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Title: Counter-insurgency in Colombia : the origins and evolution of a military strategic tradition
Author: Delgado, Jorge Eduardo
ISNI:       0000 0004 5991 2602
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This research proposes to examine the composition and evolution of the Colombian military’s approach to counter-insurgency since the origins of the internal armed conflict that affects the country. Following the lineaments of strategic theory, it will endeavour to understand how the military came to view the utilisation of armed force, amongst other means, since the beginning of the armed conflict. To construct the Colombian military strategic tradition, it will attempt to identify its value–system, that is, the ideological precepts, motivational patterns and assumptions that throughout the years have influenced the military’s use of the main instruments at its disposal. It will explore how these diverse factors have shaped different understandings of the character of the conflict, views of its political conduct, and of the role and limits of armed force, amongst other issues. This analysis will allow to establish lines of continuity and change in Colombian military thinking. In this respect, the research argues that the formative years of the Colombian strategic tradition during the 1960s, and in particular the influence of counter-insurgency thinking, has been fundamental in shaping the military’s different, and at times conflicting, judgements about the conflict, the nature of their enemies and the limits of armed force during the past 20 years of escalation of violence in Colombia. Overall, the research shows that the inherent tensions visible in Colombian military thinking have undermined the formulation of strategy, that is, the translation of means into political ends.
Supervisor: Rainsborough, Michael Lawrence Rowan Smith ; Betz, David James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available