This book analyzes U.S. pro-insurgency paramilitary operations (PMOs) or U.S. proxy warfare from the beginning of the Cold War to the present and explains why many of these operations either failed entirely to achieve their objective, or why they produced negative consequences that greatly diminished their benefits. The chapters cover important aspects of what PMOs are, the history of U.S. PMOs, how they function, the dilemmas of secrecy and accountability, the issues of control, criminal conduct, and disposal of proxies, as well as newer developments that may change PMOs in the future. The author argues that the general approach of conducting PMOs as covert operations is inherently flawed since it tends to undermine many possibilities for control over proxies in a situation where the interests of sponsors and proxies necessarily diverge on key issues.
Why Paramilitary Operations Fail
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