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When Algerian nationalists launched a rebellion against French rule in November 1954, France, mired in similar wars for independence in its colonial territories, was in a poor position to cope with further upheaval. The Algerian strategy encompassed varying approaches and was more adaptable than that of the French, necessitating a rethinking of traditional counterinsurgency methods. In this volume, originally published in 1963, David Galula reconstructs the story of his highly successful command in the district of Greater Kabylia, east of Algiers, at the height of the rebellion, and presents his theories on counterinsurgency and pacification. In the process, he confronts the larger political, psychological, and military aspects of the Algerian war, and provides a context for present-day counterinsurgency operations. This groundbreaking work retains its relevancy as a challenge to traditional counterinsurgency tactics and presents approaches to predicting, managing, and resolving insurgent and guerilla conflict. The parallels between the Algerian war and modern warfare are striking, and lessons can be extracted from French successes and failures in its drive to contain and manage the Algerian uprising. A new foreword by counterterrorism expert Bruce Hoffman elucidates the relevance of this historic study in the context of modern times.

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Table of Contents

  • Part One

    The Stage

  • Part Two

    The Struggle for Control of the Population

  • Part Three

    The Struggle for the Support of the Population

  • Part Four

    War in the Bordj Menaiel Sector

  • Part Five

    Conclusions

  • Appendix One

    Mohamed Boudiaf’s Statement to Le Monde, November 2, 1962

  • Appendix Two

    Notes on Pacification in Greater Kabylia

  • Appendix Three

    The Technique of Pacification in Kabylia

Research conducted by

This research is supported by the Advanced Research Projects Agency under Contract No. SD-79. Any views or conclusions contained in this Memorandum should not be interpreted as representing the official opinion or policy of ARPA. Pacification in Algeria, 1956-1958 was originally published by the RAND Corporation in 1963. This new RAND edition includes the original text and a new foreword.

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