Defeating Insurgencies with Minimal Force Ratios
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This thesis examines three successful counterinsurgencies fought with a force ratio of less than 20 counterinsurgents per 1000 inhabitants. Discussion begins with a review of force ratios and their quantitative effect on the probability of a counterinsurgency victory, followed by a historical review of counterinsurgency conflicts in Sri Lanka, El Salvador, and Colombia. Analysis of factors contributing to the counterinsurgency victory, despite historically low force ratios, was conducted in order to identify trends and effective strategies. Conclusions and recommendations discuss the implication of this research in future conflicts, with emphasis on the potential role of the United States.
- Unconventional Warfare