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Its very hard to compare different insurgencies...

Reader comment on item: Must Counterinsurgency Wars Fail?

Submitted by Cadwallon (Australia), Sep 18, 2008 at 20:23

The Malayan insurgency was by a minority of the Chinese population, isolated from the majority Malays. This was low intensity, with relatively few insurgents, poorly equipped with little consistent external support.

Equally, with the British Palestinian Mandate, the majority of the insurgents were a minority - who had an axe to grind and little support from the Arab population. This changed, and became unmanageable when more Jewish refugees arrived in Palestine - too many for the British to handle.

Additionally, the suppression of Filipino rebels by the Americans was on the back of promises made to Filipinos following America's liberation of the territories from Spain. (certainly not the best episode in American freedom fighting...). They too were isolated without significant sponsorship/supply.

Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq are different kettles of fish. You have substantial, motivated majorities in many areas with motivated nation states supporting them in opposition to the US. Pakistan/Iran with Afghanistan, Syria and Iran in Iraq and of course North Vietnam and the Soviet Union in the case of Vietnam.

Equally, US and Pakistani support for the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan lead to the USSR fighting its own losing meat grinder/quagmire of an insurgency.

Submitting....

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