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Thread: Defining Insurgency

  1. #21
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    Default Bob's definition w/mod

    Slap--

    I accept (like and generally agree with) Bob's definition of insurgency as a condition with the substitution of Regime (as it is defined in the IR field -see above) for governing body.

    As I noted, I am interested to see where Steve takes his argument given that he is choosing to discuss insurgency as a strategy. The problem he faces is that most folk in the field define strategy in ways similar to Bob. Which brings us to the strange social science notion of operational definition. Here a word means what the author says it means, however, that definition needs to be written so as to exclude all other possible meanings/interpretations.

    Is that clearer or muddier?

    Cheers

    JohnT

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    Insurgency:An illegal political challenge to a governing body that may be either violent or non-violent in terms of tactics employed and campaign design.
    John, so basically you believe in this definition? with your substitution/addition of regime?

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    Default From the "War is war" thread

    from BW
    .... from a piece I am working on on "Perspectives on Insurgency":

    Traditional Perspective: “Insurgency and counterinsurgency (COIN) are complex subsets of warfare.”

    Updated: Insurgency is an illegal political challenge to a governing body that may be either violent or non-violent in terms of tactics employed and campaign design. COIN is the action of that governing body working to prevent or resolve the civil emergency.
    Addressing those concepts here rather than there seems more appropriate.

    As to the "Traditional Perspective", I'd suggest that it could be presented as:

    “Insurgency and counterinsurgency (COIN) are complex subsets of politfare and/or warfare.”

    "Politfare" being the "conduct of" or "journey into" political action (see etymology of "fare"). Note this is not a rigorous definition, but merely a classification, such as "Homo S and Homo N are complex subsets of Hominidae."

    The "and/or" is inserted to recognize that multiple variants can occur even when only two parties are involved: each party could use political action only, military action only, or a mix of both.

    --------------------------------
    As to the updated definition:

    Updated: Insurgency is an illegal political challenge to a governing body that may be either violent or non-violent in terms of tactics employed and campaign design. COIN is the action of that governing body working to prevent or resolve the civil emergency.
    If the political challenge is non-violent, why is it "illegal" and who makes it so ?

    Similar thought, if the political challenge is non-violent, why should it be or develop into a "civil emergency" (whatever that is) ?

    That definition might apply in an authoritarian country with a very rigid one-party line (all deviations from which, violent and non-violent, are "illegal" and all deviants are "insurgents" - "we shoot counter-revolutionaries.") and with an enhanced state security service which always operates in emergency mode.

    ------------------------
    In Geneva-speak re: armed conflicts, we have to have at least two opposing "Powers" to the armed conflict; and, by analogy, at least two opposing "Powers" to political conflicts.

    While Geneva-speak talks of "Powers", it does not really define the term - we know it when we see it.

    Regards

    Mike

  4. #24
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default

    I left out the critical word of "internal" as well. If the challenger is from outside it is UW.

    So, how about:

    Insurgency: An illegal internal political challenge to a regime that may be either violent or non-violent in terms of tactics employed and campaign design.

    the keys being that:

    A. The challenging party comes from a populace governed by the regime being challenged,
    B. The challenge is illegal,
    C. The purpose is political,
    D. The tactics can be violent or non-violent.

    So, this excludes many situations that often get lumped under "Insurgency"
    A. Mexican drug violence. This is profit and power driven, not political. These organizations to not represent a poorly governed populace. (This means that much more kinetic approaches would likely be appropriate against these guys, but the causation of illegal drug demand will ensure that they are always replaced just as causation of poor governance will ensure that insurgent organizations are always replaced).
    B. Global insurgency. Only if there is a global government, and there is not. Many distinct insurgencies and global AQ UW, yes.
    C. Indian wars. They were separate populaces with their own governance.
    D. Rwanda? I need to look into this one, I think it may be closer to what is going on in Mexico currently than to insurgency.

    Similarly, many things currently called "terrorism" are actually insurgency.
    A. Saudi Arabia. The government there never lets these movements gain much traction, but the causation is the poor governance of the regime, and the goals are to illegally challenge it. For PR purposes they don't call it insurgency.


    It would be a worthwhile project to sort and stack these problem sets and look at what wer are really dealing with, and then tailor responses accordingly.
    Robert C. Jones
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    "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)

  5. #25
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Mike: great question on the "Who makes it illegal"

    The regime does. This goes to the "Hope" component of my Good Governance definition. By denying the populace legal, certain, and trusted means to affect change, the government leaves a populace faced with poor governance, with Conditions of Insurgency, no choice but to endure or to act out illegally.

    Therefore, what is "insurgency" in a state with no freedom of the press or right to assemble, or freedom of speech, is just a bunch of Tea Partyers out exercising their rights in America.

    This goes to why I am so impressed with what a great COIN document our constitution is. It is preventing insurgency every day, and we don't even notice. If we did not have this document, we would have military checkpoints, etc all over the place like they do in Afghanistan, and we would definitely notice.

    Good Governance is Good COIN.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (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)

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    Default Bob, I agree, except...

    The term regime allows for global insurgency if regime is defined as I have used it.

    One of the interesting aspects of all of these Small Wars is that, in general, they all encompass the tactics and strategies applied by insurgents - to a greater or lesser degree. This means that the principles of COIN apply equally to a true COIN or a drug war or imperial policing - with adaptation to the circumstances. In all the cases you mention, the war is about competing legitimacies. Note that the drug cartels in Mexico are seeking to legitimze there control of trafficking corridors without having to take on the responsibility (or expense) of maintaining infrastructure and services - and they apparently want to extend that level of control into the US. To do so successfully, their role and presence has to be perceived by the inhabitants of the corridors as legitimate to some extent.

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Default Is this completely true ?

    from BW
    I left out the critical word of "internal" as well. If the challenger is from outside it is UW.
    We have an External Power which supports one of two Internal Powers (say "Power B"). To the External Power, it is waging UW vs Power A (and vice versa). However, Power A still could regard Power B as an "insurgent" and as a Power in a non-international armed conflict. Sorta Vietnam, ain't it ?

    The UW conflict could be an international armed conflict if both the External Power and Power A are states. Your example of AQ (IMO: agree that AQ as a TVNSA wages UW, not a "global insurgency", using inter alia domestic insurgencies as tools) vice a state Power would be a non-international armed conflict, since AQ is not a nation-state and has neither accepted nor applied the 1949 GCs (as required by Common Article 2).

    My other questions and comments still apply from the post above.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Default OK, got the answer that

    the "regime" (formerly "governing body") declares the internal political challenge "illegal". I don't know where that will take us, but for the moment I'll ride along.

    My question for BW, brother Fishel and anyone else is how do I determine which "Power" in the country is the "regime" ?

    Hint: I do have views on that issue which are pretty much carved in stone, Defending Hamdan, starting primarily with this post, 1949 GC III - Art. 2 - Text & History, and ending on second page of that thread.

    Cheers

    Mike

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    The term regime allows for global insurgency if regime is defined as I have used it.

    One of the interesting aspects of all of these Small Wars is that, in general, they all encompass the tactics and strategies applied by insurgents - to a greater or lesser degree. This means that the principles of COIN apply equally to a true COIN or a drug war or imperial policing - with adaptation to the circumstances. In all the cases you mention, the war is about competing legitimacies. Note that the drug cartels in Mexico are seeking to legitimze there control of trafficking corridors without having to take on the responsibility (or expense) of maintaining infrastructure and services - and they apparently want to extend that level of control into the US. To do so successfully, their role and presence has to be perceived by the inhabitants of the corridors as legitimate to some extent.

    Cheers

    JohnT
    Supply and Demand.

    Demand for illegal drugs in the US drives a requirement for an illegal supplier. If filling that demand also makes said illegal supplier rich and powerful, he may expand his area of interests to other fields...

    Demand for Good Governance drives Insurgency. If no effective legal means are available to the populace then someone will come along and leverage that demand. It may be a mix of internal and external actors, but they have unique status based on their unique roles.

    The key to true success in both of these cases is the effective reduction of demand, while while mitigating the damage caused by the supplier's efforts. The tactics may be similar, but the focus of where they applied are very different. For example, In Afghanistan the source of "Demand" is the Government of Afghanistan. Focus there. In Mexico the source of Demand is the American Government (yes our populace buys the drugs, but our government makes them illegal and has been unwilling to take the hard steps to curb it).

    On the surface they look very similar, but they both demand very different solutions to resolve them. This is like integration calculus. Step one is to be able to identify what type of problem it is so that you can apply the correct type of solution. Even once one's identified the right type of problem there are still a hundred ways to screw it up. But if you misidentify the problem, no matter how well you work through all the reduction steps, one's answer will still be wrong. (Who knew that getting an F in integration and having to retake the class would later help me to better understand insurgency...)
    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. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
    I think the definition of insurgency is fairly simple, it is defining the things that give rise to insurgency where it begins to get complicated. But here are some positions that I am working on:

    But rather than a strategy employed by some group, I would define insurgency more accurately as a Condition. Success lies in treating the condition, not countering the strategy or defeating the organizations that rise to exploit it.

    Insurgency:An illegal political challenge to a governing body that may be either violent or non-violent in terms of tactics employed and campaign design.

    Conditions of Insurgency: A state of mind. The conditions of insurgency arguably exist to some degree within every populace. In most cases such conditions are benign in that they are not strong enough to support the rise of a significant insurgent organization, even if manipulated by outside actors conducting UW or by ideological themes designed for this audience. As perceptions of poor governance increase so does the degree of the conditions of insurgency. Left unchecked these conditions are apt to be exploited by internal and/or external parties for purposes of their own that may or may not have the welfare of the affected populace in mind. Conditions of insurgency are caused by the government and assessed through the perspective of the populace.

    Poor Governance: Actions or inactions on the part of governance that contribute to create conditions of insurgency within one or more significant segments of the society they govern. Poor Governance is assessed through the perceptions of each significant segment of society separately as well as collectively. Objective metrics of effectiveness of governance are immaterial to assessments of goodness.

    Good Governance: Governance, that may be either effective or ineffective, that through the nature of its performance prevents the growth of conditions of insurgency. Subjective, and measured as assessed by each significant segment of a populace, perceptions of good governance will typically vary across a state. Where good governance exists insurgency is unlikely. Where good governance is lacking the conditions of insurgency will grow, creating vulnerability for exploitation by internal or external actors pursuing agendas that may, or may not represent the best interests of the populace. The most critical perceptions that contribute to good governance appear to be those of Legitimacy, Justice, Respect and Hope.

    Perception of Legitimacy: The most critical causal perception contributing to the conditions of insurgency in a society. Legitimate is not synonymous with Official. It is a recognition and acceptance on the part of any significant segment of a society of the rights and duties of governance to govern. This is independent of any official or legal status of governance or any recognition of this governance by others. Historically insurgent movements will ultimately fail when this condition exists, and prevail when it is absent. The absence of legitimacy is the cornerstone of despotism.

    Perception of Justice: A critical causal perception that contributes to the conditions of insurgency in a society as shaped by good or poor performance of governance. Justice is not synonymous Rule of Law. Perceptions of justice are based in how the populace feels about the rule of law as it is applied to them. Enforcing the Rule of Law upon a populace that perceives the law as unjust is tyranny and will make the conditions of insurgency worse.

    Perception of Respect: A critical causal perception that contributes to the conditions of insurgency in a society as shaped by good or poor performance of governance. Measured through the eyes of the populace, the widely help perception within any significant segment of a society that they are not excluded from full participation in governance and opportunity as a matter of status. Assessments by those outside the affected populace, to include by the government, are immaterial.

    Perception of Hope: A critical causal perception that contributes to the conditions of insurgency in a society as shaped by good or poor performance of governance. Hope resides in the absolute confidence within any significant segment of a society that they have available to them trusted, certain and legal means to change their governance. Hope is the great off-ramp for insurgency, as the presence of hope keeps politics within the established and accepted legal parameters.

    (these are all a work in progress and will evolve, but will be in a paper I put out soon that looks at many of the long-standing cliche's that dominate thinking on COIN)
    My problem with definitions like that is that they are so thoroughly Western in perspective, with their emphasis on notions like legitimacy, good governance, and legality based on the Western experience. The unspoken assumption is that insurgencies occur because states don't adequately follow the Western-defined path, and will be defeated if states do.

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    Default Read Bob's definitions again

    Steve, Bob's definitions are carefully crafted in the sense that they are not uniquely Western. Indeed, each of them relies on local interpretation and perception.

    As an example that would fall within Bob's definition of legitimacy let me offer one indicator (variable) from Manwaring's original SSI study - "lack of perceived corruption." Corruption is commonly understood as the missuse of public position for personal gain and exists in all cultures. What is unique in each culture is their definition of missuse. So many things that a Westerner would see as corruption are perfectly acceptable in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, or Panama. I would also note that what is perceived as corrupt behavior also changes over time so something that was perfectly acceptable 20 years ago no longer is today. Still, there is a core to the notion of corruption that transcends culture. I believe that Bob has caught this kind of core in his definitions.

    Cheers

    JohnT

  12. #32
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    Default Exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    Steve, Bob's definitions are carefully crafted in the sense that they are not uniquely Western. Indeed, each of them relies on local interpretation and perception.

    As an example that would fall within Bob's definition of legitimacy let me offer one indicator (variable) from Manwaring's original SSI study - "lack of perceived corruption." Corruption is commonly understood as the misuse of public position for personal gain and exists in all cultures. What is unique in each culture is their definition of miss use. So many things that a Westerner would see as corruption are perfectly acceptable in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, or Panama. I would also note that what is perceived as corrupt behavior also changes over time so something that was perfectly acceptable 20 years ago no longer is today. Still, there is a core to the notion of corruption that transcends culture. I believe that Bob has caught this kind of core in his definitions.

    Cheers

    JohnT
    John and Steve:

    Steve's concern is extremely valid and something we must always guard against. When we mirror image current U.S. values onto other, or Western ideas of what sovereignty means, or western middle class concepts of what effective government services look like we IMMEDIATELY head down the wrong path. What John grasped is exactly what I have tried to understand and capture.

    This is why the most critical metrics are those that are gathered by getting out and getting a true sense of how the people FEEL about their governance. When I speak to Hazara or Tajik people who live in the north they FEEL very differently than the Pashtuns in rural southern provinces in Afghanistan. I think Americans are very sympathetic to the plights of others, I just don't think that in general, Americans are very empathetic. We just can't seem to relate, and tend to see everything as some shade of America, and think that people everywhere see us the way we see ourselves, and see and think about things in general the way we do. I mean, this isn't even true within America. Talk to a smart, educated, liberal living in a major city and then talk to a smart, educated, conservative living in a rural area. What is good governance to one is poor governance to another. Then within those broad area talk to members from different distinct segments. Talk to African Americans in that major city and they see it differently than whites, and talk to the Hispanic community in that rural area and they see it uniquely as well.

    What I am trying to develop are tools that identify those key human
    nature needs that seem to drive the type of political activism that we see with insurgency. Dr. Maslow is a great start point. Then look at case after case of insurgency in cultures all around the world and look past the focus on ideology and military tactics that dominate the histories and try to grasp what it is the government was doing, and how it was the populace was feeling. If this makes any sense, I think in that every culture is made up of humans, they share core aspects of human nature; but that because every culture is unique in its culture, history, geography, religion, demographics, etc etc; what may be great governance in one country is a disaster in another.

    Example:
    The President of the U.S. nominates Supreme Court Justices subject to congressional confirmation.

    The same is captured in the Afghan Constitution. So it should be as effective as the US system, right?

    Well, no. Patronage is such a pervasive all-powerful force in how EVERYTHING gets done in Afghanistan. A US president picks the best person who he believes shares his values and perspectives on key issues. That person then goes forward as a free-thinking individual with no expectation to provide an entry fee and regular monthly payments for this plush assignment, or any expectation to vote the way the President tells them to...In Afghanistan the latter is the norm. So by mirror imaging the US system in their constitution our advisers on Rule of Law probably thought that this was a huge coup to get the Afghans to buy into this great system. I suspect that the Afghans looked at what we proposed to them and thought "cha-ching! This will give the President complete control over the law, provide him with a rich flow of cash that he will need as President to perform his patronage duties, and also give him respected positions that he can award to his most loyal followers."

    This doesn't make the Afghan system wrong or require us to fix it. It is what it is. What our advisors need to do at the next constitutional convention that they hold post-reconciliation (power of positive thinking...) is to ask what types of selection processes make sense in this culture to achieve Justice, and what types of Checks and Balances make sense in this culture to prevent abuses of patronage-based corruption? How do we disassemble the Ponzi Scheme without disassembling the government? This is very doable, we just missed a critical step in our thinking.

    So is there corruption in Afghanistan? OF COURSE! Is it a problem? Only when it exceeds the socially accepted norm in that country. What we failed to realize when we shaped their government for them is that we disabled the natural system of checks and balances that come form local shuras and Jirgas when we centralized all power in the Central government (translation to Afghan: in the President). We created a massive Ponzi scheme with no true checks and balances, and then committed ourselves to putting our army around it to protect it and pumping Billions of dollars and Euros into it to keep it functioning.

    So I try to get past that and ID the base human need; and then craft a definition around it that emphasizes that it must always be assessed from the perspective of the governed, and by distinct groups within the governed. It's a work in progress.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 10-10-2010 at 12:18 PM.
    Robert C. Jones
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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Hi John,
    1- If Insurgency is not a Strategy, what do you think it is?
    2-I very much agree that it is always about legitamacy.
    Slap

    One can have the exact same discussion on terroism and terrorists with the same results.

    Best
    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Slap

    One can have the exact same discussion on terroism and terrorists with the same results.

    Best
    Tom
    Yes, you could. Which is why I believe we spend to much time on trying to counter Methods (every "gang/group" uses them). We don't focus enough on the Motive. When you understand the Motive then you can begin to develop Methods to counter them.

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    Well I certainly see terrorism as a tactic, and the same with counterterrorism.

    Often, when the conditions of insurgency exist, groups with too much brain and not enough brawn to try to go toe to toe with the government symmetrically, but who opt for violent tactics over non-violent tactics, will employ the tactic of terrorism to advance their cause.

    Similarly, those who emerge from communities that are not experiencing conditions of insurgency significant enough to support the emergence of insurgent groups will often employ tactics of terrorism. This can be a McVeigh from the heartland of America who believes the federal government must be attacked; or perhaps a young man in Paris who's own community is not to the level of supporting insurgent groups (yet) but he acts out in support of a group he strongly affiliates that he believes is being oppressed, or that the oppression is supported, by the government he attacks.

    Or it can be by a profit motivated group like a Mexican drug cartel.

    Many would argue it is also a tactic employed by governments to break the will of the populaces of the states they wage war against. (Though in equal number there are those who take the position that a state cannot conduct an act of terrorism, which I find a bit self-serving. "I write the rules, so I can't break the rules")

    Perhaps a bridge concept is this idea I am developing about the conditions of insurgency.

    The conditions of insurgency could be quite high, but there not be any insurgent groups actively working. This could be like in Saudi Arabia where to act out is to disappear, or it could be just because that catalytic event to set things in motion has not happened yet.

    So, the Act of insurgency is different than the condition of insurgency. The act may well be considered a strategy, that then in turn employ some mix of violent and non-violent tactics. But success is not from attacking the groups that emerge. Success is not from countering either the tactics or the strategy. Success is from addressing the conditions. The rest you must contend with, but the conditions are what one must understand and resolve.

    Typically waging war against the organizations, strategies or tactics is counter-productive to addressing the conditions.
    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)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post

    Often, when the conditions of insurgency exist,
    This is where I disagree slightly. There are no conditions of Insurgency. There are conditions of Illegitimacy someone and it is always a someone(s) that claims to have some moral right to pass a rule/law that benefits the few at the expense of the many. When these conditions of Illegitimacy exist it will eventually lead to some type of an Insurgency/Strategy to correct the "Moral Bomb" that is about to explode.

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Slap, Ok, there is no right answer, and we're both dropping rounds with effects on target. I prefer my breakdown as I have it, as I don't want to pack too much into one box. I very intentionally unpacked Justice and respect and hope as I feel it helps to assess the situation and design solutions.

    If you say simply "fix legitimacy" we send in the elections team, conduct elections and then say "there, they held elections so conditions of legitmacy are establshed." Whoa nelly, not so fast... Too simple results in solutions that are too simplistic. Even with the four criteria I use I still routinely get "yes, but what do you want us to do??"

    To reduce the entire complexity of insurgency to one concept is like the law student tale of the student who kept reducing his outline for his contracts class until he had it compressed from 100+ pages ultimately down to a single word nemonic. Then when he sat for the test he forgot that word... Too much compression can be a bad thing.
    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)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post

    If you say simply "fix legitimacy" we send in the elections team, conduct elections and then say "there, they held elections so conditions of legitmacy are establshed." Whoa nelly, not so fast... Too simple results in solutions that are too simplistic. Even with the four criteria I use I still routinely get "yes, but what do you want us to do??"
    But you see that is my point. That is what we would probably do but that does not make it legitimate to the population in focus. Maybe they don't want an election system that creates continuous turmoil and uncertainty,maybe they would rather have something else. There are other systems out there that are better(in the populations eyes) and we are going to learn and accept that or we will end up with a very hard road to travel.

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    Default Slap, a wise old Brit

    Sir Robert Thompson said, in his book Defeating Communist Insurgency, "If the [revolutionary] organization is already established, well-trained, and disciplined., it will not be defeated by reforms designed to eliminate the cause. It will only be defeated by establishing a superior organization and applying measures to break the revolutionary organization." (For revolutionary organization we can substitute the insurgents or insurgent organization.)

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Quote Originally Posted by John T. Fishel View Post
    Sir Robert Thompson said, in his book Defeating Communist Insurgency, "If the [revolutionary] organization is already established, well-trained, and disciplined., it will not be defeated by reforms designed to eliminate the cause. It will only be defeated by establishing a superior organization and applying measures to break the revolutionary organization." (For revolutionary organization we can substitute the insurgents or insurgent organization.)

    Cheers

    JohnT
    That seems to pretty much describe the various fighting factions during the Russian Revolution. I can't find the exact quote at the moment, but Lenin said something like, "Power was rolling around in the streets and we just happened to pick it up."

    And actually, the demise of the Russian Empire is an interesting history regarding questions on insurgency. There were organizations that began as ideological movements, then became what we might call insurgents, then fielded conventional fighting forces during the civil war, then were beaten to return to underground movements, insurgents etc. Added into this were many nationalist/separatist movements, anarchists, plus a lot of foreign intervention.

    Since the definition of insurgency seems to be continually up for debate, I'm beginning to wonder if it isn't one of those things that exists in the eye of the beholder - IOW kind of like pornography - difficult to describe, but one "knows it when they see it."
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

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