Theory of Irregular War

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About the Book

From Afghanistan to Angola, Indonesia to Iran, and Colombia to Congo, violent reactions erupt, states collapse, and militaries relentlessly pursue operations doomed to fail. And yet, no useful theory exists to explain this common tragedy. All over the world, people and states clash in violent crucibles outside their established political systems as unfulfilled demands of order, control, and productivity bend the modern state to a breaking point.
This book methodically lays out how dysfunctional governments disrupt social orders, make territory insecure, and interfere with political-economic institutions, giving rise to a form of organized violence against the state known as irregular war. Research reveals why this frequent phenomenon is so poorly understood among conventional forces participating in those conflicts and the states who send their children to die in them.

About the Author(s)

Jonathan Hackett is a U.S. Marine with two decades of experience. He has held positions at the Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Marine Forces Special Operations Command, and the Marine Corps operating forces prior to teaching full spectrum human intelligence operations and security cooperation in Dam Neck, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Jonathan W. Hackett
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 15 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8905-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5154-5
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “If Jonathan Hackett’s Theory of Irregular War had been available in the early 2000s, we might have taken far more thoughtful approaches in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and the many other conflicts of the post-9/11 era. Hackett weaves together his ground-up experience with a ruthless academic critique of contemporary theory and practice in what will surely be essential reading for the inevitable irregular wars to come.”—Dr. Ben Connable, author of How Insurgencies End

• “Analytically rigorous and methodologically sound, Hackett’s work is a precious contribution to the literature on irregular war. Theorizing, especially in social studies, is not for the faint-hearted, but Hackett accomplishes that mission with grace and humility.”—Bilal Y. Saab, former senior advisor in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, author of Rebuilding Arab Defense

“Jonathan Hackett has written a riveting case study of irregular warfare, absolutely breathtaking in its research depth.”—Owen West, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations/Low Intensity Conflict