“Schaefer, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Special Forces, wields his military and foreign policy expertise handily, building his arguments from the rudiments up so that casual readers can easily follow while also scoring insights that ought to make this work indispensable to more interested actors and observers. He provides invaluable context by explaining the nature of insurgencies and terrorist acts, details the long history of regional power struggles (and particularly the protracted hostilities between Russians and various North Caucasian ethnic groups) and analyzes the extent to which certain Islamic sects have shaped the conflict and motivated insurgents’ causes…his reasoning is honest, well-researched and refreshingly free of partisan rhetoric. A tour de force in breadth and depth” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Read full review here.



the-economist-logo  ‎”A remarkable book … Col Schaefer’s book does a fine job in summarising the breadth and depth of the conflict, and making the latest military thinking about insurgencies accessible, while steering clear of polemic or bias. This book tells you a lot about the Caucasus. And also about the brainpower assets of the American military.  — The Economist



images‎”Enormously helpful in understanding the ongoing conflict in the North Caucasus, and the gnawing feeling of dread as Russia prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics at Chechnya’s feet, at the Black Sea resort of Sochi … free of cynicism and romance … It makes one wish military analysts had taken on the Afghan puzzle with similar energy, say, a decade or so back …

As Chechnya has dropped from a regular place in Western news reports — its near absence rooted in both reader fatigue with the conflict beat, as well as the suppression of journalism in Russia’s North Caucasus badlands — Colonel Schaefer’s book provides an overview that will last. — The New York Times




Chosen as one of the “Top 150 Books on Terrorism and Counterterrorism”

An insightful overview by a U.S. military expert on the Chechen and North Caucasus insurgencies against Russia and its government’s primarily military response to such terrorist threats. Thematically organized, it examines the origins of the conflict in the North Caucasus, including the influences of different strains of Islamism and al Qaida. It also features a detailed critique of Russia’s counterterrorism campaigns over years. Especially noteworthy is the author’s use of information from the North Caucasus Incident Database (NCID), including terrorist incidents, as well as informative charts that outline aspects of Russia’s counterterrorism campaigns.

See the rest of the books here: 



Site logo

“a first-rate study that is part history, part counterinsurgency theory, and part predictive analysis. The North Caucasus is a complex and bewildering ethnic and cultural mix that is hard for a foreigner to understand. Schaefer has done much to overcome this through his thorough research and balanced approach. His history of the region and the post-Soviet phase is especially well done. This is definitely a good book and well worth reading. Although the author is military, it is a pleasant read and does not have the alphabet soup of acronyms that is too common with military writers. I strongly recommend this book to students of insurgency, counterinsurgency and history. There are already several good books out there on Chechnya. This one joins that group.”– The Journal of Military History


“Robert Schaefer is sufficiently steeped in the complicated ethnic-religious-historical stew of the North Caucasus; he fully understands and successfully communicates the background against which the insurgency takes place. To this he adds his experientially based knowledge of counterinsurgency (COIN). He goes beyond a US-centric interpretation of COIN to look at the situation from the Russian government and military’s point of view. His insight helps answer the paradox that most of those who have studied the region grapple with: Why have the Russians never succeeded in extinguishing this 300-year insurgency while, at the same time, the Chechens have never been able to win their independence?”– Parameters



MODERN_WAR-LOGO1-copy“This is a superb book in many ways. I recommend it to all who have even just a general interest in the War on Terror, or the political-military history of the Caucasus region, or the current state of overall counterinsurgency warfare theory. All those things are discussed, clearly and in detail, in the well organized and smoothly written text of the book.”Modern War 

read full review here





“Incisive, insightful – in short, invaluable.”– Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Caucasus Report





“Scrupulously researched” — The National Interest

read full review here.



“comprehensive and informative … Schaefer’s informed analysis of the Chechen insurgency makes this a book that every student of counterinsurgency or the Caucasus region should own.” — Military Writers Society of America



“A must read for anyone who wants to understand the nuances of the conflict.”– Brian Glyn Williams, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and author of The Crimean Tatars: The Diaspora Experience and the Forging of a Nation



“Addresses the reasons why the Russian campaigns against the Chechen insurgents are likely to grind on into the foreseeable future.”– Book News



“Exposes Russia’s strategic operations and their failures to the unforgiving light of day.”– Professor Steven Blank, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College



“Demystifies our longest running graduate-level conflict.”– Col. “Nick” Pratt, USMC (ret.), Director of the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies, G.C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies



“A ‘must read’ for those who are looking for answers about how to stop the brutality and violence in Southern Russia.”– The New Book Review


The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus: From Gazavat to Jihad

See for yourself why this book is required reading at the Program on Terrorism and Security Studies and order the book at ABC-CLIO!

See all the 5 star reader reviews from here.

Start reading now! Available on Kindle.

Comments are closed.