America's Modern Wars

Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam

Christopher Lawrence

While the past half-century has seen no diminution in the valor and fighting skill of the U.S. military and its allies, the fact remains that our wars have become more protracted, with decisive results more elusive. This fascinating book takes a ground-up look at the problem in order to assess how our strategic objectives have recently become divor
Date Published :
February 2015
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Illustration :
16pp photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781612002781
Pages : 376
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
In stock
$32.95

Overview
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While the past half-century has seen no diminution in the valor and fighting skill of the U.S. military and its allies, the fact remains that our wars have become more protracted, with decisive results more elusive. With only two exceptions—Panama and the Gulf War under the first President Bush—our campaigns have taken on the character of endless slogs without positive results. This fascinating book takes a ground-up look at the problem in order to assess how our strategic objectives have recently become divorced from our true capability, or imperatives.

The book presents a unique examination of the nature of insurgencies and the three major guerrilla wars the United States has fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. It is both a theoretical work and one that applies the hard experience of the last five decades to address the issues of today. As such, it also provides a timely and meaningful discussion of America’s current geopolitical position.

It starts with the previously close-held casualty estimate for Iraq that The Dupuy Institute compiled in 2004 for the U.S. Department of Defense. Going from the practical to the theoretical, it then discusses a construct for understanding insurgencies and the contexts in which they can be fought. It applies these principles to Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam, assessing where the projection of U.S. power can enhance our position and where it merely weakens it.

It presents an extensive analysis of insurgencies based upon a unique database of 83 post-WWII cases. The book explores what is important to combat and what is not important to resist in insurgencies. As such, it builds a body of knowledge based upon a half-century’s worth of real-world data, with analysis, not opinion. In these pages, Christopher A. Lawrence, the President of The Dupuy Institute, provides an invaluable guide to how the U.S. can best project its vital power, while avoiding the missteps of the recent past.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Acknowledgements
Introduction

Chapter 1: The Iraq Casualty Estimate
Chapter 2: The Art And Science Of Counterinsurgency Warfare Studies
Chapter 3: The Acid Test: Predicting The Present
Chapter 4: Force Ratios Really Do Matter
Chapter 5: Cause Really Is Important
Chapter 6: The Two Together Seem Really Important
Chapter 7: Other Similar Work
Chapter 8: Outside Support And Structure Of Insurgencies
Chapter 9: Rules Of Engagement And Measurements Of Brutality
Chapter 10: Sanctuaries, Border Barriers And Population Resettlement
Chapter 11: Estimating Insurgent Force Size
Chapter 12: The Value Of Elections
Chapter 13: The Influence Of Terrain On Insurgencies
Chapter 14: Other Issues
Chapter 15: The Burden Of War
Chapter 16: A Model Of Insurgencies
Chapter 17: Other Theorists
Chapter 18: The Other Side
Chapter 19: Withdrawal And War Termination
Chapter 20: Relating A Force Ratio Model To Iraq
Chapter 21: Relating A Force Ratio Model To Afghanistan
Chapter 22: Relating A Force Ratio Model To Vietnam
Chapter 23: Conclusions
Chapter 24: Where Do We Go From Here?
Chapter 25: A Tale Of Two Books

Appendix I: Briefing Slides From January 2005
Appendix Ii: The Bosnia Casualty Estimate
Appendix Iii: List Of Cases
Appendix Iv: Force Ratios
Appendix V: Force Ratios As Divided By Political Concept
Appendix Vi: Results Of Testing The Model Back To Data
Appendix Vii: Characteristics Of Selected Modern Coin Barriers
Appendix Viii: List Of All 83 Cases By Indigenous Government Type, The Presence Of Elections, Duration, Winner And Type Of Insurgency
Appendix Ix: Staying The Course (An Analysis Of Duration Of Insurgencies)
Appendix X: Data On 62 Insurgences Used For The Test Of Anthony James Joes Theory

Bibliography
Biographical Information

REVIEWS
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"...presents a unique examination of the nature of insurgencies and the three major guerrilla wars the United States has fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam. It is both a theoretical work and one that applies the hard experience of the last 5 decades to address the issues of today. As such, it also provides timely and meaningful discussion of America's current geopolitical position."

- Scale Military Modeller International

"Armed with data and analysis, not opinions, Lawrence provides a guide to how the United States can best project its vital and valuable power without repeating some of the missteps of the recent past."

- Toy Solder & Model Figure

"After World War II and the Vietnam War, the American government and military twice buried counterinsurgency policy, focusing instead on conventional war. After the draw down of forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the concurrent attempt to pivot toward Asia, the lessons learned from the two earlier wars seem to have been forgotten or never learned to begin with. Yet counterinsurgency remains among the most common of large-scale US military operations since 1945. Thus, America's Modern Wars by historian Christopher Lawrence, executive director of The Dupuy Institute (TDI), comes at a propitious time.”

- Michigan War Studies Review

":...a well researched and well analyzed study of the nature of insurgencies and guerilla warfare... provides a unique quantitative historical analysis... shows that reliable outcome estimates are determined through quantitative reasoning. Being able to anticipate the outcome of any military operation through reliable means can greatly assist in strategic and operational level leaders' decision making process. These results are what the book brings to light for military leaders and their staffs. Staff members who develop course of action recommendations can use the techniques described by Lawrence to provide quality analysis. Commanders will have the confidence from their staff estimates to choose the best course of action for future military operations. Logically estimating the outcomes of future military operations, as the author writes, is what US citizens should expect and demand from their leaders who take this country to war."

- Military Review

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