Here you can find links to a number of working papers – research in progress or under review. Please do not cite without prior permission.

 

“In the Wider View: The Geopolitical Determinants of Counterinsurgency Strategy and Adaptation – Evidence from Palestine, 1938 and 1946”

  • Abstract: Expeditionary counterinsurgents often have trouble adapting to meet insurgent challenges, resulting in the adoption and retention of ineffective strategies. This paper focuses on the ways in which policymakers’ overarching foreign policy objectives, and the geostrategic pressures they perceive, shape and constrain the goals of counterinsurgency and the means employed to achieve them. Strategy changes when geopolitical shifts render existing strategies liabilities for new foreign policy objectives. Otherwise, existing strategies, consistent with existing foreign policy goals, are likely to persist. This paper presents a most similar comparison of British responses to two insurgencies in the Palestine Mandate, the Arab Rebellion (1936-1939), demonstrating successful adaptation, and the Jewish Rebellion (1945-1947), demonstrating failed adaptation. Original archival research tracing the process of strategic planning at the policymaking level reveals the role played by geostrategic pressures, stemming from the onset and aftermath of World War II, in the adaptation and persistence of counterinsurgency strategy.