This conceptual chapter provides a concise systematisation of the principal features of population-centric COIN warfare. It outlines the two main strategic approaches available to counterinsurgents known in the literature: the hearts and minds approach and the brutalisation paradigm. Tracing the origins of these two approaches, this chapter introduces the principal characteristics of the hearts and minds approach vis-à-vis the brutalisation paradigm. The second part of the chapter focuses on the brutalisation paradigm. It delineates its features, its logic, and provides a critical evaluation of the scholarly works on the subject to identify this book’s contribution to the existing literature.