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Research on foreign internal conflict (rebellions, civil wars, insurgencies, and

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Research on foreign internal conflict (rebellions, civil wars, insurgencies, and independence movements) conducted at the Strategic Studies Institute of the Army War College over the past five years shows that there are clear, definable, political-military reasons why governments fail in such conflicts. Moreover, research results indicate that these failures can be measured using established principles of political science, resulting in prediction rates for government failure with a remarkably high rate of historical accuracy. The study of these tightly defined political-military conditions are the basis of the Army War College elective course S12232, “A Problem from Hell: Insurgencies and Civil Wars.” The research studies the 53 foreign internal conflicts since 1945 in which: (1) more than 1,000 government security forces and rebels combined died in a single year, and (2) the goal of the resistance movement was either complete control of the government of the country, or the establishment of an independent breakaway region. What are the political-military parameters that lead to the success of resistance movements? What constraints (legal or otherwise) contribute to government failure in such conflicts? What government counterinsurgency approaches, methods, and objectives have proven to be most successful? Which have proven to be least successful or even counterproductive? In what ways could governments be more successful in countering armed resistance or insurgency? In what ways could governments be more successful in countering nonviolent civil resistance?

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