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Thread: Gun Control in Counterinsurgency

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  1. #1
    Council Member
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    May 2008

    Default Gun Control in Counterinsurgency

    This article showed up on today's SWJ Blog, Chad Machiela, with pdf Gun Control in Counterinsurgency: A Game Theory Analysis.

    The author's BLUF, BLOB & CV:

    Application of populace and resources control measures in counterinsurgency is often more art than science, and in Iraq’s Salah Din Province in 2006 the battlespace commander’s attempts to reduce the number of weapons available to insurgents actually caused residents otherwise uninvolved in insurgency to violate the law, while effectively ensuring that the population had no means to resist insurgent theft of supplies or forcible recruitment. Game theory offers a means to analyze the options available to different actors in a conflict, and to help identify courses of action more beneficial to all.
    In conclusion, whenever any authority criminalizes a legal activity in an attempt to reduce the incidence of an illegal activity, second and third-order effects are generated which may result in an outcome not only less effective than hoped for, but even counter to the desired effect. In the case of the al Jazeera desert in Iraq during 2006, the coalition forces’ attempt to minimize the number of weapons available to the insurgents operating in the area contributed to the insurgents’ means of support. The farmers were unable to do anything but support the insurgents regardless of whatever preference they might have for a functioning Government of Iraq. The presence of criminals and the coalition forces’ inability to protect the population resulted in a lack of support for both the legitimacy of the Government of Iraq and coalition forces, and provided the farmers no incentive to follow the rules of an authority that made criminals of a group without criminal intent. By analyzing the options available to the farmers, local commanders could have shifted policy to provide incentive to the farmers to protect themselves, perhaps eventually resulting in less of a need for weapons at all, and a willing reduction of arms.
    CW3 Chad Machiela is a Special Forces warrant officer assigned to 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), Joint Base Lewis McChord. He holds a M.S. in Defense Analysis from the Naval Postgraduate School and a B.A. in Public Law from Western Michigan University. The opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
    Of course, I've omitted all the good stuff that is writ large between the 1st and 2nd quote snips.

    This is simply an interesting article, dealing with a topic that has been discussed in the MSM and Net (with spin and heat) re: the US-Mexican border, etc.

    I'd as soon this NOT turn into a political (Second Amendment) discussion - and simply ask that folks stick to evidence (with sourcing) about the first, second and third order effects of gun control - as Chief Machiela has done well in his article. In light of SCOTUS's Second Amendment cases, this topic has both legal and practical aspects.

    Now, Truth in Lending: As those here who know me well already know, I'm an NRA Life Member (from the 1970s); when I was a "barrister", a pro bona participant in the Second Amendment Foundation and its Legal Assistance Program; and my idea of Gun Control is the almost-perfect 1000 yd, 10X 5-shot group with a .338 Lapua (slightly modded to a "300 Hulk" ), Sarver Sets Amazing new LG Record, 1.403", 50/ 5X (gif of target), in this webpage.

    While I'm perfectly capable of slugging it out about Second Amendment issues, I do NOT want this thread to turn into that kind of political discussion. What I would like to see are rational, evidentiary postings regarding the various order effects of gun control in the arena of Small Wars (those that favor gun control, those that don't and those that are inconclusive).


    Last edited by jmm99; 07-26-2010 at 12:34 AM.

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