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Thread: Request for Information on Historical COIN

  1. #1
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    Default Request for Information on Historical COIN


    I am trying to a compile a comprehensive list for insurgency case studies for my students. The students are cobbling together PPTs using military history or Marshall-style case study format presentations. Here is my 20th century list:

    Second Anglo-Boer War (United Kingdom [U.K.] vs. Boer separatists, 1899-1902).

    Philippine Insurrection (United States [U.S.] vs. Filipino nationalists, 1899-1902 [1916]).

    Arab Revolt (Ottoman Turkey vs. Arab rebels, 1916-1918).

    Iraq 1920 (U.K. vs. Iraqi rebels, 1920).
    China (Nationalist Party [KMT] vs. Communists, 1922-1949).

    Nicaraguan Intervention (U.S. and Government of Nicaragua [GoN] vs. Sandinistas, 1925-1932).

    France, World War II (Germany vs. French resistance and Special Operations Executive [SOE]/Office of Strategic Services [OSS], 1940-1945).

    Balkans, World War II (Germany vs. Tito’s partisans and SOE/OSS, 1940-1945).

    Greek Civil War (U.K., then U.S. and Government of Greece [GoG], vs. National Liberation Army [ELAS], 1944-1949).

    Indonesian Revolt (Netherlands vs. Indonesian rebels, 1945-1949).

    French Indochina (France vs. Viet Minh, 1945-1954).

    Palestine (U.K. vs. Jewish separatists, 1945-1948).

    Hukbalahap Rebellion (Philippine Islands [P.I.] vs. Hukbalahap, 1946-1954).

    Malayan Emergency (U.K. vs. Malayan Communist Party [MPC]/Malayan Races Liberation Army [MRLA], 1948-1960).

    Kenyan Emergency (U.K. vs. Mau Mau, 1952-1956).

    Algerian Revolt (France vs. National Liberation Front [FLN], 1954-1962).

    Cyprus (U.K. vs. Ethniki Organosis Kyprios Agoniston [EOKA] (a Greek terrorist organization), 1954-1959).

    Aden (U.K. and Aden vs. Yemeni insurgents, 1955-1967).

    Cuban Revolution (Cuba’s Batista regime vs. Castro, 1956-1959).
    France (France vs. Secret Army Organization [OAS], 1958-1962).

    Venezuela (Venezuela vs. urban-based Armed Forces for National Liberation [FALN], 1958-1963).

    Vietnam War (U.S. and Government of Vietnam [GoVN] vs. National Liberation Front [NLF] and Democratic People’s Republic of Vietnam [DPRVN], 1958-1975).

    Guatemalan Civil War (Guatemala vs. Marxist rebels, 1961-1996).

    Angola (Portugal vs. Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola [MPLA], 1961-1974).

    Guinea-Bissau (Portugal vs. Marxist rebels, 1963-1974).

    Uruguay (Uruguay vs. Tupamaros, 1963-1972).

    Mozambique (Portugal vs. Front for the Liberation of Mozambique [FRELIMO], 1964-1974).

    Colombian Civil War (U.S. and Government of
    Colombia [GoC] vs. Revolutionary Armed Forces of
    Colombia [FARC] and National Liberation Army
    [ELN], 1964-present).

    Northern Ireland (U.K. vs. Irish Republican Army [IRA], 1968-present).
    Weather Underground (WU) (U.S. vs. Students for a Democratic Society [SDS]/WU, Black Panthers, Symbionese Liberation Army [SLA] et al., 1968-1980).

    Spain (Spain vs. Basque Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna [ETA]
    (Basque fatherland and liberty), 1968-present).

    Oman (U.K. and Oman vs. Popular Front for the
    Liberation of Oman and the Arab Gulf [PFLOAG],

    Germany (Germany vs. Baader-Meinhof/Red Army
    Faction [RAF], 1970-1992).

    Philippines (P.I. vs. New People’s Army [NPA] and
    Moro National Liberation Front [MNLF]/Moro Islamic
    Liberation Front [MILF], 1970-present).

    Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka vs. Tamil New Tigers [TNT],

    Palestine (Israel vs. Palestine Liberation Front [PLF]
    et al., 1973-present).

    Rhodesia (Rhodesia vs. Zimbabwe African People’s
    Union [ZAPU] and Zimbabwe African National Union
    [ZANU], 1974-1980).

    Western Sahara (Morocco vs. Western Sahara
    Freedom Movement [POLISARIO], 1975-1991).

    Soviet-Afghan War (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
    [USSR] and Government of Afghanistan [GoA] vs.
    Mujahideen, 1979-1988).
    Salvadoran Civil War (U.S. and Government of El
    Salvador [GoES] vs. Farabundo Marti National
    Liberation Front [FMLN], 1979-1991).

    Senderista Insurgency (Peru vs. Sendero Luminoso,
    1980-1995; vs. Tupac Amaru Revolutionary
    Movement [MRTA], 1996-1997).

    Nicaragua (Frente Sandinista Deliberacion Nacional
    [FSLN] vs. National Guard [GN]/Contras, 1980-1990).

    Kashmir (India vs. Kashmiri Muslim separatists,

    Algeria (Algeria/National Liberation Front [FLN] vs.
    Islamic Salvation Front [FIS]/Armed Islamic Group
    [GIA], 1992-present).
    Somalia Humanitarian Relief Mission (U.S. and UN
    vs. armed factions, 1992-1994).

    Chechnya (Russia vs. Chechen separatists, 1994-present).

    Nepal (Nepal vs. Maoists, 1996-present).

    I suspect it is far from comprehensive. I would appreciate any input on this and any 19th century insurgencies or rebellions the worthies here may know of.

    Thanks for any aid in this endeavor ahead of time.
    Last edited by lysander6; 03-24-2008 at 05:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Marc will have some input regarding Canadian squabbles I'm sure, but for the US...

    I'd take a look at the Indian Wars, both pre- and post-Civil War (say 1840-1860 and 1866-1891, although there is a good case for going into the Colonial problems and those in the East before 1840). Wide ground I know, but there's some interesting stuff in there.

    For campaigns: Arizona from 1848 through 1876.
    Kansas and Colorado 1866-1872 (roughly)
    Texas 1873-1875
    Arizona again (1880s)
    Montana (1876)

    And that's just scratching the surface.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  3. #3
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    DeRidder LA


    just a few:

    Congo 1960-1965
    Congo 1968
    Zaire 1977
    Zaire 1978

    Uganda against Amin
    Uganda against Obote

    Rwanda 1990-1993 RPF Against GOR Until Arusha
    Rwanda 1994 Genocide and RPF Military Victory
    Rwanda/Zaire 1996-1997--New GOR COIN against former military/militias
    Rwanda/Zaire 1997-???? African "World War"

    Many more including Congo-Brazzaville, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Angola into the 1990s, Burundi



  4. #4
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    The State of Partachia, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Many more including Congo-Brazzaville, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Angola into the 1990s, Burundi
    Sierra Leone/Liberia, 1992-99
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  5. #5
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Ottawa, Canada


    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Marc will have some input regarding Canadian squabbles I'm sure,
    Yup, and I wold have got it sooner, but I'm on the road now.

    1837 Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada
    the 1868 Riel Rebellion
    the 1885 Riel Rebellion

    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University

  6. #6
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    Mar 2006
    Hilo, HI


    Palestine Arab Revolt 1936-39


  7. #7
    Registered User aborgu's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Canberra ACT Australia

    Default post-WW2 insurgencies

    A few other case studies to consider (but by no means exhaustible):

    Kurdistan (Iraq); Laos (1958-75); Cambodia (1958-75); Eritrea (1961-1993); South Africa (ANC); Namibia (SWAPO); East Timor (Fretlin); PNG/Bougainville (BRA); Indoensia/Aceh (GAM); Somalia (1991-present); Indonesia (Darul Islam); Thailand (both Communist and Southern insurgencies); Philippines (NPA and Moro insurgencies); Angola (UNITA), Mozambique (RENAMO); Morocco (POLISARIO); India (Naxalite, Assam etc); Burma (Karen); Pakistan (Baluchi, Waziristan); Turkey (PKK).

  8. #8
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    Oct 2005


    Quote Originally Posted by aborgu
    ....Kurdistan (Iraq);.......Turkey (PKK).
    The Kurdish case, in both Iraq and Turkey, offers an opportunity to study the evolution of ethnic separatist movements. Both countries experienced a series of Kurdish nationalist revolts from the early part of the 20th century until today. Well, Iraq has experienced it throughout the century - but the Turks responded so harshly in the '20s and '30s (16 Kurdish uprisings, the most well-known being Sheikh Said, Dersim, and Agri Dag) that Kurdish nationalism didn't spark revolt in Turkey again until the emergence of the PKK.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2007


    Thanks so much for the input. Is there a comprehensive one stop shopping for conflict categories and listings of historical COIN?

  10. #10
    Registered User aborgu's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Canberra ACT Australia


    There's no one central list that's constantly updated that I'm aware of (though others may have better sources). Wikipedia has a listing here, but that has all the usual risks involved with wiki entries

    Another source is the USMC's Small Wars Center of Excellence with both current and past insurgencies at and

    There's also a good listing in a NPS postgraduate study on Why Insurgencies Fail - Appendix A has a list of post-WW2 insurgencies. I'm fairly sure the SWC Library has a copy of the paper. Finally, there's a list of insurgencies the UK has been involved in at


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