View Full Version : Effective Leadership in COIN: The NWMP in South Africa, 1899-1902

01-05-2009, 03:33 PM
Canadian Military Journal,

Effective Leadership in Counterinsurgency: The North-West Mounted Police in South Africa, 1899-1902 (http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca/vo9/no2/doc/08-grad-eng.pdf)

....A clear trend has emerged in military literature focusing upon leadership for the ‘modern’ battlefield. This new battlefield is characterized by, among other things, the absence of an identifiable front, a polymorphous enemy, and the lack of a clear, decisive moment of victory. This necessitates strong leadership to maintain unit cohesion and morale under demanding circumstances. Lacking strong leadership, confidence and cohesion are easily undermined, resulting in a reduction of combat efficacy.

There is, however, nothing novel about counterinsurgency warfare. Indeed, the strategy has been employed regularly from ancient times to the present day. Guerrilla warfare is a tactic whereby a smaller army may use its greater mobility to effectively counter a larger enemy. It is important to note that the dichotomy between traditional warfare and guerrilla warfare is not mutually exclusive. Even most ‘formal’ wars involve some element of irregular combat. The attributes required of the new leader articulated by the CDS are therefore quite similar to those of the traditional leader, even if guerrilla warfare “...is more commonplace than ever before.”.....