Set within the context of costly military interventions such as the U.S. war in Afghanistan, my book manuscript Asymmetric Partners: Alliance Politics in Counterinsurgency Wars analyzes factors that motivate local partners, such as the U.S.-allied regime in Kabul, to comply with, or defy, the policy demands of larger intervening partners. Analyzing five counterinsurgency interventions (U.S.-Vietnam, U.S.S.R.-Afghanistan, U.S.-Afghanistan, U.S.-Iraq and India-Sri Lanka), the book utilizes thousands of primary source documents to examine over 450 policy requests proposed by intervening forces to local allies in order to dissect the problematic partnerships at the heart of these tedious military interventions. Why did local allies comply with certain policy requests, but remained defiant over others? Why do powerful intervening militaries have such difficulty managing local partners? While work on counterinsurgency invariably acknowledges the critical importance of politics in winning unconventional conflicts, the fundamental political dynamics behind coercing local partners is usually ignored. The book is noteworthy in an emerging field on complex political problems in counterinsurgency and offers new insights regarding how local partners create both opportunities and obstacles in counterinsurgency.

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