Monday, January 22, 2007

What's so special about the Algerian War of Independence?

Bush says he's been reading a book given to him by Kissinger called "A Savage War of Peace". [news] It's about the Algerian war of independence in 1954-1962. The book is known for its counter-insurgency strategy. There's a movie as well called "The Battle of Algiers". Parallels have been drawn between Algeria and Iraq since early in the Iraq war.

I'm glad Bush is learning more about this kind of thing but there are some important points that detract from this. For one thing, the Algerian war didn't go well. The author asserts that torture was a major cause of this. The reasoning is that torture turns the people against you and the people are an important part of an insurgency. They provide shelter or at least look the other way.

Another problem is that Iraq is less and less an insurgency and more an more a civil war. You essentially have insurgents on both sides. And finally, insurgents have learned to overcome some problems. A WikiPedia page does a good job of explaining this:


Tolla said...

Well written article.

Hチェッカー said...


グリー said...