Countering Insurgency and Promoting Democracy (2007)

The United States has assembled—through spending, accumulation and training—the most formidable fighting force the world has ever seen, but it has not mastered the hard job of counterinsurgency. Years of stability operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, with more likely to come, has produced a generation of soldiers, diplomats and aid workers with on-the-ground experience in coping with unsure security while endeavoring to build anew damaged societies and dysfunctional governments. Given the success of the insurgencies in both Afghanistan and Iraq in stymieing U.S. efforts, counterinsurgencies and stability operations will be a recurring theme of future U.S. military engagements.

Countering Insurgency and Promoting Democracy gives voice to accrued experiences of these practitioners. It contains expert analysis and hard-nosed accounts of work on the frontlines of the counterinsurgency challenge facing the United States. Post-conflict reconstruction and stability operations have become a burgeoning area of academic study and current affairs discussions, featuring on the agendas of think tanks and government leaders, and the syllabi of the U.S. service academies and top universities around the country. Students of international affairs, journalists and other interested readers need firsthand accounts of what works and what does not. Countering Insurgency and Promoting Democracy covers the important topics of security operations, good governance promotion, economic development, and the understanding of cultural and societal issues.

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Advance Praise for Countering Insurgency and Promoting Democracy

CENSA contributing authors provide us clear insight into today’s developing recognition that countering insurgency requires effective integration of all elements of national power and statecraft. The resulting policy recommendations are important for all of us. Our military planners would do well to look increasingly at many of the recommendations for “softer” and more sustainable solutions to insurgencies.

— Cofer Black, Vice Chairman, Blackwater USA, Former Ambassador at Large for Counterterrorism

Countering Insurgency and Promoting Democracy is an impressive collection of essays on the most important policy topic of our time. CENSA is to be commended for gathering some of the brightest thinkers in foreign policy and focusing them on this critical subject. Highly recommended.

— Lieutenant Colonel John A. Nagl, Commander, 1-34 AR, U.S. Army Author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam