Recent experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq served as an impetus to create a new doctrinal approach suited to conduct expeditionary counterinsurgency operations in accordance with the exigencies of the contemporary operational environment. These arguably new tenets for operational design—enshrined in the U.S. Army/Marine Corps Field Manual 3-24 Counterinsurgency—are, as demonstrated, carbon copies of the intellectual products of earlier thinkers and practitioners. This book, therefore, seeks to illuminate the canon of thought and practice on counterinsurgency that stretches back to the 18th century, critically assessing writings from different parts of the world, including Spain, France, Great Britain, present-day Germany, the United States and China, to name but a few. The purpose of this intellectual exercise is two-fold. The first aim is to show that counterinsurgency thinking and practice are cyclical. Theorists and practitioners such as those of the 20th century and onwards have only repeated what their predecessors had already discovered. The second is to provide a rational understanding of how and why different practices came about and in what context. Finally, the review throws a critical glance at the contemporary publications, arguing that much of the effort dedicated to devising the ultimate guide to counterinsurgency remains trapped on the operational level, sidelining not only other hierarchically superior levels such as that of policy and strategy but also some critical works such as those written by Carl von Clausewitz and Charles E. Callwell which could both expand and enrich the current understanding of what is perceived as an insurgency.