I have been working on a project for the United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) with The Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory for the past 3 years called Assessing Revolutionary and Insurgent Strategies (ARIS).
The purpose of the ARIS studies is to produce professional academic research material that will provide a foundation of common understanding on the topic of insurgency and revolution. This foundation will allow users to distill vast amounts of material from a wide array of campaigns and extract relevant lessons thereby enabling the development of future doctrine, professional education and training across all of the armed services.
The objectives of the ARIS studies are:
- To explore current strategies of revolutions and insurgencies to identify emerging trends in operational designs and patterns.
- Examine the general characteristics of revolutionary movements and insurgencies with an emphasis on the unique adaptations of specific organizations to overcome the challenges of their respective geographic and sociological environments.
- Analyze the successful and unsuccessful non-kinetic and kinetic lines of operations. This effort will aid the user in developing a more comprehensive appreciation and understanding of the less familiar aspects of insurgent and revolutionary strategies and the role they play in contributing to the organizations’ desired end state.
The first product of this project is the Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare, Volume II 1962 - 2009.
This Casebook provides a summary of twenty-three insurgencies and revolutions; the goal of the book is to introduce the reader to modern-style irregular and unconventional warfare, as well as to act as an informational resource on these particular cases. While not trying to provide an in-depth analysis of any case, our intent was to provide enough background material and description of the revolution to allow comparisons and analysis of broader ideas and insights across this broad spectrum of cases. If further study is desired, each case contains a detailed bibliography that points toward what we found to be the most helpful and insightful sources.
All cases in this book are presented in a standardized format, a research framework, making it easy to compare various aspects of revolutionary warfare. The Methodology section will define what each section of the framework provides and our justification for its inclusion.
All of the sources used in preparation of this Casebook are unclassified and for the most part are secondary rather than primary sources. Where we could, we used primary sources to describe the objectives of the revolution and to give a sense of the perspective of the revolutionary or another participant or observer. Our limitation to unclassified sources allows a much wider distribution of these case studies, while hindering the inclusion of revealing or perhaps more accurate information. We have endeavored to use sources that we believe to be reliable and accurate.
These studies are also meant to be strictly neutral in terms of bias toward the revolution or those to whom the revolution is directed. We sought to balance any interpretive bias in our sources and in the case presentation so that it may be studied without any indication by the author of moral, ethical, or other judgment.
The book is only available to the general public in PDF format at this time. An ebook version will be release soon. The Casebook is posted on the right side of this page under ARIS.