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WARFARE. Theory and Practice. David Galula. Foreword by John A. Nagl. PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era. Praeger Security International. Westport. operations citing David Galula’s theory. In his book, Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and. Practice, Galula sets a clear mark for planning future COIN. Counterinsurgency Warfare provides the template for the defeat of today’s Galula served as a French military officer in WWII asd afterwords in various outposts.

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Each of the steps is to be undertaken in a specific area consistent with the fourth law and then repeated in other areas as necessary. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

On the other hand, insurgents lack power, but they are much more free to violate both their promises and social norms. Acting directly on insurgent leaders arresting them, or limiting their actions is difficult in democracies and often backfires. Fluidity of the Insurgent Rigidity of the Counterinsurgent. Jan 14, Hadrian rated it really liked it Shelves: Despite being a rather slim volume consisting of only pages, and reflecting upon a short time-span of counterinsurgency dating This review of mine is qualified on the basis that I have never served in the armed forces in any capacity, much less participated as a civilian in a counterinsurgency campaign, or even experienced one beforehand.

Revolutionary War Is a Protracted War. The counterinsurgent is tied to his responsibilities and to his past, and for him, facts speak louder than words. The infiltration of an insurgency seeks to destroy it from within by turning it against itself. No trivia or quizzes yet. Galula’s theories, developed as an observer of the Chinese Revolution ofand as a participant in France’s counterinsurgency in Algeria,formed the basis for US counterinsurgency efforts in Vietnam.

The former nation opted to go along with a military-backed, anti-Communist pogrom that consumed hundreds of thousands in lives. On the other hand, insurgents lack power, but have the advantage regarding intangible assets such as ideology and a general lack of responsibility.

Theory and Practice David Galula Limited preview – Many people think it impossible for guerrillas to exist for long in the enemy’s rear. Content may not be reproduced without prior written permission. Establish contact with the population and control its movements in order to cut off its links with the guerillas Destroy the local insurgent political organizations Set up, by means of elections, new provisional local authorities. A key characteristic of all three types of revolutionary warfare is their inherent asymmetry.


David Galula

Galula, based on his experiences in the French Army during the end of colonialism, put his experiences to paper in this initial work on the theory of counterinsurgency. One of Galula’s laws is, “In any situation, whatever the cause, there will be an active minority for the cause, a neutral majority, and an active minority against the cause”. He gave a series of conferences abroad and counterinssurgency the Armed Forces Staff College. He is not obliged to prove; he is judged by what he promises, not by what he does.

David Galula – Wikipedia

It is quite amazing how well this book has aged, it’s concepts counterinskrgency still whole and can easily be merged with other works of political science and sociology to form a powerful ‘lens’ to understand happenings around the world.

The simplicity and common sense approach to counterinsurhency book is what makes it such a worthwhile book to read, but this straightforwardness of the author’s writing belies the actual complexity of counter insurgent work.

Although this was written earfare 60 years ago, there are many parallels with the current situation in Iraq. In some ways, this aids a counterinsurgency because the “moral fog” surrounding the insurgents dissipates and the counterinsurgency is free to act more decisively. Tactics Having developed a strategic base for counterinsurgency, Galula turns his attention to tactics. To do so, it is necessary to keep a single static or holding force in place. Don’t miss upcoming posts, signup for the Newsletter.

Developing an effective doctrine requires the knowledge of what the population really wants. It took a lot more effort than I was expecting but my biggest frustration is that this book was written in and our military is still learning the lessons in here the hard way.

If there is one thing to learn from the author it is that military might alone cannot defeat an insurgency and that ultimately it is the warvare of the population that will win the conflict. The counterinsurgent reaches a position of strength when his power awrfare embedded in a political organization issuing from, and firmly supported by, the population.

Feb 03, Matt Danner rated it really liked it. I first read Colonel Galula’s book many years ago, in countsrinsurgency for my assignment in Vietnam.

Find out about the intractable conflict-related work that others in the peace and conflict field are doing. A successful insurgency requires a viable cause to rally support.


While the book is primarily concerned with insurgency, it often refers to both revolutions and plots as well. Such support is most readily obtained from an active minority.

Galula expertly draws conclusions from his own counterinsurgency experience to craft this “how-to” manual. Contents Revolutionary War Nature and Characteristics. Yet whatever their differences, both have effective advice for the counterinsurgent, and both of the books should be used in conjunction when planning and preparing for counterinsurgency operations.

Indirect action consists of either co-opting the insurgent’s cause, or addressing the weaknesses of the state. Sep 04, Caitlin rated it it was amazing. This book provides an analysis of how to countermine insurgency and the elements that might hinder its defeat.

Detach for the area sufficient troops to oppose an insurgent’s comeback in strength, install these troops in the hamlets, villages, and towns where the population lives. Dry and overly academic. It is still considered by many to be the “Bible” of counterinsurgency warfare.

Mar 20, Teoh rated it it was amazing. Another interesting topic discussed was the relative ease that insurgencies can develop and surprise any population once they become fully active. One of the authentic and detailed exposition on the nature and cause of insurgency.

That this was one of the original such guides, written by a man who had observed and experienced counter-insurgency from North Africa, to Southeast Asia, and China, is why it has become an interesting primary source in its own right.

Summary of “Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice” | Beyond Intractability

I hope American leadership can learn and build upon some of the principles and lessons listed in Galula’s book. Be the first to ask a question about Counterinsurgency Warfare. Asymmetry Between the Insurgent and the Counterinsurgent.

It’s a lucid, engaging and clear book that in spite of being short, explains in a precise and detailed way the whole process of conformation and establishment of an armed insurgency and everything related to its natural reaction; the counterinsurgency.