Page 17 of 17 FirstFirst ... 7151617
Results 321 to 324 of 324

Thread: Sanctuary or Ungoverned Spaces:identification, symptoms and responses

  1. #321
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,219

    Default Help Slap

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    What is a Guerilla's Center of Gravity? David is this a report? I can't seeem to find it
    Slap,

    Sorry it is a thread and is I think:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...read.php?t=783

    Oddly the title has gone, probably after my merging threads, apologies as it is a thread you've posted on.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-27-2012 at 03:36 PM.
    davidbfpo

  2. #322
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,169

    Default

    Posted by Madhu
    I mentioned this elsewhere, but I seem to be the odd one out in that I agree with carl's diagnosis to some extent but disagree with his cure....

    What I mean is that safe havens are not "inert" lumps of soil, simply spaces on a map, and are not necessarily interchangeable. Safe havens have a meaning to the people that use them --emotional and personal and ideological -- and some safe havens have access to militaries, especially retired military well trained in certain activies and arts. These safe havens have well-developed networks that reach back to other parts of the world, whether it be Europe, Africa, or simply back into cyberspace.

    I no longer trust assessments on intelligence from, well, pretty much anybody (that is not directed at anyone here : ) ) I mean, who knows, you know?

    All that being said, I agree that conventional forces and occupying forces are the wrong way to go, they infuriate the local people (naturally so) and the results do not justify the expenditures in blood and treasure. In short: it don't work.

    But on the "one safe haven is the same as the other" stuff, I'm not so cavalier....I look at it as nodes within a network that have a certain prominence to them, which may change over time, but then again, the node may have a meaning outside of our mirroring look at them; seeing what we want to see.
    Thoughtful comments, but I think safe haven is an over used term that is too often used to justify throwing a lot of money and troops at an area to "fix it", or more accurately establish something that looks like the West. All too often this simply makes the problem worse. Safe haven in simple terms implies a degree of safety, we can take that away in a number of ways that will create many sleepless nights for our foes without throwing substantial amounts at money at the problem.

    Addressing your other points, the trainers and training bases are enabling locations that may or may not be safe havens. The only safety may in fact due to our adversaries' to remain under the radar. There were few places in Iraq that were safe havens, we could reach out and strike anywhere, but needed the intelligence to facilitate the strike. Even without a safe haven terrorists/insurgents were able to train and launch sophisticated attacks.

    I would like to hear David's and others opinions on how essential safe havens were for the IRA.

    The bottom line is terrorists will adapt, ultimately you have to kill or detain them, and then hope the prison doesn't become a new incubator for the next generation of Jihadists (Egypt, Indonesia, Libya, etc.)

    Lots of nuances, but right now my position is we need to disrupt safe havens, not attempt to fix them. We can do that now, we had our awakening on 9/11, we were asleep or denial prior to then. In some places where the host nation is willing to work with us by all means we can and should assist them improve their capacity to more effectively govern their areas, but how we do it is critical, we have to be smart enough to adapt our approach based on each country's uniqueness or risk pushing that government into failure.
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 09-28-2012 at 05:09 AM.

  3. #323
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,219

    Default The IRA's safe havens

    Bill asked:
    I would like to hear David's and others opinions on how essential safe havens were for the IRA.
    I shall limit my remarks to 'The Troubles' 1969-1998, although clearly history, tradition and culture had an impact.

    The Republic of Ireland (Eire) was always a potential safe haven and the various Irish Republican groups, primarily the Provisional IRA (PIRA), were careful to stay away from challenging the Irish state. The border was never truly "sealed", although curiously it was during a mainland Foot & Mouth epidemic in 2001 and Irish action was very thorough - with a heavy civil & military presence for part of one year (Eire was very dependent on agriculture then).

    PIRA certainly by the 1990's relied on "safe havens" in a few areas, usually lightly populated such as Co. Donegal or where local support (passive & active) and extensive cross-border links existed - opposite 'Bandit Country' (See Toby Harnden's book 'Bandit Country:The IRA & South Armagh', pub. 1999) or Co. Armagh & Co. Fermangh. This enabled either safe training and preparation of IEDs, although not to the extent of being undisturbed. At one time attacks across the border were common, from sniping to IED ambushes, e.g. Warrenpoint in August 1979:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrenpoint_ambush

    The Irish state did - after a few years - consider PIRA and other groups as threats to the state, responding with searches, intercepting arms smuggling (notably from Libya), handling informants and arrests. It didn't help that bank raid or cash in transit attacks, IIRC the main source of funds, one day led to an unarmed Gardai officer being shot dead - which IIRC led to a massive adverse public reaction. Eventually suspects were extradited across the border and to the mainland. For example:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominic_McGlinchey

    What is often overlooked is that PIRA activity across Northern Ireland gradually shrank. Londonderry had a long standing, informal ceasefire in the city and rare, if bloody cross-border attacks. West Belfast took far longer to scale down or reduce. Towards the end the focus was in the cross-border 'Bandit Country', notably the elusive and deadly sniping attacks (using imported US Barrett rifles).

    Also PIRA's character changed over the years. The number of Ulster born / resident participants in the violent campaign dwindled and were replaced by the more "hard core" Republican communities, many who had lived further & further away from Ulster itself. (See Kevin Toolis book 'Rebel Hearts:Journeys within the IRA's soul', pub.1995)

    Essential? Certainly not at the beginning, when the focus was in the urban areas mainly and PIRA had extensive public support. As the struggle evolved use of the Irish Republic became essential, if sometimes dangerous and at the end PIRA's violent campaign depended on using certain "safe havens".

    The Irish state and the Irish public after the mid-1980's made it quite clear the Republican struggle was not for them. It took time for this to be reflected in co-operation between the law enforcement bodies - the two police forces became very close (not co-operation with the British military) and in political engagement to achieve cross-community agreement.
    davidbfpo

  4. #324
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,219

    Default A moving target - for the media and who else?

    Clint Watts rightly notes the reporting of an AQ safe haven or sanctuary is a moving target:
    AQIM is the new epicenter of al Qaeda! (Or is it Yemen, Somalia, Syria?) – Media analysis of the situation and Mali and Algeria is absolutely hilarious. I’ve seen several stories discussing how the Sahara is the new top Al Qaeda threat and shows the resilience of the network and the strength of the terror group. Amazingly the same media outlets don’t appear to research any of their own reporting. As has been discussed here, the story of Al Qaeda growth and strength repeats every few months. Four months ago Libya was the center of attention. Six months before that it was Yemen. And three months before that it was Somalia. Today, one hardly hears a peep about Somalia where Shabaab’s alliance with Al Qaeda has crumbled under the pressures of clan disputes. And in Yemen, reporting has died down to merely a trickle. So I am curious to see how long discussion will stay focused on the Sahara.
    Link:http://selectedwisdom.com/?p=948
    davidbfpo

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •