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Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (Psi Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) Paperback – August 30, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0275992682 ISBN-10: 0275992683 Edition: annotated edition

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Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency (Psi Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) + Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (Psi Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era) + On Guerrilla Warfare
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Product Details

  • Series: Psi Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era
  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; annotated edition edition (August 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275992683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275992682
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

This book examines how the French military spent decades fighting rear-guard actions in Indochina against ideologically motivated insurgents in the 1940s and 1950s.

About the Author

Roger Trinquier was an officer in the French Army. He served in Indochina and Algeria.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Dated, and does not address religious extremists.
John Alden
This book has attained notoriety among students who study insurgency and counterinsurgency.
T.A.L. Dozer
If you are interested in the history of counter-insurgency, you should read this book.
MOC

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Keith A. Comess VINE VOICE on December 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Col. Roger Trinquier served in Indochina during and after the Second World War, including the French Indochina war, culminating in the defeat in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu. This book, written subsequent to his later experience in the French Algerian War distills his theories for combating insurgencies. The book, long out-of-print but available on-line (through the US Army, Carlisle Barracks) became de rigeur reading when the US took military action in Central Asia and in Iraq. The book was re-issued by Praeger-Greenwood as part of a series on "classics" of counterinsurgency warfare, along with David Galula's superb monograph.

Trinquier, along with General Paul Aussaresses, both serving under General Massu in Algeria, have been credited with defeating the urban insurgency of the FLN in the so-called, "Battle of Algiers". Because of the currency and acceptability of their views, Aussaresses waas later posted as the French military attache in the US and served from 1960-1969 at Ft. Bragg (10 Special Forces Group). Partially fictionalized portrayals of their methods were cinematically illustrated in the classic film, "Battle of Algiers" and were adopted by the US Government in Viet Nam in the "Phoenix" program and, presumably, in Iraq and Afghanistan by the CIA using "extraordinary rendition"; outsourcing torture, in other words.

Both Trinquier and Aussaresses argue for the use of torture to extract critical information from insurgents/terrorists. Trinquier argues that, once this information has been obtained, the insurgent should be treated as a standard military combattant and receive the usual protections. Trinquier also argued for grouping civilians in "protected" zones, thus depriving the rural guerilla of the "sea" in which he swims (to borrow a phrase from Mao).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Martha Labadie on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was written in 1964, distilling the author's decades of counterinsurgency experience in Indochina and Algeria. However, as I was reading it, I found that he could have been speaking about Iraq in present day. In reading this book, a reader can realize exactly where we went wrong in Iraq and what we need to do in order to get it right. Unfortunately the generals still haven't learned from Trinquier's experience or apparently read the book. However, the planned "surge" (being discussed as of January 2007) would be in line with what Trinquier recommends.

I am also reading the Galula book. I find the Trinquier book to be an easier read, and possibly a better book (although Galula gets all the recognition).
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Format: Paperback
I was led to this source by the excellent paper on "Intelligence Gathering in a Counterinsurgency" by Captain Daniel J. Smith, U.S. Navy, as posted for public dissemination 15 March 2006. I have pulled the conclusions from that paper, and will be seeking permission to include them in a new book, they are as perfect and holistic as it gets. Capt Sullivan's paper is easily found online.

For a list of the books that I have decided to buy (this is not one of them), see my review and the ten links provided at Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph. I had to draw the line someplace, and on balance, believe the wisdom of this book is best acquired second hand, while the penchant for torture and other unethical means is best left behind.

For an alternative perspective on how to win hearts and minds (apart from integrity and morality as core), see:
The Search for Security: A U.S. Grand Strategy for the Twenty-First Century
Uncomfortable Wars Revisited
The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People
A Power Governments Cannot Suppress
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Massu on January 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Trinquier's work on counterinsurgency is simply one of the best practical pieces of literature on defeating an insurgency. Trinquier was part of the Battle of Algiers which was a stunning victory over the FLN, despite the criticism of torture used by the Paras. When reading Trinquier, one benefits from his experience in Indochina where he lead 20,000 maquis successfully against the Viet-minh. He provides step-by-step details for setting up counterinsurgency intelligence networks and controlling the population in an insurgent strongholds. Trinquier has long been read by officers at the Command and General Staff College and School of Advanced Military Studies.
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Format: Paperback
Outstanding look at COIN warfare but it done from the perspective of a French officer who faced Algerians. I wish he would have focused more on what happened in Indochina where the war progressed from guerilla warfare to operational sized units. Perhaps his descriptions does bear greater utility in wars like Iraq and Afghanistan but the author fails to address properly the need to deal with sanctuaries in foreign nations. He does stress the importance of long term political support but really fails to address the issues that resulted in the OAS coup attempt. Better than some of the more recent COIN books suck as Nagi's Learning to Eat Soup with a Fork.

Highly recommended for understanding the fundamentals of COIN warfare if one wants to win.
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