The first book of its kind, Hearts and Minds
is a scathing response to the grand narrative of U.S. counterinsurgency, in which warfare is defined not by military might alone but by winning the hearts and minds of civilians. Dormant as a tactic since the days of the Vietnam War, in 2006 the U.S. Army drafted a new field manual heralding the resurrection of counterinsurgency as a primary military engagement strategy; counterinsurgency campaigns followed in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the fact that counterinsurgency had utterly failed to account for the actual lived experiences of the people whose hearts and minds America had sought to win.
Drawing on leading thinkers in the field and using key examples from Malaya, the Philippines, Vietnam, El Salvador, Iraq, and Afghanistan, Hearts and Minds
brings a long-overdue focus on the many civilians caught up in these conflicts. Both urgent and timely, this important book challenges the idea of a neat divide between insurgents and the populations from which they emerge--and should be required reading for anyone engaged in the most important contemporary debates over U.S. military policy.