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Modern Warfare

With the original introduction by Bernard B. Fall and a new foreword prepared by Eliot A. Trinquier learned about counterinsurgency in Algeria. He has some interesting ideas, but his ideas seem to take for granted that the enemy will do what he wants.

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Everything seems a little too neat. Good historical view of early counterinsurgency. He was posted in the Far East for much of his career.

Following World War II, he campaigned in Vietnam before returning to organize and train a colonial parachute battalion in France. Then he was reassigned to Indochina as an expert on counterguerrilla warfare. This tour was followed by his active role in the revolt of May by the French army in Algeria, for which he was labeled a political colonel. Afterward Colonel Trinquier led a group of fellow officers-recruited from elite units and officially retired, but with the approval of the Ministry of Defense- to serve as mercenaries in Katanga Province, Zaire, under the secessionist leader Moise Tshombe.

He published La Guerre Moderne, which was translated into English, and a number of other books dealing with the Indochina war and the exploits of French airborne forces. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now.

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Buy As Gift. Overview This volume in the Praeger Security International PSI series Classics of the Counterinsurgency Era reveals how French officers who served in Indochina, like the author, Roger Trinquier, fought fierce rear-guard actions against ideologically motivated insurgents in the s and s to a far greater extent than their American counterparts later faced in Vietnam. About the Author Roger Trinquier was born into a peasant family and was graduated from the military academy at Saint-Maixent.

Average Review. Trinquier returned to France in January , being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and assigned to the staff of General Gilles , commander of the airborne troops.

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He then served as second-in-command to General Massu , commander of the 10th Parachute Division, during the Battle of Algiers , where he was one of the leading figures behind the creation of the DPU Dispositif de Protection Urbain. After a brief stay in France as a director to the airborne school, Trinquier returned to Algeria in March to take over command of the 3rd Colonial Parachute Regiment, soon to be the 3rd Marine Infantry Parachute Regiment , when its commanding officer, Marcel Bigeard , was recalled to France.

He became a member of the committee for public safety formed by Generals Massu and Salan during the May crisis , which brought Charles de Gaulle back to power; Trinquier resigned from the committee on 11 June and returned to his regiment.


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In March , he handed over the command of the regiment to Louis Bonnigal and in July, took command of the El Milia sector in Constantine department. He was recalled to France in July and in December assigned to Nice and the staff of the general commanding that group of sub-divisions.

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On 26 January , Trinquier asked for early retirement from the army into the reserve. He was then hired by Moise Tshombe , the leader of the State of Katanga rebellion in Congo, to train his forces. Trinquier only stayed a few weeks in Congo before being thrown out by the United Nations.


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Returning from Congo, when staying in Athens , he learned of the failed Algiers putsch against de Gaulle, after which he asked to be retired from the reserve as well. In retirement he devoted himself to viniculture and writing about his career and experiences. Trinquier was also its first president from to , before stepping down for General Jean Gracieux. Trinquier is a theorist on the style of warfare he called Modern Warfare , an "interlocking system of actions — political, economic, psychological, military — which aims at the overthrow of the established authority in a country and its replacement by another regime.

He was critical of the traditional army's inability to adapt to this new kind of warfare. These tactics included the use of small and mobile commando teams, torture, the setting-up of self-defense forces recruited in the local population, and their forced relocation in camps, as well as psychological and educational operations.

Modern warfare: a French view of counterinsurgency.

Perhaps his most original contribution was his study and application of terrorism and torture as it related to this Modern Warfare. He argued that it was immoral to treat terrorists as criminals, and to hold them criminally liable for their acts. In his view terrorists should be treated as soldiers, albeit with the qualification that while they may attack civilian targets and wear no uniform, they also must be tortured for the very specific purpose of betraying their organization.