Past event

Bullets Not Ballots: Success in Counterinsurgency Warfare Dr Jacqueline L Hazelton - US Naval War College

The Institute for the Study of War and Strategy presents Bullets Not Ballots by Jacqueline L Hazelton, in which she challenges the claim that winning “hearts and minds” is critical to successful counterinsurgency campaigns.

Good governance, this conventional wisdom holds, gains the besieged government popular support, denies support to the insurgency, and makes military victory possible. Hazelton argues that major counterinsurgent successes since World War II have resulted not through democratic reforms but rather through the use of military force against civilians and the co-optation of rival elites.

Hazelton offers new analyses of five historical cases frequently held up as examples of the effectiveness of good governance in ending rebellions -- the Malayan Emergency, the Greek Civil War, the Huk Rebellion in the Philippines, the Dhofar rebellion in Oman, and the Salvadoran Civil War -- to show that, although unpalatable, it was really brutal repression and bribery that brought each conflict to an end. Examining the Turkey-PKK conflict, Hazelton finds that her compellance theory also applies to successful counterinsurgency more broadly.

By showing how compellence works in intrastate conflicts, Bullets Not Ballots makes clear that whether or not the international community decides these human, moral and material costs are acceptable, responsible policymaking requires recognising the actual components of counterinsurgent success -- and the limited influence that external powers have over the behavior of counterinsurgent elites.

Jacqueline L Hazelton is is an assistant professor in the department of strategy and policy at the US Naval War College. Hazelton studies international relations, specifically international security. Her research interests include grand strategy, military intervention, counterinsurgency, terrorism, US foreign and military policy, and the political uses of force.

She received her PhD from the Brandeis University Politics Department. Her BA and first MA are in English Literature from the University of Chicago and her second MA, also from Chicago, is in international relations. Hazelton is at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Kennedy School's Belfer Center International Security Program this year, writing her second book. It explains why Western great powers sometimes try to use liberalising reforms to achieve their political objectives in military intervention.

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