Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Bradley Thayer


counterinsurgency, insurgency, clear, hold, build, population centered, modern warfare

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


This thesis will examine the best practices used by counterinsurgents to defeat insurgencies in the past. In order to gain victory against insurgents, the winning counterinsurgents made the population the schwerpunkt of operations. The operations of successful counterinsurgents were not only of a military nature, but also of a political and economic nature. If a counterinsurgent treated an insurgency as a problem only requiring a military solution, then he lost. Insurgents focused their efforts on winning the population, because the population enabled the insurgent's operations. Successful counterinsurgents won over the population to defeat an insurgency. This thesis will assert that a "clear, hold, and build” strategy is the supreme manner to fight an insurgency.


© Walter Edward Cochran IV

Campus Only