View Full Version : On “Other War”: Lessons From 5 Decades of RAND COIN Research

08-11-2006, 03:18 PM
...yet another worthwhile pub from RAND:

On “Other War”: Lessons from Five Decades of RAND Counterinsurgency Research (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2006/RAND_MG482.pdf)

...The body of work generated from this study covers many aspects of COIN, from the most abstract theories of why insurgency takes place to tactical operations. It also covers a wide array of cases, varied in both geography and time, from the British experience in Malaya to the French in Algeria to the United States in El Salvador. However, the research is limited in that almost all of it is based on cases that occurred in the context of the Cold War. Some might question the continuing relevance of studies centered on conflicts that took place in such a radically different geopolitical context.

This study is based on the premise that, while many specific details do indeed vary greatly, insurgency and counterinsurgency is a more general phenomenon that is not a product of Cold War peculiarities. Further, many of the alleged differences between past and current COIN are overstated. For example, the fragmented nature of the insurgency in Iraq is often remarked on as almost without precedent. Yet many insurgencies during the Cold War were highly fragmented, with elements fighting each other as well as the counterinsurgent...


Chapter One: Introduction

Chapter Two: The Wizards of Less-Than-Armageddon: RAND and COIN

Chapter Three: Analogies and War: Are Theory and Empirics from Prior COIN Relevant?

Chapter Four: COIN Theory: What Are Insurgencies and How Does One Fight Them?

Chapter Five: The Social Scientists’ Wars: RAND and COIN Practice

Chapter Six: COIN Old and New

Appendix: RAND Counterinsurgency Publications, 1955-1995: Selected Annotated Bibliography

Tom Odom
08-11-2006, 04:42 PM
Thanks again for a great post. Just finished teaching a COIN overview a couple of weeks ago. One point I keyed on was in ideology and the issues that flow from misidentification and oversimplification of ideolgy. As a case in point I used the Congo 1964 where we approached it as a "Maoist/Communist inspired insurgency" and it was not. More importantly those who labeled it as such used successes in the Congo as a platform for ramping up efforts in Vietnam.

I look forward to reading this!


11-08-2006, 11:08 PM
Appendix: RAND Counterinsurgency Publications, 1955-1995: Selected Annotated Bibliography
I've just finished checking through the bibliography, and there are several good studies listed that are still available on-line:

Insurgent Organization and Operations: A Case Study of the Viet Cong in the Delta, 1964-1966 (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/2005/RM5239-1.pdf)

Viet Cong Motivation and Morale: The Special Case of Chieu Hoi (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/2006/RM4830-2.pdf)

Pacification and the Viet Cong System in Dinh Tuong 1966-1967 (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/2006/RM5788.pdf)

Inducements and Deterrents to Defection: An Analysis of the Motives of 125 Defectors (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/2006/RM5522-1.pdf)

Some Findings of the Viet Cong Motivation and Morale Study June-December 1965 (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/2006/RM4911-2.pdf)

Seminar on Development and Security in Thailand: Part I, The Insurgency (http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/2006/RM5871.pdf)

The Army's Role in Counterinsurgency and Insurgency (http://www.rand.org/pubs/reports/2006/R3947.pdf)

Counterinsurgency: A Symposium, April 16-20 1962 (http://www.rand.org/pubs/reports/2006/R412-1.pdf)

Rebellion and Authority: An Analytic Essay on Insurgent Conflicts (http://www.rand.org/pubs/reports/2006/R0462.pdf)

Notes on Non-Military Measures in Control of Insurgency (http://www.rand.org/pubs/papers/2006/P2642.pdf)

Government Responses to Armed Insurgency in Southeast Asia: A Comparative Examination of Failures and Successes and Their Likely Implications for the Future (http://www.rand.org/pubs/papers/2005/P7081.pdf)

American Counterinsurgency Doctrine and El Salvador: The Frustrations of Reform and the Illusions of Nation Building (http://www.rand.org/pubs/reports/2006/R4042.pdf)

Item Analysis of the HES (Hamlet Evaluation System) (http://www.rand.org/pubs/documents/2006/D17634.pdf)

Comments on the Wolf-Leites Manuscript: "Rebellion and Authority" (http://www.rand.org/publications/classics/wohlstetter/DL17701/DL17701.html)

Insurgency and Counterinsurgency: New Myths and Old Realities (http://www.rand.org/pubs/papers/2005/P3132-1.pdf)

11-08-2006, 11:36 PM

Will add these documents to the SWJ Library (http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/reference.htm). Again, thanks for your outstanding contributions to the Council.