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Thread: Gendarmerie / Paramilitary Policing (again)

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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Default American Gendarmerie

    OK, so this is more of an RFI than a thread, but it might be interesting to see people's thoughts on the subject.

    I am trying to find a recent article that I believe was on the ISS web site dealing with the future of the US Army. The basic gist was that the Army needs to put more effort in creating a functioning occupation force than in perfecting a maneuver element. The thought process was that we are great at destroying the enemy. We can do it by air, by sea, and on the ground. Any future war will be of limited duration, but the occupation and stabilization will take years and the responsibility for that operation falls squarely on the Army (as opposed to the Air Force, Navy, or Marines).

    Curious if anyone remembers the article. Also curious what thought you might have on the concept that the Army needs to develop a gendarmerie type capability in order to successfully prosecute future wars.
    "I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Default

    This assumes a whole lot, especially about future wars and whether it's a good idea to prepare for them (you should probably not give a machete to your child because it got badly hurt in a knife fight - you may prefer to take its knife away and make sure it stops having stupid ideas).

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Here is an article that appeared in Best Defense last year. You may have already seen it but if not...

    http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts...s_actual_tasks

    The author argues that the Army should take more interest because for so much of its history, it has acted as an occupation force.

    I don't see why the Army should develop a structure more suited to occupation than fighting. The many occupations we have done were done well enough by forces that were regular fighting forces. The more important thing is that the Army leaders concede that it is something that should be thought about and allow good leaders, well recruited and trained, the freedom to do things that need to be done according to the local situation in the occupied area.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default We've been here before

    Ah TheCurmudgeon,

    SWC has passed through this area of interest before.

    Just using 'gendarmerie' in a simple search I found threads:

    1943 - Reorganization of the Imperial Iranian Gendarmerie (x7 posts 3k views)
    What are the SWC thoughts on policing in combat? (x37 posts 11k views)
    Federal Restrictions on using U.S. MPs for law enforcement on foreign soil (x40 views 7k views)
    Law Enforcement Advisory Capability as a Major Shortcoming (x32 posts, 5k)
    Cops Show Marines How To Take On Taliban (x20 posts, 5k views)
    U.S. Police in Peace and Stability Operations (x6 posts, 4k views)

    Incidentally during 'The Troubles' the British Army increased the size of it's military police, with two regiments deployed at one time - when the army had responsibility for LE long ago.

    In the Balkan peacekeeping much emphasis has been on the presence of small, company sized gendarmerie units; invariably from France, Italy and Spain.

    In Afghanistan the UK was handicapped in deploying police advisers as most LE have no arms training, let alone experience; hence the reliance on our few armed police bodies (RUC/PSNI and MoD Police).

    Didn't the USMC or US Army announce last year standing up a new enhanced military police unit?
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Didn't the USMC or US Army announce last year standing up a new enhanced military police unit?
    Was this what you were thinking of? "The Marine Corps is always looking for a few good people. If you have pride in yourself and what you do, the Marine Corps Civilian Police may be for you."

    I recall hearing something along those lines a few years back, but I can't find anything now. I do think the Army MPs have increased their emphasis on population control.
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    Council Member Morgan's Avatar
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    David, I think you may be referring to the Marine Corp Law Enforcement Battalions. The Army used to have Constabulary Groups during post-WW2 Europe and several years ago, an article advocated bringing those back during the Iraq War http://www.armytimes.com/community/o...1225/….I think it would make sense to have them for future use as well.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Morgan,

    Thank you. Yes it is the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Battalions, which on a quick Google check have an active and reserve component.

    Hopefully such formations learn from outside the USA too. The RCMP and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have considerable UN experience, plus the key European Gendarmerie nations and a few others beyond - India comes to mind, with a variety of para-miltary formations. I am sure they'd be welcome in Northern Ireland too - not on the street though!
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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Default Thanks Carl

    First, Yes Dave - I thought we had, but I was looking for something specific. I apologize for creating a redundant thread.

    Carl,

    Thanks, that's the one.

    I started in the Army back in the early 1980's as an enlisted MP, so my memory of our actual mission is going to be clouded by time and youthful misinterpretations but I remember there being a FLOT and something called RACO (Rear Area Combat Operations). As MP's it was our forte. It was primarily a security mission. In those days we understood there would be civilian's on the battlefield but they were not of strategic significance. None-the-less, it was our job to maintain security, keep the supply routes open, and do limited humanitarian operations.

    Then came the era of "the battlefield is everywhere". There was no rear area and infantry, armor, and artillery units conducted operations in what back then would have been considered a rear area. They brought with them a combat (as opposed to security) mindset. I personally believe that the two missions are significantly different enough that separate force structures (MTOE, ARTEPS, etc.) are warranted. I believe that has become apparent as we began to order MRAPs and other vehicles designed for a specific mission and teaching tactical site exploitation, or as it is known to almost everyone else, processing a crime scene.

    I also believe that no one in the Army want's to admit that, or go down that road. We prefer near peer competitors. I am just curious if the capabilities of our sister services, particularly the air force, can effect regime change what is the Army uniquely capable of doing ... what it can do is hold the ground after the collapse of whatever government used to exist. Therefore we become the element with the task of accomplishing whatever ultimate political objective accompanies the military mission. In the recent past (and in the foreseeable future) that will mean supporting a more liberal, human rights oriented government. In the past even the MP's did not need to go that far.


    In any case, thanks for the article.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 01-30-2013 at 05:08 PM.
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    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    Also curious what thought you might have on the concept that the Army needs to develop a gendarmerie type capability in order to successfully prosecute future wars.
    I have a problem with the notion of "occupation force." Specifically, I disagree with the idea that "... the occupation and stabilization will take years and the responsibility for that operation falls squarely on the Army ..." I think we are better off thinking in terms of the people of a given country being responsible for their own rebuilding, with some outside assistance as long as it's welcome.

    Along those lines, isn't that the mission (or part thereof) for MPs and Civil Affairs?
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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    I have a problem with the notion of "occupation force." Specifically, I disagree with the idea that "... the occupation and stabilization will take years and the responsibility for that operation falls squarely on the Army ..." I think we are better off thinking in terms of the people of a given country being responsible for their own rebuilding, with some outside assistance as long as it's welcome.

    Along those lines, isn't that the mission (or part thereof) for MPs and Civil Affairs?
    Gendarmerie ~ MP

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    Council Member J Wolfsberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Gendarmerie ~ MP
    In some countries yes, in others, including the U.S., no.
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    Council Member TheCurmudgeon's Avatar
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    Default We can't do it now

    Quote Originally Posted by J Wolfsberger View Post
    In some countries yes, in others, including the U.S., no.
    This would be new to us. The MPs we have don't really have this capability. MP's are trained to conduct most their policing operations on the military. They are not trained as a civilian police force. Plus you are looking at a huge structure. I recently read an article on mission requirements in the event that North Korea collapsed. The author was estimating between 180,000 and 312,000 soldiers for security operations (Humanitarian relief and Policing). Obviously in this case the South Koreans would be the lead, but it gives you an idea of the size of a force that would be required in a large scale military occupation.
    Last edited by TheCurmudgeon; 01-30-2013 at 05:34 PM.
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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Default

    Checking for "constabulary" might give you more results. That's usually what the US has attempted in post-conflict situations.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
    This would be new to us. The MPs we have don't really have this capability. MP's are trained to conduct most their policing operations on the military. They are not trained as a civilian police force. Plus you are looking at a huge structure. I recently read an article on mission requirements in the event that North Korea collapsed. The author was estimating between 180,000 and 312,000 soldiers for security operations (Humanitarian relief and Policing). Obviously in this case the South Koreans would be the lead, but it gives you an idea of the size of a force that would be required in a large scale military occupation.
    You know we have been trying to convert infantry KATUSAs and regular GIs into MPs at the MDL since the late 70s and it doesn't work. Riot control is one thing, but controlling the civilian population under more peaceful situations turned ugly in a big way.

    We've also tried to convert our ground forces into humanitarian tools in the POTUSs kit bag and we all know that Army dogs do not do hugs and kisses well at all.

    We are trained to destroy things and we have a handle on that. We also have UN orgs out the jinjiang doing the baby hugging stuff, so why are we trying to do something only the French are famous for ?

    Gendarmes and Guard Civil are only notorious for robbing people. Do we need such a label with all our other blunders in front of the Euro bros

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Gendarmerie / Paramilitary Policing (again)

    Thanks to a "lurker" for the pointer to this July 2016 Australian article, 'An Australian Gendarmerie Force' on the Australian Army's blog. The role of a paramilitary gendarmerie, even a military police unit or whatever label is attached has appeared in several threads. Ah, the USA has called them constabulary units (post-1945 Europe).

    Neat summary:
    As the dichotomy between war and crime breaks down, ensuring a response to complex emergencies that blends domestic policing with military operations makes increasing sense. A gendarmerie force is a force that has this versatility inbuilt into it, it is a force capable of operating appropriately amongst a community and being the thin blue line, while at the same time delivering military objectives, both on its own or with military forces, should circumstances dictate.
    Link:https://www.army.gov.au/our-future/b...armerie-force?

    Recently we have seen Russian and now Chechen military police deployed in Syria; which must be their first overseas deployment beyond the former USSR.

    I also recall the UK during 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland increased the size of the Royal Military Police and at one time the Army had 'primacy' over the RUC (local paramilitary police which was reformed and adapted to a different role).

    The UN has also tried to get such paramilitary units deployed, with mixed success as I recall and that includes all-female units, from Bangladesh IIRC in Africa.

    Other clearly relevant threads, (which were in different arenas and now all here) are:

    1) A Thin Blue Line in the Sand from 2011
    2) Federal Restrictions on using U.S. MPs for law enforcement on foreign soil from 2008
    3) What are the SWC thoughts on policing in combat? from 2008
    4) Cops or Police in Counterinsurgency COIN from 2016
    5) A RFI Paramilitary forces in Colombia's conflicts: literature?


    Searching again for Constabulary I found this thread U.S. Police in Peace and Stability Operations where ken White (who I miss a lot), Jedburgh and others chime in.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-17-2018 at 03:59 PM. Reason: Add link and last passage
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator at work

    Prompted by the next post on the Italian Carabinieri I have reviewed the threads in this arena and merged two. There was an old thread 'American Gendarmarie' now merged into this thread.

    The previous thread refers to five relevant threads - which on a review cannot be merged.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default For Not-Quite-Wars, Italy Has a Useful Alternative to Traditional Troops

    An article lauding the contribution of the Italian Carabinieri:
    Currently some 500 Carabinieri are on foreign deployment, serving as part of 33 missions.....Perhaps even more significantly, some 160 Carabinieri serve as part of international Multinational Specialised Units in Bosnia and Kosovo, helping maintain public order, patrolling sensitive areas, and assisting the return of refugees and displaced persons.

    (Citing the Italian Chief of Defence) I’m really proud that the Carabinieri’s professionalism and capabilities are recognized worldwide, and we are ready and eager to offer to our allies and partners this distinctive ‘specialization of excellence.
    Link:https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/201...=DefenseOneTCO
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-17-2018 at 04:11 PM. Reason: 38,011v
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