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Why Paramilitary Operations Fail

Authors: Krishnan, Armin

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  • Provides a systematic analysis of all known CIA PMOs and explains the why, who, and how of proxy warfare
  • Includes both a survey of secondary literature and an array of primary sources
  • Adds a theoretical perspective with the application of principal agent theory to the field of covert action and proxy warfare
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eBook $99.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-71631-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA in USD
valid through March 31, 2020
  • ISBN 978-3-319-71630-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-10085-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book analyzes U.S. pro-insurgency paramilitary operations (PMOs) or U.S. proxy warfare from the beginning of the Cold War to the present and explains why many of these operations either failed entirely to achieve their objective, or why they produced negative consequences that greatly diminished their benefits. The chapters cover important aspects of what PMOs are, the history of U.S. PMOs, how they function, the dilemmas of secrecy and accountability, the issues of control, criminal conduct, and disposal of proxies, as well as newer developments that may change PMOs in the future. The author argues that the general approach of conducting PMOs as covert operations is inherently flawed since it tends to undermine many possibilities for control over proxies in a situation where the interests of sponsors and proxies necessarily diverge on key issues.  

About the authors

Armin Krishnan is Assistant Professor and Director of the Security Studies Program at East Carolina University, USA.

Reviews

“Covert action emerged in the spirit of JFK’s inaugural can-doism, the most magical snake oil ever handed to the US national security establishment. As Armin Krishnan shows, some sixty years later covert paramilitary action remains a potent narcotic. Krishnan’s book is the clearest and most convincing explanation of the limits of covert paramilitary operations, an engaging read and an essential bit of modesty for anyone still tempted by national security can-doism.” (Aaron Karp, Senior Lecturer, Old Dominion University, USA)

“Recent U.S. involvement in the Syrian ‘civil war’ backing anti-Assad rebels exists along a dismal continuum of U.S. supported paramilitary operations (PMOs). This timely work provides a critical analysis of 25 PMOs—in essence, U.S. proxy warfare meant to destabilize hostile regimes—undertaken between 1949 and the present. Major policy findings of this important study, which should hold great interest to both elected and non-elected governmental decision makers, are that autonomous armed groups are uncontrollable and their use should be avoided, thus contracted mercenaries should instead be utilized in a more specific and limited role in these operations.” (Robert J. Bunker, Past Minerva Chair, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, USA)        

Table of contents (10 chapters)

Table of contents (10 chapters)
  • What Are Paramilitary Operations?

    Pages 1-20

    Krishnan, Armin

  • A Short History of US Paramilitary Operations

    Pages 21-54

    Krishnan, Armin

  • Conducting Paramilitary Operations

    Pages 55-84

    Krishnan, Armin

  • Dilemmas of Secrecy

    Pages 85-105

    Krishnan, Armin

  • Accountability in Paramilitary Operations

    Pages 107-132

    Krishnan, Armin

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-71631-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA in USD
valid through March 31, 2020
  • ISBN 978-3-319-71630-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-10085-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Why Paramilitary Operations Fail
Authors
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-71631-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-71631-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-71630-5
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-10085-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 254
Number of Illustrations
4 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
Topics