowledging 'two elephants in the room'. 1. How the failure to find WMD made increasing the UK military commitment in Iraq infeasible. 2. The Helmand reconstruction deployment of 3,000 UK troops was pressured by its NATO partners to go on a counter offensive to secure and police an area the size of the whole of Ireland.

Since it is too incredible to believe that the Army simply forgot that it required 10 times as many troops in Northern Ireland alone for COIN, perhaps a deeper examination of the lessons of being a partner would make this a more complete book?
HASH(0x94afe12c) out of 5 stars Five Stars 23 April 2015
By David Munyua - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good read for conflict students
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