CIWAG Case Studies



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(IWS/04 - Irregular Warfare Studies, book 4)

This case is about an insurgency that apparently had all the essentials for success but never transitioned beyond Phase One, the proto-insurgency phase. According to Daniel Byman, the success or failure of a proto-insurgency depends in large part on the reaction of the state. This case examines a wide range of issues that worked against the Honduran governments success at extirpating the insurgency, including institutional indifference and preoccupation with external threats on the part of the Honduran Army, bureaucratic inertia on the part of the American in- country entities, and turf sensitivity by U.S. intelligence. In spite of these obstacles, the Government of Honduras (GOH) eventually neutralized the insurgent threat. The prevailing question is: How was this threat recognized?

Publication Date

November 2012


United States Naval War College, Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups


Newport, Rhode Island


insurgency, Honduras, Counterinsurgency, Naval War College, Center of Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups

Reading the Tea Leaves: Proto-Insurgency in Honduras