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5 - A THEORY OF IRREGULAR WAR II

CONTROL

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Stathis N. Kalyvas
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
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Summary

Non, décidément, on ne tue pas les mouches à coups de marteau (We definitely don't kill flies with hammers).

Lieutenant Colonel Bigeard, French army, Algeria

This is a political war and it calls for discrimination in killing. The best weapon for killing would be a knife, but I'm afraid we can't do it that way. The worst is an airplane. The next worst is artillery. Barring a knife, the best is a rifle – you know who you're killing.

John Paul Vann, U.S. adviser in Vietnam

This chapter analyzes the relation between collaboration and control and argues that military resources generally trump the population's prewar political and social preferences in spawning control. In turn, control has a decisive impact on the population's collaboration with a political actor. However, the amount of military resources required for the imposition of full and permanent control in a country torn by civil war is enormous and, therefore, typically lacking. This places a premium on the effective use of violence as a key instrument for establishing and maintaining control – and thus for generating collaboration and deterring defection; in turn, effective violence requires discrimination.

THE ALLOCATION OF COLLABORATION

A robust empirical observation is that the allocation of collaboration among belligerents is closely related to the distribution of control, that is, the extent to which actors are able to establish exclusive rule on a territory.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2006

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