A Question of Command: Counterinsurgency from the Civil War by Mark Moyar

By Mark Moyar

In response to the existing view of counterinsurgency, the most important to defeating insurgents is choosing equipment that would win the people’s hearts and minds. The hearts-and-minds thought permeates not just such a lot counterinsurgency books of the twenty-first century yet  the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency box handbook, the U.S. military’s most well known textual content on counterinsurgency. Mark Moyar assails this traditional knowledge, saying that the foremost to counterinsurgency is choosing commanders who've more desirable management talents. while the hearts-and-minds tuition recommends allocating a lot exertions and treasure to financial, social, and political reforms, Moyar advocates concentrating assets on safety, civil management, and management development.Moyar provides a wide-ranging historical past of counterinsurgency, from the Civil struggle and Reconstruction to Afghanistan and Iraq, that pulls at the old list and interviews with enormous quantities of counterinsurgency veterans, together with best leaders in today’s military. via a chain of case experiences, Moyar identifies the 10 severe attributes of counterinsurgency management and divulges why those attributes were even more commonplace in a few companies than others. He explains how the U.S. army and America’s allies in Afghanistan and Iraq should still revamp their team of workers platforms so one can bring up extra people with these attributes.A query of Command will reshape the research and perform of counterinsurgency struggle. With counterinsurgency now the most urgent matters dealing with the USA, this e-book is a must-read for policymakers, army officials, and voters. (20090901)

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Studying a variety of historical insurgencies imparts a familiarity with counterinsurgency leadership and methods that theories alone cannot provide. It also illuminates the importance of political, social, cultural, and military contexts. With few exceptions, crafting remedies to leadership problems and the other problems of counterinsurgency requires keen analysis of local contexts and their relevance to counterinsurgency warfare. Books on counterinsurgency can actually undermine counterinsurgents by revealing counterinsurgency methods or principles to which the insurgents can then develop countermeasures.

Sheridan, wreckers of Georgia and South Carolina and Virginia, men whose names would be etched on the minds of generations of Southerners to come. Federal soldiers turned cities into ashes, stripped factories to the beams, and peeled mile after mile of railroad track off the earth. Once the Union military machine had passed through a plantation, every object of value had been eaten, burned, or taken away. Union officers also overturned existing civil authorities and freed slaves as they went, ushering in violent anarchy in places.

Most infamously, Banks led an expedition into the Red River area of northern Louisiana, where the Confederate state government had set up temporary quarters, and suffered a resounding defeat. Top military officers were also upset that Banks devoted more of his energies and resources to administrative control and policy enforcement than to military operations. When Halleck urged Banks to send troops to fight Confederate forces in the hinterlands, Banks refused. 37 When this dispute arose, determining which tack to take often proved very difficult, because controlling the population and destroying Confederate regulars were both vital tasks.

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