Hearts And Minds In Counter-Insurgencies, By Sir Gerald Templer

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Introduction An insurgency is defined as the organised use of subversion and violence to size, nullify, or challenge political control of a region. Essentially, it is a struggle for power and resources. No two insurgencies are identical. Every insurgency is shaped by conflict specific factors such as culture, history, religion, politics, economics and history. In certain ways, I find insurgencies are very much like cancer. It develops in stages and the extent of damages is usually devastating in the later stage. Cancer treatments or counter-insurgencies are often a protracted battle. While the nutrients in our body feed cancer cells, the support of the people fuel insurgencies. An insurgency is unlikely to gain momentum and displaced the legitimacy of a constituted government or occupying power without the support of the people. Hence, the success in countering insurgencies depend on winning the ‘hearts and minds’ or support of the people. Thesis Statement Insurgencies can be won through the ‘hearts and minds’ of the people because without the support of the people, the insurgents will be deprived of opportunities to further their cause. (30 words) ‘Hearts and Minds’ The concept of ‘Hearts and Minds’ in counter-insurgencies is often attributed to Sir Gerald Templer, during the successful counter-insurgency campaign in Malaya (1948-1960). He had explicitly identified that the support of the people was critical in countering insurgency in Malaya. In his words,

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