In This Review

The Counterinsurgency Era: U.S. Doctrine and Performance - 1950 to the Present
The Counterinsurgency Era: U.S. Doctrine and Performance - 1950 to the Present
By Douglas S. Blaufarb
Free Press, 1977, 341 pp.

Although it deals with counterinsurgency from the Philippines to Latin America, the bulk of this work is about the American experience in Southeast Asia, especially Vietnam. Writing from the vantage point of a Washington insider during the 1960s, Blaufarb examines in considerable and interesting detail the enthusiasm for counterinsurgency of the early Kennedy era, the pacification program, Phoenix and CORDS. This book is impressive as an historical study, admitting mistakes of policy and fair in its overall judgments. The reader will be struck once again by the difficulty of matching lofty intentions with bureaucratic procedures and local realities.