Despite being consciously underestimated’ and described in anodyne terms as ‘unconventional’ or ‘irregular’ conflict’ the fact is that ‘insurgency’ has been the most common form of warfare in history. Conventional or regular conflict’ in brief’ ‘wars’ as commonly understood’ is the exception’ rather than the rule’ if past conflicts were to be reviewed. Numerous studies have examined the nature of past conflicts over different time intervals. The author’s preference is for the ‘Correlates of War Project” which ‘identifies 464 wars that occurred since 1816 and the end of the twentieth century’ of which only 79 (17 percent) were ‘conventional’ interstate conflicts between the regular armed forces of nation states…’ The remaining were civil wars or insurgencies. These numbers provide the backdrop for the present study on ‘counterinsurgency’ by an acclaimed authority on the subject.
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