This book is a major new study of the extent to which national mentalities, or 'ways of war', are responsible for 'national styles' of insurgency and counterinsurgency.
Leading scholars examine the ways of war of particular insurgent movements, and the standard operational procedures of states and occupation forces to suppress them.
Through case studies ranging from British, American and French counterinsurgency to the IRA and the Taliban, they show how 'national styles' evolve, influenced by transnational trends, ideas and practices.
They examine whether we can identify a tendency to resort to a particular pattern of fighting and, if so, whether this is dictated by constants such as geography and climate, or by the available options, or else whether there exists a particular 'strategic culture' or 'national style'.
Their findings show that 'national style' is not eternal but can undergo fundamental transformations.