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The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus: From Gazavat to Jihad

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  19 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Winner of a Kirkus Star, multiple awards, and named to numerous "best of" lists, The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus: From Gazavat to Jihad helps both the average reader and the seasoned analyst make sense of the situation in the Caucasus. With the Sochi Olympics right around the corner, President Putin's re-election, and increasing violence throughout the ...more
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published February 18th 2011 by Praeger (first published October 31st 2010)
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By far the best book on the conflict in the Caucasus I have ever read, and one of the only books that also discusses the ongoing post war conflict as well. Trust me when I say LTC Schaefer knows what he is talking about on the subject. This book is definitely the best book in the English language that you can find on the topic. The book is written from a completely unbiased standpoint, and shows both sides' views in the conflict and where things have progressed as well as fallen apart. This book ...more
So I hear that this is one of the best books to read on the insurgency in Chechnya. Not having read anything else of this nature yet, I can attest that this is at least an incredibly informative primer on the subject, as well as an excellent case study of how NOT to handle an insurgency/conflict (for other examples of well known past and ongoing insurgency conflicts, see Afghanistan and Iraq/Syria).

Schaefer starts out by establishing and defining some of the key terms in the field of counterins
As a student who has studied the field of counterinsurgency for the better part of five years, I’m always a little wary when it comes to reading another case study; too often those books can feel monotonous or obsolete, as the authors focus more on the historical depiction of an event than any useful analysis of it. Yet after reading this book, I can absolutely say that Schaefer stands above his peers, presenting an invaluable look at the nature of counterinsurgency through the focused lens of p ...more
After reading this book I have a much better understanding of the conflict in Chechnya. Despite the page length, the book took me a long time to read due to the density of the writing, but it was well worth it. The book is written from a military perspective, but the underlying roots of the conflict are made clear. Schaefer did all of his research and his work is extremely thorough.

The only negative thing I have to say is that the writing was occasionally disjointed. It felt like certain section
Robert Schaefer
Oct 28, 2012 Robert Schaefer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
"A tour de force in breadth and depth" -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Enormously helpful" -- The New York Times
"A remarkable book" -- The Economist
"A first rate study ... strongly recommend" -- The Journal of Military History
"Incisive, insightful, in short, invaluable." -- Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Caucasus Report
"scrupulously researched" - The National Interest
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Lieutenant Colonel Robert W. Schaefer is a highly decorated U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Beret) and Eurasian Foreign Area Officer. For over twenty five years he has served in a variety of special units and participated in virtually every U.S. overseas operation since 1990. He is uniquely qualified to explain this complex conflict due to his extensive experience in counterinsurgency and counter- ...more
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