Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.8 MB Best for desktop computers.

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

ePub file 2.6 MB Best for mobile devices.

On desktop computers and some mobile devices, you may need to download an eBook reader to view ePub files. Calibre is an example of a free and open source e-book library management application.

mobi file 0.5 MB Best for Kindle 1-3.

On desktop computers and some mobile devices, you may need to download an eBook reader to view mobi files. Amazon Kindle is the most popular reader for mobi files.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback134 pages $26.50

This monograph outlines strategic considerations relative to counterinsurgency campaigns; presents an overview of the current conflict in Iraq, focusing on counterinsurgency; analyzes counterinsurgency operations in Iraq; presents conclusions about counterinsurgency, based on the U.S. experience in Iraq; describes implications from that experience for future counterinsurgency operations; and offers recommendations to improve the ability of the U.S. government to conduct counterinsurgency in the future. For example, U.S. counterinsurgency experience in Iraq has revealed the need to achieve synergy and balance among several simultaneous civilian and military efforts and the need to continually address and reassess the right indicators to determine whether current strategies are adequate. The need to continually reassess counterinsurgency strategy and tactics implies that military and civilian leaders must have not only the will, but also a formal mechanism, to fearlessly and thoroughly call to the attention of senior decisionmakers any shortfalls in policies and practices, e.g., in Iraq, failure to protect the civilian population, as well as overreliance on technological approaches to counterinsurgency. The Iraq experience is particularly germane to drawing lessons about counterinsurgency. In essence, the conflict there is a local political power struggle overlaid with sectarian violence and fueled by fanatical foreign jihadists and criminal opportunists — a combination of factors likely to be replicated in insurgencies elsewhere.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted in the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.