The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual

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9780226841519: The U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual
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When the U.S. military invaded Iraq, it  lacked a common understanding of the problems inherent in counterinsurgency campaigns. It had neither studied them, nor developed doctrine and tactics to deal with them. It is fair to say that in 2003, most Army officers knew more about the U.S. Civil War than they did about counterinsurgency.

The U.S. Army / Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual was written to fill that void. The result of unprecedented collaboration among top U.S. military experts, scholars, and practitioners in the field, the manual espouses an approach to combat that emphasizes constant adaptation and learning, the importance of decentralized decision-making, the need to understand local politics and customs, and the key role of intelligence in winning the support of the population. The manual also emphasizes the paradoxical and often counterintuitive nature of counterinsurgency operations: sometimes the more you protect your forces, the less secure you are; sometimes the more force you use, the less effective it is; sometimes doing nothing is the best reaction. 

An new introduction by Sarah Sewall, director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, places the manual in critical and historical perspective, explaining the significance and potential impact of this revolutionary challenge to conventional U.S. military doctrine.

An attempt by our military to redefine itself in the aftermath of 9/11 and the new world of international terrorism, The U.S. Army / Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual will play a vital role in American military campaigns for years to come.
 
The University of Chicago Press will donate a portion of the proceeds from this book to the Fisher House Foundation, a private-public partnership that supports the families of America’s injured servicemen. To learn more about the Fisher House Foundation, visit www.fisherhouse.org.
 

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Review:

“The book to begin with in looking for a revised 21st-century strategy [in our war on terror] is, unexpectedly, the landmark U.S. Army / Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. It was released as a government document in December 2006, but owing to its enormous popularity . . . it has now been published by a university press, with a provocative, highly readable new foreword and introduction that testify to the manual’s ‘paradigm-shattering’ content. . . . Sarah Sewall, a former Pentagon official who teaches at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard . . . has contributed an introduction that should be required reading for anybody who wants to understand the huge demands effective counterinsurgency will place on the military and the voting public."—Samantha Power, New York Times (Samantha Power New York Times 2007-07-29)

“Just in time for the renewal of the war debate in Congress, the University of Chicago Press has released The U.S. Army / Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual. . . . It’s a nifty volume, not only because it gives you a sense of what our most highly regarded military theorists are thinking but because sometimes what they’re thinking is the last thing you’d expect. Especially interesting is a section called 'Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency Operations,' which tells us: 'Sometimes doing nothing is the best reaction' and 'Sometimes, the more force is used, the less effective it is.'”—David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

(David L. Ulin Los Angeles Times 2007-07-13)

"The military doctrine set forth in our field manual matters, but because it is usually only available to those in the military, it is not widely known or available outside that small audience. . . . By publishing the new Army/Marine Corps counterinsurgency field manual, the U. of C. is correcting that situation with this, probably the most important piece of doctrine written in the past 20 years. . . . It is also, probably, the single most important document one can read to make sense out of what is happening in Iraq and Afghanistan."

(Robert Bateman Chicago Tribune)

"An attempt by our military to redefine itself in the aftermath of 9/11 and the new world of international terrorism, [the Manual] will play a vital role in American military campaigns for years to come." (Freshfiction.com)

"[This] book has helped make counterinsurgency part of the zeitgeist. It has become a coffee-table staple in Washington. . . . In short, this is not your parents' military field manual." (Colin H. Kahl Foreign Affairs)

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