Research on insurgencies holds lessons for how to aid Ukraine, but assessing what policies are best will depend on how the conflict proceeds.
Latest in insurgency
Editor’s Note: The rapid pace of technological innovation is changing the nature of warfare, and futurists are busy spinning out scenarios of a U.S.-China clash in twenty years involving nano-technology and fully autonomous weapons systems. Yet how will new technologies shape insurgency and counterinsurgency, which conjures up images of guerrillas hiding in Vietnam's jungles? My Brookings colleague Chris Meserole looks at two of the latest books on the subject and assesses how the balance between rebels and government may tilt.
Editor’s Note: The war against terrorism involves fighting more than terrorists. Some groups use guerrilla war, and still others are proto-states. The post-9/11 struggle has also brought the United States into greater contact with warlords, clans, and other non-state actors. Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Jacob Zenn of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and the Jamestown Foundation, respectively, try to bring a sense of order to these many actors, offering a spectrum of "violent non-state actors" as a way to better conceptualize them.
Editor's Note: Dictators fight insurgents wrong. Rather than redress grievances and win over the locals, they repress and coopt, tolerating corruption and abuses. David Ucko of National Defense University explores why and how dictators often defeat insurgents despite ignoring the lessons of the US and other democracies.
Editor's Note: What if most terrorism isn’t really terrorism? In past decades, much of what we call terrorism today would have been seen as insurgent violence, revolutionary war, or civil war: a group like the Islamic State, which uses tanks as well as suicide bombing, is a prime example of an organization that is wrongly classified as a terrorist group. John Mueller of Ohio State University and Mark Stewart of the University of Newcastle in Australia unpack this definitional confusion and argue that it leads to a gross misunderstanding of the true threat we face.