CAC Commander's Counterinsurgency Reading List

The Short List

O'Neill, Bard E. Insurgency & Terrorism: From Revolution to Apocalypse.Washington, D.C: Potomac Books, 2005.  CARL: 355.0218 o58i 2005
A framework for analyzing insurgency operations and a good first book in insurgency studies.

*Galula, David. Counterinsurgency Warfare; Theory and Practice.New York: Praeger, 1964. CARL: 355.425 G181cw
Classic summary of lessons derived form Galula’s experience of insurgency and counterinsurgency in Greece, China, and Algeria.

Fall, Bernard B. Last Reflections On a War. Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, 1967. 428 pp. CARL: 959.7 F194L
Consists of Dr. Fall's unpublished materials. His analysis of Vietnam is still considered accurate.

*Kepel, Gilles. The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West.Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004.  CARL: 297.272 K38w
An excellent overview of the broader radical Islamic insurgency.

*Lawrence, T. E., U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and Combat Studies Institute. The Evolution of a Revolt.Fort Leavenworth, Kan.: Combat Studies Institute, 1989.
Lawrence's key observations on the difference between conventional and insurgency warfare.

Tripp, Charles. A History of Iraq.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000. CARL: 956.704 T836h 2002
A solid single volume history of modern Iraq prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom.

West, Bing. The Village.New York, NY: Pocket Books, 2003. 959.704 W516v
A first-person account of military advisors embedded with Vietnamese units.

Additional Resources

Asprey, Robert B. War in the Shadows: the Guerrilla in History.Lincoln, NE: IUniverse, 2002.  CARL: 355.02184 A843wsh (two volumes)
An updated version of the 1975 classic that covers the history of guerrilla war from ancient Persia to modern Afghanistan.

Callwell, C. E. Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice.Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1996.  CARL: 355.0218 C163s
A classic study of colonial warfare and small wars.

Gunaratna, Rohan. Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror.New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.  CARL: 303.625 G1975i (CARL also has 2003 paperback:  303.625 G1975ia)
The story behind the rise of the global insurgency.

Hammes, Thomas X. The Sling and the Stone: On War in the 21st Century.St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press, 2004.  CARL: 355.0218 H224s 2004
An excellent overview of what the author describes as "fourth generation warfare".

Kitson, Frank. Low-intensity Operations; Subversion, Insurgency, Peace-keeping.Harrisburg: Pa.: Stackpole Books, 1971.  CARL: 355.02184 K62L
Classic explanation of the British school of counterinsurgency.

Krepinevich, Andrew F. The Army and Vietnam.Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986.  CARL: 959.7043373 K92a
The best volume on the U.S. Army's challenges in coming to terms with insurgency in Vietnam.

Lawrence, T. E. Seven Pillars of Wisdom, a Triumph.Garden City, N.Y: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1935.  CARL: 940.415 L423sp
Autobiographical account of Lawrence's attempts to organize Arab nationalism during WW I.

Lewis, Bernard. The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror.New York: Modern Library, 2003.  CARL: 297.72 L673c 2003
A controversial but important analysis of the philosophical origins of the global insurgency.

Linn, Brian M. The Philippine War, 1899-1902.Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000.  CARL: 959.9031 L758p
The definitive treatment of military operations in the Philippines.  

Nagl, John A. Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam: Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife.Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2002.  CARL: 355.0218 N149c 2002
How to learn to defeat an insurgency. Forward by CSA.

Solinas, Franco,et als. Battle of Algiers.Santa Monica, CA; New York, N.Y.: Rhino; Axon Video, 1993.  CARL: H000706 (1st Floor AV Room)
A dramatization of the conflict between Algerian nationalists and French colonialists that culminated in Algeria's independence in 1962. 

Articles and Other Documents

Barnard, Daniel. “The Great Iraqi Revolt: The 1919–20 Insurrections Against the British in Mesopotamia.” Paper presented at the Harvard Graduate Student Conference in International History, April 23, 2004.

Cassidy, Robert M. “Back to the Street Without Joy: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Vietnam and Other Small Wars. Parameters 34 (Summer 2004): 73-83.

Central Intelligence Agency. “Iraq. The World Factbook, 2006.

*Chiarelli, Peter W., Patrick R. Michaelis. “Winning the Peace: The Requirement for Full-Spectrum Operations. Military Review  85 (July-August 2005): 4-17.

Cockburn, Andrew. “Iraq's Oppressed Majority. Smithsonian (December 2003): 98-105.

Hashim, Ahmed S. “The Insurgency in Iraq.” Small Wars & Insurgencies. 14 (Autumn 2003): 1-22.  CARL: Journals, 1st Floor

Hoffman, Bruce. Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Iraq.Santa Monica, CA: RAND, National Security Research Division, 2004.

Kandell, Jonathan. “Iraq's Unruly Century.” Smithsonian 34 (May 2003): 44-51.

Maass, Peter. “The Salvadorization of Iraq.” The New York Times Magazine. May 1, 2005.

Maass, Peter. “The Counterinsurgent.” The New York Times Magazine. January 11, 2004.

McFate, Montgomery. “Iraq: The Social Context of IEDs.” Military Review 85, no. 3.

Metz, Steven. “Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in Iraq. Washington Quarterly 27 (Winter 2004): 25-36.  CARL: Journals, 1st Floor

Milton-Edwards, Beverley. “Iraq, Past, Present and Future: A Thoroughly-Modern Mandate?” History & Policy, (MAY 2003).  

Nasr, Vali. “Regional Implications of Shi'a Revival in Iraq”. Washington Quarterly 27 (Summer 2004): 7-24.  CARL: Journals, 1st Floor

Record,  Jeffrey and W. A. Terrill. Iraq and Vietnam: Differences, Similarities, and Insights. Carlisle Barracks, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2004.  CARL: 355.033573 R311i

*Sepp, Kalev I. “Best Practices in Counterinsurgency.” Military Review 85 (May-June 2005): 8-12.

Tomes, Robert R. “Relearning Counterinsurgency Warfare.” Parameters 34 (Spring 2004): 16-28.  


*Indicates DC's recommendations for a "first read"

Call numbers for the books in the Combined Arms Research Library (CARL) are in bold print.