Summary of Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice By David Galula Summary written by Brett Reeder, Conflict Research Consortium Citation: Galula, . WARFARE. Theory and Practice. David Galula. Foreword by John A. Nagl. PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era. Praeger Security International. Westport. operations citing David Galula’s theory. In his book, Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and. Practice, Galula sets a clear mark for planning future COIN.

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What you do matters, and support can be lost if your actions are unfavorable to the population.

In this case, indirect action can be taken to ensure that the judicial, police, and military institutions are strong thus discouraging insurgent action. Counterinsugency ensures that soldiers do not have to constantly relearn the cultural nuances of a local area.

Theory and Practice is highly suggested reading for students of the U.

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

Test these authorities by assigning them various concrete tasks. How may it be said that these two cannot exist together? Though many of its empirical examples are dated, its insights remain hauntingly relevant.

In this book, Galula provides the basic strategy and tactics necessary to successfully defeat insurgencies through the counherinsurgency of a “political machine” capable of garnering public support. Citing Beyond Intractability resources. Group and educate the leaders in a national political movement. It is still considered by many to be the “Bible” of counterinsurgency warfare. Research associate at Harvard University. The former may be likened to water the latter to the fish who inhabit warfafe.


He begins this task by describing the basic characteristics of revolutionary war in general, because an insurgency along with revolution and coup d’etat is thought to be a type of revolutionary warfare. A victory [in a counterinsurgency] is not the destruction in a given area of the insurgent’s forces and his political organization. Counterinsurgents hold a virtual monopoly on tangible assets, such as material resources and legitimate power.

With his four principles counterinsurgrncy mind, Galula goes on to describe a general military and political strategy to put them into operation in an area that is under full insurgent control:.

Retrieved from ” https: Tell us about your work. Counterinsurgency “in the Heat” As soon as an insurgent’s activities become openly illegal and violent, it is considered “hot”.

Beyond Intractability in Context Blog Links to quality news, opinion pieces, and reports that explain the intractable conflict problem and highlight successful responses. Such support is most readily obtained from an active minority. Having attained the support of the population it is imperative to remember that this support is conditional.

Further, the counterinsurgency must learn and adapt as it goes along. Detach for the area sufficient troops to oppose an insurgent’s comeback in strength, install these troops in the hamlets, villages, and towns where the population lives. At the heart of this political machine is the development of a counterinsurgent clunterinsurgency to compete with the insurgent cause.

David Galula

As such, the first area should be viewed as a test area in which policy is adapted to the reaction of the population. Developing an effective doctrine requires the knowledge of what the population really wants.


Links to quality news, opinion pieces, and reports that explain the intractable conflict problem and highlight successful responses. Skip to main content. This “compass” is comprised of the laws and principals of counterinsurgency warfare, and corresponding strategy and tactics. Summary of Counterinsurgency Warfare: In conventional warfare, strength is assessed according to military or other tangible criteria, such as the number of divisions, the position they hold, the industrial resources, etc.

They can act directly on the insurgent leaders, they can act indirectly on the conditions that are propitious to an insurgency, they can infiltrate the insurgent movement, or they can reinforce their own “Political Machine”.

Explanations of how the conflict counterinskrgency peacebuilding fields’ fundamental building blocks can help with both intractable and tractable conflicts. He died in of lung cancer.

Counterinsurgency Warfare, David Galula | Brendan Kelly –

New to the site? An essential aspect of this “compass” is the realization that public support for the state should be the primary goal of counterinsurgency and that this makes counterinsurgency operations above all, political operations.

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