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I think like many articles on Wikipedia that touch on similar subjects this one suffers from bloat. Much of it is not directly relevant to the meaning of insurgency and could just as easily be put into articles such as terrorism, resistance movement, invasion, military occupation, guerrilla warfare, etc. etc. The section "Political rhetoric, myths and models" ,although it could do with a lot more work, is the saving grace of this article.

I have removed a number of sections because IMHO they do not add much to the understanding of insurgencies and much of it is OR.

  • Overt and covert wings has had a {{Disputed-section}} template on it since August 2008.
  • Potential for insurgency and historical examples carried a {{POV-check-section}} template since August 2008. It seems to consist of a list of so called insurgencies with few citations to support them. Such lists fall under {{examplefarm}} -- "Articles should only contain pertinent examples" that help to illuminate the subject of insurgencies, usually these should be used as examples about a facet of insurgency where an example helps clarify a point in a readers mind.
  • National Problems and Transnational Spillover The main source for this section is highly US centric and only mentions two examples of insurgency Indonesia and India. While a section on why states, other than those on who's territories an insurgency is taking place, get involved in either supporting or suppressing an insergency is a valid topic for this article, the current structure of this section is not it.

--PBS (talk) 11:23, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


Insurrection redirects to this article. On the assumption that "insurrection" is a synonym of insurgency, I am stating that fact at the beginning of the article. This is the only article that deals satisfactorily with armed rebellion - Rebellion hedges its bets while Uprising is a dab page that points to "Rebellion" - so I am adding that as a synonym as well. Scolaire (talk) 11:03, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

The problem is an Insurrection is not the same thing as an insurgency.
  • Insurrection "The action of rising in arms or open resistance against established authority or governmental restraint; with pl., an instance of this, an armed rising, a revolt; an incipient or limited rebellion." (OED)
  • Insurgency "The quality or state of being insurgent; the tendency to rise in revolt; = prec."
    • insurgent "One who rises in revolt against constituted authority; a rebel who is not recognized as a belligerent."(OED)
In some insurrections the members of the rebellion may be recognised as belligerents in which case they are not insurgents. You would do better linking to Rebellion or we should unwind the move of Insurrection (disambiguation) back to Insurrection. --PBS (talk) 16:01, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
I am prepared to accept what you say, but although I personally feel that the distinction is much finer than you make out, that is not the problem. The problem is that Rebellion - besides being a ridiculously short article - goes out of its way to stress that rebellion refers to "a range of behaviors from civil attempts to destroy an established authority" (my italics). Your recent edit, though very welcome, does not do enough to make the article suitable for linking armed rebellion, whether it is called insurrection, rising or uprising. Having a separate article for Insurrection is the best option of all, but first an article has to be written, and that is not my area of expertise. In the meantime, Insurrection redirects to here, Insurrection (disambiguation) links to here, and there is a hatnote at the top of this article stating those facts. The synonym will have to go back in until all of that is sorted out. On a side note, why remove the word "armed"? If a rebellion need not always be armed, surely an insurgency always is? Scolaire (talk) 07:13, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I did not change the redirect, but I reverted your to the first sentence because it is wrong to say "An ... insurrection is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority (for example an authority recognised as such by the United Nations) when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognised as belligerents." because that is wrong as an insurrection can also be an armed conflict when those taking part in the rebellion are recognised as belligerents. So I am reverting the change. BTW I put in the hatnote until we can agree what to do with the word insurrection. In my opinion it should redirect to a section in rebellion called insurrection which defines it as an armed rebellion.
As to armed rebellion leave the word in if you like, but the OED does not make that distinction.
Wipedia is not a dictionary, it does not have to have articles on words and until this is sorted out I would appreciate it if you would not alter the wording of the article to imply that insurrection and insurgency are the same thing unless you have a reliable source that makes that association. --PBS (talk) 09:10, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a dictionary, but the OED is apparently the only source you have that insurgency and insurrection are not the same thing! Can you not cite a book on military strategy or military history or international law that clearly makes that distinction? I will not edit-war, and I will try to collaborate to "sort this out", but in the meantime I would appreciate it if you would not take that snotty tone with me. Scolaire (talk) 09:20, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Countering terrorism and insurgency in the 21st century: international perspectives By James J. F. Forest Published by Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 ISBN 0275990354, 9780275990350 p. 365 "In response, language expert William Safire noted that 'Insurgent, from the Latin insurgere "to rise up", means "a rebel, one who revolts against an established government." The insurgent in a rebellion does not have the status ofa belligerent, routed in the Latin for "waging war," and thus does not have the protections in law of a member of a state at war.'"
Of course there are many other more detailed definitions eg The art of insurgency by Donald W. Hamilton pp.13-, Deadly connections by Daniel Byman p. 24 gives the CIA definition, but that does not mention if the insurgents are or are not recognized as privileged combatants. This book Peace operations after 11 September 2001 by Thierry Tardy p. 162 suggests several definitions that go back to a 1905 British Army definition.
Insurrection does not seem to be the same thing here is one Riot in the cities by Richard A. Chikota, Michael C. Moran p. 365, and here is an older one The American Law Register New Series Vol 5, (From November 1665 to November 1866) pp. 153 (last paragraph),154. However a more recent book The Oxford Guide to United States Supreme Court Decisions By Kermit L. p. 246 says "In supporting Lincoln on this issue, the Supreme Court upheld his theory of the Civil War as an insurrection against the United States government that could be suppressed according to the rules of war. In this way the United States was able to fight the war as if it were an international war, without actually having to recognize the de jure existence of the Confederate government."
So there above are a couple of definitions which give insurgent as a non-belligerent, and a Supreme court ruling that says a full blown civil war can be an insurrection (in which soldiers on both sides are seen as belligerents). --PBS (talk) 21:43, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
That's very impressive! But having taken the trouble to dig up all those sources, would it not have been better to work it into the article, instead of just reverting to the version that caused the confusion in the first place? As I said, I am not interested in edit-warring, only in clarity. The article as it stands, relying on a dictionary definition, is unclear.
Thank you. Time, it took me some time to find the information above, and I have other pages I have an interest in, for example I spent several hours tracking down the spelling used in the original quote in the article of Duchess of Richmond's ball and add the section on the Ballroom. I hope that the above will help someone else improve this article and I am going to use the last source to improve the rebellion article. --PBS (talk) 15:14, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
Since this article is specifically not about insurrection, it is wrong for the "Insurrection" article to redirect to it. I am going to redirect it to "Rebellion" for the moment, and remove the hatnote to this article. Scolaire (talk) 15:27, 10 April 2009 (UTC)
I think that you are being too harsh on yourself, redirecting it here was not so bad because an insurgency is an insurrection, it is just that an insurrection also covers rebellions that are not insurgencies, which is where you and I initially disagreed. --PBS (talk) 15:14, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Request for Comment on Terror Bombing[edit]

Talk:Terror_bombing#Request_for_Comment All contributions to the current discussion would be welcome. Sherzo (talk) 12:45, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Counter-insurgency be merged into Insurgency. I think that the content in the Counter-insurgency article can easily be explained in the context of Insurgency, and the Insurgency article is of a reasonable size in which the merging of Counter-insurgency will not cause any problems as far as article size or undue weight is concerned. Much of the material in the two articles overlaps, which is one basic rationale for merger. -- S. Rich (talk) 21:32, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose merger - The basic fact about insurgency and counterinsurgency is that there's an asymmetrical relationship between the two sides, such as is not the case in much classic warfare. This disparity means that the theories and empirical knowledge of one side are not exactly mirrored on the other side, so while there obviously is a lot of overlap between the two articles, there is also a lot of stuff which is specific to one side only. Further, the article are both quite long as it is, combining them will make an article of an unwieldy length. Beyond My Ken (talk) 22:26, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose - while counter-insurgency is, Q.E.D., fighting against an insurgency, as BMK notes above the two types of warfare are wildly different in approach and tactics. They'll necessarily overlap, but in order to have the two schools of warfare properly covered in a single article, the article would be so long that it would be best split...leaving us back at square one. - The Bushranger One ping only 00:12, 25 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Very strong oppose - very much not two sides of the same coin, and plenty of data as well as histories of both should/can be added which will make the article unwieldy. Buckshot06 (talk) 20:23, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I can see which way this is headed. From "Oppose" to "Strong oppose" to "Very strong oppose". Perhaps the next one will be "Most strong oppose" or "Passionately oppose". No skin off of my teeth. If I don't see some support in the next few days I will be happy to withdrawal the proposal. --S. Rich (talk) 20:59, 25 October 2011 (UTC)

Proposal withdrawn.--S. Rich (talk) 22:43, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Insurgency must be armed rebellion?[edit]

"An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority." I don't think so. Isn't it possible for an insurgent to seek to subvert a constituted authority without using armed rebellion. I am thinking of PDK in Iraq, Syria, and maybe Iran (but not Turkey). They seek to undermine the governments of those countries--through propaganda and ethno-separatism, but rarely through armed rebellion. I would call them a peaceful insurgency. Am I wrong in my model? Or my characterization of PDK's objectives and methods? -- (talk) 06:39, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

I disagree. Without armed rebellion, it's simply a political movement. Beyond My Ken (talk) 12:58, 9 February 2012 (UTC)