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Three Arrow-class patrol boats sitting in calm water.

Counterinsurgency Afloat: The Historical Importance and Future Potential of Maritime Counterinsurgency

Andrew Thomas White
RUSI Journal, 11 May 2021
Counterinsurgency, Maritime Forces
Green- and brown-water maritime assets can have a key role in counterinsurgency campaigns.

Traditionally, navies have tended to prioritise blue-water capabilities over green- or brown-water capabilities. However, although peripheral, maritime assets have been employed with a high degree of success in irregular conflicts and operations short of war. Andrew Thomas White highlights the historical importance of maritime assets within counterinsurgency campaigns, and argues that despite the renewed emphasis on the potential for great power conflict in contemporary times, maritime counterinsurgency assets, skills and knowledge must be maintained and honed, rather than cast off to the margins of naval debate.

BANNER IMAGE: Arrow-class patrol boats have been a valuable asset in Sri Lanka’s counterinsurgency operations; January 2021. Courtesy of Randeepa/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

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