The Soul of Armies

The Soul of Armies

Counterinsurgency Doctrine and Military Culture in the US and UK

For both the United States and United Kingdom counterinsurgency was a serious component of security policy during the Cold War and, along with counterterrorism, has been the greatest security challenge after September 11, 2001. In The Soul of Armies Austin Long compares and contrasts counterinsurgency operations during the Cold War and in recent years by three organizations: the US Army, the US Marine Corps, and the British Army.

Long argues that the formative experiences of these three organizations as they professionalized in the nineteenth century has produced distinctive organizational cultures that shape operations. Combining archival research on counterinsurgency campaigns in Vietnam and Kenya with the author's personal experience as a civilian advisor to the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, The Soul of Armies demonstrates that the US Army has persistently conducted counterinsurgency operations in a very different way from either the US Marine Corps or the British Army. These differences in conduct have serious consequences, affecting the likelihood of success, the potential for civilian casualties and collateral damage, and the ability to effectively support host nation governments. Long concludes counterinsurgency operations are at best only a partial explanation for success or failure.

Austin Long

Austin Long is an Assistant Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs and a Member of the Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies and the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Columbia University. He was an analyst and advisor to Coalition forces in Iraq (2007–2008) and Afghanistan (2011 and 2013). He is author of On "Other War": Lessons from Five Decades of RAND Counterinsurgency Research


Prize Shortlist, 2015 Thinking Allowed Ethnography Award (British Sociological Association and British Broadcasting Company)






Also of interest

Outsourcing War
The Just War Tradition in the Age of Military Privatization
Amy E. Eckert

Series

Cornell Studies in Security Affairs

Subjects

History : History / Military
Political Science : Political Science / Security Studies

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