The military academies are buzzing with counter-insurgency theory. Recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Somalia, Lebanon, Gaza, and elsewhere are putting a premium on anti-guerrilla doctrine. Charles Edward Callwell , an Anglo-Irish officer, had a long and distinguished military career, finishing with the rank of major-general and a knighthood. Having retired in to devote himself to writing, he was recalled in to serve as Director of Military.

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Data: Callwell, Charles E. Small Wars: Their Principle and Practice. He attended Haileybury, which educated sons of colonial soldiers and civil servants. He attended the staff college in He served with Greek forces in the Turko-Greek War of He retired in but was recalled to service during the Great War, where was the Director of Military Operations at the War office.

Context: Callwell wrote during the High Renaissance of imperialism. Imperialism expanded during the course of the latter nineteenth century because of political instability in Asia and Africa; European rivalries played out in the wider world, and officers and officials driven by patriotism and personal ambition, eager to claim vast stretches of territory for the Fatherland.

How was a relative handful of Europeans with limited technological means to traverse an inaccessible country, conquer a numerically superior enemy, and pacify a new empire? Over time, European soldiers mastered these problems such that imperial conquest came to be regarded as hardly more than a technical problem to be solved. Imperial expansion met indifference, even hostility, at home.

The benefits were not apparent to Europeans. The brutality of colonial wars that could be exploited by the opposition, the political risks of military reversal in far-flung wars, and the demands of home defense combined to make European politicians in the nineteenth century relocated to commit forces to expensive imperial expeditions. Callwell argued technology is never decisive; rather, success in battle relied on the superior discipline, tactics, and morale of European troops. The enemy and nature of the terrain dictated French tactics in Africa.

Mobility, small-unit operations, and surprise became more important in Africa than weight of numbers and conventional logistics. In Algeria, Bugeaud claimed unconventional tactics were the soul of that conflict. He utilized four principles: mobility, morale, leadership, and firepower. He also emphasized the value of scouting parties and intelligence reports. Skirmishing, rather than pitched battles became the rule in Algeria, and the emphasis on squares and fire discipline diminished.

Bugeuad elevated the razzia to the level of total warfare. In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the availability of bolt-action and magazine-fed rifles gave the French an incontestable technological advantage over opponents. It also allowed smaller numbers of men to campaign. Gallieni argues that, by catering to the interests of African merchants, France would be able to extend its influence without further recourse to brute force.

The post would become a market that attracted the natives, often by purchasing their goods at higher than market prices. The nature of the enemy and the nature of the terrain dictated colonial strategy and tactics to a great degree.

The essential problem of the French colonial army was not to decide how much of its colonial military experience was applicable to Europe, but how to keep European military practices, such as the persistent use of heavy columns, out of the colonies. Colonial campaigns emphasized the value of battle over maneuver and offered a stunning demonstration of the superiority of firepower over numbers. Colonial soldiers contributed to the spirit, rather than to the techniques of the offensive.

By controlling the pace of the war, refusing battle, drawing the invader deep into hostile country where he became overextended and vulnerable, an intelligent enemy might negate European technological, operational, and tactical superiority. The goal of the invader, therefore, must be to achieve this collapse of enemy resistance as quickly as possible. Lawerence belived, advantage had shifted irrevocably to the insurgency.

Before , native resistance usually failed because it lacked a common ideology or sense of self-interest. After two world wars and the Cold War stalemate, most Western armies viewed small wars as missions to be avoided.

However, insurgency movements are neither a modern phenomenon, nor are they unbeatable. Every insurgency assumes a different complexion given the circumstances — political, ideological, cultural, and geographic — which shape it.

It comprises the expeditions against savages and semi-civilized races by disciplined soldiers, it comprises campaigns undertake to suppress rebellions and guerilla warfare in all parts of the world where organized armies are struggling against opponents who will not meet them in the open field, and it thus obviously covers operations very varying in their scope and in their conditions.

The art of war, as generally understood, must be modified to suit the circumstances of each particular case. Strategy and tactics assume all manner of forms. Military operations are always undertaken with some end in view, and are shaped for its achievement. It is the difficulty of bringing the foe to action which, as a rule, forms the most unpleasant characteristic of these wars; but when such opponents can be thoroughly beaten in the open field at the commencement of hostilities, their powers of further serious resistance often cease.

The people are far more observant than the dwellers in civilized lands. The lower races are impressionable. They are greatly influenced by a resolute bearing and by a determined course of action. The spirit of attack inspiring leaders and subordinates alike has won the day for us.

Are operations undertaken under executive authority, wherein military force is combined with diplomatic pressure in the internal or external affairs of another state whose government is unstable, inadequate or unsatisfactory for the preservation of life and of such interests as are determined by the foreign policy of our Nation.

During about 85 of the last years, the Marine Corps has been engaged in small wars in different parts of the world. In small wars, diplomacy has not ceased to function and the State Department exercises a constant and controlling influence over the military operations. Initial demonstration or landing and action of vanguard. Phase 2. The arrival of reinforcements and general military operations in the field.

Phase 3. Assumption of control of executive agencies, and cooperation with the legislative and judicial agencies. Phase 4. Routine police functions. Phase 5. Withdrawal from the Theater of Operations. All these natural advantages, combining primitive cunning and modern armament, will weigh heavily in the balance against the advantage of the marine forces in organization, equipment, intelligence, and discipline, if a careless audacity is permitted to warp good judgment.

Intervention in the internal affairs of a state may be undertaken to restore order, to sustain governmental authority, to obtain redress, or to enforce the fulfillment of obligations binding between two states.

Intervention in the external affairs of a state may be the result of a treaty which authorizes one state to aid another as a matter of political expediency, to avoid more serious consequences when the interests of other states are involved, or to gain certain advantages not obtainable otherwise. Indifference in all the above matters can only be regarded as a lack of tack. Each individual of the crowd, based on the mere fact that he is one of many, senses an invincible power which at once nullifies the feeling of personal responsibility.

The spirit of individual irresponsibility and loss of identity must be overcome be preventing the mobilization or concentration of revolutionary forces, and by close supervision of the actions of individuals. When the opponents are on the run, give them no peace or rest, or time to make further plans. In small wars, tolerance, sympathy, and kindness should be the keynote of our relationship with the mass of the population. This is seldom true in small wars.

More often than not, the mission will be to establish and maintain law and order by supporting or replacing the civil government in countries or areas in which the interest of the United States have been placed in jeopardy, in order to insure the safety and security of our nationals, their property and interests.

To offset such action, patrols must be strong enough in numbers and armament to withstand any anticipated attack or ambush, and the principal villages and towns must be given adequate protection. The political objective indicates the general character of the campaign which the military leader will undertake.

The campaign plan indicates the military objective and, in general terms, the nature and method of conducting the campaign. However, as a measure to safeguard our nationals and, incidental thereto, other foreign national, havens of refuge will no doubt be established at certain sea ports of an unstable country whenever the domestic disorder threatens the lives of these nationals.

A mobile column is of the same description as the flying column with the exception that it is self-supporting to a lesser degree and is dependent for its existence on its base of supplies. The subjects of military government are the belligerents or other inhabitants of occupied territory, those of martial law are the inhabitants of our own territory who, though perhaps disaffected or in sympathy with a public enemy, are not themselves belligerents or enemies.

Before such an election can be held, the individual must be made to feel safe in his everyday life. A force engaged in small wars operations may expect to be withdrawn from foreign territory as soon as its mission is accomplished.


Callwell, Small Wars (XXI)

As far back as Roman times historians like Tacitus recorded accounts of regular forces battling local guerrillas, and from these origins a long tradition of studying these peculiar types of conflicts was born. When the British Empire of the 19th century stretched across the globe, Callwell gained first-hand experience fighting insurgencies on two continents. He went on to chronicle lessons from those experiences, as each offered multiple opportunities to consider and reconsider how best to wage counterinsurgencies. While his work is a far cry from modern population-centric visions of counterinsurgency, it represents an important starting point in the development of modern counterinsurgency strategy and tactics.


Charles Edward Callwell

He was educated by a German governess , and then at Haileybury , before entering the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich , in He was commissioned as a lieutenant in January , joining a battery of the 3rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery , then stationed in India, and serving in the closing stages of the Second Anglo-Afghan War. In January his battery was transferred to Natal , arriving just in time to take part in the final operations of the ill-fated expedition against the Transvaal Boers. Shortly afterwards Callwell returned to Woolwich; then in late he passed the entrance examination to the Staff College , [1] where he was a student from February [2] into He was promoted to captain on 17 March Douglas Porch , in his preface to the edition called Callwell "the Clausewitz of colonial warfare". In October , when war was declared against the Boer Republics in South Africa, Callwell was appointed to the staff of Sir Redvers Buller , and was present throughout the operations which ended with the relief of Ladysmith on 28 February

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