Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice [David Galula, David Galula] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Back in print after almost. This monograph describes the nature and dynamics of insurgency and counterinsurgency (COIN) operations citing David Galula’s theory. In his book. WARFARE. Theory and Practice. David Galula. Foreword by John A. Nagl. PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era. Praeger Security International. Westport.

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Weakness of the Counterinsurgent. He Upon reading this, I realized that I have read this book before – in fact, probably twice before. That is, the response necessary to eliminate the insurgency is likely to be seen as excessive by the general population.

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

In conventional warfare, strength is assessed according to military or other countterinsurgency criteria, such as the number of divisions, the position they hold, the industrial resources, etc. Competent, overarching foundational strategy of COIN.

But decisive action does not necessarily mean military action. Feb 16, Richard rated it it was amazing. Why I started this book: Unfortunately, an insurgent’s cause is often impossible for a state to adopt, without relinquishing its power. Counterinsurgency in the Hot Revolutionary War. 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.

Indeed ,as Galula put it, “Essential though it is, the military action is secondary to the political one, its primary purpose being to afford the political power enough freedom to work safely with the population. The theories in this work are not rocket science since many people must understand and work together to accomplish the different phases of counterinsurgency.


A counterinsurgent can seldom cover bad or nonexistent policy with propaganda. Those willing to actively support a counterinsurgency operation should be supported in their efforts to rally the relatively neutral majority and neutralize the hostile minority. A counterinsurgency can only succeed by winning the support of the people. Inspired by his military experiences as a French military officer and attache in China, Greece, Southeast Asia, and Algeria, the author realized the “need for a compass” in the suppression of The insurgent, having no responsibility, is free to use every trick; if necessary, he can lie, cheat, exaggerate.

Written soon after the failures of the French in Vietnam and Algeria, it is heavily influenced by population-centric approaches which see winning the locals as the ultimate and necessary prize.

From Strategy to Tactics.

Summary of “Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice”

One topic I found interesting in this book was the clear definition and separation of conventional versus revolutionary conflicts and the statement that all revolutionary conflicts, and therefore insurgencies are political in nature.

Read Taber’s War of the Flea instead. Acting directly on galulx leaders arresting them, or limiting their actions is difficult in democracies and often backfires.

A victory [in a counterinsurgency] is not the destruction in a given area of the insurgent’s forces and his political organization. Revolutionary War Nature and Characteristics.

The counterinsurgent reaches a position of strength when his power is embedded in a political organization issuing from, and firmly supported by, the population.

Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice by David Galula

Concentrate enough armed forces to destroy or to expel the main body of armed insurgents. This work does well to explain insurgencies, how they form, how they gather strength, how the counter insurgent can respond, and ultimately defeat the insurgency. First, its not an accurate representation of what the French or the other Western powers actually did in their colonial wars. Citing Beyond Intractability resources.


Colonel Galula was stationed in Algeria at the time of the revolt by the French army. The results speaks for itself: Replace the softs and the incompetents, give full support to the active counterinsurgejcy.

It was short and I was going to whip thru it. While some parts of the book are obviously dated, the core of the theory is still applicable today, and can be witnessed in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as several valula in Africa.

Establish contact with the population, control its movements in order to cut off its links with the guerillas. Many of the aspects and strategies listed here have become so commonplace as to appear obvious, but this book was likely revolutionary in its own time.

This is a short theoretical essay on counterinsurgency war by an expert with ties to the French military.

I’d highly recommend it for anyone interested in the topic. Without the support of the population, it is impossible to root out all the insurgents and stop further recruitment.

David Galula — was a French military officer and scholar who was influential in developing the theory and practice of counterinsurgency warfare. Retrieved from ” https: Insurgents also decide when and where the conflict will begin, since they become insurgents through their own contentious actions.

Galula provides his views on communist ‘revolutionary warfare’ and the manner in which Western militaries must adapt to face the on counterineurgency threat.