Accession Number : ADA482601


Title :   Don't Trust the Big Man


Descriptive Note : Research paper


Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI


Personal Author(s) : Coerr, Stanton S


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a482601.pdf


Report Date : 06 Jun 2008


Pagination or Media Count : 103


Abstract : The African region below the Sahel, with its legacy of racist European colonial rule followed in the early 1960s by the emergence of incompetent, kleptocratic, and ruthless African rule, is dominated by weak or failed states. Such states breed insurgencies. Three case studies provide insight into insurgent movements and the incompetent governments under which they thrive. Two short analyses are counterpoints: the success of Botswana, and the failure of Sudan. A full-length analysis of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its full-scale insurgencies since 1960 -- at the hands of Big Man leaders Lumumba, Mobutu, and Kabila -- provide object lessons as to the underlying conditions, catalysts, and igniters of insurgencies. These case studies point to two keys to predicting insurgencies within failed states: (1) with a background of a failed state as a matrix, successful insurgencies are sparked, led, and culminated by one Big Man leader; and (2) this Big Man succeeds when he finds, exploits, or creates a seam between states, nations, tribes, or clans. The African Big Man leader takes the traditional place of the African tribal chief. It is this aggressive, dynamic leader, working at that seam, who can unite warring tribes, clans, or groups into a coherent insurgent whole. It is this man through whom a growing insurgent movement succeeds or fails.


Descriptors :   *LEADERSHIP , *GROUP DYNAMICS , *INSURGENCY , *CATALYSTS , *HISTORY , *GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , *SUBSAHARAN AFRICA , COUNTERINSURGENCY , SUDAN , UNITED NATIONS , INDICATORS , RWANDA , FAILURE , ZAIRE , ECONOMICS , SOCIAL WELFARE , CASE STUDIES


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Humanities and History
      Unconventional Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE