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Thread: COIN Counterinsurgency (merged thread)

  1. #641
    Council Member Dayuhan's Avatar
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    Interesting idea. I'm not sure that actual war is required: I suspect that, for example, South Korea and Taiwan have derived a significant internal cohesion dividend from the presence of an immediate and proximate threat of war.

    On the non-state side, AQ would stand out as an example of a violent non-state actor that draws its support and sustenance from conflict, specifically foreign intervention in Muslim lands.

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    Default Define successful

    In other words, states which have been involved in successful interstate wars are much less likely to have major internal, sectional conflicts, whether ones that take the form of insurgency or conventional civil war. (Failed external wars also do not serve the "forging" function, e.g. Iraq and Pakistan).
    I think there are a lot of variables that need to considered, clearly the U.S. and the U.K. were victorious in WWII, but can the same be said about France, the Philippines, China, Burma, Italy, etc.? Countries that were occupied developed resistance groups (during the WWII era most countries developed communist and non-communist resistance groups), which actually led to greater instability after they were victorious in ousting their conquerors. The Afghan resistance victory over the Soviets didn't result in a stable nation with a national identity, and clearly Iraq and Afghanistan won't be stable after we leave them.

    Japan and Germany were defeated, yet remained relatively stable after WWII?

    I think you'll have to explain away so many exceptions that the hypothesis will lose meaning.

    Posted by Slapout,

    America,The Civil Rights Movement.
    j

    Incorrect, it wasn't a rebellion and it wasn't due to poverty.

  3. #643
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    Quote Originally Posted by Global Scout View Post
    Posted by Slapout,

    j

    Incorrect, it wasn't a rebellion and it wasn't due to poverty.

    Clip from "The Poor Peoples Campign"...the march to the Washington Monument.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBkVLlZdAG4

    Black Panter Party 10 Point plan.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPP0h...ext=1&index=33


    Violent Resistance by Stockley Carmichael
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGisM...eature=related

    History of The Black Panther Party.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJYIF...eature=related
    Last edited by slapout9; 10-30-2010 at 04:32 AM. Reason: stuff

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    Quote Originally Posted by Global Scout View Post
    where has poverty ever been the cause for rebellion?
    The troubles in northern Ireland, the rise of socialism (potentialy also anarchism) during the industrial revolution period, peasant rebellions during the French revolution, The russian revolution, the tambov rebellion, MEND in nigeria,...etc

    Off course it is important to note that poverty almost always isnt the only cause for rebellion, and other causes are generally also present.

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    Council Member Bob's World's Avatar
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    guys, not to take Steve's thread off track, but on this poverty issue what has to do is look past the poverty to what the populace perceives is the cause of the poverty.

    In the American Civil rights movement it is very true that in large the African American populace was poor. It is also very true that they believed (rightfully) that they were denied opportunities to escape poverty that were granted to others as a matter of status. It is not poverty that causes rebellion, there are many politically satisfied populaces that live in poverty. It is the perception that your poverty is a result of government enforced inequity that drives populaces to rebellion.

    Fixing such inequities is a long, slow road, and America is still not out of the woods on this one. More than Vietnam, it was Johnson's pressing for civil rights reforms that cost him the political stature and influence to run for a final term. He does not get the credit he should for the self-sacrifice and moral courage to push through three landmark civil rights bills that prevented the full eruption of violent insurgency that was building. Most of us don't appreciate how bad the racial insurgent tension was in the 60s, but Johnson saved the nation. The Civil Rights Act, the follow-on Voters rights act (as AAs were still denied access at the polls through outrageous literacy tests, and if a segment of the populace can't help pick leaders, they won't recognize their legitimacy over them), and then the final nail in Johnson's political coffin, the Fair Housing Act. This is COIN done right. It's too bad he could not escape the paradigm of Idealistic containment of the idea of communism to see that he was denying for the people of Vietnam the very rights he was throwing his career under the bus on for the rights of Americans. One of histories great ironies, IMO.
    Robert C. Jones
    Intellectus Supra Scientia
    (Understanding is more important than Knowledge)

    "The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

  6. #646
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveMetz View Post

    Internal conflicts involving a strategy of insurgency often arise in nations where there are poorly integrated peripheral regions. Governance in these places is a form of internal colonialism, with the core--often simply the capital--having a parasitic relationship with the periphery. The national government is seen as an outsider in the periphery. Develop programs are seldom enough to overcome this.
    Hi Bob, I don't think the Civil Rights movement detracts from the thread at all. The South was seen very much as a poorly integrated peripheral region, until the Interstate Highway system came along. Also the Civil Rights movement was very much a Marxist driven movement. Most people just don't study Marx, kinda like Clausewitz but say they do. President Johnson did a lot but so did Eisenhower (more so then people realize)and Kennedy. And it was very much a rebellion against specif policies that turned into an armed revolution (straight up Marx). But most Americans have the attention span of about 15 minutes and Real American History is largely a Stealth subject IMO.

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    Default What unifies a nation

    Appreciate Bob's assist, numerous studies have indicated that poverty does not cause rebellions, that is simply one of the many rallying lines employed by those rebelling. Leaders count, because they create and exploit perceptions. Rebellion leaders to be successful in mobilizing enough of the masses, just as political candidates, have to adjust their message and focus issues based on the audience.

    When we look at issues of national unity I think we're remiss if we don't look at the effects of mass media. A major war in itself will not unify a nation if there is no way of getting a unifying message (perception management) out to the masses. Both radio and T.V. (even print) have played key roles is promoting ideas that create a sense of identity. Furthermore television has had the effect of creating a national language (it lessened the impact of dialects and accents) over time. Years ago I read an interesting case study on the impact of T.V. on Italy, where prior to the the wide spread use of T.V. there were several dialects of Italian spoken and it is was very difficult for Italians to communicate with other Italians from different parts of the country. I would think it would be difficult to create a national unity without a national language.

    Taking it one step further, what is the effect now of mass media (especially with the internet and satellite T.V./radio) on globalism? I think we're seeing more unity (there are of course outliers still) globally in the way of global values such as human rights, expectations of economic opportunity, etc. due to information leveling the playing field. I think this may reverse the impact that media had on building national identies and encourage people to identify with global special interest groups instead such as environmental issues, religious identity, ethic identity (Tibetian, Tamil, etc.), woman's rights, etc.

    Rough thoughts that I think are worth considering.

  8. #648
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    Quote Originally Posted by Global Scout View Post
    Appreciate Bob's assist, numerous studies have indicated that poverty does not cause rebellions, that is simply one of the many rallying lines employed by those rebelling.
    I have no doubt that there are such studies funded by rich special interests groups, much of the original Ecology movement was funded by Oil corporations because it supports the use of their products as opposed to switching to Nuclear Energy which was originally Eisenhower's plan. If you had grown up in the south as I did during that time you would not need a study to tell you that poverty (although not the main effort) was one of the primary drivers. One of the most common slogans and signs was the expression "No full time work for part time pay." Black people were paid half or less what a white person would be paid for the same job. This was part of the reason behind President Kennedy's push for a federal minimum wage law. Part of Bob's World way to truly counter an insurgency before it gets to bad.

    I agree with your assessment about communications and again in our own country that was the idea behind the Public Broadcasting System(The President of the USA would have been able to literally flip a button and address the country in times of crisis) which is anything but Public now, most sponsorship is by private corporations not tax dollars as is commonly thought.

    The NASA program linked the country together and helped produce our National Identity as a leader in technology. At the same time there was another program called NAWAPA which was going to do the same thing for the continental United States, but it was canceled. The current China Infrastructure building program would be an equivalent idea, which is why they are being seen as such a formidable future world leader.

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    I agree with your assessment about communications and again in our own country that was the idea behind the Public Broadcasting System(The President of the USA would have been able to literally flip a button and address the country in times of crisis) which is anything but Public now, most sponsorship is by private corporations not tax dollars as is commonly thought.
    We'll agree on the danger that major corporations present, and large media companies like Fox, CNN, CBS do more to shape public opinion and identity than the White House. I like that the idea that the man on the street can challenge government leaders (keeping them honest), but suspect the objectives of the corporations have little to do with keeping them honest, but instead keeping them in line with what's good for the corporation.

    We'll just agree to disagree about poverty, but if everyone in the South was dirt poor then it wouldn't have been an issue. The issue wasn't poverty (IMO), but rather unequal treatment. A black person doing the same job as a white person gets half pay isn't about poverty, but about identity and discrimination.

    The NASA program linked the country together and helped produce our National Identity as a leader in technology. At the same time there was another program called NAWAPA which was going to do the same thing for the continental United States, but it was canceled. The current China Infrastructure building program would be an equivalent idea, which is why they are being seen as such a formidable future world leader.
    China is an interesting case study, they have a centralized government, and they were on the side of the winners during WWII, but immediately afterwards the communists and nationalists went at it full bore again. WWII didn't forge a national identity for China. Even with China's rapid economic growth and centralized policies they have a considerable internal stability problem with the Uyghers, Tibetians, and an emerging liberal class. India is another example of a nation (in name only) undergoing rapid economic development with a splintered society. So much hype over the Ghandi peace revolution that in fact accomplished very little, and India today is much worse than the American South ever was during the pre Civil Rights movement with their discrimination policies and the growing gap between the haves and have nots. With the exception of Brazil (which I know very little about) all the BRIC countries face enormous challenges. Russia is another example of a winning nation during WWII, and in reality they did more to defeat Nazi Germany than any other nation. While it did help forge a national identity, but that didn't equate into love for their government. It was suspected if Hitler wasn't so stupid and he sent the German army into Russia to liberate them from their communist suppressors they would have welcomed German's Army. Somethings we'll never really know the answer to, but it fun to ponder them. The only reason they didn't have a major insurgency in Russia after WWII was due to effective suppression campaigns directed against dissenters and suspected dissenters.

    I personally don't think we're going to find a cookie cutter answer for insurgencies around the world.

  10. #650
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    Quote Originally Posted by Global Scout View Post

    We'll just agree to disagree about poverty, but if everyone in the South was dirt poor then it wouldn't have been an issue. The issue wasn't poverty (IMO), but rather unequal treatment. A black person doing the same job as a white person gets half pay isn't about poverty, but about identity and discrimination.
    I actually agree with that. The term Civil Rights implies it is to correct Civil Wrongs meaning many or multiple. Poverty alone did not cause it, it was the combination of "multiple unequal" situations that finally kicked it off.

    Know there is no cookie cutter approach, especially what works or may work in industrialized/western style countries may be completely wrong in other parts of the world.

    I think national identity is often better achieved through the peaceful accomplishments of counties as opposed to what they do in war time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joske View Post
    This would be a valid conclusion if you would leave other potential causes of rebellion out of consideration, causes such as poverty, repression (political, cultural...etc),corruption...etc.
    Thing is, the vast majority of nations which have poverty, repression, corruption, etc. never experience internal conflict using a strategy of insurgency. I think Westerners coming from the intellectual tradition of the Enlightenment attribute those factors and conclude that not following liberal practices causes discontent and potentially insurgency. I'm just more and more convinced that we use that conceptualization less because it accurately reflects reality than because of our own mindset.

    But what I was really getting at is that nations which have been forged by war are more resilient than those which have not.

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    Default Poverty may equate to stability

    I agree with the first part of your assessment that poverty is not the leading cause for insurgencies, that is simply a figment of liberal imagination. In some cases it may argued that poverty equates to stability that is another thread.

    I'm still not convinced that war forges a national identity that makes a nation resistant to insurgency. Both Japan and Germany lost major wars and yet they remained resistant to insurgencies. Most of Northern Europe on the good side of the wall remained resistant to insurgencies. Most of Canada (minus a few French separatists) remained resistant to insurgency. The UK didn't remain resistant, nor did any country in Southern Europe. S. Africa was forged by war (a war of liberation, then subsequent wars in Africa), but it wasn't resistant to insurgencies. Bangladesh was forged by war with W Pakistan, but it suffers from numerous insurgent groups. Thailand has a strong national identity (not forged by war), but it still suffers from insurgencies.

    Are you only referring to Western countries? What qualifies as a good war that forges a nation and makes it resistant to insurgency?

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    Default Question: Has any nation explicitly used

    "External War as a Pall[i]ative Against Insurgency" (that is, explicitly took on an international armed conflict as a cure, or part of the cure, for a domestic armed conflict) ?

    Regards

    Mike

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    I think Steve is thinking more along the lines of Charles Tilly's state-making rather than nation-making. Check out Coercion, Capital, and Europaen States AD 990-1992, which puts war-making capacity at the center of state formation in Western Europe during the early modern period. Examples like Japan and Germany don't fit in the post WWII era because they already had strong states which came about through consolidation in preparation for modern war.

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    Default I dunno what other people think,

    except as they express themselves in words.

    So, back to the title: External War as a Palliative Against Insurgency. Put quite simply, I'm the Power That Be in Xistan. I have a domestic insurgency. I decide to embark on an external war to "palliate"[*] the insurgency.

    Has this happened (where the choice is explicit as I have stated) and was the palliation successful ? Simple answer: nation-state, time period, reference.

    --------------------------
    [*] Looking up the word "palliative", the medical definition is less than a "cure":

    Relieving or soothing the symptoms of a disease or disorder without effecting a cure
    Regards

    Mike

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    Argentina, Falklands War 1982, http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...r/malvinas.htm, unsuccessful

    The actual motivation for Argentina's April 1982 invasion was a more immediate threat to General Leopoldo Galtieri’s ruling military junta: internal instability in Argentina threatened to topple his dictatorship. Galtieri needed a uniting diversion, an outside conflict to distract the public and maintain domestic control.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-01-2010 at 10:29 PM. Reason: Add quote marks

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    Default Good one

    that is what I was asking for.

    Galtieri bet wrong on the result of the armed conflict (he lost it and was removed from power in the end anyway, but the armed conflict bought him time). Which doesn't detract from the theory which Steve Metz qualified as requiring a successful external war.

    Any others ?

    Regards

    Mike

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    Default COIN Intel Film Clips

    I am putting together a "Intel in COIN" class. I have found a whole host of great info on the site. Thanks to all who have posted. I am looking to insert a few one-minute film clips in my class that demonstrate the main points of COIN intel. Any thoughts or ideas. Which movies and which scences. I do not have time to show all of "Battle of Algiers" at this time. Thanks-

    -Quantico

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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSC2005 View Post
    I am putting together a "Intel in COIN" class. I have found a whole host of great info on the site. Thanks to all who have posted. I am looking to insert a few one-minute film clips in my class that demonstrate the main points of COIN intel. Any thoughts or ideas. Which movies and which scences. I do not have time to show all of "Battle of Algiers" at this time. Thanks-

    -Quantico
    Do they have to come from war films? A lot of good COIN Intel stuff in Police/Mystery movies.

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    Default Intel in COIN

    Any movie will do. The class is for a LE group.

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