Why insurgents fail examining post-World War II failed insurgencies utilizing the prerequisites of successful insurgencies as a framework
Zimmerman, Frank H.
Sepp, Kalev I.
Rothstein, Hy S.
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This thesis identifies five common characteristics of successful post-World War II insurgencies: (1) a cause to fight for, (2) local populace support, (3) weakness in the authority, (4) favorable geographic condictions, and (5) external support during the middle and later stages of an insurgency. This list of characteristics is incomplete for current and future insurgencies and a sixth characteristic, (6) an information advantage, is necessary. For this study, 72 post-World War II insurgencies are identified, of which 11 are classified as failed insurgencies. Of these failed insurgencies, 6 were selected for analysis using the above 6 charactersitics of an insurgency in order to determine any trends in their failure. The 6 selected failed insurgencies are: Greek Civil War, Philippines (HUK), Malayan Emergency, Kenya Emergency, Dhofar Rebellion, and Bolivia. This research determined that no one characteristic stands out as the key for defeating an insurgency. Counterinsurgent forces must consider and take into account all 6 charactersitics and plan accordingly. It is further determined that 3 of the characteristics: local populace support, external support, and information advantage must be reduced to a significate disadvantage for an insurgency in order for an insurgency to fail.
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