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Thread: How Insurgencies End

  1. #101
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    Default When Insurgency Ends?

    Robert:

    To go back to you comments on the ending of an insurgency. I would actually challenge everyone to think out of the box and look at open source warfare in a far deeper way in that with the insurgency evolutions in Iraq and now in what we are seeing for the evolution of the Taliban and related groups we might in fact be entering the area of 5GW.

    Into 5GW
    Lind: Whoever is first to recognize, understand, and implement a generational change can gain a decisive advantage. Conversely, a nation that is slow to adapt to generational change opens itself to catastrophic defeat.
    Things would be bad enough with just fourth generation opponents but as the research on global guerrillas has borne out, a new more dangerous generation is forming: potentially a 5th generation of warfare. Much of this new generation was derived and accelerated in the cauldron of Iraq, just as the basis for 3rd generation of warfare was proved out in the Spanish Civil war.

    What we see is jarring:
    Open source warfare. An ability to decentralize beyond the limits of a single group (way beyond cell structures) using new development and coordination methodologies. This new structure doesn't only radically expand the number of potential participants, it shrinks the group size well below any normal measures of viability. This organizational structure creates a dynamic whereby new entrants can appear anywhere. In London, Madrid, Berlin, and New York.
    Systems disruption. A method of sabotage that goes beyond the simple destruction of physical infrastructure. This method of warfare, which can burst onto the scene as a black swan, uses network dynamics (a new form of leveraged maneuver) to undermine and reorder global systems. It is through this Schumpeterian "creative destruction" that new environments favorable to opposition forces are built (often due to a descent into primary loyalties and pressure from global markets).
    Virtual states (ala Philip Bobbitt). Unlike the guerrilla movements of the past, many of the 4GW forces we are fighting today have found a way to integrate their activities with global "crime." No longer are guerrilla movements or terrorists aimed at taking control of the reigns of the state or merely proxies for states. A new form of economic sustenance has been found. This black globalization is already vast (a GDP of trillions per year), and gains momentum through weakening and disruption of states. This military/economic integration creates a virtuous feedback loop that allows groups to gain greater degrees of independence and financial wealth through the warfare they conduct.

    NOTE: Whether you call these developments 4GW on steroids or the start of a 5th generation, it just doesn't matter. Whichever way you cut it, things are developing quickly and in the wrong direction.

    Think about it--are we not already seeing this development? Definitely does not fit the COIN or social network analysis models.

  2. #102
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw 7 View Post
    Open source warfare. An ability to decentralize beyond the limits of a single group (way beyond cell structures) using new development and coordination methodologies. This new structure doesn't only radically expand the number of potential participants, it shrinks the group size well below any normal measures of viability. This organizational structure creates a dynamic whereby new entrants can appear anywhere. In London, Madrid, Berlin, and New York.
    How new is this, really? Didn't we see much the same phenomenon in the cold war? Then, as now, weren't most of these disaggregated groups rendered relatively ineffective by their own lack of training, coordination, and general competence?

    I'm not sure I know what buzzwords like 3G, 4G, 5G, open source, etc actually mean, when applied to warfare, and I'm not convinced that I need to care. Circumstances change, as they always have; we need to keep adapting, as always. I'm not convinced that "global guerillas" or a "global insurgency" truly exist, neither am I convinced that developments in technology and globalization necessarily favor the forces of chaos and disorder.

    Evolution, yes... as always, but not necessarily revolution.

  3. #103
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Even TX has gone on record lamenting that he decided to use this "generational" construct in his book.

    War has always been about maximizing the tools at hand to win, and certainly the progressive development of informational tools is playing a major part in how warfare is waged for those who do so on behalf of a state, and also for those with less formal organizations.

    I hold that at the fundamental, principle level, nothing has changed at all; but new tools do indeed allow for new TTPs and levels of effect for those outside the state system that simply were not possible before.
    Robert C. Jones
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  4. #104
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayuhan View Post
    That's why a discussion of insurgency (or revolt, rebellion, whatever) that focuses exclusively on the military aspect and neglects policy is incomplete to the point of being irrelevant.
    NO War or conflict can exclusively focus on the military aspect. It's got nothing to do with anything about "insurgencies."
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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  5. #105
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outlaw 7 View Post
    NOTE: Whether you call these developments 4GW on steroids or the start of a 5th generation, it just doesn't matter. Whichever way you cut it, things are developing quickly and in the wrong direction.

    Think about it--are we not already seeing this development? Definitely does not fit the COIN or social network analysis models.
    Sorry, this is - with respect - rubbish.

    War is not changing. Warfare is not changing as fast as you think or in any way we cannot comprehend. All the things cited are basically without evidence.
    Systems disruption. A method of sabotage that goes beyond the simple destruction of physical infrastructure. This method of warfare, which can burst onto the scene as a black swan, uses network dynamics (a new form of leveraged maneuver) to undermine and reorder global systems. It is through this Schumpeterian "creative destruction" that new environments favorable to opposition forces are built (often due to a descent into primary loyalties and pressure from global markets).
    What does this actually mean, in plain English? Please give me a specific example.

    The question I constantly pose to the 4GW crowd (and have done to both Lind and Hammes when I met them) is "What is it you guys don't get? Why are you confused?"

    Sorry by anyone buying into 4/5GW just seems not to understand the basics.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  6. #106
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    NO War or conflict can exclusively focus on the military aspect. It's got nothing to do with anything about "insurgencies."
    Agreed. Insurgency came into the picture because this particular discussion concerns insurgency. I don't think it's sensible to exclude the policy aspects of managing insurgency from this discussion, or to avoid issues because they are the concern of policymakers rather than that of the military personnel involved.

  7. #107
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    NO War or conflict can exclusively focus on the military aspect. It's got nothing to do with anything about "insurgencies."
    ....but the military instrument should be "exclusively" applied to destroying the enemy. - if that is what the policy demands.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    ....but the military instrument should be "exclusively" applied to destroying the enemy. - if that is what the policy demands.
    Ideally yes. US policy-makers have fallen into the habit of assigning their military instrument all sorts of other tasks, generally lumped under the rather hideous term "nation-building". I suppose they feel the tasks need to be done and they've no other instrument to use. Not an ideal situation by any means, but the people to whom the task is assigned can only get on with it as well as they can.

    I personally think we shouldn't take on a task that we don't have the appropriate tools to complete, but I'm not the one making the decisions!

  9. #109
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    The military will always be the "capacity reserve" for government.

    Have a flood? Call the military

    Have a riot? Call the military

    Have a forest fire? Call the military

    Have a hurricane? Call the military

    Have a poorly crafted concept that you can "Develop" and "Secure" your way to victory? Call the military.

    The problem is not so much that the military is being used improperly, it is that we have crafted the improper solution to the problem. The end result will remain, "call the military."
    Robert C. Jones
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    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    The military will always be the "capacity reserve" for government.

    Have a flood? Call the military

    Have a riot? Call the military

    Have a forest fire? Call the military

    Have a hurricane? Call the military

    Have a poorly crafted concept that you can "Develop" and "Secure" your way to victory? Call the military.

    The problem is not so much that the military is being used improperly, it is that we have crafted the improper solution to the problem. The end result will remain, "call the military."
    One trend that is observed in developing countries with protracted insurgencies is the standardized use of the military to police. In those cases, the military is not the "capacity reserve," but the main effort.

    As some of the lessons of Colombia show us, maybe we should start increasing our efforts to assist and advice towards mentoring police and judicial reform instead of further strengthening the military apparatus.

    This notion goes against the current belief that we should secure and stabilize first through the military.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    The issue is not the things the military can do by virtue of being organised manpower. The issue is their contribution to strategy. Their contribution to strategy is the destruction of the enemies armed force, either actual or threatened.

    Yes, you can use all the organised manpower to build schools, but that is not what militaries do in terms of setting conditions for political solutions.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  12. #112
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    Default That is not really a true belief.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    One trend that is observed in developing countries with protracted insurgencies is the standardized use of the military to police. In those cases, the military is not the "capacity reserve," but the main effort.

    As some of the lessons of Colombia show us, maybe we should start increasing our efforts to assist and advice towards mentoring police and judicial reform instead of further strengthening the military apparatus.

    This notion goes against the current belief that we should secure and stabilize first through the military.
    It is a primarily US (but secondarily most major or former major powers) approach engendered not by logic but by arcane and inappropriate budget processes which equate jobs/tasks/missions with money and thus encourage the rather more organized armed forces to seek all missions to the detriment of those who should be tasked...

    It's sort of like the Schools -- do not build the capacity of your students by developing capability and insisting upon performance; rather, throw more money at the Administrators, Teachers and Facilities. Mostly because the former receive power and emoluments through enhancing the latter two...

  13. #113
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    As some of the lessons of Colombia show us, maybe we should start increasing our efforts to assist and advice towards mentoring police and judicial reform instead of further strengthening the military apparatus.
    Not speaking of Colombia specifically, as I don't know much about it, but...

    In many areas police and judicial reform can provide an effective tool against early stage or lower intensity insurgency, and can also address some of the root causes of insurgency. Unfortunately, in many insurgency-plagued areas local elites see control of the police and judiciary, and the ability to use those institutions for personal gain, as essential to maintaining their own control. In these cases governing elites may not openly oppose efforts at reform, especially if those efforts are a condition for external support, but they are likely to derail and dilute reforms as much as they can.

    This underscores a key problem in assisting COIN efforts in other countries. In many cases the governing elites oppose insurgency because it threatens their personal position, power, and prerogatives. If our proposed solution to the insurgency problem also threatens their personal position, power, and prerogatives, that solution is from their perspective completely pointless, and while they may make a show of going along with our ideas, they will be pursuing their own agendas with a lot more vigor at the same time.

  14. #114
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    SSI, 20 Jun 11: Resolving Insurgencies
    nderstanding how insurgencies may be brought to a successful conclusion is vital to military strategists and policymakers. This study examines how past insurgencies have ended and how current ones may be resolved. Four ways in which insurgencies have ended are identified. Clear-cut victories for either the government or the insurgents occurred during the era of decolonization, but they seldom happen today. Recent insurgencies have often degenerated into criminal organizations that become committed to making money rather than fighting a revolution, or they evolve into terrorist groups capable of nothing more than sporadic violence. In a few cases, the threatened government has resolved the conflict by co-opting the insurgents. After achieving a strategic stalemate and persuading the belligerents that they have nothing to gain from continued fighting, these governments have drawn the insurgents into the legitimate political process through reform and concessions. The author concludes that such a co-option strategy offers the best hope of U.S. success in Afghanistan and in future counterinsurgency campaigns.

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