Don’t miss out on Part One.

How do you defeat an insurgency?

How do you win over a people who has been treated as second-class citizens for centuries? Throughout history, many a politician and military officer have lost sleep over such questions. Yet a particular strategy seems to work—blend in with the population, gain their trust by concrete actions, and chances are that you’ll succeed.

Mao wrote that an insurgency must first retreat and gather forces, then build infrastructure and population trust, and finally counterattack. A shrewd counterinsurgency, thus, would aim to disrupt the transition between these phases, thereby strangling the insurgency in its infancy.