Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Veronica Ward


The lack of favorable outcomes produced by recent attempts at counterinsurgency by Western countries shows that the importance of uncovering a more effective approach for conducting external counterinsurgency operations cannot be downplayed. In an attempt to discover what this approach might entail, prior successful interventions conducted by democracies in the Philippines and Kenya were compared to the recent failure in Iraq, using three variable groupings as a lens through which to view all three conflicts and allow cross-conflict comparison of conditions that contributed to success or failure. Through evaluation of indicators linked to these variable groupings, it was determined that there were many similarities in conditions between the two successful examples and an inverse correlation for those conditions in the unsuccessful example. In order to be more successful in the future, intervening states should attempt to replicate the specified conditions found in Kenya and the Philippines, approach interventions with a strategic mindset, and execute interventions holistically instead of with a narrow tactical approach. Finally, planning for counterinsurgency contingencies during an intervention should start before the first dollar is spent or the first bullet fired.