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Thread: Insurgency vs. Civil War

  1. #161
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    I'm tempted to argue that "civil war" is simply an internal conflict of sufficient duration and dimension to be reasonably called "war", and that "insurgency" is a subset of civil war, typically involving irregular armed resistance to governance by a populace or portion thereof.

    Like others here, though, I'm not convinced that the distinction is terribly useful, even in the unlikely event that we could agree on what the distinction is. The ability to apply a label to a conflict (or anything else) does not necessarily enhance understanding, and can obstruct understanding if the label carries enough assumptions with it.

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Concepts of Sovereignty are indeed changing. Classic example is the "Failed" and "Failing" State list, with criteria that essentially define a successful state as one that conforms to the Western standards born of Westphalia. Most such states, not surprisingly, are in places as Africa, where such foreign forms of governance were imposed upon them by Colonial masters. As they reject these foreign concepts and seek forms that make more sense within their own cultures they are branded as "failed" by the West.

    I think the Kurdish situation as well as the Pashtun situation cry out for fresh perspectives on Sovereignty as well. Ways to recognize unique forms of autonomy within multiple states, without also having to rip those same states apart first to do so.
    Yes, and your original premise that insurgencies are caused by bad governments is at the root of everything. If government Provides and Protects it's citizens you will never have to worry about a civil war or an insurgency because there will be no motive to have one internally and no contradiction that could be exploited by any out side power. And if you run across the Charles Manson Guerrilla fighter who just wants a revolution for the heck of it, the population will take care of him very quickly.

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    Default Another perspective

    From The Dictionary of Modern War by Luttwak and Koehl, circa 1991:

    Insurgency: A localized internal war between a constituted government and rival elements originating in the same national territory, which may be guerrilla, civilian-insurrectional, or terrorist in nature. Revolutionary war mya begin as an insurgency, but one need not develop into the other. The term correctly applied to localized conflicts, often caused by ethnic or regional demands for autonomy or secession.

    Internal War: Organized armed conflict between parties that mainly originate from, and are based in, the same territory. If two or more parties acknowledge a common nationality while they openly wage war, the conflict is a civil war. If two or more parties acknowledge a common nationality, but one party relies mainly on guerrilla warfare and subversion, the conflict is revolutionary war. If two or more parties are fighting for control of less than the totality of the national territory, the conflict is an insurgency (normally ehtnic or regional).

    Insurrection defines mass civilian action against the established power, a mode of conflict that can succeed only if the armed authorities refrain from using the force at their disposal because of poltical inhibitions.

    Revolutionary war: armed conflict between a government and opposing forces, wherein the latter rely mainly on guerrilla warfare and subversion rather than formal warfare. The revolutionary side operates by establishing a rival state structure which embodies a political ideology, and which is intended to replace the existing order. This competing administration is itself the chief instrument of warfare. In revolutionary war, the winning side out-administers, rather than out-fights, the loser; the covert administration collects taxes, conscripts, and information-all of which can be extracted from the population even if the government is in apparent military control of the area in question.
    Using the current situation in Afghanistan as a case study, it would appear to me that Taliban is fighting for all of the country, which it had most of prior to OEF, making the conflict resemble more of a civil or revolutionary war. From the Taliban point of view, we (collective) could be seen as insurgents, and they are waging the counter-insurgency campaign. While the Tlaiban may utilize different tactics, I think it is hard to argue that the Taliban use mainly guerrilla tactics when they have massed into formations as large as 250 to attack targets. They also use very conventional combined arms manuever to attack our hard target installations. While this is not country wide, or always occurring, it does happen frequently.

    Perhaps we (imperial) are afraid to make the call because of our own hubris and therefore lose the moral high ground? Thoughts?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-09-2010 at 11:02 PM. Reason: spelling and quote marks
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  4. #164
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanmleigh View Post
    "Revolutionary war: armed conflict between a government and opposing focres, wherein the latter rely mainly on guerrilla warfare and subversion rather than formal warfare. The revolutionary side operates by establishing a rival state structure which embodies a political ideology, and which is intended to replace the existing order. This competing administration is itself the chief instrument of warfare. In revolutionary war, the winning side out-administers, rather than out-fights, the loser; the covert administration collects taxes, conscripts, and information-all of which can be extracted from the population even if the government is in apparent military control of the area in question."
    I like this better(highlighted the important parts) a government and opposing force,doesn't matter if they are civil warriors or insurgents or both they simply oppose the government. In this case I would call it a Religious/Political ideology.

  5. #165
    Council Member Backwards Observer's Avatar
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    Default FMFM 21 - Operations Against Guerrilla Units, Aug 1962 (reprint June 1965)

    From the SWJ Aladdin's Cave of Field Manuals:


    102. INSURGENCY AND COUNTERINSURGENCY

    a. Insurgency Defined. - - A condition resulting from a revolt or insurrection against a constituted government which falls short of civil war. In the current context, insurgency is primarily communist inspired, supported or exploited.

    b. Counterinsurgency Defined. - - Those military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological and civic actions taken by a government to defeat subversive insurgency.

    ...---...

    106. EVOLUTION OF FORCES

    Resistance stems from the dissatisfaction of some part of the population. The dissatisfaction may be real, imagined or incited and is usually centered around a desire for - -

    (1) Political change.

    (2) Relief from actual or alleged oppression.

    (3) Elimination of foreign occupation or exploitation.

    (4) Economic and social improvement.

    (5) Religious expression.

    Resistance movements may form locally or be inspired by “sponsoring powers.” The evolution of the guerrilla force usually follows a sequence of events that form a pattern:

    (1) The existence of a dissident group.

    (2) The emergence of groups which are willing to bear arms.

    (3) The appearance of strong, determined leaders to further organize and orient these groups. As members of underground organizations are identified and resistance grows, guerrilla bands form in secure areas to become the military arm of the guerrilla force.

    (4) Initial successes are exploited to convince elements of the population to support an effective guerrilla organization.

    (5) Seeking and accepting support from external sources.

    (6) The employment of equipment and personnel furnished by external sources

    (7) The integration of the guerrilla forces into a regular military organization.
    Like FM 31-22 from 1963, the USMC FMFM 21 seems to this reader to be a lot more straightforward than much of the current literature. Given that the Cold War also featured a massive ideological struggle, these old field manuals paradoxically seem to have much less of an underlying ideological bias, and are impressive for their measured sobriety. One of the first things to stand out between the USMC and the Army manuals, however, is FMFM 21's unapologetic use of the concept of evolution to describe the change of guerrilla units through time. One imagines that this well befits an organisation that emerges from the sea to fight on the land (and from the air).

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/fmfm21.pdf

  6. #166
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backwards Observer View Post
    From the SWJ Aladdin's Cave of Field Manuals:
    Like FM 31-22 from 1963, the USMC FMFM 21 seems to this reader to be a lot more straightforward than much of the current literature. Given that the Cold War also featured a massive ideological struggle, these old field manuals paradoxically seem to have much less of an underlying ideological bias, and are impressive for their measured sobriety. One of the first things to stand out between the USMC and the Army manuals, however, is FMFM 21's unapologetic use of the concept of evolution to describe the change of guerrilla units through time. One imagines that this well befits an organisation that emerges from the sea to fight on the land (and from the air).

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/fmfm21.pdf
    It is interresting also to consider that after the Cold War, civil wars and "revolutionary war" became insurrections.
    It is part of the actual ideology struggle between states and individuals as legal international bodies of the International Laws. By using the na,e insurrection, you assume that the government is always right. The term civil war leaves an open question on who are the right guys. But since we did win the Cold War, the only good guy can be the State.
    And this is were the propaganda starts....

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    Default We're in the Army now ...

    the French Army, that is - and its TdM (Troupes de Marine) branch, just to keep it in the family.

    Bonsoir Legrange,

    You keep me active finding where you get some of your ideas. So, here we look at "insurrection" (Fr) = "insurrection" (Eng). But is that really an accurate translation of our (US) thought. Ne pas !

    No doubt, current French doctrine is filled with "insurrection" - both the French originals and in English translations and paraphrases. E.g.:

    FT-01 Gagner la bataille, Conduire à la paix, les forces terrestres dans les conflits aujourd’hui et demain; CENTRE DE DOCTRINE D’EMPLOI DES FORCES, PARIS, JANVIER 2007 (pp.16-18):
    ....
    133 - Des conflits symétriques aux conflits asymétriques
    ....
    Les modèles dissymétiques et, plus encore, asymétriques sont désormais les conflits de référence pour notre armée. Or, les guerres asymétriques trouvant leur pleine expression dans l’insurrection, la guérilla, le terrorisme ou la manipulation des populations, certaines capacités indispensables dans la conduite des guerres symétriques ou dissymétriques s’avèrent partiellement inadaptées à l’asymétrie des conflits.
    and translated.

    FT-01 (ENG) Winning the Battle, Building Peace; Land Forces in Present and Future Conflicts; CENTRE DE DOCTRINE D’EMPLOI DES FORCES, PARIS, JANVIER 2007 (pp.16-18)
    ...
    1.3.3 – From Symmetrical to Asymmetrical Conflicts
    ...
    Dissymmetrical and, even more so, asymmetrical conflicts have become the points of reference for the French Army. Since asymmetrical warfare finds its full expression in insurrections, guerrilla warfare, terrorism and the manipulation of populations, certain capabilities which are indispensable for the conduct of symmetric or dissymmetrical warfare have proven to be illadapted in part to asymmetrical conflicts.
    One more example in French (which uses both "insurrection" & "mouvement révolutionnaire"):

    DOCTRINE D’EMPLOI DES FORCES TERRESTRES EN STABILISATION; CENTRE DE DOCTRINE D’EMPLOI DES FORCES, PARIS, 2006 (p.15):

    ... intervention dans un conflit interne où une armée n’arrive pas à maîtriser une insurrection / un mouvement révolutionnaire, etc.), la FOT (Force Opérationnelle Terrestre) peut se trouver exposée à divers niveaux de menace classique ...
    and another in English:

    DOCTRINE - general military review; Lessons learned: Principles of Pacification and Organization; MAY 2007, DOCTRINE # 12:

    Doctrine: What type of enemy can be met in these areas and how is it organized?

    On the Afghan theater of operations as well as on many mountainous theaters where more or less known asymmetric operations are taking place [3], the mountains constitute sanctuaries where insurrection movements get equipped, train, are refurbished and that they use for relocating their fighters and to organize their logistical flows.
    and finally this monograph:

    LE RÔLE DES MILITAIRES DANS LA RECONSTRUCTION D’ÉTATS APRÈS LES CONFLITS, Yann BRAEM, Alexandra de HOOP SCHEFFER, Christian OLSSON, Raphaël POUYÉ, 2007; Ce document constitue le rapport final de l’étude commanditée au Center for Peace du CERI/Sciences Po par le C2SD. CCEP 2006 SOC-138, Conv DEF/C2SD/2006 n°90.
    which uses "insurrection" just short of 100 times.

    Now all of this French "insurrectionism" seemed a bit suspicious to this partial product of some ancien TdM genes. Where was the term "insurgency" ?

    Actually, the French Army translated it out of existence and made it into "insurrection" ! Thus, from the DOCTRINE - general military review article above (p.7):

    The Marines and the US Army have just issued a new “Joint Doctrine” pertaining to counterinsurrection. It is based upon the Afghani and Iraqi experiences. ...
    Whoa, Cheval ... Not (in English) a Joint Doctrine re: "counterinsurrection", but one re: "counter-insurgency".

    That French translation of "counter-insurgency" into "counterinsurrection" also shows up clearly in the 2007 LE RÔLE DES MILITAIRES monograph above (p. 92):

    Dès le début des années 1970 cette stratégie visant à lutter contre le PIRA fut mise en oeuvre par le brigadier Frank Kitson, l’un des principaux hérauts britanniques de la contre-insurrection coloniale aux côtés de Thompson, Clutterbuck et Tugwell [129].

    [129] WILLIAMS (P), From Counter Insurgency to Internal Security: Northern Ireland 1969-1992, Small Wars and Insurgencies, Vol.6, n.6, printemps 1995; Voir également: KITSON (Frank), Low Intensity Operations: subversion, insurgency and peacekeeping, London, Faber and Faber, 1971.
    So, for some reason, French doctrine prefers "insurrection" to "insurgency"; despite such perfectly good French (per my battered Larousse) as insurgé = insurgent, and insurger = to revolt, to rebel, to rise.

    And, perhaps, the devious TdM () have decided that, as you say:

    By using the name insurrection, you assume that the government is always right.
    But, that shift in meaning is not demonstrated in the Anglophone world; nor at Geneva at the ICRC - just consider APs I and II, as well as the ICRC studies of Direct Participation in Hostilities and of Customary International Humanitarian Law, which are scarcely slanted in favor of incumbant governments.

    Colonialement, tu ancien Marsouin

    Mike

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    Particularly the dangerous trap of a "presumption that the government is always right." I will concede that there is also danger in presuming 'that the government is always wrong.'

    Sometimes, as in America's case with the events of 9/11, it is not a matter of Fault so much as a matter of Responsibity. Politicians struggle to separate those two very different concepts; and in that struggle they assume positions that make effective counterinsurgency extremely difficult as well.

    Is insurgency the government's fault? Often, but not always. There are evil and greedy men everywhere. Is insurgency government's responsibility? Always.

    In my short time as a Prosecutor working with literally thousands of my fellow citizens who were charged with a felony drug crime (of all ages, gender, economic and social backgrounds in nearly equal numbers, btw), I noticed two broad categories: Those who refused to take responsibility for their situation and were making no progress in dealing with their problem; and those who took responsibility for their situation and were immediately and clearly on the path to recovery (with recovery being a life-long journey, not an endstate one can simply achieve and be done with).

    Governance is very much like this. Do we love to blame our drug problems as individuals and as a nation on those who provide the drugs? Absolutely. There are millions of excuses (and I've heard half of them) for avoiding the measure of responsibility required for true progress. Similarly we love to blame our insurgencies, revolutions, insurections, etc, etc on those who form and join such movements as well. This is human nature, but it is an aspect of human nature that once identified as something that must be overcome, can be.

    We need to develop the "34-foot tower" for politicians. Determined as a height in which the survival instincts in one's brain would screeam "don't jump, you'll die!" airborne students are trained to overcome a healthy instinct and instead place trust in their equipment. Politicians also need to spend a couple weeks with some "governmental blackhats" to get trained out of some similarly defeatest instincts.

    I write this from a hotel lobby a mile or so south of the Capital (Giants are in town, and today is game three) and took the time to make a Hage to the National Archives yesterday. The words are sadly faded and largely unreadable on 6 precious sheets of parchment, but their meanings and power are timeless. 1-4-1. One page of Declaration of Independence; Four pages of a Constitution; and One page of a Bill of Rights. This is our equipment in which we must trust.

    I picked up a couple of great books as well, from one of them:

    The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. Thomas Jefferson (to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787)
    Last edited by Bob's World; 07-11-2010 at 12:10 PM.
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Pondering the 1787 quote

    Bob's World cited in part:
    The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. Thomas Jefferson (to Abigail Adams, February 22, 1787).
    I do wonder if this concept of tolerance - on both sides of the Atlantic and elsewhere - has been eroded in recent times. Thirty years ago in the UK there were advocates of Britain being ungovernable (see Professor Sammy Finer's writings on this) and without exception the concept of the strong state has moved forward.

    We appear now to be in an era where state effectiveness, as distinct from coercive capability, has diminished in many realms of social activity; I hesitate to mention the banking crisis - well covered on another thread. The state still seeks to have the appearance of being effective, in an almost theatrical manner trying to provide confident security.

    Other countries, with very different cultures and traditions, have what appears to be a high tolerance level of dissent, even rebellion - provided it is not in key areas, e.g. India with its many insurgencies.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Backwards Observer's Avatar
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    Default l'etat c'est toi

    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    But since we did win the Cold War, the only good guy can be the State.
    And this is were the propaganda starts....
    I love the smell of Gallic cynicism in the morning. One of the things that confused me when reading Trinquier's, Modern Warfare, was that even with all the casual brutality, the writing was so upbeat he hardly seemed like a Frenchman. Maybe it was the translator's inflection.

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    Default Hey, BO .....

    from BO,
    ... the writing was so upbeat he hardly seemed like a Frenchman....
    I think you've known too many Parisiens, and not enough French-Canadiens.

    I can't think of anything more upbeat than a bunch of FCs whooping it up.

    It is admittedly rather difficult for a Parisien to appear upbeat when he is looking down on you from the lofty perch of a nose that appears to extend to infinity (my mind picture of Charlie Gallstone).

    Trinquier came from the French Alps (La Beaume), where one has to be upbeat to mount the heights (and other things).

    Cheers

    Mike
    Last edited by jmm99; 07-11-2010 at 06:50 PM.

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    Council Member Backwards Observer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    I think you've known too many Parisiens, and not enough French-Canadiens.

    Trinquier came from the French Alps (La Beaume), where one has to be upbeat to mount the heights (and other things).

    Cheers

    Mike
    Mike, you're probably right, and that would explain the ski instructor who told my friend's sister in a salacious whisper, "Tonight, I will take you up the Alps..."

  13. #173
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Before responding on Trinquiet, I will answer to Mike.

    The rise of individual rights was part of the end of war as a democracy promotion process up to the end of the cold war. In his book, David Rieef (a bed for the night) describes how the promotion of Human rights was at the center of the “cultural objectives”. The apogee of such approach was the operation Restore Hope and then the Kosovo war made in the name of the military humanitarian intervention. The ideology behind it being that individual Rights, particularly Human Rights, were International Law and community primary concern and trigger for the just use of violence and war.
    Now; we are in a reverse position were the Cold War consensus on democracy is shared and accepted and is challenged by the “Non State War actors”. The legitimacy of democratic webberian state has been established, and the victory of individual rights as only legitimate primary concern of the State (The responsibility to protect).
    So now, there is a counter balance tendency from the States (as moral legal object) to come the primary concern of International Law.
    This is translated into language by the shift from civil war to insurgency to qualify specific non international wars. By qualifying a non international conflict as an insurgency, implicitly, it is assumed that the State which is being challenged has all the characteristics of a democratic webberian State and is unjustly challenged as THE only acceptable governance regime.
    While in a civil war, as in Spanish civil war in the 30th or after the fall of Berlin Wall in East Europe, the population is defending the values of democracy.
    This becomes even more obvious if you take the Atlani Duault (Humanitarian Aid in Post-Soviet Countries: An Anthropological Perspective) analyses of the rise of civil society in USSR as a cultural weapon to create a civil counter power in former communist regimes. http://www.amazon.fr/Humanitarian-Ai...8934397&sr=1-1
    So the use of insurgency (Which is depreciative) is made to justify the defense of the ideological victory of Cold War which imposes democracy as the only acceptable standard of government. (Not saying I am against).

    Well, L'Etat ne peut qu etre moi!

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    Default David and Marc

    I'd look at the issues you have mentioned more as issues in national and international politics than as international law questions.

    Although, how those issues are resolved politically will certainly affect how international law develops over the next few decades.

    E.g., one can question whether the 1977 Additional Protocols would have the same governmental support now as they had then. The old revolutionaries the APs favored then are probably not liking them when they are the incumbants facing "national liberation movements" and "freedom fighters". One even can question whether the 1949 GCs would have as many adherents if they were offered fresh today.

    This statement seems unsupportable:

    from MAL
    While in a civil war, as in Spanish civil war in the 30th or after the fall of Berlin Wall in East Europe, the population is defending the values of democracy.
    I'm hard pressed to see either side in the Spanish civil war as "defending the values of democracy". I can't see where there was civil war in the Eastern Bloc after the Wall fell - the incumbant systems mostly collapsed. And then we have Rwanda, where that civil war had nothing to do with democracy and a lot to do with killing in a climate of ethnic absolutism.

    Now, as to Alpine mouton .....

    Regards

    Mike

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    Default New Kalyvas Article

    All-
    Just received a new paper from Dr. Kalyvas at Yale and Laia Balcells at the Institute for Economic Analysis entitled "International System and Technologies of Rebellion: How the End of the Cold War Shaped Internal Conflict." In it they demonstrate that irregular war is not the paradigmatic mode of civil war, as widely believed. Rather, it is shown to be closely associated with the strucutral dynamics of the Cold War.

    Specifically with respect to the current discussion they write
    Contrary to widespread belief, not all civil wars are insurgencies. We diaggregate civil wars based on their technology of rebellion, which we conceptualize as the joint military technologies of states and rebels engaged in armed conflict. Conventional civil war takes place when the military technologies of states and rebels are matched at a high level; irregular civil war emerges when the military technologies of the rebels lag vis-a-vis those of the state; and symmetric non-conventional war is observed when the military technologies of states and rebels are matched at a low level.
    They also introduce the idea of a robust insurgency, which is separate and distinct from guerrilla warfare. Overall, I found it a very informative article and enlightening given the context of our discussions here. Thank you all for the rich discourse that we have been generating. I find it all extremely informative and significantly useful in generating a new level of understanding with respect to the differences between everyone's ideas.
    Ryan Leigh
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  16. #176
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Mike,

    1) I'll keep on the fact that Spanish civil war had one "good guys side" and & "bad guys side".
    For Eastern Europe, I was refering to Caucescu fall to be precise. A limited and small civil war. Or to Yougoslavia.
    But it has not so much importance.

    I'd look at the issues you have mentioned more as issues in national and international politics than as international law questions.

    Although, how those issues are resolved politically will certainly affect how international law develops over the next few decades.

    E.g., one can question whether the 1977 Additional Protocols would have the same governmental support now as they had then. The old revolutionaries the APs favored then are probably not liking them when they are the incumbants facing "national liberation movements" and "freedom fighters". One even can question whether the 1949 GCs would have as many adherents if they were offered fresh today.
    This is completely the question. Refering to a situation as an insurgency allows to keep it under the level of "internal troubles".

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    Default Mackinlay's Perspective

    From John Macklinay's book Insurgent Archipelago he describes the components of current insurgencies post-Cold War on page 4 and 5 as
    1. Insurgency is essentiallly a political process.
    2. The techniques of an insurgency evolve with the society from which it arises.
    3. Organizing an insurgency is an act of desparation, a course of action only taken when all other avenues of advance have been blocked.
    4. An insurgency has to involve the population; its energy, its ability to sustain itself and to continously replace and regenerate its losses, arises from popular support
    Later, on pg 223 he goes on to describe insurgency as
    Insurgency is essentially a political activity and not a form of warfare. (the word insurgent)refers to the act of rising up against a stronger authority. It is not a method of fighting, it cannot be used to defeat armies or invade territory. Certainly the military forces which emerge at the final stages of an insurgency to fight civil wars can do these things, but insurgency refers to the stages of activism and subversion that precede this development
    Given Mackinlay's description of insurgency, would anybody disagree with the concept of a scale of conflict along which multiple activities lie. Starting at the most benign level there is legitimate political activity (I argue a form of conflict) progressing into illegitimate political activity, into the realm of subversion, through insurgency, past rebellion and ending somehwere around civil war. Thoughts?
    Last edited by ryanmleigh; 07-14-2010 at 03:25 AM. Reason: spelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanmleigh View Post
    Given Mackinlay's description of insurgency, would anybody disagree with the concept of a scale of conflict along which multiple activities lie. Starting at the most benign level there is legitimate political activity (I argue a form of conflict) progressing into illegitimate political activity, into the realm of subversion, through insurgency, past rebellion and ending somehwere around civil war. Thoughts?
    Again I say it's just pretty basic Marxist stuff. Class Warfare.Take any cause in the World an substitute it for Class Warfare.... but the Method of revolution is exactly the same.

    Whenever power unjustly concentrates in the hands of a few all types of Unconventional methods will be used to advance or stop a political cause.
    In America our Democracy is based on Bribery(Campaign contributions) and Blackmail(negative Campaign adds) that is why Rich people have such an over whelming and unfair advantage.

    A stable Democracy will never let this happen(FDR and his Trust Busters) because it often does go down the path to a Civil War/Revolution as you have mentioned. That is why you are seeing folks like the Tea Party emerge and that is why they show up at political rallies with firearms, they know they have nowhere near the monetary resources to fight the Major political parties so they resort to intimidation and threats of force to counter balance this concentration of financial wealth that they perceive as having been unjustly acquired and used against them.

    Bed time

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryanmleigh View Post
    From John Macklinay's book Insurgent Archipelago he describes the components of current insurgencies post-Cold War on page 4 and 5 as
    Quote:
    1. Insurgency is essentiallly a political process.
    2. The techniques of an insurgency evolve with the society from which it arises.
    3. Organizing an insurgency is an act of desparation, a course of action only taken when all other avenues of advance have been blocked.
    4. An insurgency has to involve the population; its energy, its ability to sustain itself and to continously replace and regenerate its losses, arises from popular support.
    1. All wars are essentially a political process.
    2. Not true. So IEDs were an expression of Irish Republicanism? Same basic IEDs are used worldwide.
    3. So what? That is not wholly correct either and sometimes the violence is the preferred means. - Look at the RUF in Sierra Leone. They don't want political dialogue.
    4. Again wrong. Some insurgencies do benefit from popular support, but external support can supplant that and a very minor proportion of the population can sustain a successful insurgency.
    Given Mackinlay's description of insurgency, would anybody disagree with the concept of a scale of conflict along which multiple activities lie.
    Mackinlay is wrong. He's clearly never read Clausewitz, and has an peculiar understanding of war and warfare. Irregular Forces have defeated armies and invaded territories. Cuba wring any bells? Nicaragua?
    To say "Insurgency is essentially a political activity and not a form of warfare. (the word insurgent)refers to the act of rising up against a stronger authority." is sophistry. It's a deliberately false definition designed to pass as insight. All Warfare is a political activity. It aims to use violence to secure political objectives.
    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

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    If someone really wants to understand where Mackinlay is coming from, look at this paper here.
    IMO, reflects the classic problem of wanting to believe that there is something called insurgency, which is somehow a distinct form of conflict and somehow it is hard to understand and paradoxical.
    Thus we have nonsensical ideas like "Complex Insurgency" and "global insurgency." All in all, not helpful.
    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

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