Cover image for America's Modern Wars : Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam
Title:
America's Modern Wars : Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam
Author:
Lawrence, Christopher A., author.
Publication Information:
Havertown, PA : Casemate Publishers, 2015.

© 2015
Physical Description:
360 pages, 16 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations and charts; 24 cm
Summary:
"While the past half-century has seen no diminution in the valor and fighting skill of the U.S. military and its allies, the fact remains that our wars have become more protracted, with decisive results more elusive. With only two exceptions -- Panama and the Gulf War under the first President Bush -- our campaigns have taken on character of endless slogs without positive results. This analytical work takes a ground-up look at the problem in order to assess how our strategic objectives have recently become divorced from our true capability, or imperatives. The book presents a unique examination of the nature of insurgencies and the three major guerrilla wars the United States has fought in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam. Political passions aside, it addressed in hard detail -- demographic, terrain, cultural issues, and pure distance -- which insurgencies across the globe can successfully be fought It applies the hard experience of the last five decades to address the issues of today. As such, it also provides a timely and meaningful discussion of America's current geopolitical position. It starts with the previously close-held casualty estimate for Iraq that The Dupuy Institute complied in 2004 for the U.S. Department of Defense. Going from the practical to the theoretical, it then discusses a construct for understanding insurgencies and the contexts in which they can be fought. It applies these principles to Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam, assessing where the projection of U.S. power can enhance our position and where the expense of our forces merely weakens it. It presents an extensive analysis of insurgencies based upon a unique database of 83 post-World War II cases. The book explores what is important to combat and what is not important to resist in insurgencies. As such, it builds a body of knowledge based upon a half-century's worth of real-life data. In these pages, Christopher A. Lawrence, the President of The Dupuy Institute, provides an invaluable guide to how the U.S. can best project its vital power, while avoiding the missteps of the recent past." --- from book jacket.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781612002781
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

While the past half-century has seen no diminution in the valor and fighting skill of the U.S. military and its allies, the fact remains that our wars have become more protracted, with decisive results more elusive. With only two exceptions--Panama and the Gulf War under the first President Bush--our campaigns have taken on the character of endless slogs without positive results. This fascinating book takes a ground-up look at the problem in order to assess how our strategic objectives have recently become divorced from our true capability, or imperatives.

The book presents a unique examination of the nature of insurgencies and the three major guerrilla wars the United States has fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. It is both a theoretical work and one that applies the hard experience of the last five decades to address the issues of today. As such, it also provides a timely and meaningful discussion of America's current geopolitical position.

It starts with the previously close-held casualty estimate for Iraq that The Dupuy Institute compiled in 2004 for the U.S. Department of Defense. Going from the practical to the theoretical, it then discusses a construct for understanding insurgencies and the contexts in which they can be fought. It applies these principles to Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam, assessing where the projection of U.S. power can enhance our position and where it merely weakens it.

It presents an extensive analysis of insurgencies based upon a unique database of 83 post-WWII cases. The book explores what is important to combat and what is not important to resist in insurgencies. As such, it builds a body of knowledge based upon a half-century's worth of real-world data, with analysis, not opinion. In these pages, Christopher A. Lawrence, the President of The Dupuy Institute, provides an invaluable guide to how the U.S. can best project its vital power, while avoiding the missteps of the recent past.


Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. 9
Introductionp. 11
Chapter 1 The Iraq Casualty Estimatep. 15
Chapter 2 The Art and Science of Counterinsurgency Warfare Studiesp. 32
Chapter 3 The Acid Test: Predicting the Presentp. 47
Chapter 4 Force Ratios Really Do Matterp. 55
Chapter 5 Cause Really is Importantp. 60
Chapter 6 The Two Together Seem Really Importantp. 63
Chapter 7 Other Similar Workp. 70
Chapter 8 Outside Support and Structure of Insurgenciesp. 78
Chapter 9 Rules of Engagement and Measurements of Brutalityp. 83
Chapter 10 Sanctuaries, Border Barriers and Population Resettlementp. 96
Chapter 11 Estimating Insurgent Force Sizep. 115
Chapter 12 The Value of Electionsp. 121
Chapter 13 The Influence of Terrain on Insurgenciesp. 131
Chapter 14 Other Issuesp. 147
Chapter 15 The Burden of Warp. 161
Chapter 16 A Model of Insurgenciesp. 183
Chapter 17 Other Theoristsp. 187
Chapter 18 The Other Sidep. 224
Chapter 19 Withdrawal and War Terminationp. 237
Chapter 20 Relating a Force Ratio Model to Iraqp. 243
Chapter 21 Relating a Force Ratio Model to Afghanistanp. 253
Chapter 22 Relating a Force Ratio Model to Vietnamp. 273
Chapter 23

p. 286

Chapter 24 Where Do We Go From Here?p. 294
Chapter 25 A Tale of Two Booksp. 299
Appendix I: Briefing Slides from January 2005

p. 302

Appendix II: The Bosnia Casualty Estimate

p. 308

Appendix III: List of Cases

p. 316

Appendix IV: Force Ratios

p. 319

Appendix V: Force Ratios as Divided by Political Concept

p. 323

Appendix VI: Results of Testing the Model Back to Data

p. 329

Appendix VII: Characteristics of Selected Modern COIN Barries

p. 331

Appendix VIII: List of all 83 Cases by Indigenous Government Type, The Presence of Elections, Duration, Winner and Type of Insurgency

p. 335

Appendix IX: Staying the Course (an analysis of duration of insurgencies)

p. 339

Appendix X: Data on 62 Insurgences used for the Test of Anthony James Joes Theory

p. 345

Bibliographyp. 348
Biographical Informationp. 360