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Thread: Capture, Detain and COIN: merged thread

  1. #41
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Default Excellent point...

    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    PS: for the two other lawyers here (and any such others of that ilk that happen upon this), they might consider the distinction between what is relevant (in terms of both but for and proximate causation) and what is material - a narrower scope of inquiry addressed to the practical application expressed in the specific question (which also saves bytes).
    ...however, anytime I get a chance to link current thinking on foreign policy in general, and the "Long War" in particular back to how we should be thinking based upon our founding principles as a nation I take the conversation in that direction!

    (Personally I see this whole detainee issue as just one of dozens of related issues that could all have been avoided if we would just stop trying to control everything on our terms, and instead get back into the role of being an example of what self-determined, popular power can achieve, and help shape an environment that allows other populaces to craft their own destinies.)

  2. #42
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    Default No argument ...

    with this principle:

    BW
    (Personally I see this whole detainee issue as just one of dozens of related issues that could all have been avoided if we would just stop trying to control everything on our terms, and instead get back into the role of being an example of what self-determined, popular power can achieve, and help shape an environment that allows other populaces to craft their own destinies.)
    We'll agree and disagree on specific applications as the principle is reduced to practice - which is a good thing (discussion - thesis, antithesis and synthesis in my simplified "Hegelian" terms).

    Yes, you do have a fixation on the Declaration of Independence.

    PS: Ken expresses the lead quote principle in terms of Chimps and a 600# Gorilla - as I have demonstrated in another thread.
    Last edited by jmm99; 01-16-2009 at 07:58 PM.

  3. #43
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    Question

    I feel the state of the State may be changing, if you'll pardon the expression.

    Logical evolution; City-State to Nation-State to Continent-State

    Possible Future Evolution; Nation-State to Micro-State or concurrent governance and the such, particularly in the frontiers regions of Asia & Africa.

    We might be dealing in the future with trans-corporeal states, virtual states and religious states wich would in the past have only been labelled fronts/cells/networks.

    The statehood criterion will likely change due to communication & easement of access as well as the Enclave method of occupation in different areas by NNAs.

    There is of course no good legal framework for attacking these issues. Certainly the new fronts & groups are not Geneva Signatories.

    Given these factors, if we continue with "pre-emptive imprisonment" as an, admittedly good, deterrent/collection/spoiling effort, can we ever morally return to summary execution of spies ?

    Could any enemy combatant be forced into the category of spy/saboteur?

    At the beginning of this action that "forcing" was essentially my best advice. Today I feel the Bush Administration might actually have gained less from housing than from hanging in these terror suspect cases, but what of the cost ?

    In past wars non-uniformed combatants were able to be hanged as spies. Is this still the case ?

    Morally & legally ?

    To what extent has the moral implication driven US procedures ?

    Or was it global opinion rather ?

    And what of the precedent ?

    Is this even a precedent ?

  4. #44
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    MR, May-Jun 09: Detention Operations, Behavior Modification and Counterinsurgency
    Influencing the population is critical in a counterinsurgency, and the detainee population in Iraq represents a particularly salient demographic in that endeavor. Can an Iraqi detainee’s extremist behavior be influenced and modified during detention, thereby making him a lesser threat to coalition forces upon release?1 This question is crucial for Iraq’s future. The lengthy insurgency has resulted in a large number of detainees, and of those who are still being held captive, many have extremist backgrounds. If enough of them can be influenced to adopt positive attitudes toward coalition forces and the Iraqi government, and they return as constructive members of their villages and social networks, the cumulative effects would help tremendously in ensuring long-term national stability......

  5. #45
    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    Jedburgh, this segment highlights one of the most misunderstood and misused words in our efforts to support the COIN operations of others: "Influence"

    Invariably it is stated as it is here, as a verb. Something you do to the populace. I mean seriously, how hard is it to influence someone in cuffs standing on the business end of your M-4?

    What is needed, and is much much more difficult to achieve is Influence the noun.

    Every commander we've ever worked for could influence us, but how many of them possessed influence with you?

    The second piece of this is that this is not our populace, this is not our COIN, and these should not be our detainees. Which leads us to the critical point Influence is closely related to Legitimacy. The government that needs to be developing Influence in the eyes of its populace (both insurgent and otherwise) is the host nation government. This builds their legitimacy in the eyes of their populace and reduces the causation for insurgency.

    When we as the intervening FID force attempt to build our influence, it robs from the host nation and prolongs the insurgency. It also builds our perception of legitimacy over that host nation government which also prolongs the insurgency and makes the FID force a target of the insurgency as well.

    There are many words associated with employing influence:
    Order, Direct, Compel, Coerce, Sanction, Intimidate, Scare

    There are also many words associated with possessing influence:
    Trust, Stature, Prestige, Respect, Credibility, Reputation, Leadership

    We need to not only focus on ensuring that every single engagement we execute, be it a raid to take down an HVT or a ribbon cutting ceremony, is designed to preserve the latter in ourselves, and build it in the HN.

    I see this as part of our national treasure, a giant "credibility account," if you will. We have been drawing heavily on that account of late, deficit spending in hopes to make it all back at some future date when this GWOT is over. The future is now. It is time to redesign operations around this one point.

    In the past if we could deter one man, we could deter a nation, and if we could deter one nation we could prevail. This was the Cold War paradigm.

    Now and increasingly we must deter many nations, many leaders, and in fact many populaces to achieve the same degree of security. I see no way to get there except through the retirement of Cold War / GWOT Influencing, and the adoption of a new strategy of building credible influence.

    Easily lost, hard to gain. We have a lot of work to do in this regard and we need to get started.
    Last edited by Bob's World; 05-01-2009 at 05:36 PM.
    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)

  6. #46
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    Default Historical Detention Rates in Counterinsurgencies

    Ladies/Gentlemen

    I am a junior captain serving with JTF 435 in Afghanistan. I have been tasked with tracking down detention rates in historical counterinsurgencies to compare with those of Afghanistan. I can find present detention/incarceration levels fairly easily through basic internet research, but I am having a hard time coming up with numbers relating to counterinsurgencies. I don't have a library at hand, so any help the users of this site can provide is greatly appreciated.

    I am interested in the Vietnam Conflict (both under French and U.S. prosecution), Malay Emergency, Northern Ireland, French Algeria.

    I realize in some cases I may be comparing apples to oranges (i.e. moving 500,000 Malay citizens out of the jungle to eliminate support for the insurgency is not the same as the detention of insurgents in Afghanistan), but I can find a way to normalize for comparison if I can get the raw data.

    Thank you for your help,

    Jack

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    Default Welcome to the forum

    I've looked at some data re: Vietnam detentions in connection with Pacification in general and the Phoenix Program in particular; but IIRC (articles are on home computer) most were summaries of other databases. I also was looking at them from the legal standpoint, not re: demographics.

    I'll take a look tonite and see what if any of the articles would be useful, either for data they present or to sources of original data that might be online. If I'm reading right, you would perfer online sources cuz hardcopies are hard to come by in mountain goat country,

    I expect there will be others here who have at least looked at detention in the context of the Malay Emergency, Northern Ireland, French Algeria and French Indochina.

    My interest in detention is primarily legal - see this thread, Crimes, War Crimes and the War on Terror.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Default Example of what I've collected

    This chart is from Tal Tovy, The Theoretical Aspect of Targeted Killings: The Phoenix Program as a Case Study (2009; .pdf link at bottom of abstract), summarizing neutralization of VCI (Viet Cong Infrastructure):

    Phoenix Stats 1968-1972.jpg

    The footnotes show 1972 as a partial year; and Moyer's book as the source for the chart:

    66 Until July 1972, when the Phoenix Program ended as part of the process of evacuation of the American forces from South Vietnam.

    67 Source: Mark Moyer, Phoenix and the Birds of Prey The CIA's Secret Campaign to Destroy the Viet Cong, p. 236.
    There are a number of online articles that get into Vietnam War detentions arising from Pacification in general and Phoenix in particular; but those tend to be more qualitative than quantitative.

    I'll stop now and you can tell us what type of historical data would be useful.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Mike - this type of info is useful. It doesn't have to be super sophisticated. This chart told what I needed to know - what type of actors were detained (VCI) and how many were detained. This is a good sample of data for the Vietnam Conflict. Thank you for your help.

    Jack

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    Default Just a snapshot

    Hey Jack

    BG (ARVN) Tran Dinh Tho, Pacification (link to .pdf) discusses the overall Pacification programs from the South Vietnamese viewpoint.

    Compare his figures for VC "ralliers" with VCI "deserters" in the Phoenix post above.

    Pacification Stats 1963-1973.jpg

    E.g., 47K ralliers in 1969 in the overall Pacification program vs only 4.8K VCI "deserters" included in Phoenix. And, the average annual ralliers work out to about 15K - about 2 military cadres and troops to 1 political cadres and troops. So, these various data sources must be handled with some care.

    I'll take a look at a few more.

    Regards

    Mike

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    Default May help

    jack,

    I am interested in the Vietnam Conflict (both under French and U.S. prosecution), Malay Emergency, Northern Ireland, French Algeria.
    I am sure somewhere there are published official figures for detention in Northern Ireland. It maybe difficult to separate terror-related from "ordinary decent crime", except when there was internment. A starting point is:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Demetriusand http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/index.html

    Figures for Kenya maybe easier to get than Malaya IMHO as there was a book a few years ago on the mistreatment in the internment camps, written by an American and the title eludes me.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Why detain the captured at all?

    Assuming...

    1. that the vast majority of detainees captured on battlefield are discovered to be worthless as intelligence assets in short order, and
    2. detaining fighters doesn't do much to dent the enemy's manpower...

    ...why bother maintaining them in the first place? Why not release them with some provisions to help them on their way home?
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  13. #53
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    I was just wondering how many we actually capture on the battlefield anymore, as opposed to in raids?

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    In my last tour as a company commander, I had a 90% detention/retention rate meaning that if we sent someone away,then they stayed there for a long time (minimum of three months). That took a lot of me putting on the lawyer/DA hat to build the case and sending my boys to Baghdad to testify.

    With that said, the majority of dudes stayed as guest in our patrol base for 72 hours. For innocents, they had to stay so that they were not killed. For the bad guys, we could not transport them away b/c the only accessible road had over 100 IEDs over a 1 mile stretch. This bought me time to make a decision to detain or let go before air could be scheduled.

    I would estimate that 40% over the bad guys that we held and released provided us valuable intelligence. Most of them were kids (15-24 yrs old) that had been told that Americans would torture them. When we didn't, instead gave them 3 hot meals a day and a cot, smoke cigarettes, and bull#### with them about Michael Jordan, Guns and Roses, Britney Spears, and American porn, they started telling us everything that we needed to hear.

    The intel captured allowed us to kill the primary bomb maker and 3 of the top 5 al Qaeda deputies in our area, force the main leader to flee, roll up about 15 caches, find 3 rigged houses, get early warning on two impending attacks, and 30 emplaced IEDs.

    If we released someone, then they were tracked. Sometimes we would get to know their parents, some converted to double agents, and others went back to doing bad things. Those that went back to bad things were killed.

    My only regret is that I let the primary executor of Shiites go. We captured him, did not know who he was, no locals would make a statement other than a verbal "he's a bad man," and we let him go free. I'm still frustated over that one. That dude was beheading his neighbors.
    Last edited by MikeF; 06-24-2010 at 02:17 AM.

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    Default How long does it take the enemy to replace an IED?

    Or a bombmaker for that matter?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Presley Cannady View Post
    Assuming...

    1. that the vast majority of detainees captured on battlefield are discovered to be worthless as intelligence assets in short order, and
    2. detaining fighters doesn't do much to dent the enemy's manpower...
    Very odd and mostly wrong assumptions. Irregular warfare requires effective methods of detention and exploitation. Not having them is a sever disadvantage.

    ...why bother maintaining them in the first place? Why not release them with some provisions to help them on their way home?
    because they will see you as a weak enemy and not fear trying to kill you again.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    Very odd and mostly wrong assumptions. Irregular warfare requires effective methods of detention and exploitation. Not having them is a sever disadvantage.
    1. Are the assumptions that unreasonable? A majority of detainees end up released after vetting, and I've seen little evidence that detention specifically plays a major role in sapping the enemy's strength.

    2. In your estimate, how much of battlefield intelligence is sourced from detainee take? Ballpark, 10 percent? 20? 50?

    because they will see you as a weak enemy and not fear trying to kill you again.
    How does the impression of weakness weigh against, say, the experience of surviving--and not necessarily intact--a firefight against your forces? The state of Shu Han met the enemy brutally while pacifying the Nanzhong rebels, yet released her captives after each fight, presumably on the theory that even insurgents get weary, quit, and bitch about the inevitability of it all to their neighbors and families. I'm curious how well this theory holds up outside of that particular case, but I know of no comparable counterinsurgency in history.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Presley Cannady View Post
    1. Are the assumptions that unreasonable? A majority of detainees end up released after vetting, and I've seen little evidence that detention specifically plays a major role in sapping the enemy's strength.
    Can't speak for A'Stan specifically. If the person captured is a true civilian it will have no impact. If he's a player, why let him go? So as he can kill another of your guys two weeks later?
    2. In your estimate, how much of battlefield intelligence is sourced from detainee take? Ballpark, 10 percent? 20? 50?
    Cannot speak for A'Stan, but in the case of UK in Cyprus, Kenya, Oman and a few other places, intelligence gained from captured personnel was substantial.
    If you cannot detain and interrogate, then you are giving up something normally extremely valuable.
    I'm curious how well this theory holds up outside of that particular case, but I know of no comparable counterinsurgency in history.
    OK,let me ask, what you do when you capture a guy planting an IED, or in a a cellar building IEDs? Let him go? Just from a point of view of logic, how much sense does that make?

    Based on the fact that COIN is actually just Irregular Warfare, it clearly makes more sense to detain than not to detain. We can argue about the status of detainees and on what grounds they get detained, but simply having no detention policy is very clearly something that will make you less effective. Even FM3-24 gets it this bit right... as much as it can!
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    In my last tour as a company commander, I had a 90% detention/retention rate meaning that if we sent someone away,then they stayed there for a long time (minimum of three months). That took a lot of me putting on the lawyer/DA hat to build the case and sending my boys to Baghdad to testify.

    With that said, the majority of dudes stayed as guest in our patrol base for 72 hours. For innocents, they had to stay so that they were not killed. For the bad guys, we could not transport them away b/c the only accessible road had over 100 IEDs over a 1 mile stretch. This bought me time to make a decision to detain or let go before air could be scheduled.

    I would estimate that 40% over the bad guys that we held and released provided us valuable intelligence. Most of them were kids (15-24 yrs old) that had been told that Americans would torture them. When we didn't, instead gave them 3 hot meals a day and a cot, smoke cigarettes, and bull#### with them about Michael Jordan, Guns and Roses, Britney Spears, and American porn, they started telling us everything that we needed to hear.

    The intel captured allowed us to kill the primary bomb maker and 3 of the top 5 al Qaeda deputies in our area, force the main leader to flee, roll up about 15 caches, find 3 rigged houses, get early warning on two impending attacks, and 30 emplaced IEDs.

    If we released someone, then they were tracked. Sometimes we would get to know their parents, some converted to double agents, and others went back to doing bad things. Those that went back to bad things were killed.

    My only regret is that I let the primary executor of Shiites go. We captured him, did not know who he was, no locals would make a statement other than a verbal "he's a bad man," and we let him go free. I'm still frustated over that one. That dude was beheading his neighbors.
    I can't follow what you are talking about here. Are these prisoners taken in combat or people picked up at road blocks for during sweeps/searches?

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    Default Are you serious?

    Quote Originally Posted by Presley Cannady View Post
    Assuming...

    1. that the vast majority of detainees captured on battlefield are discovered to be worthless as intelligence assets in short order, and
    2. detaining fighters doesn't do much to dent the enemy's manpower...

    ...why bother maintaining them in the first place? Why not release them with some provisions to help them on their way home?
    You release them and they are back in the front line before you know it. You detain them until the war is over. You do understand the futility of just releasing captives don't you?

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