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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2017
Oct 20, 2017
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Information Select the desired Level or Schedule Type to find available classes for the course.

SEST 520 - Counterinsurgency
This course examines the dynamics of insurgency (a political-military challenge to the ruling order using an array of asymmetric means, including guerrilla warfare and subversion) and counterinsurgency (the government response). Continuing US involvement in Afghanistan and ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere demonstrate that insurgent conflict continues to challenge US and broader Western interests, but also offers opportunities to the US. This course is intended to acquaint students with the nature of insurgency—its causes, strategies, and dynamics—and the fundamentals and past and contemporary variants of  counterinsurgency, and by doing so to establish a solid foundation upon which to further build expertise and analytical capabilities.  

The course considers a wide range of questions in order to provide students with a deeper understanding of the dynamics of insurgency and the evolution of counterinsurgency doctrine and methods: What is insurgency and how does it differ from terrorism?  Why do individuals join, remain in, and leave insurgencies? What strategies and approaches do insurgent leaders select and how have those approaches evolved over time?  Are certain insurgent organizational arrangements better than others?  Why does insurgency succeed and fail? What is the role of popular and external support in both insurgency and counterinsurgency? How has counterinsurgency evolved and are there counterinsurgency “best practices”?  How do the challenges of “small footprint”/indirect counterinsurgency differ from those of large-scale foreign counterinsurgency interventions?  What are the appropriate counterinsurgency responses for contemporary insurgencies?

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours
0.000 Lab hours

Levels: MN or MC Graduate, Juris Doctor
Schedule Types: Seminar

Security Studies Department

Must be enrolled in one of the following Levels:     
      MN or MC Graduate
Must be enrolled in one of the following Majors:     
      Law/Security Studies
      Security Studies

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