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The other side of the COIN: minimum and exemplary force in British Army counterinsurgency in Kenya

Bennett, Huw 2007. The other side of the COIN: minimum and exemplary force in British Army counterinsurgency in Kenya. Small Wars & Insurgencies 18 (4) , pp. 638-664. 10.1080/09592310701778514

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Abstract

This article argues that the British government's deliberate exclusion of international law from colonial counterinsurgencies allowed the army to suppress opponents with little restraint. The oft-assumed national inhibitor, the principle of ‘minimum force’, was actually widely permissive. As a result exemplary force was employed to coerce the Kikuyu civilian population in Kenya into supporting the government rather than the insurgents. Apparently random acts were thus strategic, and emerged in three forms: beatings and torture, murders, and forced population movement. The article argues that such harsh measures were seen as necessary and effective; they were a form of indirect policy and did not arise from a disciplinary breakdown.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0959-2318
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 09:04
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/90146

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