Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Resource Education and Workforce Development

Document Type



Preliminary research isolated a set of thirteen candidate principles that military officers need to understand to conduct effective and humane counterinsurgency. A meta-synthesis of eight classical theorists of counterinsurgency sought support for and consensus on these principles and discovered considerable consensus on all of them. Therefore, this set could be considered a “classical” model of counterinsurgency for use in counterinsurgency campaign planning. The contemporary global political environment is very different from that the classical theorists faced. Therefore, additional research attempted to understand the changes in the environment and in the nature of insurgency to determine the changes necessary to update the classical model. The most important changes in the environment included the end of the Cold War and of superpower rivalry, the increase in the number and influence of important non-state actors, urbanization, and globalization of media and communications technologies. Corresponding changes in the nature of insurgency included the changed objectives of insurgent groups; the globalization of local national struggles; the formation of global terrorist groups that can be perceived as insurgencies; the advent of networked, rather than hierarchical, insurgent organizations; and increased emphasis on the use of media to generate support for insurgent causes and to spread fear. Nevertheless, analysis found the classical principles to be remarkably durable. While the tactics and techniques needed to put each principle into action might be very different from those of the 1950s and 1960s, the principles remain valid, and are still useful for campaign planning.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Krisanna Machtmes