Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias: The Warriors of Contemporary Combat

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Columbia University Press, Jun 27, 2006 - Political Science - 328 pages
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Since the end of the Cold War, conventional militaries and their political leaders have confronted a new, brutal type of warfare in which non-state armed groups use asymmetrical tactics to successfully fight larger, technologically superior forces. In order to prevent future bloodshed and political chaos, it is crucial to understand how these unconventional armed groups think and to adapt to their methods of combat.

Richard H. Shultz Jr. and Andrea J. Dew investigate the history and politics of modern asymmetrical warfare. By focusing on four specific hotbeds of instability—Somalia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, and Iraq—Shultz and Dew conduct a careful analysis of tribal culture and the value of clan associations. They examine why these "traditional" or "tribal" warriors fight, how they recruit, where they find sanctuary, and what is behind their strategy. Traveling across two centuries and several continents, Shultz and Dew examine the doctrinal, tactical, and strategic advantages and consider the historical, cultural, and anthropological factors behind the motivation and success of the warriors of contemporary combat.

In their provocative argument, Shultz and Dew propose that war in the post-Cold War era cannot be waged through traditional Western methods of combat, especially when friendly states and outside organizations like al-Qaeda serve as powerful allies to the enemy. Thoroughly researched and highly readable, Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias examines how non-state armies fight, identifies the patterns and trends of their combat, and recommends how conventional militaries can defeat these irregular yet highly effective organizations.


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User Review  - McCarthys - LibraryThing

A good book that addresses asymmetrical warfare from a standpoint similar to "Why Big Nations Lose Small Wars." The authors dissect contemporary conflicts that pitted superpowers against insurgents ... Read full review



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About the author (2006)

Richard H. Shultz Jr. is director of the International Security Studies Program at Tufts University's Fletcher School. He is the author of many books, including The Secret War Against Hanoi: Kennedy and Johnson's Use of Spies, Saboteurs, and Covert Warriors in North Vietnam.

Andrea J. Dew is codirector of the Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups (CIWAG) and an associate professor of strategy and policy at the U.S. Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island. As the codirector of CIWAG, she is responsible for developing curriculum, case studies, and scholarly research on the threats and opportunities posed by irregular warfare and armed groups. A graduate of Southampton University, England, she earned her masters and doctorate in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Her previous research fellowships include research associate for the International Security Studies Program at the Fletcher School and a security studies fellowship at the Belfer Center on Science in International Affairs, the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

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