Counter-insurgency and the Learning Curve

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:
Counter-insurgency and the Learning Curve

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The British had a chequered history in gathering, analysing and disseminating the lessons of their campaigns. The army tried to devise usable doctrines by working hard at gathering information, analysing lessons and disseminating them through a variety of channels. On the ground unit commanders had wide latitude to pick and chose what lessons they taught their men. The nature of the National Service system meant that many of the key personnel who had to put the doctrine into practice barely had time to learn their jobs before they left the army. The Colonial Office did not have that excuse. It simply afforded the whole process a low priority, and so much valuable experience was lost.

Keywords: army; Colonial Office; doctrine; lesson learning; forgetting organization; Gurney doctrine; operational research

Chapter.  10437 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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