Posts Tagged counter-insurgency

Looking Back For Counter Insurgency Tactics

From SOFREP:

In the mid 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) faced a boiling communist inspired insurgency that sought to overthrow the existing government that was led by the descendants of European settlers. The Rhodesian Bushwar would last over fifteen years, coming on the heels of the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam Conflict. Faced with bureaucratic constraints and operational shortcomings, the Rhodesians were forced to maximize the potential of their meager resources by creating highly reliable small unit forces that could conduct raids and “pseudo-operations” against rebel forces. Among these units were the Rhodesian Light Infantry Commandos (RLI), the Rhodesian SAS and the Selous Scouts. Though modern circumstances have changed, the tactics of the Selous Scouts continue to be relevant and apply to the ongoing fight against ISIS and the Global War on Terror.

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The End of Counterinsurgency and the Scalable Force

From STRATFOR:

By George Friedman

The U.S. military for years has debated the utility of counterinsurgency operations. Drawing from a sentiment that harkens back to the Vietnam War, many within the military have long opposed counterinsurgency operations. Others see counterinsurgency as the unavoidable future of U.S. warfare. The debate is between those who believe the purpose of a conventional military force is to defeat another conventional military force and those who believe conventional military conflicts increasingly will be replaced by conflicts more akin to recent counterinsurgency operations. In such conflicts, the purpose of a counterinsurgency is to transform an occupied society in order to undermine the insurgents.

Understanding this debate requires the understanding that counterinsurgency is not a type of warfare; it is one strategy by which a disproportionately powerful conventional force approaches asymmetric warfare. As its name implies, it is a response to an insurgency, a type of asymmetric conflict undertaken by small units with close links to the occupied population to defeat a larger conventional force. Insurgents typically are highly motivated — otherwise they collapse easily — and usually possess superior intelligence to a foreign occupational force. Small units operating with superior intelligence are able to evade more powerful conventional forces and can strike such forces at their own discretion. Insurgents are not expected to defeat the occupying force through direct military force. Rather, the assumption is that the occupying force has less interest in the outcome of the war than the insurgents and that over time, the inability to defeat the insurgency will compel the occupying force to withdraw. Read the rest of this entry »

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Study ties civilian deaths to attacks on US forces

“WASHINGTON — Each time U.S. or NATO forces accidentally kill Afghan civilians, insurgents and their sympathizers typically retaliate with six additional assaults on foreign forces over the next six weeks, researchers using newly declassified NATO data conclude.

A new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research supports the prevailing view of counterinsurgency strategists who believe civilian casualties help Taliban recruiting drives. The study found that attacks on foreign forces increase slightly even when the insurgents are to blame for the deaths of non-combatants.

“Our results show that if counterinsurgent forces in Afghanistan wish to minimize insurgent recruitment, they must minimize harm to civilians despite the greater risk this entails,” says the study, to be released Tuesday through the Washington-based New America Foundation.”

http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2010/08/02/4803311-study-ties-civilian-deaths-to-attacks-on-us-forces

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