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Old 10-05-2008   #1
Bill Moore
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Default The Gill Doctrine (Indian CT)

The Gill Doctrine, A Model for 21st Century Counter-terrorism?

http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/public...9/Article1.htm

I think as you read through this paper you'll see many common concepts that we have discussed extensively within the SWJ council, such as:

Quote:
When fighting terrorists armed with military-issue hardware, the definition of what constitutes ‘minimal force’ requires recalibration. If terrorism is after all a new way of warfare, then the Government must be prepared to combat it on a war-footing. At the same time, there remains an overwhelming need to insulate the local population from suffering disproportionate collateral damage. For this reason, the use of area weapons and airpower is to be avoided, even if the result is heightened casualties on one’s own side.
Quote:
he spent much of his time trying to mobilize Punjab’s Sikhs against extremist violence.21 Where he differed from his more politically-correct colleagues was in the depth of expectation he placed upon such efforts. Whilst pacifists in the Police attempted to put the cart before the horse and rally the population against terrorism before aspiring for operational dominance, Gill reversed these priorities.
Quote:
One of the Gill Doctrine’s most significant contributions to the study of low intensity conflicts has been the concept of a ‘societal Stockholm Syndrome.’23 This concept holds that even in instances where popular support for militancy appears high, it may not be so in reality. Rather, such support might only amount to a survival tactic adopted by populations living continuously under the shadow of the gun. Once this point is appreciated by counter-terrorist strategists, it becomes possible to develop a response to terrorist violence that balances political sustainability with operational effectiveness.
These are the areas I think he has in common with our doctrine, even if we fail to put them in practice. The point I want to focus on in this post is that the ability to rapidly and continuously put to put pressure on the enemy (i.e. wage a war of attrition) is to enable local police or paramilitary forces to take action. These are the forces on point, and all too often they are under equipped, under trained, and poorly led, thus we rely too heavily on speciality commando/SWAT like elements who are not able to protect the populace or respond to crisis 24/7 in a responsible time. Commandos and SWAT elements have a critical role to play, but not at the expense of ignoring action at the local level by local forces. The palace guard will never defeat an insurgency. I think back to a couple of recent school shootings in the U.S., where the police were sitting outside waiting on the SWAT teams to arrive while our kids were being shot. We are past the point of ridiculous if the common police officer isn't trained and equipped well enough to confront a unstable teenager with a rifle. Instead they conduct crowd control outside while some whacked out kid has freedom of movement to continue his rampage, all because they are waiting on grossly overweight SWAT team members (obviously poorly trained) to arrive several minutes later (VA) to respond to the incident. This same mind has creep into our COIN practices, and we need to aggressively reverse it by sufficiently training, arming, and equipping local forces to deal with the threats at their level.

Quote:
The ‘three possibles’ outlined above triangulate the actions encapsulated within the Gill Doctrine, enclosing it within a complete analytical model that captures its essentials. Rapid and Sustainable Attrition (RASTA – an Indian word for ‘way’) was the guiding objective according to which the progress of counter-terrorist efforts was measured. While the Punjab Police were able to attain the first two ‘possibles’ within 19 months of Gill’s appointment as Police chief, the third was not achieved until 1992. Terrorists could be identified and surgically neutralized on the basis of good local intelligence, and at a very rapid pace, but lack of political resolve undercut the Punjab Police’s efforts. Not until the political establishment in New Delhi allowed Gill to continue his efforts without interference from would-be peacemakers, did attrition of terrorist cadres become both rapid and sustainable.
Gill's comments on police based intelligence and identity based terrorist groups are gold. His ideas will be highly valuable when we're advising a nation on how to best defeat the threat within their borders.

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This thread should be read alongside the main, wider thread Understanding Indian Insurgencies

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-29-2017 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Add Mods Note & link
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Old 10-05-2008   #2
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Good read. Thanks for posting this Bill.
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Old 10-05-2008   #3
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Thumbs up Excellent post

Bill,

A good find and very interesting. I am surprised the author's work has not appeared on Kings of War blogsite, as he was (is) a Kings College London PhD student.

For reasons I do not understand Indian COIN and CT experience appears to be ignored here in the UK. Anecdote suggests diplomatic and institutional relations between India and the UK still have an imperial legacy to forget.

Indian police officers did visit our national police training college and sometimes went to see CT work in Northern Ireland. No idea about military to military relations.

Gill's advocacy of ground-based intelligence gathering -v- that at a national level needs careful thought. There is a great difference between learning about the context of local operations (situational awareness) and the individual or group details for action. Can communities provide the detail is often the refrain? This article shows communities over time can, if the police are close to the community.

The UK experience in Northern Ireland, certainly in the early years, when the threat was high was that desperate measures were taken to get individual or group details - that later were regretted (Sir David Omand, a UK "guru" on intelligence has made comments similar to this). Note the Army superceded the police (RUC) as the lead agency in those years; not that the Army was the sole operator or decision-maker.

More recent UK experience indicates that almost no intelligence of value or impact has come from the community; cited by Peter Clarke, the police CT co-ordinator.

Constant learning is required and a wider outlook than just "Western" examples.

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Old 10-05-2008   #4
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Bill, This is a great post. I am reading it again for the second time. Most interesting.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 10-05-2008 at 07:53 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-05-2008   #5
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Default Another Indian Army Article ....

for comparison

Quote:
Small Wars Journal
Restraint as a Successful Strategy in the 1999 Kargil Conflict
Colonel Devendra Pratap Pandey, Indian Army
Posted by SWJ Editors on June 15, 2008
http://smallwarsjournal.com/mag/2008...ssful-stra.php
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Old 10-06-2008   #6
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Thumbs up Bill, Thank You very much for posting this

It does bring up a lot of considerations which seem to have been somewhat overlooked or mis-identified throughout our own operations, thus providing great food for thought.

A couple of things though in regards to the applicability to ops such as OIF, OEF. Many of the approaches taken through the GILL Doctrine would seem to require that the largest portion of Counter-Terrorist/Counter-Insurgent forces be local in gaining the acceptance of the populous as legit and concrete. The face of the wars(per se) must be local in order to almost all portions be it humint, security, community programs, etc. The reason I state this is that it would seem were this not so such as in OIF,OEF the enemies would simply have to find ways to tie any such efforts to the "outsiders" in order to continue facilitating their identity driven recruiting efforts.

Thus the overwhelming importance of using local forces for local security.
It would seem to point towards those areas in which Coalition forces can contribute greatly to the overall efforts through both, monetary, and political assistance, while keeping most kinetic activities performed soley by ISAF to those areas outside the greater population density's. Does bring up some new thoughts on several former threads.

Perhaps especially one about determining Endstates?

PS: On learning from India I was also surprised by how little I have seen related to how India approached the Kashmir operations both in operational contexts and even more so political/social governance personnel in tandem with military ops.
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Old 10-07-2008   #7
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Default As that glistened may not shine?

The Gill Doctrine is well known in the expatriate Sikh community, not as an example of good CT practice, but indiscriminate police violence and terrorism for counter-terrorism. Village police were given a weekly number of "terrorists" to arrest and picked up whoever they wanted - invariably shot whilst attempting to escape. This came from contacts who thought the Gill Doctrine was necessary and justified.

I am sure there are other articles, here is one from a Canadian newspaper found in a quick Google search and with an Indian author (bona fides not checked): http://www.boston.com/news/globe/edi...ter_terrorism/

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Old 10-07-2008   #8
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I have to say that I disagree w/ the local units as a need. In fact my experience (limited though it may be) says this is a bad idea. Local units tend to be corrupt, and develop resentment in the population. Good for preventing looting and possibly law enforcement but anti-terrorism and COIN needs to be left to the best trained and equipped units available.
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Old 10-08-2008   #9
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Wink While I don't disagree with your point about corruption

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Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
I have to say that I disagree w/ the local units as a need. In fact my experience (limited though it may be) says this is a bad idea. Local units tend to be corrupt, and develop resentment in the population. Good for preventing looting and possibly law enforcement but anti-terrorism and COIN needs to be left to the best trained and equipped units available.
Reed
Exactly how long lasting do you think any overall operations effects would be if the largest portion of those ops isn't pointed towards getting rid of the corruption and thus bringing a more effective and less corrupt local force for good to bare.
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Old 10-12-2008   #10
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Default Initial response

Posted by Ron,
Quote:
Thus the overwhelming importance of using local forces for local security. It would seem to point towards those areas in which Coalition forces can contribute greatly to the overall efforts through both, monetary, and political assistance, while keeping most kinetic activities performed soley by ISAF to those areas outside the greater population density's. Does bring up some new thoughts on several former threads.
A couple of points, I don't consider Afghanistan and Iraq a counterinsurgency operation. It is armed nation building, and it requires a separate doctrine. I know many in the council disagree with me, so for now (until one side can convince the other) we'll just have to agree to disagree. For true counterinsurgencies, where a legitimate government is attempting to suppress an insurgency and requests assistance, there shouldn't be a requirement for coalition forces to conduct combat and security operations (unless it is a failed state, then we are past COIN and starting with nation building), and in the rare situations that there is a requirement, then they should be employed for a short duration and then quickly withdrawn except for the required combat advisors and trainers. In countries that are currently being challenged by Al Qaeda affliated insurgencies I agree that the bulk of our effort should be monetary (though the recent economic crisis may challenge that assumption), informational, and technical and tactical assistance as required (trainers and advisors). We shouldn't try to impose our doctrine or values on the HN unless their approach is failing, and then do so with caution. Our focus needs to be on giving them the capacity and capabilities needed to take care of business.

Posted by David
Quote:
The Gill Doctrine is well known in the expatriate Sikh community, not as an example of good CT practice, but indiscriminate police violence and terrorism for counter-terrorism. Village police were given a weekly number of "terrorists" to arrest and picked up whoever they wanted - invariably shot whilst attempting to escape. This came from contacts who thought the Gill Doctrine was necessary and justified.
I looked up Ensaaf, which is the NGO that the author of this response belonged to. They appear to be legitimate, so I won't challenge the author and appreciate your post. While Gill's police may have used what we consider excessive and indiscriminate force, I don't think we should throw out the baby with the bathwater. I think his doctrinal approach is still sound; however, his actual implimentation of it may have fell short. While not advocating wanton and indiscriminate killing, I believe we too often tend to forget that their is a requirement to defeat the enemy. This isn't just a political contest, it is an armed political contest, and that means the hard core cadres need to be killed or imprisoned. We won't win the war by building schools and telling happy stories alone. I'm sure the politically correct, or the soft power Nazis will jump all over this statement if they take it out of context, but the fact remains that if the enemy is still capable of coercing the population then we're not winning. We have to provide an acceptable level of security before the school building and narratives will have the desired effect, and that generally means aggressive police action in the initial phases. We learned alot about soft power in recent years (re-learned), and I don't want to toss those lessons out, but we can't forget that soft power won't work when the enemy has freedom of movement to coerce the civilian population and sabotage our efforts to win the hearts and minds of the populace.

Posted by Ron,
Quote:
Exactly how long lasting do you think any overall operations effects would be if the largest portion of those ops isn't pointed towards getting rid of the corruption and thus bringing a more effective and less corrupt local force for good to bare.
Ron, I think you hit the nail on the head with this comment. We can drive through, or fight through a village, town, neighborhood, etc., and we can even park there for awhile providing a security blanket against overt threats, but only the locals have the ability to identify and excise the insurgent underground, which includes the insurgent tax collectors, intelligence collectors, individuals threatening teachers and politicians (the real power brokers behind the scenes), etc. We can create the illusion of success with large combat operations, but the reason the insurgents are able to quickly reassert themselves after we withdraw from the area is that we failed to identify and eliminate the underground, and that requires long dwell local security forces, not SWAT teams. Gill addresses this in his doctrine.

As with any doctrine, take what is useful and mold it to fit your situation. Many criticize the French in Algeria and Gill's operations in India, yet both were successful on a military/security force level. We seem to simply gloss over that point and assume everything they did was wrong because they failed at the political/informational level. I'm an advocate for mimicking their successful security force tactics (within reason) when and where appropriate, while also addressing their shortfalls with our doctrine, so we don't repeat their mistakes (lessons learned).
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Old 10-12-2008   #11
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Default Great post, Bill

I, for one, agree with you:
Quote:
"...I don't consider Afghanistan and Iraq a counterinsurgency operation. It is armed nation building, ..."
Also agree with your thesis here. Thanks.
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Old 10-12-2008   #12
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Default Locals are the key

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Moore;58349; Taken from
...only the locals have the ability to identify and excise the insurgent underground, which includes the insurgent tax collectors, intelligence collectors, individuals threatening teachers and politicians (the real power brokers behind the scenes), etc...
Bill,

Thank you for the insight and I draw attention to the above passage (your reply to Ron), which in COIN or nation-building maybe clear; in CT 'locals' appear to fall from view IMHO. How do law enforcement / intelligence target the real suspect unless a local helps? Data mining is on offer for example, with all its attendant problems. Yes, it is difficult and can be seen to work historically - in the Punjab, India in this thread.

Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner (London), said in the Richard Dimblebey lecture in 2006, something akin to 'Only communities defeat terrorism' and here in the UK we are struggling to follow his advice.

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Old 08-07-2009   #13
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Default Lessons to learn from India?

This story of a para-military police killing in North East India first appeared in the (UK) Daily Telegraph (short article) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...armed-man.html and with a link to the local, Indian newspaper - with a series of photos: http://www.tehelka.com/story_main42....9murder_in.asp

I note the police commandos are locally recruited and kept in barracks.

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