The British counter-insurgency myth

Newsinger, J (2013) 'The British counter-insurgency myth.' Race & Class, 55 (1). pp. 92-97. ISSN 0306-3968

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The British Army has an unjustified reputation for expertise and moderation in postwar counter-insurgency operations. David French in The British Way in Counter-Insurgency 1945–1967 and Andrew Mumford in The Counter-Insurgency Myth both demolish that reputation. French uses extensive evidence to reveal the consistent use of tactics of coercion and terror to fight insurgency, while the British public were fed lies about ‘winning hearts and minds’, in what has all the hallmarks of a standard work. Mumford’s approach is more journalistic and, while informed by an urgent awareness of globalised conflict, he fails to draw the obvious conclusion from the dismal history of British counter-insurgency operations he recounts, namely that there should be no more of these costly and damaging military adventures.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Aden, Andrew Mumford, British Army, counter-insurgency, David French, ‘hearts and minds’, Kenya, Malaya, Mau Mau, Northern Ireland
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
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Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2013 13:39
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:33
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