Edited by Thomas Rid and Thomas Keaney
New York: Routledge, 2010
280 pp. $145.00
Compiling a collection of essays on a subject as complex, diverse, and ever-evolving as counterinsurgency is certainly no easy feat. Yet Thomas Rid and Thomas Keaney have managed to glean salient, albeit often contradictory, discussions from some of the best minds in the business in Understanding Counterinsurgency: Doctrine, Operations, and Challenges.
As suggested by the subtitle, Understanding Counterinsurgency is divided into three sections. The first examines the development of counterinsurgency doctrine in Britain, France, Germany, and the United States. Next is an in-depth discussion of the operational aspects of counterinsurgency, featuring essays by experts and practitioners from each branch of the U.S. military. The final, and most important, section surveys the myriad challenges within the counterinsurgency environment, with essays focusing on the impact of governance and information operations, to the omnipresent influence of time.