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Old 07-04-2013   #1
Newguy
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Default The new 2014 FM 3-24 Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies

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This thread was called 'FM 3-24 Revision: "Insurgency and Countering Insurgency' until 27th May, it has now become 'The new 2014 FM 3-24 Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies' and two other threads were merged in (ends).

Hello. I am new here, but thought this might be the place to come to ask some thoughts. I have the new initial draft of the new FM 3-24, now titled "Insurgency and Countering Insurgencies". I was wondering if anyone on here had a copy and had some thoughts.

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Old 07-04-2013   #2
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Hello. I am new here, but thought this might be the place to come to ask some thoughts. I have the new initial draft of the new FM 3-24, now titled "Insurgency and Countering Insurgencies". I was wondering if anyone on here had a copy and had some thoughts.
Can you post a link to a PDF copy?
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Old 07-04-2013   #3
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Can you post a link to a PDF copy?
No. I haven't seen it on the net yet. I always make it a habit of not uploading stuff that hasn't been officially released. It's not FOUO or anything, so I am sure someone will. But not me. I just wanted to see what others thought who have seen it.

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Old 07-04-2013   #4
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Default The new title

is reminiscent of the operational category of Support to Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies in FM 100-20, Military Operations in Low Intensity Conflict (1990).

Cheers and Happy 4th!

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Old 07-04-2013   #5
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is reminiscent of the operational category of Support to Insurgencies and Counterinsurgencies in FM 100-20, Military Operations in Low Intensity Conflict (1990).

Cheers and Happy 4th!

JohnT
Happy 4th!

What did you think of the strategic context 1st Chapter?

(Sorry. Misread. The title is actually, "Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies".)

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Old 09-25-2013   #6
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Default Final Draft of FM 3-24 Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies

Not sure if anyone has seen it, but I just saw the final draft of FM 3-24 was staffed. Anyone seen it or the first draft? Thoughts?

Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-25-2013 at 06:43 PM. Reason: previous thread merged with new one.
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Old 09-26-2013   #7
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Not sure if anyone has seen it, but I just saw the final draft of FM 3-24 was staffed. Anyone seen it or the first draft? Thoughts?
I'm a doctrine writer and haven't seen it.
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Old 09-27-2013   #8
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I'm a doctrine writer and haven't seen it.
The only thing I could find that talks about the staffed document that was released by the army is this:http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/AIWFC/re...er%20JUL13.pdf


I figured someone here would have seen it and be able to debate it. However, if no one has it, there is little debate. Will be back whenever it is published.
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Old 12-16-2013   #9
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Default New JP 3-24 Posted

If you are interested, it was just posted.

http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pub...operations.htm
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Old 12-17-2013   #10
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Well, they hosed up political legitimacy again.

Under the title "Principles of Governance":

Quote:
Supporting indigenous governance is often an important COIN tool to counter insurgent efforts to seize, nullify, or challenge governing authorities. Governance consists of the rules, processes, and behavior by which interests are articulated, resources are managed, and power is exercised in a society. These rules and processes must be seen as predictable and tolerable in the eyes of the population to be deemed legitimate. They are manifested in three core functions: representation, security, and welfare.
By identifying representation as a core function of government (and in fact, the first core function), they have dictated that only electoral democracies can be a valid form of government. This means that this document is a manual for Democratization. A valid national security goal, but not one that should be confused with Counterinsurgency.
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Old 12-17-2013   #11
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This is the problem when one writes a guide for Marine and Army Regiments/Brigades and Battalions- one tends to cast very fundamental and universal concepts into the context of the nature and the mission of those US Military forces, rather than in the context of human nature the timeless dynamic of friction between those who govern and those who are governed.

For the manual to have meaningful application it must ultimately get to what these units do and how they can apply what they do to assist in dealing with an insurgency, be that insurgency foreign or domestic, and regardless of what types of tactics any of the operational insurgent groups / individuals decide to employ. But this cannot be the foundation, this must be the structure. The problem with so much of what we do in terms of military doctrine, plans and policies is that we build them upon a foundation of who we are and what we do, rather than a foundation of what the actual problem is.

A recent poster child for this is "irregular warfare." I was scanning an article on "low-intensity conflict" the other day that was written in about 1991 as I recall. "LIC" was one of the many rejected concepts employed for bundling and describing military operations that don't meet the classic Napoleonic/Clauswitzian frameworks of "real" wars, like WWI and WWII. I admit that I have never liked the IW construct; not just for its misuse of both the words "irregular" and "warfare” - but even more importantly to me for how it bundles a wide range of very different types of conflict, requiring equally distinct families of solution, under a single, broad, confusing banner headline. I believe that it is very important that what one calls a problem suggests a family of solution appropriate for that problem. This provides a start point for understanding the particulars of such a conflict when it emerges that we can then tailor our responses based upon the myriad facts that uniquely shape every conflict.

At least LIC was framed by aspects of the conflict itself. IW is more framed by our response to the conflict. Personally I think we probably find more effective large bundling tools if we go with "State-based conflicts" and "populace-based conflicts" as our point of entry for beginning to key out what type of problem we face. In simple terms, the first is "extra" and the second is "entra."

In state-based conflicts two or more Clauswitzian systems of Government-Army-People compete violently for some degree of coercion or dominion over the others. Classic warfare to which Clausewitz applies very well.

In populace-based conflicts there is illegal (and often violent) competition internal to a single Clauswitzian system of Government-Army-People. This creates very unique dynamics due to the nature of the relationship between the contestants. Clausewitz does not apply very well, just as the rules for putting down a riot do not apply very well for dealing with domestic violence inside a household.

Many of our greatest frustrations in our efforts in dealing with populace-based conflicts come from our struggle to modify state-based conflict principles, doctrine and TTPS to somehow fit.

Legitimacy, in particular, political legitimacy, is indeed a crucial concept to any discussion on insurgency or how to deal with an insurgency. But we absolutely mangle the concept beyond repair when we apply convoluted definitions based far more in the context of what we think the solution is than in the context of what we understand the problem to actually be. We think that representative government, governmental security, and effective welfare programs will make the people happy. We also have organizations that we send out to conduct COIN that do those things (DOS, DOD, USAID), so our definition is logical in the context of what we do. But it completely misses the fundamental nature of political legitimacy. Often the system of government we want to sustain in power or elevate into power has very little political legitimacy. This is very inconvenient, so we focus of legal legitimacy instead. After all, we can bestow (or deny) legal legitimacy by fiat from afar in places like the UN floor or the Oval office. But political legitimacy cannot be created or destroyed by governmental mandate.

After a great deal of thought and work on this topic I believe that political legitimacy is simply the recognition by people affected by some system of governance (foreign or domestic, formal or informal) to affect their lives. This is a perception that can be nurtured or undermined from afar, but ultimately has to be earned on the ground among the population group(s) in question. "Hearts and Minds" is a poetic term for political legitimacy. It cannot be "won," it must be earned. Equally important, it cannot be earned by a surrogate and then transferred. Foreign troops cannot create perceptions that the host nation governance is legitimate. Foreign troops can, however, through carefully designed operations, help empower host nation governance to earn this vital perception. This is fundamental to the US approach in both Colombia and the Philippines. The US approach in Afghanistan and Iraq, and frankly everywhere we have pursued AQ across the AFRICOM and CENTCOM AORs over the past dozen years have worked against the development of perceptions of political legitimacy for all of our partners. This is a main reason why there has been such a growth of revolutionary insurgency across the region, and why AQ has proven so hard to squash through our aggressive CT efforts.

In fact, our efforts undermine our own political legitimacy as a foreign power in those same places. We take far too much comfort in the legality of our operations. Increasingly in the emerging strategic environment, where the balance of power will continue to shift from governments towards the people and non-state organizations, legality will not be enough to validate a COA for effectiveness. Increasingly governments must focus upon appropriateness of action over legality of action. Our actions still must be legal, but legal actions deemed as inappropriate pour gasoline on the causation of transnational terrorism against these inappropriate actors. We can see the US government attempting to bring our operations into a more appropriate context in some cases, but I suspect it is far too little and far too late if we attempt to do this on a case by case basis, and then only when some situation blows up in our faces. We need to adopt the prioritization of perceived appropriateness as policy across the board. We generally have a wide range of tactical options available to us, and we have become lazy in defaulting to those approaches that pose the least risk and offer the greatest effectiveness, even though these same options are widely perceives as also being the most inappropriate.

And all of this is related to this fundamental concept of political legitimacy. We can't afford to keep getting this wrong, and FM 3-24 definitely gets it wrong, but no worse than we do in general across our many aspects of US governance that affects the lives of people who live in foreign lands.
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Old 12-17-2013   #12
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Typo: I meant "intra" not "entra" for populace-based conflicts. Nothing like one good spelling error to take the steam out of a good idea!
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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)
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Old 12-20-2013   #13
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Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
Well, they hosed up political legitimacy again.

Under the title "Principles of Governance":



By identifying representation as a core function of government (and in fact, the first core function), they have dictated that only electoral democracies can be a valid form of government. This means that this document is a manual for Democratization. A valid national security goal, but not one that should be confused with Counterinsurgency.
Curmudgeon - the writing team actually agreed with your concern about assuming democracy is the silver bullet solution to political legitimacy. We emphasized the importance of local expectations and perceptions throughout the document, and on page VIII-1 we explicitly wrote that,
(1) Representation includes political participation, decision-making procedures, responsiveness to the needs of the population, and accountability for decisions and their implementation. The effectiveness and legitimacy of representation depend on their appropriateness in the local context. For example, participatory governance does not necessarily equate to Western-style democratic institutions; it could consist of local shuras— informal gatherings of village or tribal leaders common in some countries in the Middle East and Central Asia.
And on page VIII-4 we reiterated that,
(2) Reconcile Local Expectations with USG Goals. In a COIN environment, what is and is not seen as effective and legitimate governance by the population will depend on the local context. A careful analysis is needed to determine what the local population considers appropriate and to what extent a failure to meet these expectations is contributing to the insurgency. The results will have to be reconciled with the USG’s strategic goals being pursued via the COIN operation. If democratic governance is part of the broader USG strategy, COIN efforts focused on locally appropriate governance to undermine the insurgent narrative will have to be reconciled with this more long-term agenda, which may generate challenges in terms of PA, IO, and interagency coordination. Generally, counterinsurgents seek to ensure that governance arrangements are inclusive instead of reinforcing societal divisions. The USG, and at times the joint force, may be able to assist by channeling assistance in ways that force cooperation across those divisions while also countering the insurgent narrative.
Have a look at Chapter VIII on Building Indigenous Governance to Support Counterinsurgency and let us know whether you think we hit the mark.

Bob - strongly agree with your points about the difference between legal legitimacy and political legitimacy. Will be very interested to hear whether you think that difference is adequately reflected in the document.

Cheers,
Max
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Old 12-20-2013   #14
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Default "Legitimacy", as a word,

is replete throughout the document. The term "political legitimacy" is used twice; the term "legal legitimacy" is not used. The term "rule of law" is used often; the term "rule by law" (which is quite a different concept) is not used.

So, to me, the document is not very clear.

Regards

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Old 12-20-2013   #15
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They all mean the same thing, right?

(I'm with you Mike, your previous discussions on rule by vs. rule off have a lot of merit.)

We won't get better until we shift the focus from the insurgent groups that form to physically act out to challenge government, to a focus on the fundamental political purpose of insurgency; as well as the fundamental dynamics of human nature between those who govern and those who are governed around which all insurgencies turn.

At the end of the day, insurgency is not somthing to be "countered" so much as it is a condition of governance to be understood and ultimately "resolved." Not cured, as every system is infected with a certain amount of insurgency. The goal must be to keep governance and governed in as balanced of a state of cooperation as possible. Which reminds me of a great quote from James Madison that I believe is on point:

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
JAMES MADISON, Federalist No. 51, Feb. 6, 1788
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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)
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Old 12-20-2013   #16
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Mike,

I understand your reservations, but I hope you'll take the time to read the document more fully before dismissing it. While certainly not perfect, I'd hate to think the pub will be judged solely on the basis of a search for particular phrases or terms.

Bob,

I believe (hope?) you will find precisely that emphasis on underlying political drivers in this document.

Cheers,
Max

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Old 12-20-2013   #17
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Max

I will read in detail, and happy to discuss my thoughts once done.

I will caution though, that concepts like legal legitmacy vs. political legitimacy and how they interact with the dynamic of insurgnecy is so fundamentally vital that it can literally be that proverbial horseshoe nail that caused the kingdom to be lost.

Insurgency is a difficult topic to have a fair and balanced discussion about in any audience. There is a bias on the part of government and governmental actors (who will always be the legal actor, just as the insurgent will always be the illegal actor) that is both natural and crippling to getting to good understanding of the problem.

Add to this the tremendous inertia of thought, lessons learned and effort from centuries of colonial operations and decades of containment operations. That is a lot of fat to distil off of any concept.

Another big obstacle is that so many insurgencies tend to employ violent tactics that overwhelm civil security forces. This results in the problem being punted to the military, and not surprisingly the military then casts it as a form of war and warfare, and seeks to identify a threat to defeat in order to "win." I will concede that a resistance insurgency following the defeat of ones government and military by a foreign force is a continuation of warfare. If one wants to dominate that place one must defeat those people. Grant understood this in his strategy for decisively ending the Civil War. But if it is an internal revolutionary insurgency designed to coerce through illegal means change in whole or part on their own government, it is a very different genus and species of competition, and is probably best thought of as a form of civil emergency rather than as a form of warfare.

Insurgency, IMO, must have the following 4 components or it is not insurgency:
1. Internal to some system of governance (CvC's Army-Gov't-People)
2. Populace-based (must be rooted in some distinct segment of the population)
3. Illegal
4. Political challenge in primary purpose.

Of note, thought of this way:

1. The only difference between democracy and insurgency is legality.

2. There is no such thing as "criminal insurgency." All insurgency is criminal, but if the primary purpose is for profit it is not insurgency no matter how much it challenges governance. Why? because the cure for profit-based opertions are completely different than those for political-based opertions.

In short, we must understand things for what they are, not what we wish them to be as seen though the lens of our respective institution, and not in the context of the tactics applied, activities engaged in, or effects produced. Many dissimilar things look similar at times, or can create similar effects.

Anyway, it's Friday and I need to run. Cheers! Bob
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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)
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Old 12-20-2013   #18
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Default Whoa Silver,

Who said anything about:

Quote:
... dismissing it ...
Did I ? No I did not.

I did answer your question - admittedly addressed to Bob, which was:

Quote:
Bob - strongly agree with your points about the difference between legal legitimacy and political legitimacy. Will be very interested to hear whether you think that difference is adequately reflected in the document.
JP 3-24 does not use the term "legal legitimacy" once; it uses the term "political legitimacy" twice - here are the snips:

Quote:
I-6 ... Political legitimacy of a government determines the degree to which the population will voluntarily or passively comply with the decisions and rules issued by a governing authority.
Quote:
II-9 ... Revolutionaries often want to change the fundamental sources of political legitimacy around which government and political authority are organized.
The rest of the monograph otherwise uses the unmodified word "legitimacy" 134 times, without guidance as to whether that word means "political legitimacy" and "legal legitimacy".

So, now, to answer your question again: The difference between legal legitimacy and political legitimacy is not adequately reflected in the document.

Or, perhaps, I'm to assume (which I won't do) that "legal legitimacy" is equated to "rule of law" (used 20 times). Thus, is this also the "definition" of "legal legitimacy" ??:

Quote:
III-3 (3) Rule of Law. Access to effective mechanisms to resolve disputes without resorting to violence and in accordance with a consistent set of rules is fundamental to ensure that the population feels secure. The rule of law should govern the conduct of COIN forces, transparently and consistently following its own rules to demonstrate the political credibility of the HN government and its allies to the population and the insurgents.

(4) As with governance systems in general, the legal systems deemed most
effective and legitimate in the eyes of the local population may differ greatly from Western models, and may vary across the operational area (e.g., the capital city versus remote rural areas). JFCs should endeavor to support locally appropriate systems while adhering to US and international human rights standards.
Answer that and, perhaps, Bob or I can go on; I say "perhaps" because the term "rule of law" is an arguable point, to say the least. For your reading pleasure (both from the Mansfield Center), The Rule of Law: A Lexicon for Policy Makers (2000); and The Rule of Law: Perspectives from the Pacific Rim (2000). Politics (often very local) and popular culture (again often very local) are more important factors than law in popular insurrections.

Regards

Mike
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Old 12-21-2013   #19
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Default A good start.

OK, I have only got through the first chapter. It amazing me how slow I read. I have to say that it is leap years ahead of the old FM 3-24. It reflects the complicated nature of a political insurgency. I also like the emphasis on WHY there is an insurgency in the first place. To look at what factors created the insurgency and then to address them in an attempt to get ahead of the insurgents. That does not mean I agree with everything I have read so far, simply that I think our doctrine is beginning to reflect the complicated realities of a political insurgency.

I will write more on specific areas as I go.
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Old 12-22-2013   #20
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Default Narrative

I have some issues with the way the JP describes an insurgency. My particular issue may be a bit tangential, but it appears that the JP implies that the narrative can control the people.

Quote:
Compelling Narrative.
It takes dynamic and intelligent leadership to build a compelling narrative that links grievances to a political agenda and mobilizes the population to support an unlawful subversive and violent social movement. That narrative explains who is to blame for the grievances, how the grieances will be addressed, how the population will benefit under the insurgent’s ideology, and how the population and insurgency should work together to accomplish that goal. The compelling aspect of the narrative is not only in its content, but how it is presented (i.e., promoted and publicized) to the target audience, which normally requires ideological leaders. It is consistently reinforced through communication and through propaganda of the deed. Insurgents often frame grievances in terms of local identities, such as religious, ethno-sectarian, or regional groupings. A compelling narrative is often spun around the marginalization of a particular community, region, or class by the government.
Page II-4

First, it creates the impression that insurgency is a rational action and that the participants are rational actors. It is my opinion that passion rules the population when it comes to insurgencies (or at least has a greater influence than rationality). War requires the passion of the people.

Second, identity does matter, but it is complex. To raise the passion of the people you must be able to create a level of hatred that is based on more than a simple narrative. There are plenty of different identities in many countries. They are not all in a state of civil war. The difference is the level or hatred, the need for retribution; for revenge. That is what makes the blood boil. So it is more than just a difference in identity - it is an injustice so sever that only retribution in kind will make up for it.

Third, the narrative seems to be used to create legitimacy in the insurgents. It creates the impression that all it takes to create legitimacy is a good public relations campaign. I have written against this view elsewhere.

Quote:
Max Weber created a problem for many people when he defined legitimacy as a belief. While a belief is an internal motivator beliefs can be transitory. One can believe in one thing one moment and another thing the next. Beliefs are subject to change based on the influence of others. A powerful speaker or a well-crafted public relations campaign can change what people believe about a topic. This creates the false impression that all a government has to do to be legitimate is to convince its people to believe that it is legitimate. As David Beetham put it in The Legitimation of Power when describing the problem created by defining legitimacy as a simple belief: “[t]aken to their logical conclusion, such definitions would imply that the reason for the collapse of the communist regimes in Eastern Europe in 1989 lay in a deficiency of public relations, rather than anything actually wrong with the system of rule itself.”[43] While this statement may just be an ad absurdum argument for the proposition the idea that legitimacy can be created is alive and well. It is the foundation of America’s nation building and democratization efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.[44] Beliefs can be changed easily. Beliefs vary with the situation. Values are beliefs but they are enduring beliefs. They can remain engrained in a culture for centuries[45]. Values are a component of belief that forms the basis of Weber’s “legitimitätsglaube”. Barker recognized this when he identified values as a fourth form of Weberian legitimacy.
You cannot create legitimacy with a good story. Here is the failure of the way the narrative is described.

The JP makes the point that for an insurgency to be created there must be an opportunity. I would argue that that opportunity must have three components. The first is that a section of the population who can clearly identify themselves as somehow being different from, or separate to, the ruling elements of the government. The identity is a preexisting or can be created based on ideological differences. Second, the portion of the population already perceives the government as either being having weak legitimacy or being illegitimate AT LEAST in reference to their group. Third, that there is some recent or historical "wrong" committed by the government that is so severe that it requires retribution. This can be an actual act of the government (shooting protestors), a promise not kept (greater political freedom), or a historical difference (Shia'h versus Sunni).

Again, I am thinking out loud, but I don't believe that a good PR campaign is enough to start a civil war. It has to be tied to passion about an injustice that must be corrected.
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