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Synopsis

The end of the Cold War promised a new, more peaceful era was at hand. But with the escalation of violence by terrorists, insurgents, and guerillas, former CIA director James Woolsey said "After forty-five years of fighting a dragon we finally killed it, and now instead, we find ourselves standing in a jungle with a bunch of snakes." The emergence of a fresh set of conflicts has forced militaries across the world to reevaluate their strategies or risk never-ending conflicts with insurgencies. James Arnold traces the successes and failures of counter-insurgency in the 20th century. He examines the US in the Philippines, the British in Malaysia, the France in Algeria, and the US in Vietnam, with an epilogue that looks at Iraq, where American generals are striving to apply the lessons of the previous conflicts. In A Jungle Full of Snakes, Arnold shows that the tug of war over civilian support and the build up of a strong central government are crucial victories for any attempted counter-insurgency.

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