History of Guerrilla War

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Max Boot, Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick senior fellow for National Security Studies at The Council on Foreign Relations, looks back as far as Alexander the Great to shed light on current (and future) insurgencies in his new book Invisible Armies: An Epic History of Guerrilla Warfare from Ancient Times to the Present (Liveright, 2013).


Max Boot

Comments [21]

Sarah from Carroll Gardens

Anyone associated in any way with Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick is automatically suspect in my book.

Mar. 07 2013 11:53 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Drones terrorize the terrorists, and have essentially broken their back, and hence are hated by those who symphathize with them.

Mar. 07 2013 11:47 AM

Amazing, in what's supposed to be democracy with deep roots, that an interview like this can proceed without one objection raised by the host to brazen warmongering and police state rule.

Extra-judicial execution of any American who the president asserts is a terrorist, with no judicial review, is no big deal? Didn't we have a revolution over kingly claims just like that one?

"Softball" doesn't describe this interview/book promotion. More like puff-ball.

Mar. 07 2013 11:46 AM
Joe from nearby

Paul is pandering to the same paranoia that infects the so called militia world already, much of it provided by the nra gonzo leadership.
Holder's response doesn't trouble me because there indeed are situations where one may need to use a drone domestically to prevent a terrorist attack, even against a citizen who is in the act. What does trouble me is that once the precedent might be set, that the slippery slope will begin. There have to be limits, so Holder & our government have to formulate them & provide them to our elected officials.

Mar. 07 2013 11:45 AM

When I read about HOW the Obama administration selects its drone targets, it's pretty scary.

And when I think about taking out al-Awlaki's 16 year old son, I have to wonder what my government's real objective is: To destroy a blood line? Unto the, what is it, 6th or 7th generation? Pretty primitive -- or at least pre-Enlightenment.

Mar. 07 2013 11:44 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Rand Paul is planning 24-hour filibuster for next week, concerning a woman's right to chooose, the inalienable right to vote, and economic inequality. /snark

Mar. 07 2013 11:43 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Using drones is a terrorist tactic. It puts fear into innocents while killing others.

Mar. 07 2013 11:42 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

Guerilla warfare is as old as the Maccabees, whom the Seleucids considered like we consider the Taliban today. Religious fanatics.
However, as a result of many European wars in the "Dark" and Middle Ages, and their destructiveness in the countryside, the Europeans set down certain Laws of War, which the American settlers in 1776 did not adhere to thereby aggravating the British. It was considered barbaric not stand out in the open, in uniforms, and fighting "like honorable men," face to face, shooting volleys at each other, with the army still left standing the winner of the battle. These "Laws of War" became formalized in the Geneva Conventions that branded those who did not fight in uniform with insignias as "illegal combatants" not eligible to be treated as POWs,and could be summarily executed when caught. Asymmetrical warfare is not new, but the challenge of how we deal with them is a challenge to the Laws of War.

Mar. 07 2013 11:39 AM
Bob from Brooklyn


Even Stanley McCrystal says drones are hated on a viseral level.

Mar. 07 2013 11:38 AM
Tony from Canarsie

One hundred years ago, the British and French wouldn't have allowed Gaddafi to lead a successful insurgency.

Mar. 07 2013 11:38 AM

"The U.S. government cannot randomly target American citizens on U.S. soil or anywhere else. What it can do under the laws of war is target an “enemy combatant” anywhere at anytime, including on U.S. soil. This includes a U.S. citizen who is also an enemy combatant. The President can designate such a combatant if he belongs to an entity—a government, say, or a terrorist network like al Qaeda—that has taken up arms against the United States as part of an internationally recognized armed conflict. That does not include Hanoi Jane." -WSJ

Mar. 07 2013 11:37 AM
Lenore from Manhattan

Rand Paul is right about drone warfare. But this discussion should be broadened out. NO ONE, US citizen or not, should be able to be killed by the state without due process. That is a basic concept of international human rights. And the "signature strikes" of drones have killed thousands, 4700 to cite Panetta, I believe is the official who cited that figure.

And for Max Boot, the number of detainees still at Guantanamo is 166, not 120.

Mar. 07 2013 11:37 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Drones are coming to our border to kill migrants. It will be a less fussy way to 'secure' the border. Look for it.

Mar. 07 2013 11:37 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Does Max Boot see a violent revolution here?

Mar. 07 2013 11:35 AM
Joe from nearby

There is no targeted drone program against US citizens. There is a targeted drone program against terrorists. Rand Paul is peddling fear and misdirection. The one true event that occurred that comes close to what Paul and Holder were writing back and forth about was when the jets were scrambled to possibly take down the 4th plane on 9/11. It wasn't about due process, it wasn't about enforcing any other law or preventing any other event other than a major catastrophe. That is the hypothetical situation Paul presented to Holder and based on the memo by Holder, exactly what he responded to. All the rest of this nonsense by Rand Paul is simply a red herring that feeds the fact-less anti-Obama crowd and those on the left who do not take the time to read the actual memos and emails that pertain to the drone program and have confused it with a due process issue.

Mar. 07 2013 11:35 AM

ask about the american war of independence please

Mar. 07 2013 11:33 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Rand Paul speaks for me on drones and marijuuaaannaaaa...

Mar. 07 2013 11:32 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

Yes, Rand Paul is in the minority because most other Americans are simple dumb monkeys with lots of weapons and power.

Mar. 07 2013 11:31 AM

Paul is INSANE but, he does have a point here.

Mar. 07 2013 11:31 AM

hey gotta run out but just wanted to say this guy is a jackass....

Mar. 07 2013 11:31 AM
Bob from Brooklyn

I've been a fan of Max Boot's histories for awhile. I'm curious to know his thoughts on how the war is going to play out here on this side of the border. Does he see the increase of spree killings and domestic assassinations as an indicator of a new war here? And who is going to 'win' - the crazies out there with guns or the crazies in power?

Mar. 07 2013 11:04 AM

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