A Question of Command: Counterinsurgency from the Civil War by Mark Moyar

By Mark Moyar

Based on the present view of counterinsurgency, the major to defeating insurgents is choosing equipment that would win the people’s hearts and minds. The hearts-and-minds conception permeates not just such a lot counterinsurgency books of the twenty-first century yet  the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Counterinsurgency box guide, the U.S. military’s best textual content on counterinsurgency. Mark Moyar assails this traditional knowledge, announcing that the major to counterinsurgency is choosing commanders who've enhanced management skills. while the hearts-and-minds university recommends allocating a lot exertions and treasure to monetary, social, and political reforms, Moyar advocates concentrating assets on defense, civil management, and management development.Moyar provides a wide-ranging heritage of counterinsurgency, from the Civil struggle and Reconstruction to Afghanistan and Iraq, that attracts at the ancient checklist and interviews with enormous quantities of counterinsurgency veterans, together with best leaders in today’s militia. via a sequence of case stories, Moyar identifies the 10 serious attributes of counterinsurgency management and divulges why those attributes were even more widely used in a few firms than others. He explains how the U.S. army and America’s allies in Afghanistan and Iraq should still revamp their group of workers platforms that allows you to bring up extra people with these attributes.A query of Command will reshape the examine and perform of counterinsurgency battle. With counterinsurgency now some of the most urgent matters dealing with the us, this publication is a must-read for policymakers, army officials, and electorate. (20090901)

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Additional info for A Question of Command: Counterinsurgency from the Civil War to Iraq (Yale Library of Military History)

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Only a small number of senior Union leaders consistently selected the most suitable officers for command. The difference that this capability made for senior leaders can be seen clearly in the transition from Frémont to Halleck in Missouri. Whereas Frémont put political hacks into leadership jobs, Halleck fired them and installed good professional officers in their stead. Better officers could also have been obtained by taking officers from conventional units, but that would have degraded the forces that had to fight the war’s decisive battles.

But they were deficient in others, particularly empathy, creativity, and flexibility, which explains why their counterinsurgency records are much less impressive. They preferred the straightforward, certain business of war to the twisty ambiguity and conniving of politics, a serious handicap in trying to defeat insurgents. Later in the war, Sherman told his brother, Senator John Sherman, “If you ever hear anybody use my name in connection with a political office, tell them you know me well enough to assure them that I would be offended by such association.

As with other counterinsurgency methods, most are not universally applicable, so their implementation itself requires good leadership. For all of the nine cases, only a small fraction of what transpired in the leadership realm was recorded by contemporary observers or historians. For the two present wars, moreover, much of the recorded information is not yet available to outside researchers. Consequently, it is not possible to cover every important aspect of counterinsurgency leadership in each chapter.

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