Insurgency in Iraq, precedents for suppression of

Can anyone cite any examples where an insurgency similar to what we see in Iraq was successfully defeated by military means? Nothing comes readily to mind. I thought about the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya, but it’s not quite the same – the rebels lost militarily, but did gain their larger point of independence within a few years. (And anyway, the brutality used by the British to suppress the Mau Maus is hardly a model.)

It depends what you mean by “successfully defeated” and “military means”. Many insurgencies and terror campaigns have been successfully contained by a combination of military action, law enforcement, and political negotiation. Examples would include Britain and the IRA, Spain and the Basques, Turkey and the PKK, Peru and the Shining Path, El Salvador and its leftist rebels, and the United States and the Filipino insurrection of the early 1900’s.

The Malayan Emergency springs to mind, a very successful British campaign of the 1950’s. Malayan Emergency

The troubling thing is that some of these things (IRA, the Basques) took decades, and also, as you say, included a fair amount of political negotiation. And suppressing the Filipino insurrection cost, reputedly, a million Filipino lives.

According to the Wikipedia article, the British fought the rebels for 9 years before Malaysia became independent, at which point the rebellion lost one of its reasons for being. Also, the British made significant concessions during the time of the conflict. This looks pretty similar to my Mau Mau example, and I guess a lot of other colonial counterinsurgency efforts.

The Malayan Emergency springs to mind, a very successful British campaign of the 1950’s. Malayan Emergency

dont know how I managed to do a double post with 90 minutes between the posts. Apologies.

The British were winning the war when the country became independant. Independance simply expedited the victory. At any rate it is one of the most successful counter-insurgency operations of the 20th century and a good example of how these things can be won.

What’s interesting to me – if this isn’t too much of a hijack – are cases in which insurgency seemed either not to be present or to be wholly ineffectual.

Consider – were there significant numbers of Polish insurgents fighting against Nazi occupation? Incan insurgents fighting against the Spanish? Judaean/Egyptian/Greek insurgents against the Romans? And if there were insurgencies in these cases, what happened with them?

An hour-and-a-half-interval simulpost; that’s *got *to be a record.

Noted, but you could make the point that even with a number of things going right for the British (lack of support for the insurgents both internally and externally, effective British tactics, etc.) it still took nine years to win the war. So military victory is achievable, perhaps, but slow, and requires a lot of help on other fronts.

I don’t know much personally about the Polish insurgency, though Wikipedia says the Home Army, so-called, was the largest resistance movement in Europe. You could make the case that they in fact won. The Incan insurgents probably were wiped out by disease.

Do I win a prize?

It certainly wasnt a quick victory but some of that can be blamed on the poor terrain. Even finding the insurgents was next to impossible until the SAS established their intelligence gathering patrols. Even when they could be located the depolyment of large assault forces was next to impossible.

that of course should have said ‘deployment’.

Yes. Pizarro conquered the heartland of the Incan Empire by 1533, and installed Manco as puppet-Inca. Manco launched a rebellion in 1536 that was initially very sucessful, but he was defeated in 1537 and fled to a more remote area in Vilcabamba. He started another rebellion from there in 1539, but was again defeated. But an independent Inca state managed to hold on in Vilcabamba until 1572, nearly 40 years after the conquest had started, until the Spanish finally defeated, captured, and executed Manco’s son, the Inca Tupac Amaru.

Part of the problem the Incas had against the Spanish was that they themselves were colonial rulers, having conquered a multi-ethnic empire. Their vassels often hated the Incas and took the side of the Spanish against them.

There were two major revolts in Judea against Roman occupation. The first was the Jewish Revolt, which lasted from 66-73, which ended with the destruction of Jerusalem. The second was Bar Kokhba’s revolt, from 132-135, which ended with the active persecution of Judaism in Judea.

Perhaps ypu need to look at the second Boer War around 1902 and slightly thereafter. Although the Boers were defeated to subdue the guerilla tactics Kitchener had to build a series of blockhouses and thenconfine all the women and children in what were virtually concentration camps. It was effective, but barbaric.

This was, in fact, the first use of the term “concentration camp” in English, instituted by the British military.