The history of “small-footprint approaches” should be sobering. It suggests that such approaches are good at preventing allied governments from losing against rebels, but are not very good at actually winning wars.
Early 2013 Afghanistan ranks among the historical counterinsurgency winners, but its score is equal to those of the lowest-scoring historical wins. This tenuous position points to several areas in need of improvement.
Other than as a geographic expression, Syria has ceased to exist, writes Brian Michael Jenkins. With Russian, Iranian, and Hezbollah support, Bashar Assad's forces, at the moment, appear to have gained the initiative over a fragmented rebel movement.
Christopher Paul, a senior social scientist at RAND, has been selected for a Fulbright Specialist project in New Zealand at Massey University's Centre for Defence and Security Studies during October and November.
The historical importance of commitment and motivation and the need to overmatch insurgents suggest that Australia should weigh any commitment of support against existing conditions, those that can be changed and those that can't, writes Christopher Paul.
When a country is threatened by an insurgency, what efforts give its government the best chance of prevailing? A new update to a RAND 2010 study expands the data set of 30 insurgencies to 71 and compares all 71 of them begun and completed worldwide since World War II.
The United States and Israel should capitalize on Egypt's active role in mediating a cease-fire and thus revisit initiatives like the Arab Peace Initiative, which in the new regional strategic environment may be the best hope of reviving the moribund peace process before it is too late.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. military has been fighting the longest war in the nation’s history--and many Americans don't understand why. The final presidential debate on Monday affords President Obama and Governor Romney an excellent opportunity to provide answers, writes Jonah Blank.