The British Way in Counter-Insurgency, 1945-1967

The British Way in Counter-Insurgency, 1945-1967

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Until now, many observers believed that during the wars of decolonisation in the two decades after 1945, the British had discovered how western liberal notions of right and wrong could be made compatible with the imperatives of waging war amongst the people, that force could be used effectively but with care, and that a more just and prosperous society could emerge from these struggles. By using only the minimum necessary force, and doing so with the utmost discrimination, the British were able to win by securing the 'hearts and minds' of the people. But this was a serious distortion of actual British practice on the ground. David French's main contention is that the British hid their use of naked force behind a carefully constructed veneer of legality. In reality, they commonly used wholesale coercion, including cordon and search operations, mass detention without trial, forcible population resettlement, and the creation of free-fire zones to intimidate and lock-down the civilian population. The British waged their counter-insurgency campaigns by being nasty, not nice, to the people. -- Jacket.a€”a€”Army Field Manual Volume 1 Combined Arms Operations, Part 10 Counter Insurgency Operations: Strategic and Operational Guidelines (London, ... Section V. Employment of Troops in Aid of the Civil Power (London: War Office, 1955).

Title:The British Way in Counter-Insurgency, 1945-1967
Author:David French
Publisher:Oxford University Press - 2011-09-29


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