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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars COIN is old wine in new bottles
The `back of jacket' endorsements are accurate for once; this really is a brilliant and compelling analysis of warfare as counterinsurgency. It illuminates the causes and consequences of recent and not so recent conflicts as well as being incredibly topical in giving insights into current tragedies like Syria (one theatre not actually covered in this book).

The...
Published 11 months ago by Steve

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a ploemic not a study
I have read the authors previous books with interest. This however is dreadful - the writer is angry (almost hysterically so) and proceeds to undermine the point of his arguments by blaming napoleons marshals and 19th century colonial soldiers for failing to have a strategy for the 21st century as well as for being shockingly politically incorrect.

He sets up...
Published 11 months ago by Jay


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars COIN is old wine in new bottles, 12 Sep 2013
This review is from: Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War (Paperback)
The `back of jacket' endorsements are accurate for once; this really is a brilliant and compelling analysis of warfare as counterinsurgency. It illuminates the causes and consequences of recent and not so recent conflicts as well as being incredibly topical in giving insights into current tragedies like Syria (one theatre not actually covered in this book).

The author's analysis of COIN as a counterinsurgency methodology is extremely well argued. Inevitably the focus is very much on the mistakes (a.k.a. successes) of British, American and other armed forces of 'the willing'. In contrast there is little coverage of truly successful operations - the author posits that success usualy arose through circumstance or external factors - or the potential for public good in stabilising a deteriorating situation. But perhaps that's because too often the actions of military powers, local or interventionist, instigate or worsen rather than contain a violent insurgency, and any benefits are short-lived. Douglas Porch assigns responsibility for failures in counterinsurgency operations to politicians without a clear policy, an over-reliance on Special Forces as a 'magic bullet' and military commanders with a contextually irrelevant strategy, presenting 'old wine in new bottles'.

This review would have been 5 stars, but for two reasons. Firstly the writing style is somewhat dense at times (I know....) Having said that, the whole flows well and ideas are expressed clearly; so I urge any hesitant reader to persevere. Secondly it would also be interesting to read the author's analysis of the experience of other actors engaged in counterinsurgency operations in say China, Russia, Sri Lanka or India.

I do hope this book gets the attention this subject deserves; especially now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Douglas porch has written a superb thought provoking account of counterinsurgency, 26 Oct 2013
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R. Packham "Ray Packham" (Brighton Sussex UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War (Paperback)
Douglas porch has written a superb thought provoking account of counterinsurgency past and present. Again Ive been using this as reference material and further reading for my Masters. A superb read for the general reader and student of warfare.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting, 30 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Counterinsurgency (Kindle Edition)
An interesting and well-argued book. I don't agree with everything the author says, but he is careful to back up his views with well-reasoned arguments.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a ploemic not a study, 1 Sep 2013
This review is from: Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War (Paperback)
I have read the authors previous books with interest. This however is dreadful - the writer is angry (almost hysterically so) and proceeds to undermine the point of his arguments by blaming napoleons marshals and 19th century colonial soldiers for failing to have a strategy for the 21st century as well as for being shockingly politically incorrect.

He sets up a straw man and rips him to shreds. He accuses everybody of failing to realise their policies won't work but this is easy as he never suggests what could have worked - because he seems to believe nothing will. To do this he has to ignore successful counter insurgencies (and plead that the few he mentions didn't work) - especially those where states successfully put down insurgencies within their own borders
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Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War
Counterinsurgency: Exposing the Myths of the New Way of War by Douglas Porch (Paperback - 11 July 2013)
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