Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Rancho La Espada, Blanchard, OK
Comment on THE INSURGENTS by Fred Kaplan
In discussing Legitimacy, Kaplan states, "But Manwaring had imposed a Western definition of legitimacy, involving democratic governance, rule of law, and a pluralistic society." (p. 158) As Max and I stated in our article, "The SWORD Model of Counterinsurgency" published here in the[I] Small Wars Journal [[I][I] in December 2008, the most important variables making up the Legitimacy dimension (statistically powerful Factor Loadings) were: (1) the perceived domestic support of the host government, (2) the perception on the part of the population that the host government was corrupt, (3) the host government's ability to motivate the people (which was operationalized as its ability to effectively deliver government services), and (4) that the settling of political conflict by violence was not the norm. As can be seen easily, these are not culture bound concepts and apply to any culture or society. None of them require democratic governance, the rule of law, or a pluralistic society although they may be more easily achieved in that kind of society. Let me simply point out that non-democratic Saudi Arabia would appear to rank quite high on all four variables.
Last, Kaplan states that Max's research had showed Legitimacy (of the host government) to be the most significant factor in the outcome of an insurgency. This statement is simply wrong and our article demonstrates that fact. Legitimacy had a Probit score of 2.32 and was significant at the ,025 level while Support Actions of the Intervening Power had a Probit score of 2.56 and was significant at the .01 level. What this actually means is that Legitimacy was the second most powerful dimension affecting success in a COIN.
I hope that these errors are the worst that Kaplan makes. We (Ambassador Corr who was US Ambassador to El Salvador at the time we are discussing, and I) will let you know when we finish our review of Kaplan's book.
Join Date: Mar 2006
Spinning Modern War: The First Draft of Counterinsurgency’s History
A "snakes & ladders' review on Kings of War of Kaplan's book:http://kingsofwar.org.uk/2013/02/spi...tory/#comments
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Boston, MA
What is "Support Actions of the Intervening Power "?
I am apt to disagree with you, and I am going back to read the original article, but I think you has misunderstood what legitimacy is.
"I can change almost anything ... but I can't change human nature."
Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan
A plan without action is a Daydream,
Action without a plan is a Nightmare.
"There is no Good and Evil, there is only Power, and those who are too weak to seek it"
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