The Best Defense

The seven steps of highly effective counterinsurgents: A new RAND guide

There are seven steps usually seen in negotiating an end to an insurgency, according to a new RAND study, "From Stalemate to Settlement." It looks at Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Lebanon, Western Sahara, Mozambique, Indonesia, Kampuchea, Bosnia, Tajikistan, Burundi, Chechnya, and Congo. Only in one case were the seven steps followed exactly in the sequence here, the study says, but "each case unfolded in a manner close enough to this narrative that it is a useful comparative tool for understanding how to reach negotiated settlements." 

Those steps are:

  • Military stalemate
  • Acceptance of insurgents as legitimate negotiating partners
  • Brokered cease-fire (not always respected)
  • Official intermediate agreement
  • Power-sharing offer (or other concession, such as amnesty or elections)
  • Moderation of insurgent leadership
  • Third-party guarantor


The Best Defense

Some Army War College bibliographies: Cyber, U.S. military history, officership

The purpose of this bibliography is to introduce some of the resources readily available in our Library's collection on American Military History. Topics include the importance of history, doctrine, strategy, and tactics, lessons learned, rules of engagement and law of war, transformation and reform, and pathways to additional historical information.

Contains resources discussing cyber acts of war, the battlespace of the fifth domain, governance, jurisdiction, policy, security, strategy, and technology that is currently being employed.

Includes references for readings on career path, education, civil-military relations, mentorship, and other topics directly related to the study of Officership and the Profession.

These bibliographies and others compiled by our research librarians are available online through the Library's home page at