Chapter

Introduction

David French

in The British Way in Counter-Insurgency, 1945-1967

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199587964
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731365 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587964.003.0001
  Introduction

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The Malayan campaign as for long been send as the epitome of a successful counter-insurgency campaign. Its supposed ‘lessons’, focusing on the concept of ‘hearts and minds’, was codified by Sir Robert Thompson in his book Defeating Communist Insurgency (1966). They have become embedded in modern British and American counter-insurgency doctrine, and they are also to be found in much of the academic political science literature on the subject. But recently some historians have begun to question the evidential basis for some of these ‘lessons’. This chapter highlights some of the apparent weaknesses of the existing literature and establishes an agenda for exploring these issues further. It also defines key terms such as ‘terrorism’, ‘counter-terrorism’ and ‘insurgency’.

Keywords: historiography; structure of the book; note on terminology; hearts and minds; counter-insurgency

Chapter.  5118 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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