Thomas Andrew Marks

Thomas Andrew Marks
National Defense University · Strategic Initiatives and Leadership (SIL)

PhD Political Science, University of Hawaii (Manoa)

About

56
Publications
10,208
Reads
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310
Citations
Citations since 2017
17 Research Items
140 Citations
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Introduction
Political violence, especially insurgency involving terrorism as one of its methods, as well as exploration of "pure terrorism," that is, terrorism as logic. Extensive and lifelong fieldwork globally but particularly in Asia and Latin America.
Additional affiliations
July 2016 - November 2016
National Defense University
Position
  • Distinguished Professor of Irregular Warfighting Strategy

Publications

Publications (56)
Book
Full-text available
The 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy made headlines by officially downgrading terrorism as a national security priority in favor of “inter-state strategic competition.” Many interpreted the statement as signifying a return to “conventional combat,” yet a closer reading suggests that even state-based competition is likely to be “irregular.” Much...
Article
Full-text available
For more than a century, a body of doctrine synthesizing violent and nonviolent approaches into a strategic whole of struggle has guided Soviet (now Russian) and Chinese warfighting doctrine, as well as that of other regimes with revolutionary origins. Ironically, the United States also emerged from such heritage, but its embrace of industrial proc...
Preprint
Full-text available
This piece explores historical continuity and nature of Chinese irregular warfare & introduces special issue on great-power competition and irregular competition (to appear in Small Wars & Insurgencies in March).
Book
Full-text available
The 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy made headlines by officially downgrading terrorism as a national security priority in favor of “inter-state strategic competition.” Many interpreted the statement as signifying a return to “conventional combat,” yet a closer reading suggests that even state-based competition is likely to be “irregular.” Much...
Article
Full-text available
The malaise that the United States, and the West, have experienced in recent campaigns stems in large part from unclear thinking about war, its political essence, and the strategies needed to join the two. Instead, analysis and response are predicated on entrenched theoretical concepts with limited practical utility. The inadequacy of understanding...
Article
Recent controversy during the conclusion of peace talks has renewed discussion as to the nature of the effort by Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), to seize state power. FARC presents itself as an insurgency produced by societal imperfections and purports to speak for the marginalized and...
Article
During the period 1996–2006, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) waged overt people’s war to seize state power and institute a new order that realized the party’s understanding of ‘New Democracy’ as posited by Mao Tse-tung. Contextual shifts led to a crucial strategic turning point in September 2005, when the Maoists agreed to a united front with...
Article
From 1965 to the present, Colombia has been confronted by the insurgency of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The threat reached a new level in 1996 with the advent of mobile warfare, whereby large units sought to neutralize the military in an effort to seize power and institute a Marxist-Leninist regime. Unlike Vietnam, what follo...
Article
Full-text available
Current emphasis in irregular warfare highlights whole-of-government response and the imperative for "learning institutions." Only by being the latter can the former engage in the timely, flexible mastery of constantly changing circumstances imperative for successful implementation of the "ends-ways-means" methodology. Few countries have worked har...
Article
Full-text available
As the famous Prussian general once warned, the first priority is to ascertain what type of conflict is to be fought. Carl von Clausewitz's seminal writings laid the foundation of thinking for modern warfare defined around the needs of the nascent Westphalian nation-state. His prioritization, his "wonderful trinity," and his recognition that war is...
Article
Building upon a far-reaching reform movement carried out during the administration of Andres Pastrana (1998–2002), the Colombian military emerged in the Alvaro Uribe first term (2002–06) as a powerful, flexible organization capable of implementing a national strategy for successful counterinsurgency. Sweeping organizational change was accompanied b...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Joint Special Operations University (Hurlburt Field, Florida) inaugural symposium 2-5 May 2006 -- Countering Global Insurgency -- attracted 122 participants. The event was designed to present and discuss relevant issues to the special operations community with perspectives from experts on the theme. A vigorous dialogue was maintained throughout...
Article
Addressing insurgency requires the same application of operational art as utilized in conventional warfare planning. Counterinsurgency strategy will be driven by the nature of the insurgent movement, with campaigns constructed to use tactics appropriately so that key facets of the insurgent campaign are neutralized. It is especially important to de...
Article
Terrorism is not insurgency, though the latter invariably incorporates the former in its campaign to form a counter-state. Maoist ‘people's war’ has proved such a challenge to state response precisely because it incorporates terror as a tactic within the larger voluntarist effort ‘to make a revolution’. Examining this dynamic in two cases of Maoist...
Book
Full-text available
Upon taking office in August 2002, President Alvaro Uribe Velez of Colombia was faced with a difficult strategic situation that required a fresh approach. This was forthcoming in a Democratic Security and Defence Policy, which radically reoriented the state posture towards its principal security challenge – an insurgency inextricably linked to the...
Article
Scholars disagree on the prevailing focus on insurgent ideology. Some claim that the dominant Marxist ideology of the Cold War era has been supplanted by a new focus on ethnic and national identity. Others claim that many insurgencies were always focused on identity, but the Cold War and superpower antipathies distorted perceptions of insurgencies...
Article
Full-text available
Whether confronted with pure terrorism or terror-as-tactic within an insurgency, the state is faced with the same conundrum: how to provide security for the populace in a situation where resources, human and material, inevitably are limited. Key is the nature of response, with the quality critical to best use of quantity. The ability to implement a...
Book
Full-text available
Insurgency in Nepal has existed for perhaps five decades but burst into the open only with the declaration of “people’s war” on 13 February 1996 by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or CPN(M), the most radical offshoot of the leftwing spectrum in Nepali politics. Desultory action ended when the “Maoists,” as they are universally known, unilate...
Article
Urban insurgency has generally been presented by analysts and security force personnel as a distinct variant. In contrast, insurgents themselves have often recognized the particular requirements of two dissimilar but related approaches of operation, the urban and rural. Hence they have sought to field approaches and doctrine that exploited the spec...
Article
The contributions of Terry Marks in the field of ads, websites and brochures was reported. His image was included on one of the most pervasive stock-photos CDs of the last few years. Terry's image is also used to pimp everything from AIDS testing to Oracle, from the US Census to dating services.
Article
Full-text available
In the virtual absence ofsocietal involvement and governmentleadership, the Army of Colombia (COLAR)responded to the insurgency of theRevolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia(FARC) during the Pasrana presidency with a combination of organizationaland operational innovation that hasreversed the previous unfavorablesituation. COLAR has assessed FARC's...
Book
Full-text available
Counterinsurgency is a political campaign. It can be carried out only through an act of national will, a combined effort which harnesses all facets of power, civil and military, into a weapon which beats back the insurgent challenge. What is unique in the present Colombian experience is that the system went through a critical period of drift, certa...
Article
Evaluating Insurgent/Counterinsurgent Performance ‘starts on the streets’, so to speak. Specifically, the five rules of assessment are common sense: (1) become familiar with the area in question; (2) slice up the analytical target into manageable slices; (3) carry out longitudinal studies; (4) look at the role played by ideas in this political warf...
Chapter
Many gaps remain in our understanding of insurgency.1 Perhaps the most vexing is that we continue to comprehend only imperfectly the manner in which would-be revolutionaries are able to garner support. This is particularly true of movements such as Shining Path (SL or Sendero) that engage in practices which would seemingly alienate potential follow...
Article
Faced with the progression of events outlined above, it is small wonder that observers of the Thai political scene at times are a bit baffled as to precisely what is transpiring in the kingdom's continued search for a stable political future. Yet beneath the headlines and seemingly blatant military power grabbing lies a web of internal happenings w...
Article
Typescript. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Hawaii, 1975. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 161-169).

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Project (1)
Project
but in particular I am using a MINERVA grant to examine the motivation of female combatants in the Nepali Maoist insurgency. Articles coming out on this, ongoing Nepali Maoist splinter use of terror, and origins of FARC defeat in their criminality (yes, I think they lost -- though the govt has not necessarily won). Guest editing a volume for Small wars and Insurgencies on the state of the people's war approach in this, the 21st century.