Summary of Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice By David Galula Summary written by Brett Reeder, Conflict Research Consortium Citation: Galula, . WARFARE. Theory and Practice. David Galula. Foreword by John A. Nagl. PSI Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era. Praeger Security International. Westport. operations citing David Galula’s theory. In his book, Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and. Practice, Galula sets a clear mark for planning future COIN.

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They can act directly on the insurgent leaders, they can act indirectly on the conditions that are propitious to an insurgency, they can infiltrate the gzlula movement, or they can reinforce their own “Political Machine”.

Having developed a strategic base for counterinsurgency, Galula turns his attention to tactics. This “compass” is comprised of the laws and principals of counterinsurgency warfare, and corresponding strategy and tactics. Theory and Practice by David Galula”. Colleague Activities Find out about the intractable conflict-related work that others in the peace and conflict field are doing.

A victory [in a counterinsurgency] is not the destruction in a given area of the insurgent’s forces and his political organization. There he continued his warm relationship with Jacques Guillermazan officer from an old French military family with whom he had served in France.

This requires political programs aimed at placating the insurgent’s base. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. He begins this task by describing the basic characteristics of revolutionary war in general, because an insurgency along with revolution and coup d’etat is thought to be a type of revolutionary warfare. Such a belief reveals lack of comprehension of the relationship that should exist between the people and the troops.

Counterinsurgency “in the Heat” As soon as an insurgent’s activities become openly illegal and violent, it is considered “hot”. Group and educate the leaders in a national political movement. On the other hand, insurgents lack power, but they are much more free to violate both their promises and social norms. Views Read Edit View history. This ensures that soldiers do not have to constantly relearn the cultural nuances of a local area. Acting directly on insurgent leaders arresting them, or limiting their actions is difficult in democracies and often backfires.


Counterinsurgency Warfare by David Galula – Praeger – ABC-CLIO

Lessons learned should then be rapidly applied to subsequent areas. Check out our Quick Start Guide. Counterinsurgency “in the Cold” As long as an insurgency’s activities remain “on the whole legal and nonviolent,” p 43 the insurgency is referred to as “cold”.

Establish contact with the population, control its movements in order to cut off its links with the guerillas. The final option, strengthening or building the “political machine” of the state, consists of convincing the population to buy into the state’s legitimacy and moral authority.


Summary of “Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice” | Beyond Intractability

It is only undisciplined troops who make the people their enemies and who, like the fish out of its native element cannot live. Galula resigned his commission in to study in the United Stateswhere he obtained a position of research associate at the Center for International Affairs of Harvard University. This page was last edited on 4 Decemberat With his four principles in mind, Galula goes on to describe a general military and political strategy to put them into operation in an area that is under full insurgent control:.

New to the site? A free and open online seminar that takes a complexity-oriented approach to frontier-of-the-field issues related to intractable conflict. Some of these steps can be skipped in areas that are only partially under insurgent control, and most of them are unnecessary in areas already controlled by the government.

The development of these programs requires a coordination of efforts on the part of the counterinsurgency. Retrieved from ” https: Replace the softs and the incompetents, give full support of the active leaders. On the other hand, insurgents lack power, but have the advantage regarding intangible assets such as ideology and a general lack of responsibility.

In it, Galula, a French military officer with experience in China, Greece, Southeast Asia, and Algeria, seeks to provide a “compass” for the counterinsurgent, much as Mao did for the revolutionary.

Counterinsurgency Warfare

Counterinsurgents hold a virtual monopoly on tangible assets, such as material resources and legitimate power. Keeping this emphasis on political action and the laws of counterinsurgency in waffare, Galula develops a comprehensive strategy for dealing effectively with hot insurgencies. Each of the steps is to be undertaken in a specific area consistent with the fourth law and then repeated in other areas as necessary.


This leaves the counterinsurgents with four options which are not mutually exclusive: While important in “cold” insurgencies, this is the primary activity of counterinsurgents in “hot” insurgencies.

Such programs are often based on reason, and will be relatively ineffective in the early stages of an insurgency when “passion is the prime mover,” but as the conflict progresses and the pragmatic implications of wagfare war become the “the prime mover,” rational programs which improve the lives of the populace will become highly persuasive. While insurgencies often fail on their own accord, “Relying on luck While a revolution is a sudden and “accidental” mass movement and a plot or coup is an intentional effort to overthrow countefinsurgency top leadership in a swift action, an insurgency is intentional, glaula not swift.

The older soldier imparted an intellectual approach to military and geopolitical analysis. Skip to main content. For example, insurgent farmers demanding land reform can be stripped of their cause when the state davif land reform. Inhe was expelled from the French officer corps, in accordance with the Statute on Jews of the Vichy State.

Rather, action should be taken in select areas, and resources moved as needed. Further, the counterinsurgency must learn and adapt as it goes along. According to Galula, this coordination can be achieved through committees and integrated military-civilian hierarchies but, “more than anything else, a doctrine appears to be the practical answer to the problem of how to channel efforts in a single direction” p The “Laws” According to Galula, there are four “laws” of counterinsurgency.

The first law is that the advid is paramount. Such support is most readily obtained from an active minority. In Aprilhe was captured by Chinese Communists during a solo trip into the interior. Thus, according to the laws of counterinsurgency, it is important to continuously make efforts at gaining and maintaining the support of the populace in distinct areas by leveraging an active minority.

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