Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias
Richard H. Shultz
The Warriors of Contemporary Combat
Columbia University Press
On Sale: June 2, 2006
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Since the end of the Cold War, conventional militaries
and their political leaders have confronted a new, brutal
type of warfare in which non-state armed groups use
asymmetrical tactics to successfully fight larger,
technologically superior forces. In order to prevent future
bloodshed and political chaos, it is crucial to understand
how these unconventional armed groups think and to adapt to
their methods of combat.
In Insurgents, Terrorists, and Militias, Richard
H. Shultz Jr. and Andrea J. Dew investigate the history and
politics of modern asymmetrical warfare. By focusing on four
specific hotbeds of instability-Somalia, Chechnya,
Afghanistan, and Iraq-Shultz and Dew conduct a careful
analysis of tribal culture and the value of clan
associations. They examine why these "traditional" or
"tribal" warriors fight, how they recruit, where they find
sanctuary, and what is behind their strategy. Traveling
across two centuries and several continents, Shultz and Dew
examine the doctrinal, tactical, and strategic advantages
and consider the historical, cultural, and anthropological
factors behind the motivation and success of the warriors of
In their provocative argument, Shultz and Dew propose
that war in the post-Cold War era cannot be waged through
traditional Western methods of combat, especially when
friendly states and outside organizations like al-Qaeda
serve as powerful allies to the enemy. Thoroughly researched
and highly readable, Insurgents, Terrorists, and
Militias examines how non-state armies fight, identifies
the patterns and trends of their combat, and recommends how
conventional militaries can defeat these irregular yet
highly effective organizations.
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