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Thread: What are the SWC thoughts on policing in combat?

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default What are the SWC thoughts on policing in combat?

    I’ve read some interviews and had a chance to speak with several folks directly involved with police training in Iraq and Afghanistan and have compared their views with some of my own observations about policing in a COIN environment. I think building capable, competent and committed police forces may be even more critical in some ways to defeating an insurgency in terms of winning and sustaining public support for the local governments that people actually live under, then national military forces.

    The roles we normally think of police and military serving are different, and mixing the roles has consequences. We even go to lengths to ensure that politically, the control of the two forces is diversified. However, the conditions in the environment are not what most people in western states think of as those in which a police force operates in, police in Afghanistan and Iraq are subject to urban combat on a scale that makes the LA bank robbery that went down several years ago (in which robbers used Kevlar and military type weapons to prolong a serious shootout) pale by comparison; nor would you quite equate it to the conditions we've sometimes seen with regard to stand offs with domestic extremist groups. In Iraq and Afghanistan the host nation police operate in the same conditions that our own combat troops do (many of the SWC know this, but there may be a few lurkers who don’t).

    The operational environment is such that separating purely insurgent activities from organized crime, murder, etc. is difficult – maybe indistinguishable. Crime is often a source of revenue for insurgent activities, and a case could be made that even if they are not sometimes directly related, they certainly benefit from each other – as the two activities are often so similar that security resources are challenged to distinguish the two, and allocate resources accordingly.

    Police are certainly a prime target in an insurgency – in some ways they are perhaps more a symbol of a government’s ability (or inability) to provide domestic security, public order and governance then the military is, and if that capacity is fulfilled by the military then it means the government has been effectively challenged. The longer that government has to use its military to fulfill the police role there is an increasing perception of weakness on the part of the government to fulfill its most basic of functions. Effective policing is a symbol of rule of law and normalcy which allows societies to function and grow,

    While I was an advising I considered the challenges of the IA and IP to be similar in terms of the enemy they faced, however, neither appeared to be optimally manned, organized, trained, equipped, or advised to meet the challenges the insurgents and criminal elements posed, but the Iraqi Army seemed better set to do so – from the level of U.S. support and advising, to the access to a regional support unit – that while not perfect, was far better structured through MoD then the IP were through MoI. The IA at least had many of the tools from which to adapt. The IP were kind of a weak sister – funded, organized, trained, equipped & manned for basic police functions, they were extremely challenged to try and fulfill there role in an environment where even combat troops fought a clever and adaptive enemy who had access to IEDs, RPGs, Mortars, SVBIEDs, PBIEDs, Sniper Rifles and many other tools of modern warfare. The insurgents certainly understood this, and attacked what we thought of as the short leg in the three legged security stool (IA, IP and CF). The insurgents knew that if that leg was broken off, then the ability to maintain balance on the other two legs was more challenging, and put a much greater strain on the coalition, the IA and the local and national government.

    What are the thoughts in the SWC on:

    Policing in counter insurgency?

    Capability gaps in policing – such as why some states establish a gendarme, or paramilitary organization? What are good models and why (ex. Why would a model based on the Spanish Guardia Civil work in one place but maybe not another – create, or pick a model – base it off things like intel, maneuver, force pro, sustainment, specialized capabilities like EOD etc, or whatever works.

    Capability gaps in our ability to train, advise or assist states with capability gaps in areas we don’t have a cultural understanding of due their absence in our own societies?

    Ways we might leverage other states who do understand it, and the implications of doing so? Ways we might better leverage our own resources

    HN military taking on functions that might better reside with HN police?

    The dangers in trying to build HN police forces that are inadequate for the environment they have to operate in?

    Also feel free to address what the impacts are on the way we (or anybody else) does business from the standpoint of titular authority and responsibilities.

    What are the implications for future operations – both our ability to conduct stability type operations, our ability to enable civil authority as a domestic mission (think support to local govt in crisis response), and other homeland security issues?

    Also feel free to import other emerging models – such as existing national police forces, etc., or to discuss other justice type functions such as penal systems – courts, judges and jails.

    Ben – although I know you don’t post too much, that you are thinking about this – would be interested to hear your thoughts – Slap and others same goes.

    Best, Rob
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 03-07-2008 at 01:52 AM.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Good one...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    ...What are the thoughts in the SWC on
    Policing in counter insurgency?

    Capability gaps in policing – such as why some states establish a gendarme, or paramilitary organization? What are good models and why (ex. Why would a model based on the Spanish Guardia Civil work in one place but maybe not another – create, or pick a model – base it off things like intel, maneuver, force pro, sustainment, specialized capabilities like EOD etc, or whatever works.
    Primarily due to the degree of centralization of the governmental model as opposed to what works or is ideal. CAC should have an old copy of USAREur Pam 550-1 Dated 27 Nov 1963 (so it's old but it's probably still fairly valid) somewhere, it discusses national models of Police function and services in Europe, Africa and Asia in great detail. It certainly offers a lot of historical perspective and has some interesting ideas.

    One exception to the centralized government rule is Canada with the RCMP which is a pretty unique organization.
    Capability gaps in our ability to train, advise or assist states with capability gaps in areas we don’t have a cultural understanding of due their absence in our own societies?
    Easily fixed. The MP School then at Gordon did a whole series of Pams on the topic of policing in internal development back in the early 60s and most of them were pretty good. My spies tell me the School at Leonard Wood is working the issue (and probably has some of those old Pams in the Library...). We do not have a national police model to draw from (thankfully). We use DynCorp and MPRI to hire folks on Contract to do the training now but that has numerous problems.

    A far better approach would be to designate a few Guard and Reserve MP Bns, most of which are filled with a lot of working civilian Police Officers to be "Gendarmerie" or National Police trainers. They'd do a super job and have the expertise on hand. We have the capability of doing that quickly and fairly easily.

    Also back in the '60s when there was a USAid (for real, not todays contracting office), they did a lot of developmental police work. There's a fairly lengthy thread here on SWC (from last fall IIRC) where Law Vol pointed out the possibility of using USAF Security Police who get more pure Police training than Active duty MPs that discusses this whole schema.
    Ways we might leverage other states who do understand it, and the implications of doing so? Ways we might better leverage our own resources.
    I'd be very leery of the former approach; nations have interests, not friends and we could not depend on any nation to always be there. Better to develop the capability; we can afford it -- and using some Guard and Reserve MP Bns specifically trained in the advisory role is a quick and simple way to get there.
    HN military taking on functions that might better reside with HN police?
    A turf problem but it can be a knotty one. Most likely scenario is that currently operating in Afghanistan and Iraq where the bulk of the Army is starting to function and the National Police are lagging behind for a host of cultural and training reasons. Just takes time and work to sort it out.
    The dangers in trying to build HN police forces that are inadequate for the environment they have to operate in?
    Very important point and one that is too easy to allow to occur. We can train the Army; we are the Army; the Army is important -- so the poor Cops get short shrift. As you said in your post, this is not a good thing; the Police are probably, barring really heavy combat, far more important than is the Army. Insurgency is a governmental problem and COIN is best conducted with Police Leading and Army assisting.

    That's backwards from the way we do it -- but that's due to a number of cultural factors on our part. It's a training and education problem, ours as much as the HN.
    Also feel free to address what the impacts are on the way we (or anybody else) does business from the standpoint of titular authority and responsibilities.
    Heh. Here in CONUS, we do it right -- the Police and the ArNG have primacy and the Army only assists when requested. That's only partly due to the Posse Comitatus bit, a lot of it is our desire NOT to get involved in riots and such. Then we go to another nation and are in charge and put their Army out front and downplay and poorly equip the Cops. As usual, we let our egos get in the way and do it backwards. Both Iraq and Afghanistan offered somewhat unusual problems but ordinarily, the cops should get priority if at all possible.
    What are the implications for future operations – both our ability to conduct stability type operations, our ability to enable civil authority as a domestic mission (think support to local govt in crisis response), and other homeland security issues?
    Stability ops I discussed above; the primary issues are simply our own organization, our own training and our focus. those factors are easily fixed.

    On the domestic front -- we have a model, derived over 200 years. It works.It should absolutely not be trifled with. The States have the responsibility and we, when asked, assist -- no more.

    My only Homeland Security issue is to disband that Goat Rope of an aggregation. Since that won't happen, we have to live with it -- but we should stay as far away from it as we can. Assist when directed and no more.
    Also feel free to import other emerging models – such as existing national police forces, etc., or to discuss other justice type functions such as penal systems – courts, judges and jails.
    All I know about jails is what the inside of a few look like...

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    Police forces (Paramilitary Constabularies/Gendarmeries/Border Guards, etc.) have often provided the majority of the armed force in Aid to the Civil Power operations - riot control, internal security, border guard, counterterrorism, and counterinsurgency - with the Military reinforcing the Police as, if, necessary. Look at the great empires of modern times - Britain and Russia especially - and you will see that large numbers of paramilitary police troops engaged in all aspects of low intensity conflict, from the various Imperial police and constabulary forces scattered across the former British Empire, to the Russian use of KGB and MVD troops to keep restive populations under control. In more cases than not, the military played second fiddle to the police, and this makes clear sense, as it is the police, not the military, who actually have to hold ground and the population residing within. The lack of an effective police force usually results in failure, as the military rarely possesses enough troops to physically occupy and control what the police cannot.

    Perhaps the "best" models for this might be the paramilitary police forces of the Raj, and those in Malaysia (both in the Malayan Emergency and in the Borneo Confrontation); Rhodesia's police forces might also be useful here. The failures of paramilitary police forces, such as in Afghanistan, graphically illlustrate the difficulties of waging and winning a COIN campaign in the absense of an effective police force. If military force may often amount to a fist into water in COIN, paramilitary police, conversely, may act as a sort of sponge, soaking up the insurgency's armed strength. The military is potentially useful, often even necessary in COIN; but effective paramilitary Police, who live amongst and know the people and land intimately, are utterly essential. The Police are the cake in COIN; the Military is the icing.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Ken, thanks for the ref.s (this one
    USAREur Pam 550-1 Dated 27 Nov 1963
    and the others), I'll see if I can dig them up this weekend. Also thanks for your thoughts.

    Norfolk - I appreciate the ref.s as well, but I really liked that last paragraph:

    If military force may often amount to a fist into water in COIN, paramilitary police, conversely, may act as a sort of sponge, soaking up the insurgency's armed strength. The military is potentially useful, often even necessary in COIN; but effective paramilitary Police, who live amongst and know the people and land intimately, are utterly essential. The Police are the cake in COIN; the Military is the icing.
    it gets me thinking about priority of effort.

    Between both of your comments maybe the thread accommodates a few more questions, and considers ways to conduct an assessment of what the HN might need to gain and maintain domestic security in terms of a policing force, or a broader use of security forces. Questions that help consider the security environment the HN is plugged into, and will likely be plugged into for some time to come (I mean geographically they are stuck, but as other conditions internally and externally change for better or worse). Maybe we could consider advantages and disadvantages of helping them develop capacity in one area vs. another.

    David(fbpro) - wanted to also ask you for your thoughts.

    Best, Rob

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    While I was an advising I considered the challenges of the IA and IP to be similar in terms of the enemy they faced, however, neither appeared to be optimally manned, organized, trained, equipped, or advised to meet the challenges the insurgents and criminal elements posed, but the Iraqi Army seemed better set to do so – from the level of U.S. support and advising, to the access to a regional support unit – that while not perfect, was far better structured through MoD then the IP were through MoI. The IA at least had many of the tools from which to adapt. The IP were kind of a weak sister – funded, organized, trained, equipped & manned for basic police functions, they were extremely challenged to try and fulfill there role in an environment where even combat troops fought a clever and adaptive enemy who had access to IEDs, RPGs, Mortars, SVBIEDs, PBIEDs, Sniper Rifles and many other tools of modern warfare. The insurgents certainly understood this, and attacked what we thought of as the short leg in the three legged security stool (IA, IP and CF). The insurgents knew that if that leg was broken off, then the ability to maintain balance on the other two legs was more challenging, and put a much greater strain on the coalition, the IA and the local and national government.
    First off, that's a darn good way of summarizing the situation in the late 2003 to 2005(6?) timeframe.

    Capability gaps in policing – such as why some states establish a gendarme, or paramilitary organization? What are good models and why (ex. Why would a model based on the Spanish Guardia Civil work in one place but maybe not another – create, or pick a model – base it off things like intel, maneuver, force pro, sustainment, specialized capabilities like EOD etc, or whatever works.
    I have to go back to the Rhodesian well on this one, considering the relationship between the Special Branch fellows and the mainstream military formations, to include to a larger degree the Selous Scouts. Shame is that there just isn't a whole lot of good reference material to point to that describes the roles and interactions.

    I wouldn't call it the best model, b/c there are so many subtle as well as large differences between the socio-cultural-economic issues in southern Africa and what you'll find in Iraq. I do think, however, that the degree of integration and cooperation is something to look at. As a case in point, in many of my reads of Rhodesian Light Infantry and Rhodesian African Rifles contact reports, Special Branch reps were involved to some degree on the back end, policing up the intelligence, working the names on the captured documents, etc.
    Last edited by jcustis; 03-07-2008 at 01:18 PM.

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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Rob,

    In Massachusetts, they have this traffic control device called a rotary--you probably know it as a traffic circle. While the state has laws about right of way and other things pertinent to motor vehicle operations around a rotary, each rotary actually has its own set of "customs and traditions" that govern how one should negotiate the rotary safely. They are not written down; one learns them by observation and trial and error while negotiating the rotary. The state rules say that cars in the rotary have the right of way. At the Concord Rotary, for example, the folks entering from Rte 2A yield, but if you are in the rotary and do not yield to cars entering the Concord Rotary eastbound on Rte 2 during the morning commute, you will probably end up in an accident.

    My biggest concern with using the American military as a policing force and a police training force in other nations has to do with the discrepancy in the "myths" that various nations use to justify how they "empower" their governments. or, better, how they justify their currtailment of individual liberties. I suspect I need to explain this quite a bit.

    In the US, we have continuing debates over Federalism and the conflict between states' rights and Federal authority. This topic is a major aspect of the US Constitution. It flows down through the states to local government as well. What is a "state" prerogative and what falls within county or municipal power varies from state to state in America. I am sure that similar dynamics exist in other nations--for example, Canada has the issue with its provinces and Germany has to deal with the special status of the Bavarian Free State. However, I do not believwe that it is a universal theme.

    The point to draw here is that different nations have different perceptions about what is an appropriate use of civil police power and what is an appropriate use of military power--for example, I suspect that not every nation has posse comitatus stype statutes and limits. Not every nation has a national police force that may also be called on to perform national defense missions.

    So, part of the answer to your question brings us back once again to the old METT-TC discussion. Before we can decide what kinds of policing efforts we may want to conduct and/or train other to conduct, we need to make sure that we are capable of providing the right solution for the target population/nation.

    It does not hurt, and in fact is probably quite helpful, to ask the questions and rehearse the answers. However, I would be wary of trying to codify those answers because of the potential for folks to view them as the "school solution," to be applied regardless of local variations that militate against their adoption. "Your mileage may vary" from the estimates on that new car sticker.

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    In driving through Afghanistan, one would often pass a poured concrete outpost that had seen better days, with a ragged Afghan flag flapping weakly overhead, absolutely in the middle of nowhere. In front, there invariably would be a pair of bored youths in a faded green uniforms, with dirty white caps pushed back on their heads. They would be sitting on old metal chairs, or perhaps lounging on a bunk bed pulled into any convenient shade, disinterestedly watching the sparse traffic. In Kabul, on the other hand, you would often see nattily dressed policemen congregated in groups - Suicide Circle seemed to be a favorite hangout - automatic weapons slung menacingly as they arrogantly strolled along. From time to time they would harangue some poor citizen, arms waving, for no readily apparent reason. Directing traffic or enforcing civil order seemed to be beneath their dignity.

    Afghan police were divided into several personal fiefdoms - Border Police, Highway Police, National Police, etc. Almost all of these had been created from scratch or built on a bare and demoralized cadre that had survived three decades of violence. Almost without exception they were corrupt, ill-trained, ill-equipped, poorly disciplined and poorly motivated. There were a few bright spots, but they were candles in the wind.

    Why were the police so singularly ineffective? I could go down all the usual paths about how their training was sketchy, about the byzantine organization, the lack of pay and resultant corruption, the poor state of their equipment, but I think these are fairly self-evident. US and NATO senior leaders certainly focused on these aspects, believeing that performance would improve if we could throw more money at the problem, buy more stuff, reorganize the ministries, hire more bodies. We did that, and things did improve over the course of a year, but the needle didn't move very far.

    If I had been asked to design a police force for Afghanistan, I might have approached it differently. I would have asked myself how the society traditionally policed itself and tried to create a force that reflected this. I would have soon discovered that the type of police force optimal for rural Paktia would not have sufficed for a (relatively) modern city like Kabul. In Afghanistan, the police were divided along functional lines rather than geographic, which was a fundamental mistake.

    Secondly, I would have concentrated my efforts in installing police forces where they might do some good. Too many police units were scattered in places where they could not function due to intimidation or direct violence. When they were placed there, they became in effect military units, and their whole raison d'etre disappeared. Moreover, they became distracters and we spent too much time bailing out the police when they were attacked.

    Thirdly, I would have embedded trainers with police units. In fact, if I had the power, I would have seconded Western policemen to the Afghans - made them commanders, paymasters, trainers, and disciplinarians for their units. The ultimate goal would have been to grow natives capable of replacing them.

    Fourthly, I would have invested much more time in training. We half-trained these guys (and that is a generous estimate) before dispatching them to Indian country because of the demand for bodies. It would have been so much more fruitful to put these guys through a real training program during the 'honeymoon' period in Afghanistan to create a trained cadre upon which to expand. How long did that need to be? I don't know, but if it had been two years, it would have been worth it.

    Fifhtly, I would have focused their training and efforts on high-payoff activities. Remember, there is still no functional penal or justice system, so arresting malefactors doesn't actually produce much payoff. The police could have been gainfully employed in human terrain mapping, forensic investigations for intelligence value - something akin to what TF Phoenix was doing, and simple traffic control in places like Kabul.

    In other words, a police force could have been - should have been - created that reflected the society it was immersed in, that filled a niche in the larger operation, that was not asked to do things it could not accomplish, and that felt itself as part of a shared effort. Instead, I suspect most of the Afghanis who wore the uniform believed they were expendable symbols whose sole function was to raise the flag over some besieged outpost every morning.

    One last note is that crime in general - narcotics, customs evasion, trafficking, and the like - was generally ignored by our senior leaders. It rarely was briefed during the morning updates and in the US Army, it therefore received little attention by most of the staff. When they were considered at all, police units were thought of more as low grade force protection units.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Rob,

    Good post as usual.

    Much of our difficulty in understanding this is in our own culture--there is that word again--in that we as a military do not train, study, consider, much less talk about a paramilitary function of policing our populace. That drives us when we encounter a need to develop such a force, we turn to USAID as we did in Vietnam and the Congo. Ken can speak to the former; I studied the latter as part of what we did to control unrest in the Congo. In my look at it, the results were to say the least incongruous--a view echoed by MG (ret) DV Rattan when I interviewed him. He was in the Congo as a LTC logistics advisor. USAID literally hired former State Troopers and sent them to the Congo to train police. They went complete with Smokey the Bear Hats and "Where you From, Boy!?!" attitudes. It just did not work.

    From where I sit we essentially did the same in Iraq--we hired Benard K out of NYC as a darling of Rudy G to advise us on how to rebuild (That word is inappropriate to say the least as Iraq's police were never built to do what Western police do) the Iraqi police.

    I agree with Ken and Norfolk on the gendarmerie and national police model ala the Canadian Mounties. The problem we have is that we do not have a viable model inside the US military to draw on.

    Going back to the Congo, by the time I joined Stan there in 1993, Zaire had multiple layers of police, paramilitary, military, and outright populace intimidation forces. Each had its own foreign sponsor and each acted somewhat in accordance with the tranferred values of the sponsor. For example, Egypt had long sponsored the Guarde Civile--modeled on Egypt's national gendarmeire. Israel had long sponsored the Division Speciale Du President as the guarantor of Mobutu's control. The GC and the DSP were in almost constant friction that could turn kinetic in a heartbeat. We even had a mini-war between cellular phone companies over who would control the Kinshasa market. The GC and DSP were on opposing sides and shot at each other as they attacked the competitor's base station.

    In contrast, Rwanda had long had an army and a gendarmerie and when the rebels assumed control they fell in on that model and made it work--without outside advice.

    Best

    Tom

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Hi Folks, I am actually busy fighting crime in real time in my own little area so this will be short but I will put in more this weekend. I sent some stuff to Lawvol awhile back on this very subject. The first and most important is what is the law that you intend to enforce? How do you intend to communicate that to the target population? You need to do that first before you get to the what kind of super duper troopers you will need to enforce them

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Hi Folks, I am actually busy fighting crime in real time in my own little area so this will be short but I will put in more this weekend. I sent some stuff to Lawvol awhile back on this very subject. The first and most important is what is the law that you intend to enforce? How do you intend to communicate that to the target population? You need to do that first before you get to the what kind of super duper troopers you will need to enforce them
    And this seems ot go back to the tell-all memo from that Dept State guy who aired the dirty laundry about the shortfalls of repairing the legal institutions. Great point slap...Without the strong basis for law and order resident on the books somewhere, what then forms the reference, or the standard?

    That was one of my biggest complaints when I knew there were police trainers on the deck in Al Anbar in 2004. I asked myself how they could be possibly immersing their recruits in the whole range of skills, beliefs, and values to produce good law enforcement folks, when they themselves probably did not have a grasp on the laws in place or under draft. As a result, we had western practices being taught without the full consideration of the way things had been in Iraq. It worked great for mimickery, but the base wasn't solidly there.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    The first and most important is what is the law that you intend to enforce? How do you intend to communicate that to the target population? You need to do that first before you get to the what kind of super duper troopers you will need to enforce them
    Well done Slap! beat me to it.

    IMO, there is clear blue water between, Law Enforcement, aimed at "enforcing law" and national and/or internal security. The differentiation of roles should be clearly and obviously defined.

    Police should never be given military tasks. Internal security forces are another matter, and IMO, should not be military. Their task is "Internal Security" and public order.

    Bearing in mind most denizens of this here board are Yanks, I would have thought the State Trooper, National Guardsman and Federal authorities would provide a pretty good model.

    ....and VERY ANNOYINGLY (sorry to shout) it has just occurred to me that this thread may undermined my "one infantry model" which was one of the corner stones of my doctrine work. Thanks Rob!!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

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    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Bearing in mind most denizens of this here board are Yanks, I would have thought the State Trooper, National Guardsman and Federal authorities would provide a pretty good model.
    Only if we somehow mange to find a country whose traditions and values match our own. Barring that, these models are confusing at best. And as I said in my post above, we have in someways tried to impose these models with very little success and in some cases like the Cong a whole heaping plateful of defeat. Try explaining Posse Comitatus, State's Rights, or a governor's control of the National Guard in a place like the Congo. Add to that difficulty, the historical fact that the US in the past 5 decades has stood on the side of centralized power in that "country" when "states" like Shaba (AKA Katanga) sought complete and/or limited influence.

    Agreed that we first have to define the goal. But also keep in mind that in 90% of the 3rd World (that is a SWAG by the way) militaries are not focused on external enemies but rather a combination of internal eneimies and external allies. While clear blue water between law enforcement and security is an admirable goal, the third world floats on muddy waters. Moreover, the blue water in the West has not been so crystal blue since 9/11.

    Best

    Tom

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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Tom, Slap, Eden,

    I think all three of your posts are great real world examples that reinforce what I was trying to say in my metaphor for the different cultures applying to each rotary out there.

    Wilf,
    You can still have one infantry--you will just have to accept that all of its members may not wear green jackets or be part of the Rifle Brigade.
    Last edited by wm; 03-07-2008 at 02:59 PM.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    Tom, Slap, Eden,
    Thanks mate!
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 03-07-2008 at 03:05 PM.

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    I think that slap's answer contains much wisdom (as in what law are you working to enforce), but another component is an awareness of the culture you're advising (to including its history and customs when it comes to law and law enforcement). The US model is a poor one to export anywhere, because it is so deeply based on our rather unique structure and systems. Tom makes that point well, and also points out that the First World clarity between military activity and law enforcement is often absent in other regions.

    As I recall, the RCMP was created to conduct what could be called "distant law enforcement" in regions that might not yet have any local government. A good US analogy might be the early function of the US Marshals, although that was often clouded at the marshal level by political appointees and such. The Texas Rangers also come close, but again their roles blurred in places and often crossed into purely military functions (the Red River War in 1874 provides some examples of this). The State Trooper model also breaks down to a degree, because each state maintains its own organization with varying levels of investigative power.

    Law enforcement is pretty specialized work, and it becomes even more so when you have to tailor the package to fit the environment. The gendarme/constabulary model might be best for this, as it would be most open to changes and expansion or contraction depending on the local situation. It's clearly something that should be a dedicated function, possibly at the NG or AR level as Ken mentioned (although I also think it's something that should be multi-national whenever possible...at least in the planning stages).

    My preference would be to go in with a gendarme model in hand, adjusted to fit local conditions and needs. Part of that package would be the development of local (village-level) forces to augment the larger structure (based on the nation or even provinces if necessary). Before deploying that, there would need to be agreement on the laws being enforced (as slap mentioned), as well as a tailored IO campaign to get the locals acclimated to the "new sheriff in town." This would require some advance planning (something we seem to be spotty at), and a willingness to adjust on the fly to remove things that don't work and add in elements brought in from the field (something we have been good at). As the local gendarme units become capable, we should phase out direct involvement, possibly refocusing at the local level if needed to make sure that the second level of "folks in blue" actually makes it to the streets.

    Random thoughts, which might become more coherent once I have more coffee....
    "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."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    .
    While clear blue water between law enforcement and security is an admirable goal, the third world floats on muddy waters. Moreover, the blue water in the West has not been so crystal blue since 9/11.
    I submit that the important thing is that we know what the goal or desired end state looks like. Sure there are going to be areas of ambiguity, but I see most of those as easily solved.

    My direct experience of the third world (though less considerable than your own) is that you cannot compensate for stupidity, bigotry, corruption and greed.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

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    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    I submit that the important thing is that we know what the goal or desired end state looks like. Sure there are going to be areas of ambiguity, but I see most of those as easily solved.

    My direct experience of the third world (though less considerable than your own) is that you cannot compensate for stupidity, bigotry, corruption and greed.
    And I agree with you for the most part. Where the disconnect crompts up is defining who are "we". In my experience, we too often define we as only us--the foreigners making or attempting to influence the decision rather than really looking at the issue from both sides.

    Just as an example, the US I-MET program with the Rwandan government pre-genocide concentrated on military law and civilian rule. We--the US--hosted a military law symposium in early 1994 and the attendees were then current members of the GOR and the Rwandan military including the gendarmerie. Everyone listened as US intructors lectured on how important adherence to law was, MG Dallaire as UNAMIR 1 Force commander spoke. Later the students all talked together and drank soft drinks. It was almost a "kumbaya" experience. Just weeks later, many of those same students from the government sode were hip deep in genocide and the other students --the rebels-- were hip deep in fighting to stop them. The "we" in this was just us; we did not really include the Rwandans from either side in that we.

    To finish the story though, later when I came in as DATT and we restarted I-MET with the funds still in the pot, I got to send a team of former rebels now Rwandan army and gendarmerie to the States to the Naval law school for a semniar. As part of that schooling, the students visited various prisons and later their instructors raved over their attentiveness. One instructor told us that the head of the Rwandan students turned to him in such a visit and asked, "You mean we cannot beat them?"

    That student later became Rwandan Ambassador to the United States. I felt like then and I stell believe that "we" in that case had actually defined our goals collectively.

    Best

    Tom

    In the below pic, then MAJ Frank Rusagara (2nd from left) and another RPA officer have a post seminar beer with two FAR officers. Frank is now a BG and commandant of the Rwandan Military Academy.
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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Folks,

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    As I recall, the RCMP was created to conduct what could be called "distant law enforcement" in regions that might not yet have any local government.
    Pretty close, Steve. There was also a serious motive to project sovereignty into the former HBC lands that now make up Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, The NWT, the Yukon and Nunuvut. Here's a link to the RCMP history site that goes into some decent detail.

    Slaps' points are crucial and need to be pulled out a bit.
    1. The first and most important is what is the law that you intend to enforce?
    2. How do you intend to communicate that to the target population?
    These two questions alone show the differences between Afghanistan and Iraq. In Afghanistan, you had operational local governments that were allies against the Taliban (e.g. the Northern Alliance, various local tribal leaders, etc.). Maybe not very operational, but...

    This means that they already had legal systems in place and operational within their areas of control along with enforcement systems. They may not have been "real" for many Western countries, but the certainly existed. So, would they be thrown out in favour of an imposed "solution"? There are some pretty serious political implications to doing that.

    Iraq was a different situation, at least initially, and based on conquest (excluding Kurdistan). Martial law could and should have been established, along the German Occupation model, from the very start, and the failure to do so has led to all sorts of problems. "Local" legal systems and enforcement systems evolved in response to the vacuum with all sorts of predictable results (i.e. hit squads, militias, etc.). Without a coherent, communicated and locally accepted legal system in place, the way was open for local soi disant powerbrokers to create their own.

    The implications for rule of law and policing are pretty clear - rule of what law? Policing by what means? Also the inevitable conflicts between local "legal" systems and those produced by the central government and/or any proconsuls, etc.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eden View Post
    disinterestedly watching
    "When you're mad at your boss you don't quit. You go in every day and do a half assed job."
    -Homer Simpson


    I think motivation is a major problem. I don't know how you solve it, but if you do you're a genius.
    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post
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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Some very important points made above.

    I'd like to comment on four of 'em -- and amplify something I said earlier.

    WM said:
    The point to draw here is that different nations have different perceptions about what is an appropriate use of civil police power and what is an appropriate use of military power--for example, I suspect that not every nation has posse comitatus stype statutes and limits. Not every nation has a national police force that may also be called on to perform national defense missions.

    So, part of the answer to your question brings us back once again to the old METT-TC discussion. Before we can decide what kinds of policing efforts we may want to conduct and/or train other to conduct, we need to make sure that we are capable of providing the right solution for the target population/nation.
    Totally correct -- we too often go blundering in and let our egos get in the way of some considered though about what should best be accomplished for the Nation involved as opposed to what WE would do...

    Slapout said the same thing in a different but cogent way:
    The first and most important is what is the law that you intend to enforce? How do you intend to communicate that to the target population?
    That cuts to the core of the issue and it's imperative that, if we wish for success and attaining said success with the least amount of trauma, those factors be considered.

    Wilf said:
    Police should never be given military tasks. Internal security forces are another matter, and IMO, should not be military. Their task is "Internal Security" and public order.
    I think he's absolutely correct. Combining the three comments quoted above you effectively come up with a need for a Police Force that works to enforce the rule of law for the citizens of the Nation; they "Preserve and Protect" by enforcing the Nation's laws and playing Peace Officer for the population.

    By definition, an insurgency and the resultant requirement for COIN operations require a different focus; thus what is needed is that Internal Security element -- it can be called the Paramilitary Police, Field Police Border Police or even the Gendarmerie; the terminology is relatively immaterial but it should have a distinctive name and NOT be simply a branch of the National Police.

    The critical point is that it is NOT the 'Armed Forces' or the 'Police.' So far as internal security is concerned, it's goal should be (against all bureaucratic and human nature inclinations) to work itself out of a job -- or, at a minimum, reduce itself to a standby status. There are many advantages to this, not least allowing the local Armed Forces and the local Police to concentrate on their primary roles and not excessively diluting the efforts either or tarring them -- and whoever does COIN work WILL be tarred -- with the internal defense messy, tedious and often dirty work.

    Thus it seems to me that ideally a blend of effort on our part might be advantageous. We train the local Army for all its various missions which may include internal defense but with a goal to get that Army out of that mission as soon as it's feasible; USAid reconstitutes their Police Advisory role and structures it to train the local Police as civilian Police Officers -- and another tier, most likely in the case of the US to be provided by the US Army and using Guard and Reserve MP units to train the Paramilitary internal security force -- who should be the lead element in combating the insurgency and only be assisted by the Police and the Armed Forces as required.

    Such Guard and Reserve MP units designed to train that internal security force should not be ordinary TOE units simply re-roled. The TOE need to be purpose designed, heavy on NCO and Officer spaces and should actually resemble the TDA structure. Numbered Companies (and even Separate Platoons) under a Separate Battalion HHD. Equipment and uniforms need to be purpose designed-- instead of deploying in ACU, put 'em in 5.11 Cargo Pants and Polo Shirts to emphasize the non-Armed Forces nature of the job. These units should be located in both urban and rural areas in order to get the requisite skill mix. State Police should be targeted for recruitemnt -- and from those States like NY, PA and KY that have actual State Police as opposed to the many that have a State Highway Patrol, those folks only do regular law enforcement in a back up role whereas the SP types do it routinely -- the cultures are very different...

    Wilf also said:
    ...and VERY ANNOYINGLY (sorry to shout) it has just occurred to me that this thread may undermined my "one infantry model" which was one of the corner stones of my doctrine work. Thanks Rob!!
    Welcome to the truth, Wilf.

    I've never really agreed with you on that. Your basic point is true but the old devil in the details bit arises. Slightly different mindsets -- cultures, if you will -- are created by roles. This can have an effect on performance in very subtle ways and the sheer mechanical differences lead to different training time allocations which in turn lead to significant differences in capabilities based on primary mission parameters.

    There was an earlier thread here that discussed whether or not Cavalry or Mech (or re-roled Tank or Arty) could do the COIN mission. I agreed with the consensus; to wit -- yes, they can. They prove that daily. However...

    Having been Cav, Mech Infantry, Light Infantry and Airborne Infantry (those two are not synonomous) in both peace and that other stuff I'm firmly convinced that if an Army has to do COIN, Light Infantry can do it better and more efficiently and effectively than the other types. Cav brings elan to the job -- they also bring relatively small units and have vehicles to worry about; the Mech guys also have vehicles and thus can put out only their dismounts (leaving one behind to pass up 25mm in case of need...). In both cases the 25 MPH mentality and concern for vehicles has a slightly detrimental effect on COIN efforts. Do not take that as an insult, it is not. It is, IMO just an acknowledgement of reality -- certainly both Cav and Mech can do things that Light Infantry cannot do. Horses for courses and all that.

    Herschel Smith posting on this Board as Danny has complained that the Marines in Anbar are being misused in that they are not using their combat skills but are distributing rations. I don't totally agree with him because you do what needs to be done -- but I do understand and agree with his point. Shortly before my son deployed on OIF 2 and Australian reporter asked one of the kids in the platoon what he was going to do in Iraq; the kid replied "Kill people." The Reporter went into the 'hearts and minds' routine. The Kid replied "Nah, the Army's got other people to do that stuff, we kill people." That's why the Marines and Airborne Infantry are not a good choice for COIN. If they have to be used, they will do the job -- and they will almost certainly do it well. However, they are not the ideal solution for the job, their focus and culture (and recruitment accessions due to that) are just different. They and the Cav tend to be, uh, umm, er, overly aggressive on occasion (The 325 in Fallujah in April 2003 comes to mind...).

    All that said, I understand that METT-TC applies and there will be times and places where Cav or Mech are an at least as good if not better choice; we're doing generalities here...

    While Cav or Mech units aren't usually the best fit -- totally capable, just not the best fit (I won't even talk about re-roling others) that is not to say that all cannot do the job and do it well and there are, of course as is true with any generality, notable exceptions in all categories that do and have done a superb job -- I'm simply saying that Light Infantry is in most cases the best fit for COIN due in part to sheer numbers -- if the Armed forces have to do it. I say all that with full knowledge of the fact that one does indeed go to war with the Army one has. Reality sometimes means the ideals are irrelevant

    Long way of getting back to Wilf's point -- Armed forces can do COIN and many and all types of units have done it well -- but they are not the ideal force for the job; that Internal Security force or element is.

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