Post-World War II

Counterinsurgency Generally

K - Z

Kitson, Frank [General/Sir]. Low-Intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping. London: Faber & Faber, 1971. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1971. London: Faber & Faber, 2011.

From publisher: Readers will find "stimulating and original suggestions about the tasks which confront the Army in the field of 'low intensity operations' and about the methods which should be used both to prepare for and execute them.' ... [T]his ground-breaking work is as pertinent now as it was when first published."

Mockaitis, Thomas R.

1. British Counterinsurgency, 1919-60. London: Macmillan, 1990. New York: St. Martin's, 1990.

2. British Counterinsurgency in the Post-Imperial Era. New York: Manchester University Press, 1995.

Newsinger, John. British Counterinsurgency: From Palestine to Northern Ireland. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002.

From publisher: This book "looks at the guerrilla campaigns in Palestine, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, South Yemen, Oman, and most recently in Northern Ireland, and considers the reasons for British success or failure in suppressing them."

Paget, Julian. Counter-Insurgency Campaigning. London: Faber & Faber, 1967.

Popplewell, Richard. "'Lacking Intelligence': Some Reflections on Recent Approaches to British Counter-insurgency, 1900-1960." Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 2 (Apr. 1995): 336-352.

This "Review Article" includes comments on:

1. David M. Anderson and David Killingray, eds., Policing and Decolonisation: Nationalism, Politics and the Police, 1917-1965 (Manchester: Manchester University Press 1992). "Anderson and Killingray's volume ... shows clearly why intelligence failures occurred, which was invariably because the British ran their empire on a shoestring and simply could not afford effective police forces." With two exceptions, the authors of the essays "scarcely touch upon the role of intelligence in counterinsurgency."

2. Michael J. Cohen and Martin Kolinsky, eds., Britain and the Middle East in the 1930s: Security Problems, 1935-39 (London: Macmillan, 1992).

3. Peter Heehs, The Bomb in Bengal: The Rise of Revolutionary Terrorism in India 1900-1910 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press,1994). This book "is written from the point of view of the terrorists themselves, and above all from the point of view of Aurobindo Ghose.... [It gives] an accurate picture of the workings of the terrorists and the scale of the problem facing the British."

4. Peter Hopkirk, On Secret Service East of Constantinople (London: John Murray, 1994). Hopkirk's work "ignores the Bengali revolutionary movement almost as much as it ignores British intelligence. Though he claims that the work 'draws on the secret service documents' of the times, it is unclear what these documents are."

5. Thomas R. Mockaitis, British Counterinsurgency 1919-1960 (London: Macmillan, 1990). "The most comprehensive account to have appeared on the subject.... According to Mockaitis, the key to Britain's success in combating insurgency lay in the careful application of minimum force.... Mockaitis' model reveals much about how Britain defeated insurgencies. It is less convincing as an explanation of why they failed."

Rayment, Sean. "Top Secret Army Cell Breaks Terrorists." Sunday Telegraph (London), 5 Feb. 2007. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk]

In Iraq, a "small and anonymous British Army unit" known as the Joint Support Group (JSG) "has proved to be one of the Coalition's most effective ... weapons in the fight against terror." JSG members "are trained to turn ... terrorists into coalition spies using methods developed ... [in] Ulster during the Troubles.... Since war broke out ... in 2003, they have been responsible for running dozens of Iraqi double agents. Working alongside the Special Air Service and the American Delta Force as part of the Baghdad-based counter-terrorist unit known as Task Force Black, they have supplied intelligence that has saved hundreds of lives and resulted in some of the most notable successes against the myriad terror groups fighting in Iraq."

Sarkesian, Sam C. Unconventional Conflicts in a New Security Era: Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.

McCombie, Parameters, Autumn 1995, sees this as a "scholarly, well-researched work," providing "an excellent analysis of the topic to readers who have some background in Vietnam studies or unconventional warfare." Sarkesian's "conclusions are supported by modern events in Malaysia." Despite the "brevity" of his section on Vietnam, the author "allows the reader to see easily the contrasting styles, successes, and failures of the two wars." In his valuable last chapter, Sarkesian "provides a scholarly analysis of the nature of future wars and the ability of US forces to conduct them efficiently."

Thompson, Robert [Sir]. Defeating Communist Insurgency: Experiences from Malaya and Vietnam. London: Chatto & Windus, 1966. Defeating Communist Insurgency: The Lessons of Malaya and Vietnam. New York: Praeger, 1966. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1978.

Townshend, Charles. Britain's Civil Wars: Counter-Insurgency in the Twentieth Century. London and Boston: Faber, 1986.

Wagner, Steven. "British Intelligence and the Jewish Resistance Movement in the Palestine Mandate, 1945-46." Intelligence and National Security 23, no. 5 (Oct. 2008): 629-657.

The author asserts that "the British had strong political intelligence on the Yishuv as a whole but poor operational intelligence on the Haganah, and even less on Irgun or Lehi [Stern Gang]. The limited information which was available was not put to effective use....[T]he problem was much more policy than intelligence."

Walker, Jonathan. Aden Insurgency: The Savage War in South Arabia 1962-1967. Staplehurst, UK: Spellmount, 2005.

Peake, Studies 50.3 (Sep. 2006) and Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), finds that this work "is well written and thoroughly documented by recently released Foreign Office files and personal interviews." The author "provides considerable interesting detail on how British Special Forces and MI6 elements were activated to participate 'unofficially' in training, advising, and fighting with the South Arabian Army" during the insurgency. For Newsinger, I&NS 22.2 (Apr. 2007), the author "provides an extremely well-written and well-informed account of the South Arabian counterinsurgency campaign and its antecedents."

Walton, Calder. "British Intelligence and the Mandate of Palestine: Threats to British National Security Immediately after the Second World War." Intelligence and National Security 23, no. 4 (Aug. 2008): 435-462.

"The post-war priority that MI5 assigned to Zionist terrorism interrupted and distracted its transition from World War to Cold War." However, "Palestine gave MI5, and other British services, a valuable insight into the insurgency and terrorist threats they would experience in other theatres of British decolonization after 1945." (footnote omitted)

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