View Full Version : Persuasion and Coercion in Counterinsurgency Warfare

06-19-2008, 12:30 PM
Military Review, Jul-Aug 08: Persuasion and Coercion in Counterinsurgency Warfare (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug08/BirtleEngJulAug08.pdf)

"It is evident,” remarked Secretary of War Elihu Root at the end of the Philippine War, “that the insurrection has been brought to an end both by making a war distressing and hopeless on the one hand and by making peace attractive.”1 Root’s appraisal holds true for much of the U.S. Army’s experience in waging irregular wars. Nevertheless, there remains much confusion over the roles that persuasion and coercion play in rebellions and other internal conflicts. Having recently concluded the second in a two-volume study (http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&search-type=ss&index=books&field-author=Andrew%20J.%20Birtle&page=1) on the U.S. Army’s experience in waging counterinsurgency warfare, I’d like to explore the relationship between force and politics by examining three conflicts that the United States Army was involved in during the 19th and 20th centuries: the War of the Rebellion (the U.S. Civil War, 1861-1865), the Philippine War (1899-1902), and the Vietnam War (1954-1975).....

Mike in Hilo
06-20-2008, 01:08 AM
Many thanks for posting this paper, Ted. Re Viet Nam, the author's insights mirror some of my own conclusions. In a number of posts, I have tried to illustrate these anecdotally, but in reading this document, I recognize that, by comparison, mine turned out to be lacking in terms of coherence, cogency and intelligibility....I mean, he says what I wanted to say, but does so successfully.

Well worth reading.


06-20-2008, 03:33 AM
I also think it is well worth the read. Pablo Escabar ran his whole operation on the principle of you will either "take the bribe or take the bullet."

06-20-2008, 11:47 PM
I have been led to believe that some of them preferred the more genteel phrase, "Silver or
Lead":eek:;) in that regard.

Edited to Add: Having read it, it is a very good piece, well worth reading.