This book argues that whilst the overriding purpose of counter-insurgency is political the actual campaign is invariably seen as military.The expense, death and trauma of the military action usually mean that political purposes come a poor second in terms of popular and governmental aims.Rhodesia provided an example of the disastrous consequences of such an approach.Political judgments were invariably based upon popular assessments of the Africans stemming from the beliefs of the Pioneers; in other words they were founded on ignorance. Likewise military strategies and tactics owed much to those established in the 1890s.These are largely seen through the career of Captain Charles Lendy RA, a fan of the machine gun and "shock and awe". His experiences were reflected by the Rhodesian Army in the 1970s and so units who consistently branded themselves as the best anti-terrorist forces in the world lost.
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