The Forgotten Front: Patron-Client Relationships in Counterinsurgency

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Cambridge University Press, 2017 M06 9 - 360 pages
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After a decade and a half of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, US policymakers are seeking to provide aid and advice to local governments' counterinsurgency campaigns rather than directly intervening with US forces. This strategy, and US counterinsurgency doctrine in general, fail to recognize that despite a shared aim of defeating an insurgency, the US and its local partner frequently have differing priorities with respect to the conduct of counterinsurgency operations. Without some degree of reform or policy change on the part of the insurgency-plagued government, American support will have a limited impact. Using three detailed case studies - the Hukbalahap Rebellion in the Philippines, Vietnam during the rule of Ngo Dinh Diem, and the Salvadorian Civil War - Ladwig demonstrates that providing significant amounts of aid will not generate sufficient leverage to affect a client's behaviour and policies. Instead, he argues that influence flows from pressure and tight conditions on aid rather than from boundless generosity.

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About the author (2017)

Walter C. Ladwig III is an Assistant Professor in the Department of War Studies at King's College London and an Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, London. His work has appeared in International Security, the Journal of Strategic Studies, and Small Wars and Insurgencies, as well as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

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