ABSTRACT

Britain's experience in the post-Second World War era presented the military with numerous insurgent challenges whose casus belli ranged from communism (Malaya), to tribal supremacist land struggles (Kenya), to socialist-inspired nationalism (Yemen), and the nationalist fight for an alternative union (Northern Ireland). It is generally accepted that this volume of experience has equated to competence in counter-insurgency operations. However, the British response to the complexities of twenty-first century insurgencies, in its decentralised and globally networked form, has threatened to expose this competency as a colonial-era myth. Quantity of counter-insurgency combat experience has not equated to outright quality.