The following passages -- about the nature of insurgencies and how to defeat them -- are drawn from David Galula's Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice (1964):
On how much force to use:
"Reflexes and decisions that would be considered appropriate for the soldier in conventional warfare and for the civil servant in normal times are not necessarily the right ones in counterinsurgency operations. A soldier fired on in conventional war who does not fire back with every available weapon would be guilty of a dereliction of his duty; the reverse would be true in counterinsurgency warfare, where the rule is to apply the minimum of fire."
On why major conventional operations don't work:
"[C]onventional operations by themselves have at best no more effect than a fly swatter. Some guerrillas are bound to be caught, but new recruits will replace them as fast as they are lost."
On how to treat the local population:
"Since antagonizing the population will not help, it is imperative that hardships for it and rash actions on the part of the forces be kept to a minimum. The units participating in the operations should be thoroughly indoctrinated to that effect, with misdeeds punished severely and even publicly if this can serve to impress the population."
On how to treat prisoners of war:
"Demoralization of the enemy's forces is an important task. The most effective way to achieve it is by employing a policy of leniency toward prisoners. They must be well treated and offered the choice of joining the movement or of being set free."
On how insurgents use the media:
"The insurgent, having no responsibility, is free to use every trick; if necessary, he can lie, cheat, exaggerate. He is not obliged to prove; he is judged by what he promises, not by what he does. Consequently, propaganda is a powerful weapon for him."
On why victory feels elusive:
"The myth of Sisyphus is a recurrent nightmare for the counterinsurgent."
On the importance of winning hearts and minds:
"The battle for the population is a major characteristic of the revolutionary war. . . . The objective being the population itself, the operations designed to win it over (for the insurgent) or to keep it at least submissive (for the counterinsurgent) are essentially of a political nature. . . . And so intricate is the interplay between the political and military actions that they cannot be tidily separated; on the contrary, every military move has to be weighed with regard to its political effects, and vice versa."
(Compiled by Thomas E. Ricks,
a Washington Post military affairs reporter)