Journal Article - Civil Wars

Draining the Sea by Filling the Graves: Investigating the Effectiveness of Indiscriminate Violence as a Counterinsurgency Strategy

| December 2007

"It is commonly believed in the literature on insurgency and counterinsurgency that to be effective in undermining civilian support for guerrillas, violence against noncombatants must be selective or risk alienating the population. Yet cases exist where governments have defeated insurgencies by wielding indiscriminate violence against noncombatants. This paper explores the conditions under which such violence can be effective through a case study of British counterinsurgency strategy in the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902)."

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For Academic Citation: Downes, Alexander B.. Draining the Sea by Filling the Graves: Investigating the Effectiveness of Indiscriminate Violence as a Counterinsurgency Strategy.” Civil Wars, vol. 9. no. 4. (December 2007):
420-444
.