JOURNAL OF DEFENCE STUDIES

The Soul of Armies: Counterinsurgency Doctrine and Military Culture in the US and UK, by Austin Long

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  • October-December 2018
    Volume: 
    12
    Issue: 
    4
    Book Review

    This book is a major contribution towards the field of military culture, one which has had shortage of literature traditionally. While the book primarily dwells on the counter-insurgency doctrine and military culture in the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK), it certainly provides modular lessons for counter-insurgency operations and military organisational behaviour throughout the world. Austin Long’s analysis tries to answer a key question: why are some armies better at counter-insurgency than others? The answers lie in a multifaceted and contingent set of factors drawing home a fundamental point that while organisational culture shapes military doctrine and practice, eventually the success of counter-insurgency operations depends on the nature and reliability of the local government and security partners.

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