Robert Egnell*, Bruno Cardoso Reis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Looking at the rise and decline of counterinsurgency between 2003 and 2017, this chapter seeks to assess its impact at the level of strategy, doctrine, and military structures within a number of European armed forces. The chapter finds that European states have engaged in counterinsurgency operations in quite varying ways and also extracted rather different lessons from this period. Regardless, several contextual factors point to the continued salience of counterinsurgency. They include the global trends of urbanization, Western technological advantage in conventional combat against most potential challengers, the attractiveness and effectiveness of irregular tactics to militarily inferior adversaries, and the securitization of 'state failure' following 9/11, all of which are no less salient in 2017, and for the forseeable future, with the continued challenges of radicalization and violent extremism exemplified by Daesh/ISIS.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe handbook of European Defence Policies and Armed Forces
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9780198790501
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • COIN
  • Comprehensive approach
  • Counterinsurgency
  • Guerrilla warfare
  • Irregular warfare
  • State-building


Dive into the research topics of 'Counterinsurgency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this