The Complexity of Modern Asymmetric Warfare
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
Today more than one hundred small, asymmetric, and revolutionary wars are being waged around the world. This book provides invaluable tools for fighting such wars by taking enemy perspectives into consideration. The third volume of a trilogy by Max G. Manwaring, it continues the arguments the author presented in Insurgency, Terrorism, and Crime and Gangs, Pseudo-Militaries, and Other Modern Mercenaries. Using case studies, Manwaring outlines vital survival lessons for leaders and organizations concerned with national security in our contemporary world.
The insurgencies Manwaring describes span the globe. Beginning with conflicts in Algeria in the 1950s and 1960s and El Salvador in the 1980s, he goes on to cover the Shining Path and its resurgence in Peru, Al Qaeda in Spain, popular militias in Cuba, Haiti, and Brazil, the Russian youth group Nashi, and drugs and politics in Guatemala, as well as cyber warfare.
Large, wealthy, well-armed nations such as the United States have learned from experience that these small wars and insurgencies do not resemble traditional wars fought between geographically distinct nation-state adversaries by easily identified military forces. Twenty-first-century irregular conflicts blur traditional distinctions among crime, terrorism, subversion, insurgency, militia, mercenary and gang activity, and warfare.
Manwaring’s multidimensional paradigm offers military and civilian leaders a much needed blueprint for achieving strategic victories and ensuring global security now and in the future. It combines military and police efforts with politics, diplomacy, economics, psychology, and ethics. The challenge he presents to civilian and military leaders is to take probable enemy perspectives into consideration, and turn resultant conceptions into strategic victories.
“[Manwaring’s] most recent books . . . constitute what is, to me, a refined and sophisticated summary of a tested and proven strategy for the United States’ decisions and actions related to counterinsurgency policy and operations. The books encompass counterinsurgency on an abstract, general, and strategic level as well as the tactical and operational level of the manuals. Uncomfortable Wars Revisited (2006) and the trilogy of Insurgency, Terrorism, and Crime: Shadows from the Past and Portents for the Future (2008), Gangs, Pseudo-Militaries, and Other Modern Mercenaries: New Dynamics in Uncomfortable Wars (2010), and finally The Complexity of Modern Asymmetric Warfare (2012) crown [the author’s] already noteworthy achievements. They carve out for him an honored place as a creative and pragmatic contributor to national and global security.”—from the Afterword by Edwin G. Corr, former U.S. Ambassador