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Adversary / Threat One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Talk about (or with?) them.

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Old 03-03-2007   #1
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Default Human Factors Considerations of Undergrounds in Insurgencies

Department of the Army Pamphlet 550-104, 1966

I have been reading this little tome at work as part of a project to understand NLF/VC auxiliary and intelligence infrastructure during the Viet Nam war.

It is not aimed exclusively at VC organisation, rather it is meant to be a study of "undergounds" in general throughout the mid-20th century from WWII through to the various small wars leading up to the publication date in the mid-1960s.

Even with the advent of AQ decentralised organisational theories and online terrorist training, I feel that this publication may have some value as it gets into the nuts and bolts of the psychology of the insurgent and his support network as well as how he did (does?) things.

It can be downloaded as a 3.6Mb PDF from the Combined Arms Research Digital Library here
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Old 03-03-2007   #2
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I wish I had known that before I bought it over's a good manual.
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Old 10-11-2007   #3
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The Human Factors DA Pam linked above was the second product of the Special Operations Research Office on undergrounds. Here is the first:

SORO, Nov 63: Undergrounds in Insurgent, Revolutionary, and Resistance Warfare
Purpose of Study

The objective of this study is to develop a comprehensive introduction to the subject of undergrounds. It is designed to bring together existing information about undergrounds through--

(1) A generalized description of
- the strategic roles of undergrounds in insurgency, revolutionary, and resistance warfare
- the administrative and operational missions performed by undergrounds for revolutionary and resistance movements
- typical techniques utilized by undergrounds in accomplishing their missions
- Communist use of undergrounds
- countermeasures utilized by incumbent governments to suppress or eliminate undergrounds

(2) Historical illustrations of the activities of undergrounds in both revolutionary and resistance movements.
Complete 349 page document at the link.

Case studies include France (1940-45), Yugoslavia (1941-45), Malaya (1948-60), Algeria (1954-62), Greece (1945-49), The Philippines (1946-54) and Palestine (1945-48).

Last edited by Jedburgh; 10-11-2007 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 08-05-2009   #4
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SAMS, 30 Apr 09: Understanding the Form, Function, and Logic of Clandestine Cellular Networks: The First Step in Effective Counternetwork Operations
Since the events of September 11, 2001 the United States military counternetwork operations, theory, and doctrine have failed to account for the form, function, and logic of clandestine cellular networks used by both interstate insurgencies, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as by global insurgencies, like al Qaeda and its associated movements. The failure to understand the form, function, and logic of clandestine cellular networks has led to the incorrect application of counternetwork theories. Counternetwork operations specifically targeting key leaders, facilitators, individuals with special skills, or highly connected individuals, intuitively seem to be the correct targets for disconnecting clandestine cellular networks. However, there has been little comparative analysis done to verify if these operations are in fact having the overall effect required to disrupt, neutralize, defeat, or ultimately destroy these networks.

Understanding the form, function, and logic of clandestine cellular networks reveals that the removal of single individuals, regardless of function, is well within the tolerance of this type of organizational structure and thus has little long-term effect. At the same time, highly connected nodes violate the principles of clandestine operations since they are obviously highly visible when compared to a competent clandestine practitioner that does not want a discernable signature in order to remain hidden from the counterinsurgent. Thus, by focusing on the highly connected individuals as high priority targets, US efforts have effectively “culled the herd” of poor clandestine practitioners. These two examples provide the two most common errors in the current counternetwork theories and operations, and the errors are all due to a lack of a systemic understanding of clandestine cellular networks.

This monograph uses a modified process-trace methodology to analyze the form, function, and logic of clandestine cellular networks in order to dispel the myths associated with current network and counternetwork theories, and challenge the contemporary thoughts on counternetwork operations. This work concludes with the development of six principles of clandestine cellular networks, along with a myriad of conclusion based on the analysis of the form, function, and logic of these networks, to provide a deeper understanding of clandestine cellular networks. Understanding the form, function, and logic of clandestine cellular networks is the first step to more effective counternetwork operations.
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