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Small Wars, Big Data


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About the Author

Eli Berman is professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego. Joseph H. Felter is research fellow at the Hoover Institution and William Perry Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, both at Stanford University. Jacob N. Shapiro is professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University.


"Small Wars, Big Data argues that the U.S. military should focus its efforts not on winning hearts and minds, but rather on acquiring information from the people about insurgent activities. When satisfied with government security and services, civilians supply information. With information, counter-insurgent attacks can dismantle insurgent networks. Without it, insurgencies fester and violence increases. Armed with this framework, I would have fought differently--and American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan might have as well. . . . Though I'm not the first to call for updates to counter-insurgency doctrine, now is the right time and Small Wars, Big Data is the right book to guide that effort."---Zachary Griffiths, War on the Rocks
"I would call Small Wars, Big Data essential reading for advanced students of counterinsurgency strategy, especially those operating in military intelligence functions."---Lewis Tallon, Encyclopaedia Geopolitica
"Offers some compelling insights on how to better handle these small wars."---Jerry D. Lenaburg, New York Journal of Books
Small Wars, Big Data
explores the remarkable possibilities and also inherent limitations of using advanced techniques to gather and analyze information in support of counterinsurgency campaigns. Packed with evidence and examples, this book makes a stimulating and challenging contribution to understanding the role of social science in the conduct of modern war."--Lawrence Freedman, author of The Future of War: A History
Small Wars, Big Data
heralds a revolution in conflict studies, one that finally brings development, defense, and diplomacy together at the operational level and provides real tools for policymakers and practitioners alike. This book melds rigorous empirical research with collaborative scholarship and great storytelling: a breakthrough for political science."--Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America
"Berman, Felter, and Shapiro have synthesized a great deal of 'big data' from many recent conflicts to produce a fascinating account of how different types of armed interventions produce different kinds of results, above all in the crucial matter of the flow of information from civilians to counterinsurgents. This well-written book will greatly interest all those working in war zones and those who study warfare."--Peter Bergen, author of United States of Jihad: Who Are America's Homegrown Terrorists and How Do We Stop Them?
"This highly ambitious book unpacks the single biggest foreign policy question of the post-9/11 era--the nature of intrastate conflict. Clearly motivated by a desire to better understand the wars fought by the United States and to improve foreign policy, this book is a must-read for the US military. It will land on undergraduate and graduate course syllabi, win awards, and be discussed outside of academia."--Dan Reiter, author of How Wars End
"This seminal work examines an extensive body of evidence from more than a decade of scholarship on modern asymmetric conflict, and provides compelling insights on what is effective, and what is not, in today's small wars. The soldier-scholar authors, who served in the wars they describe, have produced a book that should be required reading for military leaders, policymakers, development professionals, and diplomats."--Retired U.S. Army General David H. Petraeus

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