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Counterinsurgency in CrisisBritain and the Challenges of Modern Warfare$
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David Ucko and Robert Egnell

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231164276

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231164276.001.0001

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“A Horse and Tank Moment”

“A Horse and Tank Moment”

(p.109) 4 “A Horse and Tank Moment”
Counterinsurgency in Crisis

David H. Ucko

Robert Egnell

Columbia University Press

This chapter assesses Britain's response to its suboptimal counterinsurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. These operational experiences provided the impetus for a much-needed change. Operational reforms began with the publishing of up-to-date counterinsurgency manuals to provide a broader take on the problem of political instability and state failure, followed by an improved lessons-learned structure for honing the armed forces to identify, analyze, disseminate, and track lessons from the field. Nonetheless, the armed forces struggled with these problems: how to effectively merge the “conventional” and the “irregular” conceptions of war; and the issue of funding for these reforms with the onset of financial crisis in Britain.

Keywords:   Britain, counterinsurgency, Iraq operations, Afghanistan operations, British armed forces, counterinsurgency manuals, lessons-learned structure, political instability, state failure, war conceptions

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