© 2014

The New Counter-insurgency Era in Critical Perspective

  • Celeste Ward Gventer
  • David Martin Jones
  • M. L. R. Smith
Palgrave Macmillan

Part of the Rethinking Political Violence series book series (RPV)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction

    1. Celeste Ward Gventer, David Martin Jones, M. L. R. Smith
      Pages 1-5
  3. Counter-insurgency: History and Theory

  4. Counter-insurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan?

  5. Counter-insurgency and Future Warfare

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 297-297

About this book


The notion of counter-insurgency has become a dominant paradigm in American and British thinking about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This volume brings together international academics and practitioners to evaluate the broader theoretical and historical factors that underpin COIN, providing a critical reappraisal of counter-insurgency thinking.


Counterinsurgency Iraq Afghanistan British and American security policy Counter-Insurgency government insurgency intervention military manual violence

Editors and affiliations

  • Celeste Ward Gventer
    • 1
  • David Martin Jones
    • 2
  • M. L. R. Smith
    • 3
  1. 1.Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and LawUniversity of TexasUSA
  2. 2.School of Political Science and International StudiesUniversity of QueenslandAustralia
  3. 3.Department of War Studies, Kings CollegeUniversity of LondonUK

About the editors

Huw Bennett, Aberystwyth University, UK John Bew, King's College London, UK Stephen Biddle, George Washington University, USA Ryan Evans, King's College London, UK Matthew Ford, University of Sussex, UK Jeffrey A. Friedman, Dartmouth College, USA Gian Gentile, United States Military Academy at West Point, USA Colin Jackson, U.S. Naval War College, USA Jeffrey Michaels, King's College London, UK Douglas Porch, Naval Postgraduate School, USA William Rosenau, Center for Strategic Studies, USA Joshua Rovner, US Naval War College, USA Paul Schulte, Kings College London, USA Jacob Shapiro, Princeton University, USA Paul Staniland, University of Chicago, USA Bing West, former Assistant Secretary of Defense and combat Marine James Worrall, University of Leeds, UK.

Bibliographic information


"This comprehensive volume carefully considers counterinsurgency doctrine in action. It's overall conclusions point to the strategic futility of this tactical doctrine and its contribution to the failure of U.S. military power in Iraq and Afghanistan.' - Col (ret) Douglas Macgregor, USA, author of Warrior's Rage, Transformation under Fire and Breaking the Phalanx

"A timely and path-breaking series of analyses that show the shortcomings, but also the enduring features, of the counter-insurgency debate of recent years. A future research agenda is clearly cut out for us." - Isabelle Duyvesteyn, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

"This is a book that no one interested in the way COIN seduced policymakers can afford not to read - and read again. Each chapter casts new light on the theory and practice of counterinsurgency warfare from after World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan. All the authors demonstrate both special knowledge and general understanding of the issues. Explored in all its variations, the basic theme is the contradiction of an outside force promising to protect a population against its local enemies, and in the end creating a dependency." - Lloyd Gardner, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University, USA and author of the forthcoming Killing Machine: the American Presidency in the Age of Drone Warfare