Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis


Political Science

First Advisor

Jerel A. Rosati


Within the past decade the U.S. Army has attempted to develop and implement a modern counterinsurgency strategy to face the emerging, adaptive threats of the 21st Century. After abandoning counterinsurgency following the ruinous movement of the Vietnam War, the Army as an institution, has focused its collective efforts on creating a new doctrine and providing the necessary infrastructure to resource this complex method of war. This revolution in counterinsurgency affairs has been remarkable, not only in its nature, but also in the all-encompassing scope of the transformation. The catalyst for this movement toward refining the Army culture and altering the "American Way of War" has come from within the ranks. Senior military practitioners have taken control of counterinsurgency and are leading the charge for reform and institutionalization of this means of warfare. Throughout the evolution of modern counterinsurgency a select group of elite practitioners have surfaced in each of the unconventional conflicts. These elite practitioners have mastered the ability to adapt to the complex environment, innovate new and resourceful responses, and rapidly disseminate the adjustments to tactics to their peers in the field. A study of these revolutionary individuals who have emerged from the multiple Post-World War II counterinsurgency efforts will provide access to the enduring principles that are relevant today and attributes that transcend the great counterinsurgents of the period. These insights will help to unmask the fate of unconventional warfare in the wake of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


© 2010, Garrett Scott DeWitt