When insurgent groups challenge powerful states, defeat is not always inevitable. Increasingly, guerrilla forces have overcome enormous disadvantages and succeeded in extending the period of violent conflict, raising the costs of war, and occasionally winning. Noriyuki Katagiri investigates the circumstances and tactics that allow some insurgencies to succeed in wars against foreign governments while others fail.
Adapting to Win examines almost 150 instances of violent insurgencies pitted against state powers, including in-depth case studies of the war in Afghanistan and the 2003 Iraq war. By applying sequencing theory, Katagiri provides insights into guerrilla operations ranging from Somalia to Benin and Indochina, demonstrating how some insurgents learn and change in response to shifting circumstances. Ultimately, his research shows that successful insurgent groups have evolved into mature armed forces, and then demonstrates what evolutionary paths are likely to be successful or unsuccessful for those organizations. Adapting to Win will interest scholars of international relations, security studies, and third world politics and contains implications for government officials, military officers, and strategic thinkers around the globe as they grapple with how to cope with tenacious and violent insurgent organizations.