If a larger, wealthier nation invades a smaller, poorer nation and the people do not want them there, has the larger nation (in recent history) been able to subdue the population for any extended period of time?
I do not know many examples, but it doesn’t seem that way. Afghanistan repelled the USSR and the US isn’t going to ‘win’ anytime soon. Iraq is hard to conquer and we are planning to leave soon. We spent 17 years in Vietnam (after the French gave up) and then pulled out. East Timor fought against Indonesia for about 30 years until independence. Russia cannot conquer Chechnya. Israel has trouble in Gaza. The 20th century seems full of successful anti-colonial rebellions.
So in recent history (the mid/late 20th century until today) are larger, wealthier nations with better militaries capable of conquering smaller, poorer nations with insurgency movements? It seems that the proliferation of small arms combined with explosives and booby traps (as well as advanced communications) are going to make it hard for any nation to function when a minority with popular support doesn’t want someone there. Plus, once the invading army cracks down on the insurgents they might just drive more people into the insurgency as well as alienate the public who could be providing tips and assistance.
If not, was it always like that? I don’t know a lot about it (hence asking) but it seems that w/o the support of the general public for an invasion, a counter insurgency is always going to win a nation’s independence, even if it takes decades.