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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

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

Author: Robert W. Schaefer
Author's Web site link:
Genre: Nonfiction: Chechnya, Russia, Foreign Policy, Insurgency, Terrorism, Politics
and Government
ISBN: 978-0313386343

Reviewed by Margus Kuul for The New Book Review

Reviewer's Rating: 5 of 5

Do you want to know why terrorists bombed the Moscow airport in February 2011?
The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus, From Gazavat to Jihad (Praeger, 2011) is a "must read" for those who are looking for answers about how to stop the brutality and violence in Southern Russia and learning more about the ongoing insurgency in Chechnya and the rest of the North Caucasus.

A wise man once said: "humanity's greatest need is not for money but for more understanding." In his introduction on page 6, Schaefer points out how much money the Russians will spend over the next four years to fight the insurgents in Chechnya alone, and yet, he makes the point clearly throughout the rest of the book that successful counterinsurgency campaigns first of all require a deep understanding of insurgency practice and doctrine followed by detailed historical and cultural knowledge of the region and its people.

Money doesn't fix problems; knowledge solves complex issues like the fighting in Russia.

Although Schaefer's book should be read by everyone following the conflict - or who simply want to know more about the terrorism, the enforced "disappearances" of civilians, why the 2014 Sochi Olympics will be in danger, or how insurgency and counterinsurgency work overall, the people who REALLY need to buy, read, and re-read this book are the who are still fighting battles (yet losing the war) against the insurgents along their southern border.

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