Shadows of Things Past and Images of the Future: Lessons for the Insurgencies in Our Midst   [open pdf - 347KB]

"This monograph comes at a time when U.S. and other world political and military leaders are struggling with the 'new' political-psychological aspects of unconventional conflict. Unfortunately, the strategic theory of unconventional political war has played little part in the discourse. Yet political-insurgency war is the most likely type of conflict to challenge the maintenance and enhancement of global and regional security over the near-to-long term. Contemporary political-insurgency war is a threat we can ill afford to ignore. Through the analysis of the cases of Argentina (1969-79), Peru (1962-present) and Italy (1968-82), the author identifies the political-strategic challenges of modern unconventional conflict. He stresses the political complexity of insurgency and the broader implications for the promises of democracy, free market economies, and prosperity implicit in the mandates to civil-military forces that confront global and regional instability. These cases are significant because they address counterinsurgency as much as they do insurgency. As a consequence, this examination is a logical point from which to begin to understand how governments and international organizations might ultimately control--or succumb to--the strategic challenges of political-insurgency war. The author's recommendations impose no easy set of tasks. Nevertheless, if the U.S. and other global leadership ignore the highly political aspects of modern unconventional conflict, the resultant instability and possible state failure will adversely shape the security environment in which all nations must struggle to survive."

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Army War College, Strategic Studies Institute: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/ssi/pubs/recent.cfm
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