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Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias
Cover of Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias
Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias
The Warriors of Contemporary Combat
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Since the end of the Cold War, conventional militaries and their political leaders have confronted a new, brutal type of warfare in which non-state armed groups use asymmetrical tactics to successfully fight larger, technologically superior forces. In order to prevent future bloodshed and political chaos, it is crucial to understand how these unconventional armed groups think and to adapt to their methods of combat.

Richard H. Shultz Jr. and Andrea J. Dew investigate the history and politics of modern asymmetrical warfare. By focusing on four specific hotbeds of instability& mdash;Somalia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, and Iraq& mdash;Shultz and Dew conduct a careful analysis of tribal culture and the value of clan associations. They examine why these "traditional" or "tribal" warriors fight, how they recruit, where they find sanctuary, and what is behind their strategy. Traveling across two centuries and several continents, Shultz and Dew examine the doctrinal, tactical, and strategic advantages and consider the historical, cultural, and anthropological factors behind the motivation and success of the warriors of contemporary combat.

In their provocative argument, Shultz and Dew propose that war in the post-Cold War era cannot be waged through traditional Western methods of combat, especially when friendly states and outside organizations like al-Qaeda serve as powerful allies to the enemy. Thoroughly researched and highly readable, Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias examines how non-state armies fight, identifies the patterns and trends of their combat, and recommends how conventional militaries can defeat these irregular yet highly effective organizations.

Since the end of the Cold War, conventional militaries and their political leaders have confronted a new, brutal type of warfare in which non-state armed groups use asymmetrical tactics to successfully fight larger, technologically superior forces. In order to prevent future bloodshed and political chaos, it is crucial to understand how these unconventional armed groups think and to adapt to their methods of combat.

Richard H. Shultz Jr. and Andrea J. Dew investigate the history and politics of modern asymmetrical warfare. By focusing on four specific hotbeds of instability& mdash;Somalia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, and Iraq& mdash;Shultz and Dew conduct a careful analysis of tribal culture and the value of clan associations. They examine why these "traditional" or "tribal" warriors fight, how they recruit, where they find sanctuary, and what is behind their strategy. Traveling across two centuries and several continents, Shultz and Dew examine the doctrinal, tactical, and strategic advantages and consider the historical, cultural, and anthropological factors behind the motivation and success of the warriors of contemporary combat.

In their provocative argument, Shultz and Dew propose that war in the post-Cold War era cannot be waged through traditional Western methods of combat, especially when friendly states and outside organizations like al-Qaeda serve as powerful allies to the enemy. Thoroughly researched and highly readable, Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias examines how non-state armies fight, identifies the patterns and trends of their combat, and recommends how conventional militaries can defeat these irregular yet highly effective organizations.

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Table of Contents-
  • 1. War After the Cold War
    2. Assessing Enemies
    3. Tribes and Clans
    4. Somalia: Death, Disorder, and Destruction
    5. Chechnya: Russia's Bloody Quagmire
    6. Afghanistan: A Superpower Conundrum
    7. Iraq: From Dictatorship to Democracy?
    8. When Soldiers Fight Warriors: Lessons Learned for Policymakers, Military Planners, and Intelligence Analysts

    Acknowledgments
    Notes
    Index

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 15, 2006
    Some academics can see clearly what military generals and Pentagon civilian planners apparently cannot—that the nature of warfare has changed drastically in the past few decades. Shultz and Dew, of the Tufts University International Security Studies Program, grasp that combat involving nongovernment forces calls for innovative tactics by the U.S. military. Failing to understand the changed nature of warfare can lead to deadly consequences, the authors write, as the Iraq insurgency shows. This scholarly book is grounded in warfare theory, but is easily accessible for generalist readers. Looking at post-1990 conflicts in Somalia, Chechnya, Afghanistan and Iraq, "in which the armies of modern nation-states fought armed groups, often with great difficulty, in traditional societal settings," Shultz and Dew propose new taxonomies, describe the reasons nongovernment combatants wage war, and the nontraditional approaches those combatants use. Government strategists hoping to defeat these nonstate warriors must learn about the cultures and traditions of those groups rather than relying solely on how much firepower they possess, the authors argue. Helpfully moving beyond theory, they suggest ways that Pentagon policy makers and field commanders can mine historical, anthropological and cultural studies to understand shadowy enemies.

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The Warriors of Contemporary Combat
Richard H. Shultz Jr.
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