The anatomy of an insurgency
The world is nothing more than a market, an immense fairground. (Jules Verne, Paris
in the Twentieth Century)
Making of an insurgent
Walter Wriston was nothing like a typical 1940s banker. In that decade, bankers
were easy-going, faithfully following the ‘3–6–3 rule’: paying 3 per cent interest on deposits, lending money at 6 per cent, and teeing off at the golf course by
3 p.m. By contrast, Wriston was never going to settle for a comfortable, albeit
dull, career. His natural inclination was to overturn the existing order, and his
. While he
refused to concede the essential inferiority that accompanied the status of the colonial
subject, he shrank also from the provinciality of the independent nation-state. The loyal
subject of the empire thus lived in a permanent state of insurgency.
Ambivalent political affiliations were ubiquitous and perhaps inevitable in
an era when English-educated Indians became increasingly radicalized in their attitudes
towards British rule. Partha Chatterjee has suggested that in the decades before
-organised police forces, in certain circumstances, to exercise
credible police functions in the face of substantial popular
indifference, or even disaffection or hostility. Insurgency, or
systematic political violence, imposes the severest strain on any police
force, but it cannot be a foregone conclusion that an insurgent
movement, once established, will undermine and overcome the civil
police, or necessarily
Though rarely stated so bluntly, relief to Christians
became a practical expression of support for the Balkan insurgents,
or at the very least a show of solidarity with the
‘oppressed’. Many such agencies proclaimed strict
impartiality in the provision of relief – and congratulated
themselves on a magnanimity
The authors investigate the timing of insurgents’ use of terrorism within the context of wider-scale warfare. Unlike the great wars found in modern history, the dominant form of warfare in recent years has become internal. The main actors are non-state groups seeking to replace an existing political order through violent means. Terrorism, especially indiscriminate attacks on unarmed civilians, has been an important component of these groups’ tactical repertoires. The purpose of this study is to explore variations in the timing of insurgents’ use of terrorism within the context of war. The authors draw on the largely separate literatures on terrorism and warfare as well as complementary sources of data on terrorist events, insurgent groups, and various forms of armed conflict. The product of this analysis is a mapping of the frequencies of terrorist attacks over time and the identification of these attacks as occurring during the beginning, middle, or ending stages of wider-scale warfare. This is followed by in-depth discussions of the insurgent groups whose use of terrorism matches each of these patterns as well as the contexts within which these groups operate. Readers of this book will include students, scholars, policy-makers, members of the military, and the general public.
humanitarian independence is not a complete fiction either. An accurate portrait is drawn
in Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed , a book published by MSF-CRASH some years
ago. Its authors argued that relief groups could be thought of as ‘unreliable
friends’, constantly bargaining with donors (not to mention governments and insurgent
groups in the countries in which they do their work). An important problem relief agencies face
today, which is almost certain to grow worse in the coming decade, is that their success in
negotiations can be in vain if donors
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‘hearts and minds’ and gather information on the Taliban. NGOs
vehemently criticised this classic counter-insurgency strategy, accusing the PRTs of
compromising their neutrality by ‘blurring the line between humanitarian
activity and military operations’ and endangering them. Without a doubt, that
dividing line – if it exists – was blurred in Afghanistan, but at a
much deeper level than this superficial one. The entire international aid system,
including the NGOs, was working
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