Why Paramilitary Operations Fail

  • Armin Krishnan

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Armin Krishnan
    Pages 1-20
  3. Armin Krishnan
    Pages 55-84
  4. Armin Krishnan
    Pages 85-105
  5. Armin Krishnan
    Pages 107-132
  6. Armin Krishnan
    Pages 133-155
  7. Armin Krishnan
    Pages 157-177
  8. Armin Krishnan
    Pages 179-203
  9. Armin Krishnan
    Pages 205-228
  10. Armin Krishnan
    Pages 229-248
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 249-254

About this book


This book analyzes U.S. pro-insurgency paramilitary operations (PMOs) or U.S. proxy warfare from the beginning of the Cold War to the present and explains why many of these operations either failed entirely to achieve their objective, or why they produced negative consequences that greatly diminished their benefits. The chapters cover important aspects of what PMOs are, the history of U.S. PMOs, how they function, the dilemmas of secrecy and accountability, the issues of control, criminal conduct, and disposal of proxies, as well as newer developments that may change PMOs in the future. The author argues that the general approach of conducting PMOs as covert operations is inherently flawed since it tends to undermine many possibilities for control over proxies in a situation where the interests of sponsors and proxies necessarily diverge on key issues.  

Armin Krishnan is Assistant Professor and Director of the Security Studies Program at East Carolina University, USA.


Paramilitary operations covert action US military hybrid warfare proxy warfare CIA US foreign policy non-state proxy forces War on Terror arms trafficking war crimes counterintelligence

Authors and affiliations

  • Armin Krishnan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceEast Carolina UniversityGreenville, NCUSA

Bibliographic information