Document Type



Politics and Economics (CGU)

Publication Date



Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration


The intent of this short essay is to move past the hype, rhetoric, and passions of the moment and get to the core of the issue at hand. The ugly truth has nothing to do with who released the documents, why they were released, or even what political outcomes and potential policy fallout will occur after the dust settles. The core issue at hand is that insurgencies, by their very nature, are inherently brutal. This point was recently driven home after doing a considerable amount of research and reflection on issues pertaining to insurgent use of targeted killing, via both the techniques of assassination and political execution, and engaging in subsequent discourse on this topic with insurgency warfare scholars and practitioners. Further sensitizing me to this truth is that, prior to the insurgent analysis, I was recently involved in an edited book project on Mexican drug cartels and the criminal insurgencies taking place within the lands of our Southern neighbor with over twenty-five thousand dead since December 2006.


"The Ugly Truth: Insurgencies are Brutal" by Robert Bunker is reprinted from Small Wars Journal per the Creative Commons license granted upon its original publication.

Rights Information

© 2010 Small Wars Foundation

Terms of Use & License Information

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.