Accession Number:

ADA422755

Title:

Counter-Insurgency Lessons from the French-Algerian War

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2004-02-09

Pagination or Media Count:

21.0

Abstract:

The conclusion of World War II saw a number of colonial powers embroiled in counter-insurgency warfare in countries spread around the globe. These conflicts generated a great deal of research and analysis with respect to the critical elements of counter-insurgency warfare. The 1954-1962 French-Algerian War was one such conflict that offers valuable lessons for U.S. planners as they conduct operations in Iraq. There are four important aspects of French strategy that warrant closer examination. First, the French employed superb use of psychological operations at the unit level. Second, they were highly successful at gathering human intelligence. Third, they dispersed their forces through a strategy of quadrillage that separated the insurgents from the local population. Fourth, they conducted their operations using a measured response, avoiding reprisals and excessive use of force. This paper first highlights the significant events of the French-Algerian War. It then covers the four lessons mentioned above, analyzing the historical details and discussing salient points of application for U.S. military operations in Iraq. Finally, it concludes with some recommendations for consideration by current military planners. Though incorporation of these four elements will not guarantee military success in Iraq, they have significant applications for U.S. forces as they conduct counter-insurgency operations there. 10 refs.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Intelligence
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE