With the decrease in American casualties in Iraq, the attention of the American public has shifted elsewhere. There are many signs, however, that the situation is likely to explode again soon: the ceasefire called by Moqtada al-Sadr on August 29, 2007, is due to expire later this month, and tensions among Sunnis in Anbar Province have become worrisome.
The first book in Stanford’s new Security Studies imprint addresses this situation. Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror by Robert Cassidy, a U.S. Army officer and fellow with the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, argues that the Global War on Terror (GWOT) is best understood not as a conventional war, but as a global insurgency and counterinsurgency. Cassidy analyzes al Qaeda in this light and looks at the military cultures of the U.S., Britain, and Russia to see how they have adapted to fight a global counterinsurgency and how they will still need to change in order to be successful. He examines past successes in counterinsurgency and argues that armies should adapt a “less is more” philosophy as the GWOT moves ahead.
Stanford Security Studies aims to inform the thoughts and actions of policy makers, policy analysts, military officers, and those in government agencies and think tanks. Stanford Security Studies books are rooted in evolving theory and sound empirical research, bridging the divide between scholarship and practice to stimulate and deepen the debate on conflict and the application of force. Look for upcoming books on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the US military’s misconstrued high-tech revolution, and needed reforms to our disaster response.