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Treading on Hallowed GroundCounterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces$
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C. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342048.001.0001

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Counterinsurgency in Sacred Spaces

(p.200) 8 Conclusion
Treading on Hallowed Ground

Nora Bensahel

Oxford University Press

This chapter concludes the book with an instructive analysis across the various case studies. It draws out a number of operational lessons to be learned from the cases, including an assessment of the degree of sacredness of a site, the level of support that insurgents enjoy within the local population, and the relative strengths of direct and indirect strategies. It argues that counterinsurgency operations rarely succeed or fail solely because of the sacredness of the site on which they take place. Rather, counterinsurgency is inherently difficult, and the presented cases demonstrate the numerous other factors that affect success, including differences in terrain and geography, tactical choices, the legitimacy of the national government, and the training and capabilities of both the insurgents and the counterinsurgency forces. However, the cases in this volume demonstrate that counterinsurgency in sacred spaces presents a number of special concerns that operational planners must address to ensure success.

Keywords:   counterinsurgency, sacred spaces, insurgents

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