not in moderation.”
In fact by any measure of measurement - unfree, illegit despotic regimes should lose with counter insurgency battles, instead they often win
Authoritarian states are often surprisingly successful counterinsurgents. In particular, authoritarians often repress on a vast scale and inhibit insurgent organization, transfer populations, have excellent intelligence penetration, and can counter war weariness in ways not available to democracies.
The most obvious and remarked-upon difference between democracies and
authoritarians is the authoritarian embrace of repression — though the
use of repression as a counterinsurgency tool by democracies
(particularly in colonial situations) should not be understated.
Authoritarians act with brutality toward suspected insurgents,
potential supporters, and indeed anyone else who crosses their paths.
Torture, deportation, extra-judicial execution, indefinite detention,
“disappearances,” and other abuses are common.
COIN operations like Waffen Ss Das Reich at Oradour-sur-Glane or the Russian method like Grozny come to mind.
Authoritarians, however, come to counterinsurgency with many disadvantages. They cannot rely on many of their conscripts. Corruption creates numerous problems, and authoritarian system often inhibits learning.
Similarly, the politicized command structure often produces poor officers and discourages initiative. The repression they use often makes future unrest more likely.
Finally, authoritarian regimes may find it harder to cut peace deals and win over pro-insurgent populations.