This theoretical chapter proposes an in-depth discussion of the brutalisation paradigm. After introducing its overarching logic, this chapter dissects and analyses the intelligence, information, military, political, and economic components of a brutalisation-centred COIN campaign. Engaging in relevant theoretical debates and drawing upon dozens of empirical cases, this chapter illustrates why, when, and how the brutalisation paradigm can match, if not outperform the hearts and minds approach. Challenging conventional assumptions on the effectiveness of coercive measures in COIN warfare, this chapter identifies the areas in which the brutalisation paradigm promises to score better results in the fight against grassroots insurgencies. It concludes by providing the necessary parameters to assess the degree of effectiveness achieved by counterinsurgents engaging in a population-centric COIN endeavour.