October 27, 2007

The Counterinsurgency Reading List

Abu Muqawama and Charlie put our heads together across the Atlantic Ocean and came up with this, the long-awaited Counterinsurgency Reading List. This list is not exhaustive, but the "essentials" and "intermediate" lists include all the books and articles the two of us think you should read. There's also some fiction and films -- and even a section on political Islam because while it doesn't necessarily have anything to do with COIN, it certainly has relevance to the operating environments in which some of our readership live and work. Click on the links, and they should -- with a few exceptions -- either take you to the article or to the link on amazon.com.

Wan to know what we think about specific books and articles? Check out our COIN Book Club entries, which review select offerings from this Reading List.

Counterinsurgency Reading List
October 2007
(updated November 2007)
(updated March 2008)
(updated May 2009)

The Bare Bones Essentials

David Galula, Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice ir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
David Kilcullen, "28 Articles", Military Review, May-June 2006
Kalev Sepp, "Best Practices in COIN", Military Review, May-June 2005

Intermediate Reading

Colonial Era
Robert Bateman, "Lawrence and his Message"
C.E. Callwell, Small Warsir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1438513887
John Cann, Counterinsurgency in Africa: The Portuguese Way of War 1961-1974ir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Carl von Clausewitz, On Warir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Bernard Fall, The Street without Joyir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
David Galula, Pacification in Algeria: 1956-1958ir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Tony Geraghty, The Irish Warir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Charles Gwynn, Imperial Policingir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962ir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Frank Kitson, Gangs and Counter-Gangs
Robert Komer, Bureaucracy Does its Thing
Andrew Krepinevich, The Army and Vietnamir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
John Nagl, Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnamir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Neil Sheehan, A Bright Shining Lieir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Robert Taber, War of the Fleair?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Robert Thompson, Defeating Communist Insurgencyir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Roger Trinquier, Modern Warfareir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Mao Tse-Tung, On Guerrilla Warfareir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Bing West, The Villageir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1

Modern Day
Ralph Baker, "The Decisive Weapon", Military Review, May-June 2006
David Barno, “Fighting ‘The Other War’: Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, 2003-2005,” Military Review, September-October 2007
Stephen Biddle, “Seeing Baghdad, Thinking Saigon,” Foreign Affairs, March-April 2006
Burgoyne & Marckwardt, The Defense of Jisr al-Doreaair?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0226080935
Peter Chiarelli, "Winning the Peace", Military Review, July-August 2005
Nigel Alwyn Foster, "Changing the Army for COIN Operations", Military Review, November-December 2005
Les Grau, The Bear Went Over the Mountainir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
T.X. Hammes, The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Centuryir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
T.X. Hammes, “Fourth Generation Evolves, Fifth Emerges,” Military Review, May-June 2007
Hecker & Rid, War 2.0: Irregular Warfare in the Information Ageir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0313364702
Chris Hickey, "Principles and Priorities for Training in Iraq", Military Review, March-April 2007
Frank Hoffman, "Hybrid Threats"
David Kilcullen, The Accidental Guerrilla

David Kilcullen, "Anatomy of a Tribal Revolt"
David Kilcullen, “Counterinsurgency Redux,” Survival, Winter, 2006
John Kizley, "Learning About Counterinsurgency", Military Review, March-April 2007
Sean MacFarland and Niel Smith, "Anbar Awakens," Military Review, March-April 2008
Marston & Malkasian, Counterinsurgency in Modern Warfareir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1846032814
H.R. McMaster, “On War: Lessons to be Learned.” Survival, February-March 2008
Steven Metz, Rethinking Insurgency
Elizabeth Rubin, "Battle Company Is Out There"
Rupert Smith, The Utility of Forceir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0307278115
Various, FM 3-24, "Counterinsurgency"

Advanced Reading

Hannah Arendt, On Revolutionir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Hannah Arendt, On Violenceir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Robert Asprey, War in the Shadowsir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Robert Bates, Prosperity and Violenceir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Jarret M. Brachman and William F. McCants, "Stealing Al-Qaeda's Playbook," CTC Report, February 2006
Scott A. Cuomo and Brian J. Donlon, "Training a 'Hybrid' Warrior," Marine Corps Gazette
Loup Francart, Maitriser la violenceir?t=abumuqa-20&l=as2&o=1&a=2717838791
Robert M. Gates, "Beyond Guns and Steel: Reviving the Nonmilitary Instruments of American Power"
Antonio Giustozzi, Koran, Kalashnikov, and the Laptop: The Neo Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistanir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
John Bagot Glubb, War in the Desertir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Daniel Helmer, "Flipside of the COIN: Israel’s Lebanese Incursion Between 1982-2000"
Stathis Kalyvas, The Logic of Violence in Civil Warsir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Alan B. Krueger, What Makes a Terroristir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Mark Lichbach, The Rebel’s Dilemma
Yezid Sayigh, Armed Struggle and the Search for State: The Palestinian National Movement, 1949-1993ir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
James Scott, Moral Economy of the Peasantir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Frederic M. Wehrey, “A Clash of Wills: Hizballah’s Psychological Campaign Against Israel in South Lebanon.”
Jeremy Weinstein, Inside Rebellion: Politics of Insurgent Violenceir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1


Graham Greene, The Quiet American
Rudyard Kipling, Kimir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Jean Larteguy, The Centurionsir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
Leon Uris, Trinityir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1


The Battle of Algiers
Go Tell The Spartansir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1
The Wind that Shakes the Barleyir?t=abumuqa-20&l=ur2&o=1