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The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces$
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Hugo Meijer and Marco Wyss

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790501

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790501.001.0001

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Counterinsurgency

Counterinsurgency

Chapter:
(p.592) 34 Counterinsurgency
Source:
The Handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces
Author(s):

Robert Egnell

Bruno Cardoso Reis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198790501.003.0035

Looking at the rise and decline of counterinsurgency between 2003 and 2017, this chapter seeks to assess its impact at the level of strategy, doctrine, and military structures within a number of European armed forces. The chapter finds that European states have engaged in counterinsurgency operations in quite varying ways and also extracted rather different lessons from this period. Regardless, several contextual factors point to the continued salience of counterinsurgency. They include the global trends of urbanization, Western technological advantage in conventional combat against most potential challengers, the attractiveness and effectiveness of irregular tactics to militarily inferior adversaries, and the securitization of ‘state failure’ following 9/11, all of which are no less salient in 2017, and for the forseeable future, with the continued challenges of radicalization and violent extremism exemplified by Daesh/ISIS.

Keywords:   counterinsurgency, guerrilla warfare, irregular warfare, COIN, comprehensive approach, state-building

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