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The British Approach to Counterinsurgency
 
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The British Approach to Counterinsurgency
From Malaya and Northern Ireland to Iraq and Afghanistan
Edited by Paul Dixon
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
19 Oct 2012
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£63.00
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9780230293472
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DescriptionContentsAuthors

The British 'hearts and minds' approach to counterinsurgency was credited with rare successes against insurgencies in Malaya (1948-60), Northern Ireland (1969-2007) and its widely admired approach to peacekeeping in the nineties. More recently, the British influenced the development of US counterinsurgency thinking on Iraq just as the British Army was perceived to be failing in Southern Iraq. Despite their attempt, the British military failed to restore their reputation by involvement in the 'good war' in Afghanistan.

This timely and critical volume questions the effectiveness of Britain's 'hearts and minds' approach and challenges conventional counterinsurgency thinking by drawing on the expertise of regional and thematic specialists. Regional experts suggest that simplistic and over-optimistic lessons drawn from Britain's historical experiences in Malaya and Northern Ireland could not provide lessons for the complexities of Iraq and Afghanistan. Thematic specialists raise questions about the suitability of the military for 'humanitarian interventions' and the impact of these wars on domestic politics and society.


Description

The British 'hearts and minds' approach to counterinsurgency was credited with rare successes against insurgencies in Malaya (1948-60), Northern Ireland (1969-2007) and its widely admired approach to peacekeeping in the nineties. More recently, the British influenced the development of US counterinsurgency thinking on Iraq just as the British Army was perceived to be failing in Southern Iraq. Despite their attempt, the British military failed to restore their reputation by involvement in the 'good war' in Afghanistan.

This timely and critical volume questions the effectiveness of Britain's 'hearts and minds' approach and challenges conventional counterinsurgency thinking by drawing on the expertise of regional and thematic specialists. Regional experts suggest that simplistic and over-optimistic lessons drawn from Britain's historical experiences in Malaya and Northern Ireland could not provide lessons for the complexities of Iraq and Afghanistan. Thematic specialists raise questions about the suitability of the military for 'humanitarian interventions' and the impact of these wars on domestic politics and society.


Contents

List of Tables
Acknowledgements
Notes on Contributors
List of Abbreviations
The British Approach to Counterinsurgency: 'Hearts and Minds' from Malaya to Afghanistan?; P.Dixon
Analysing British Counterinsurgency
Beyond Hearts and Minds? Perspectives on Counterinsurgency; P.Dixon
Britain's Vietnam Syndrome? Perspectives on British Counterinsurgency, the Media and Public Opinion; P.Dixon
Bringing it all Back Home? The Militarisation of Britain and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars; P.Dixon  
A Feminist Approach to British Counterinsurgency; C.Duncanson & H.Cornish
Baha Mousa and the British Army in Iraq; H.Bennett  
Case Studies: Malaya to Afghanistan
Using and Abusing the Past: The Malayan Emergency as Counterinsurgency Paradigm; K.Hack
Dirty Wars: Counterinsurgency from Vietnam to Afghanistan; D.Hunt
'Hearts and Minds'? British Counterinsurgency Strategy in Northern Ireland; P.Dixon
Counterinsurgency and Human Rights in Northern Ireland; B.Dickson
Counterinsurgency amid Fragmentation: the British in Southern Iraq; G.Rangwala
Countering the Afghan Insurgency: Three Lessons Learned; S.Cowper-Coles
Conclusion: The Military and British Democracy; P.Dixon


Authors

PAUL DIXON is Reader in Politics and International Studies at Kingston University, UK, having previously taught at the Universities of Ulster, Leeds and Luton and researched at Queen's University Belfast and Harvard University. He is author of Northern Ireland: The Politics of War and Peace 2nd edition (Palgrave Macmillan 2008) and Northern Ireland Since 1969 (Pearson 2011) with Dr Eamonn O'Kane.