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BRIAN L. GABRIEL
A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Mercyhurst College In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for The Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN APPLIED INTELLIGENCE
DEPARTMENT OF INTELLIGENCE STUDIES MERCYHURST COLLEGE ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA MAY 2010
DEPARTMENT OF INTELLIGENCE STUDIES MERCYHURST COLLEGE ERIE, PENNSYLVANIA
EVALUATING THE TRANSFERABILITY OF COUNTERINSURGENCY DOCTRINE: FROM THE COLD WAR TO GLOBAL INSURGENCY A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Mercyhurst College In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for The Degree of MASTER OF SCIENCE IN APPLIED INTELLIGENCE
Submitted By: BRIAN L. GABRIEL
Certificate of Approval:
___________________________________ James G. Breckenridge Chair/Assistant Professor Department of Intelligence Studies
___________________________________ Kristan J. Wheaton Assistant Professor Department of Intelligence Studies
___________________________________ Phillip J. Belfiore Vice President Office of Academic Affairs May 2010
Copyright © 2010 by Brian L. Gabriel All rights reserved.
This work is dedicated to my wife Debra for her tireless love, support, and patience in all of my pursuits.
I would like to thank the faculty of Mercyhurst College¶s Intelligence Studies department for their assistance in the completion of this work. I would also like to thank my classmates for their encouragement and support.
ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS
Evaluating the Transferability of Counterinsurgency Doctrine: From the Cold War to Global Insurgency By Brian L. Gabriel Master of Science in Applied Intelligence Mercyhurst College, 2010 Professor James G. Breckenridge, Chair
This paper examines the ³transferability´ of the United States¶ new counterinsurgency doctrine exemplified in Army Field Manual No. 3-24/Marine Corps Warfighting Publication No. 3-33.5 (FM 3-24). This examination questions whether the new doctrine truly provides a framework to defeat insurgencies around the world regardless of the nature of the insurgency or if the doctrine¶s utility is more limited. In order to answer this question, the paper uses a matrix to analyze the precepts of FM 3-24 against critiques raised in opposition to the doctrine relevant to the question of transferability. Additionally, to provide real-world perspective, this paper examines the application of FM 3-24 in Afghanistan and estimates whether the doctrine could successfully be implemented in Somalia. The paper concludes that the doctrine is not limited by time or geography, but rather by the type of insurgency. Thus, although FM 3-24 is highly transferable among domestic insurgencies, the doctrine¶s populationcentric precept is unlikely to be effective against a more amorphous global insurgency such as the war against Al Qaeda. vi
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page COPYRIGHT PAGE................................................................................................ DEDICATION.......................................................................................................... ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...................................................................................... ABSTRACT.............................................................................................................. TABLE OF CONTENTS.......................................................................................... LIST OF TABLES.................................................................................................... CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION.................................................................................. 2 LITERATURE REVIEW....................................................................... Evolution of Counterinsurgency Doctrine............................... Field Manual 3-24.................................................................... Critiques of Field Manual 3-24................................................ New Geopolitical Environment................................... Liberation Insurgencies and Third-Party Counterinsurgents........................................................ Domestic Insurgency vs. Global Insurgency............... Doctrine Derived from Wrong Case Studies............... Different Motivations................................................... Relationship with Host Government............................ 3 METHODOLOGY................................................................................. Source Collection..................................................................... Most Influential Sources.......................................................... Construction of Transferability Matrix.................................... Selection of Case Studies: Afghanistan and Somalia.............. 1 5 5 18 24 24 25 27 29 30 30 33 33 34 34 38 iii iv v vi vii ix
4 RESULTS............................................................................................... Analysis: Transferability Matrix.............................................. Horizontal Approach: Row 1....................................... Vertical Approach: Column 2...................................... Further Analysis of the Matrix..................................... Conflict Arises: Population-centric Meets Global Insurgency.................................................................... Results: Transferability Matrix................................................ Analysis: Case Studies of Afghanistan and Somalia............... Afghanistan.................................................................. Somalia......................................................................... Results: Case Studies of Afghanistan and Somalia.................. 5 CONCLUSION....................................................................................... REFERENCES.......................................................................................................... APPENDIX: RECOMMENDED COIN READING LIST......................................
41 41 42 46 49 50 52 54 55 58 61 62 66 74
LIST OF TABLES
Page Table 1.1 Table 2.1 Table 2.2 Table 3.1 Transferability Matrix Row 1, Transferability Matrix Column 2, Transferability Matrix Results, Transferability Matrix 37 42 46 53
The United States military released its final version of the new Counterinsurgency Field Manual, Army Field Manual No. 3-24/Marine Corps Warfighting Publication No. 3-33.5 in December of 2006. Commonly referred to as COIN or Field Manual
(FM) 3-24, the manual defines the United States¶ modern approach to fighting insurgencies.1 When the manual was published in late 2006, twenty years had passed since the Army had released a field manual devoted exclusively to counterinsurgency operations. Twenty-five years had passed since the Marine Corps had published one. Upon its release, FM 3-24 was widely reviewed by the press, military personnel, and politicians. Several jihadi websites also reviewed the manual and copies have been found in Taliban training camps in Pakistan. After its posting to the Fort Leavenworth and Marine Corps websites, the manual was downloaded more than 1.5 million times in the first month (Nagl, 2007, p. xvii). Sarah Sewall (2007), author of the introduction to the manual¶s University of Chicago Press Edition, wrote: The unprecedented interest in a military field manual reflects confusion about the nation¶s strategic purpose in the wake of September 11, 2001. Americans yearn to understand a world in which old assumptions and advantages seem no longer relevant. They wonder if it is possible to secure the Somalias, Afghanistans, and Iraqs, let alone advisable to try. (p. xxi)
Throughout this paper, ³FM 3-24´ will be used to abbreviate the Army Field Manual No. 3-24/Marine Corps Warfighting Publication No. 3-33.
2 Given the popularity and the importance of this manual while the United States continues to combat insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, the goal of this paper will be to further define and explore the new counterinsurgency doctrine. According to the manual¶s foreword, written by then Lieutenant General David H. Petraeus, U.S. Army, and Lieutenant General James F. Amos, U.S. Marine Corps, the manual takes a general approach to counterinsurgency operations. The military branches recognize that every insurgency is contextual and presents its own set of challenges. Petraeus and Amos (2007) argue, however, that ³all insurgencies, even today¶s highly adaptable strains remain wars amongst the people. They use variations of standard themes...´ (p. xlv). The manual¶s official Preface states that the doctrine presented is ³applicable worldwide´ and that FM 3-24 is not focused on any one country or region (Headquarters, 2007a, p. xlviii). To further explore the new doctrine, this paper will examine and evaluate the true ³transferability´ of FM 3-24. In other words, does the new doctrine truly provide a framework to defeat insurgencies around the world regardless of the nature of the insurgency, or is the doctrine more limited in its utility? This paper argues that the doctrine is not limited by time or geography, but rather by the type of insurgency. This means that although FM 3-24 is highly transferable among domestic insurgencies, the doctrine¶s population-centric precept is unlikely to be effective against a more amorphous global insurgency such as the war against Al Qaeda. To test the new doctrine and this thesis, this paper will use a matrix to analyze the precepts of FM 3-24 against the doctrine¶s critiques relevant to transferability. Although the analysis of the matrix will be the primary methodology, to provide real-world perspective, this paper will examine the
3 doctrine¶s application in Afghanistan and estimate whether the doctrine could be successfully implemented in Somalia.2 Immediately, readers of this paper are likely to ask why the new counterinsurgency doctrine is being tested against the case study of Somalia. Like
Afghanistan, Somalia has been plagued by a violent insurgency and provides a haven for Al Qaeda operatives. Located on the Horn of Africa, Somalia also has strategic
importance for the national security and foreign policy of the United States. In addition, recent events indicate that Al-Shabaab, Somalia¶s most notorious Islamic extremist insurgent and terrorist organization, is expanding its operations outside of East Africa. FBI Director Robert Mueller testified in October 2009 on Capitol Hill that Al-Shabaab, an Al Qaeda affiliate, could attack the United States (Herridge, 2009). Interestingly, Afghanistan and Somalia are clearly different situations on different continents; however, they also share a number of similarities. It will be this balance of similarities and differences between the insurgencies in Afghanistan and Somalia that will allow for a fair examination of the modern counterinsurgency doctrine and its ability to be successfully applied to different countries/situations. This research question of transferability is unique in that it could also easily be converted in an intelligence question. In fact, the wording of this paper¶s thesis is quite similar to the language used in intelligence documents. This paper, however, is not an intelligence document produced for a decision-maker; this paper is an academic thesis. All sources are open source and include publications from military personnel, official
This paper does not argue that the United States is likely to commit ground forces to defeat the Somali insurgency. Rather, the paper will examine if the FM 3-24 doctrine could be successfully applied to Somalia.
4 government publications, interviews, and academia. These sources consist of books, journal articles, web sites, blogs, and other published works. Following the introduction, a literature review of modern counterinsurgency doctrine will be discussed in the second chapter. This literature review will outline the evolution of modern counterinsurgency doctrine by examining the British experience in Malaya, the French experiences in Indochina and Algeria, and conclude with the American experiences in Vietnam and El Salvador. Lastly, the literature review will present a number of critiques of FM 3-24 relevant to the question of transferability. In addition to explaining why the case study of Somalia was paired with Afghanistan for this analysis, the third chapter will organize the critiques from the literature review into a matrix in order to evaluate the transferability of FM 3-24. The actual analysis of the transferability of FM 3-24 using the matrix and within the case studies of Afghanistan and Somalia will occur in the fourth chapter. In closing, the fifth chapter will summarize the conclusions presented and recommend areas of future research. Before progressing, it is important to define key terms that this paper will use. Although there are a variety of definitions used to define insurgency, since the focus of this paper is FM 3-24, this paper will utilize the manual¶s definition. Expanding on the military¶s Joint Publication (JP) 1-02, FM 3-24 defines insurgency as an ³organized, protracted politico-military struggle designed to weaken the control and legitimacy of an established government, occupying power, or other political authority while increasing insurgency control´ (Headquarters, 2007b, p. 2). Again drawing on JP 1-02, a
counterinsurgency, then, is ³military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions taken by a government to defeat insurgency´ (Ibid).
Before assessing the transferability of FM 3-24, this chapter will provide a literature review of modern counterinsurgency doctrine beginning with the British experience in Malaya known as the Malayan Emergency. The evolution of
counterinsurgency doctrine, which has resulted in the publication of FM 3-24, is critical to the transferability of the current doctrine. Understanding which historical case studies counterinsurgency theorists drew upon is important. The case studies selected, as well as the respective lessons learned, significantly influence the evolution of theory. The case studies examined by the FM 3-24 authors, and the preceding theorists, foreshadow not only how they approach counterinsurgency warfare, but also what kind of insurgent and environment current and future counterinsurgents are likely to encounter (a topic important to the analysis of FM 3-24 in the fourth chapter). This discussion on the evolution of counterinsurgency doctrine will culminate with a short summary of FM 3-24. Finally, this chapter will present a collection of doctrinal critiques that apply to this question of transferability. Evolution of Counterinsurgency Doctrine In the book, On ³Other War´: Lessons from Five Decades of RAND Counterinsurgency Research, Austin Long (2006) wrote that counterinsurgency theory is ³almost entirely a product of the Cold War´ (p. 21). At the time of the book¶s
publication in 2006, Long summarized what was known about counterinsurgency doctrine and offered several recommendations for improving current strategy based on RAND¶s five decades of studying the doctrine. According to Long, early in the Cold War, there were two competing counterinsurgency theories: the ³hearts and minds´
6 theory (coined by Sir Gerald Templer during the Malayan Emergency) and the cost/benefit theory. Proponents of the ³hearts and minds´ theorized that in order to gain the population¶s support for the standing government, opposed to the insurgency, counterinsurgents needed to restore the hope of the population by providing security from the violence associated with the insurgency and increase the standard of living, political rights, etc. The idea was that insurgencies were the product of insecurity due to the changing economic climate and modernization, which affected other aspects of life including the social and political realms. The competing theory, the cost/benefit theory, was developed to evaluate the actions of the people rather than their attitudes. This theory provided the populace with benefits, such as economic improvements, for their cooperation with the government, and punishments, often the denial of food, for cooperating with the insurgency (p. 21-25). The ³hearts and minds´ theory was first put into practice by the British during the Malayan Emergency between 1948 and 1960.3 Malaya, a British colony, experienced a communist-inspired insurgency. The insurgency was led by the Malayan Communist Party, whose members where primarily ethnic Chinese. Few authors have dedicated entire works to the British experience in Malaya; more often, authors have paired the Malayan Emergency with other insurgencies in written works. Charles Townshend (1986), author of Britain¶s Civil Wars: Counterinsurgency in the Twentieth Century, followed this same pattern. His book examined the Malayan Emergency, among other British case studies, as he attempted to determine what level of violence a liberal, democratic state could use during a counterinsurgency operation. The
This is not to suggest, however, that the British doctrine exhibited the same civility that is outlined in FM 3-24; the British did utilize the denial of food.
7 implementation of a ³hearts and mind´ campaign was a learning experience for the British. Townshend notes that the counterinsurgency strategy developed at a ³leisurely´ pace (p. 157). Fortunately, for the British, the insurgency¶s failure to gain momentum allowed the counterinsurgents to make a number of mistakes. Despite the slow
development, the ³hearts and minds´ strategy proved successful. In order to achieve this success, the campaign also illustrated how to synthesize civil and military operations, duties, and commands in order to effectively defeat the insurgents. Townshend called it a ³skilful [sic] balancing act which blurred the distinction between civil and military spheres´ (p. 158). The British recognized the need to combine military operations with civil operations (economic development for example) in order to gain the support of the Malayan population; a lesson learned by the future authors of FM 3-24. For Wade Markel (2006), author of ³Draining the Swamp: The British Strategy of Population Control,´ the success of the British campaign in Malaya was more than Britain¶s ability to adapt organizationally, integrate civil and military aspects of national power, and exert the minimum amount of force necessary. Markel argued that the key to British success was the effective ³internment´ of the Chinese ³squatter´ population (p. 35). By interning the ³squatters´ in fortified villages, the British were successfully able to isolate the insurgents from a specific population in which the insurgents drew their strength. Consequently, the insurgents were isolated from potential recruits, military supplies, and food (p. 35-36). The British not only isolated the insurgents from the population, the British ³neutralized the desire to support the insurgents´ (p. 38). The British, and their Malayan allies, provided the squatter community with better infrastructure (compared to their previous ramshackle housing) and ensured access to
8 medical care and education (p. 38). As a result, the isolation of the insurgents from the larger population became another important component of counterinsurgency warfare. The role of local security forces, primarily the police, emerged from the Malayan Emergency as a third lesson of counterinsurgency. Although it is not the only source on the importance of local security forces, given the subject of this paper, FM 3-24 likely provides the most authoritative account in a vignette. According to the manual, the British used the police, not the military, as the leading counterinsurgency force. To combat initial problems within the police force, such as abuse of the civilian population and corruption, the British overhauled their police strategy, removed incompetent and corrupt officers, and provided advanced schooling in investigation and intelligence for those remaining officers. In addition, in order to win the ethnic Chinese from the
insurgency, the British doubled the number of ethnic Chinese serving in the police force. This created a better relationship between the population and the counterinsurgent forces, which further resulted in the population increasing the amount of information it provided to the police force (Headquarters, 2007b, p. 234-235). Police were thus able to gather intelligence against the insurgents from the grass roots level. More comprehensively, Jason Beers (2007) wrote a master¶s thesis investigating the importance of policing as part of a counterinsurgency campaign in order to provide law enforcement and gather intelligence. His thesis categorized policing as consisting of three main elements: strategic, neighborhood-oriented, and problem-oriented. He
concluded that community-oriented policing, as utilized by the British in Malaya, provides the most useful model for counterinsurgencies.
9 At the same time that Britain was drawing lessons from their successful counterinsurgency campaign in Malaya, France was also learning the lessons of counterinsurgency the hard way in Indochina against the Viet-Minh from 1946-1954. One of the leading works on the French Indochina War is Bernard Fall¶s (1967) Street Without Joy (first published in 1961). Although the book is not considered the definitive account of the French Indochina War, it provided a ³historical sketch´ of the war¶s key developments and their impact on counterinsurgency doctrine (p. 15). Fall argued that the French did not lose the war through any particular fatal error but through a cumulative effect of numerous mistakes and other problems (p. 313). For instance, the French attempted to defeat the Viet-Minh through conventional force and the use of mechanized vehicles and weapons. As the result, the French were never able to match the mobility of the Viet-Minh who effectively utilized guerrilla tactics and the jungle for cover. Further, in contrast to the Communist-led Viet-Minh forces, the population
viewed the French as the ³aliens,´ leaving the French forces isolated from the population, further resulting in poor intelligence (p. 16). Fall derived a number of counterinsurgency lessons from the French failure in Indochina. He concluded that counterinsurgents could not effectively seal off an enemyguerrilla force unless the proportion of the counterinsurgents to guerrillas was 15 to 1 or even 20 to 1. The reason: the guerillas had the advantage of an intimate knowledge of the terrain, defensive organization, and the sympathy of the population. This lesson was largely derived from the failed operation to secure Road No. 1²known as the ³Street without Joy´²codenamed Operation Camargue. Fall argued that the major defect in this operation, as well as all similar operations, was the inability to seal off the enemy from
10 the cover of the jungle, a sympathetic population, or sanctuary across the border (p. 171172). This meant that counterinsurgents must not only use an overwhelming number of soldiers, but counterinsurgents must better utilize smaller, more agile units²including more maneuverable rivercrafts over heavy, mechanized vehicles. Finally, Fall ended his book by highlighting that at the time of its publication, much of what was being written about insurgents and counterinsurgency focused solely on the military aspect of the conflict. He urged counterinsurgency theorists to combine the military and political aspects in order to truly understand the political vastness of insurgencies (p. 369). Immediately following the war in Indochina, the French fought an insurgency in Algeria from 1954 to 1962 against growing Arab nationalism, led by the National Liberation Front (FLN). Another one of the leading counterinsurgency theorists that emerged from the French experiences in Indochina and Algeria is Roger Trinquier. Reflecting on the defeat in Indochina and the impending defeat in Algeria, Trinquier (2006) authored Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency.4 He viewed France¶s strategy in Algeria to be, with few exceptions, identical to the one employed in Indochina. As Fall suggested, Trinquier took a much more comprehensive approach to counterinsurgency moving beyond the military aspects alone. In fact, Trinquier offers a new, modern definition of warfare: ³Warfare is now an interlocking system of actions² political, economic, psychological, military²that aims at the overthrow of the established authority in a country and its replacement by another regime [emphasis by author]´ (Ibid). Within this conceptualization, Trinquier recognized that victory was dependent upon the unconditional support of the host population, calling the protection of
Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency was first published in France in 1961under the title of La Guerre Moderne and later published in English in 1964.
11 the population against terrorism the first objective. As the result, he called for a change in military thinking and for the study of terrorism, the principle weapon of modern warfare. Likely building off the success of indigenous and police forces in Malaya, Trinquier highlighted the role of these forces. To Trinquier, the mission of the police was beyond seeking the few individuals who had carried out terrorist attacks, police should eliminate the entire enemy organization. To do so, the police should operate undisturbed, with the military providing an overlay to police forces already in place. Lastly, drawing on the immense role of sanctuaries across national borders in Indochina and Algeria, Trinquier introduced the idea of going on the offensive, attacking insurgents in their safe havens located in foreign territories. Trinquier was right about the impending French defeat in Algeria. Alistair
Horne¶s (2006) book, A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1954-1962, told the story of how ³«a handful of Algerian guerillas, primitively armed, but masterfully employing the weapon of terror, outwitted and out-fought over eight years the best armies France could provide«´ (p. 13). Ironically, after Fall wrote about the need for counterinsurgents to use an overwhelming ratio of defenders to insurgents drawing on the French experience in Indochina, Horne¶s book illustrated the catastrophic consequences of counterinsurgents using overwhelming force. Throughout the war, the French often overreacted to Muslim uprisings, further enraging the host population and increasing insurgent recruitment. Examples of French overreaction can be seen even prior to the official start of the insurgency. In Sétif 1945, after a religious and nationalistic uprising by Algerian
Muslims, the French army came in and killed ten times the number of protestors (p. 27-28). The French similarly overreacted to another revolt on All Saints¶ Day in
12 1954 (p. 96). The French found themselves in a never-ending cycle of escalation in violence. In response to French overreactions, FLN operatives would commit horrific acts of terrorism, provoking the French into another overreaction (p. 120-121). Related to the dangers of using overwhelming force, the French use of torture also had catastrophic consequences. The use of torture, not only increased support for the FLN among the Algerian population, but also diminished support for the war back in France. Horne wrote that the use of torture led to the French defeat ³more than any other single factor´ (p. 18). As the result, counterinsurgency doctrine became a balancing act of using an overwhelming number of counterinsurgents without using an overwhelming amount of force. Shortly after the end of the French Algerian War, David Galula (2006) published one of the most influential books on counterinsurgency in 1964. His book, titled
Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice, drew on his experiences in Algeria as well as in China, Indochina, and his service in World War II. At the time of the book¶s publication, Galula, a lieutenant colonel in the French army, argued that several writings existed on the strategy of revolutionaries/insurgents (referring specifically to Mao Tsetung), however, little had been written outlining the strategy of counterinsurgents. In this context, his goal was to create a ³compass´ for the counterinsurgent, defining counterinsurgency warfare, deducing its principles, and outlining the corresponding strategy (p. xiii). Some of the most important components of counterinsurgency Galula proposed included the differentiation between traditional and counterinsurgency warfare, the centrality of the host population, the expanded role of the military soldier, and the
13 increased importance of intelligence. As opposed to traditional warfare, Galula stated concretely that counterinsurgencies were primarily political wars. According to Galula, although military and police operations are necessary, their role should be to create space for political, economic, and social reforms that target the support of the host population (p. 55). Securing the population and their support is the first ³law´ of counterinsurgent warfare (p. 52). Bridging the gap between military and civil operations, he theorized that soldiers must also be prepared to serve as propagandists, social workers, civil engineers, school teachers, and other roles until civilians are ready to share responsibility for some of these functions (p. 62). Additionally, every soldier and counterinsurgent on the ground must operate as intelligence collectors. Intelligence must come from the population; however, the population will not offer this information unless it feels safe and trusts the counterinsurgents (p. 50). Finally, given the amorphous environment of an insurgency, Galula offered a way to define victory for the counterinsurgents. He classified two types of victory: negative and positive. Negative victory is the destruction of the insurgent and respective political organization (however, both are likely to regenerate). Positive victory, on the other hand, is negative victory plus the isolation of the insurgent from the host population in which isolation is not imposed on the population, but maintained by the population (p. 54). John Nagl, author of the foreword to the 2006 edition of Galula¶s Counterinsurgency Warfare: Theory and Practice, wrote that Galula died a few years after publishing his book, ³missing the chance to observe the American military ignore most of his prescriptions on Vietnam´ (Nagl, 2006, p. vii). The defeat of the French led to the independence of Indochina and the division of Vietnam into a communist north and
14 an anti-communist South. In an attempt to contain the spread of communism from North Vietnam, the United States fought the Viet Minh from the north and Viet Cong insurgents in South Vietnam from 1959-1975. Despite the experiences of the British and French, the United States approached Vietnam largely from a conventional warfighting approach. The United States thought in terms of large-scale maneuvers and employed a strategy of search-and-destroy, an attempt to annihilate the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong. Describing the strategy of the United States in Vietnam, an article on GlobalSecurity.org wrote that the United States ³«preceded from the premise that the essence of the problem in Vietnam was military, with efforts to µwin the hearts and minds¶ of the South Vietnamese people taking second place´ (Vietnam, n.d.). Further, increasing the body count of killed Viet Cong was the centerpiece of the American strategy; however, it became increasingly clear that the strategy of attribution was not effective due to the enemy¶s capacity to replaces losses faster than the American¶s ability to inflict them (Ibid). In the positive direction, the United States learned from previous
counterinsurgency campaigns and recognized the need to employ indigenous security forces. In training these forces, however, the United States misunderstood the nature of the war and trained them to fight in a conventional manner. According to a Marine Corps manual published in 2006 on irregular warfare and counterinsurgencies, the American Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), responsible for the training of the South Vietnamese army, ³modeled the indigenous forces after the U.S. Army´ to ³conduct large-scale conventional maneuvers«´ (McDaniel, 2006, p. 141). The manual stated
15 that this approach was likely the result of the United States¶ recent experience in Korea (p. 142). Despite this misunderstanding of the nature of the war, The United States¶ counterinsurgency campaign in Vietnam did have its successes. According to the RAND article, ³Money in the Bank,´ the United States was able to achieve a level of unified command. Known as CORDS, or the Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support, the program enacted land reforms in order to build a political base outside Saigon. CORDS achieved a high degree of pacification among insurgents. The article stated that the program was so successful, ³North Vietnam was forced to launch a conventional invasion of South Vietnam in order to win the war´ (Rabasa, 2007, p. 3). Reflecting on the American Strategy in Vietnam, Neil Sheehan (1988) authored one of the most authoritative books on the Vietnam War, titled Bright Shining Lie. The lengthy book bonded history with the biography of Lt. Col. John Paul Vann. The book, through the life of Vann, illustrated the failures of the American strategy and the arrogance of the U.S. military. Vann was an outspoken critic of the attrition strategy, which he considered brutal and ineffective. He argued for a strategy that placed a greater emphasis on discriminate killings. Sheehan wrote, ³The willy-nilly killing and maiming enraged Vann, not only because it contradicted his ideal of profession, but also because it struck him as the worst conceivable way to fight this war´ (p. 107). Even though Vann spent much of his time in Vietnam arguing against the U.S. strategy, his insatiable desire to win the war changed his opinions and he began to accept, even promote, the use of B52¶s in large bombing raids.
16 After September 11, 2001 and the onset of the Global War on Terrorism, John Nagl (2005) published Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam. Like Counterinsurgency Warfare, Nagl¶s book was highly influential to FM 3-24. Based on the United States¶ inability to adjust its
counterinsurgency strategy in Vietnam to the realities of the war, his central argument was that counterinsurgents (specifically the United States) need to create an organizational culture that is adaptive and flexible. Comparing the doctrine of the British campaign in Malaya with the Vietnam War, Nagl argued that armies must have a culture that is able to adapt to unanticipated conditions. It was Britain¶s flexible organizational culture, among other factors, that allowed the British to succeed in Malaya whereas the United States failed in Vietnam. Prior to the end of the Cold War, the United States found itself committed to another counterinsurgency campaign, this one in El Salvador. Weary of its prior
experience in Vietnam, the United States employed a far different strategy in El Salvador. The United States limited its role to serving as advisors, particularly in the training of the Salvadorian army. Through the use of reforms, the Salvadorian government was able to calm the insurgency until it faded away as public support slowly diminished. The amount of literature written on the El Salvador insurgency is quite small. Major Robert Coates (1991), author of ³The United States¶ Approach to El Salvador,´ characterized the U.S. strategy as a ³long and massive experiment by the United States to defeat an insurgency through a policy of providing advisors and material support without committing United States ground forces to combat.´ According to Benjamin Schwarz (1991), author of ³American Counterinsurgency Doctrine and El Salvador,´ this
17 experiment characterized by Coates, resulted in a two-pronged strategy: fortify the Salvadoran armed forces to combat the insurgents, and bolster democracy by reforming the military and civilian government. In the same year that FM 3-24 was first released to the public, Robert Cassidy (2006) published, Counterinsurgency and the Global War on Terror. His book combined the maxims of counterinsurgency warfare from both the East and West, discussing the approaches of the United States, France, Great Britain, and Russia. Cassidy brilliantly summarized many of the lessons derived from the modern history of counterinsurgency warfare. Many of these lessons are identical to the ones discussed in this chapter: employ indigenous forces, integrate/unify military and civilian efforts, recognize the political aspect of insurgencies, and calculate responses to insurgent attacks. In addition to the lessons drawn from the aforementioned counterinsurgency campaigns, FM 3-24 is also the product of several prior military manuals specifically addressing ³small wars´ and insurgencies. Dating as far back as 1940, the Marine Corps published its first manual on the subject, simply titled the Small Wars Manual. In 1951, the U.S. Army published FM 31-20, Operations against Guerilla Forces, as the result of the Chinese Revolution, the Greek communist insurgency, and other world events that identified the need to formally publish a counterinsurgency doctrine. In 1957, the Army published FM 31-21, Organization and Conduct of Guerrilla Warfare, providing more concrete methods for fighting insurgents. By 1967, FM 31-16, Counterguerrilla
Operations, started to incorporate material related to Vietnam into U.S. doctrine. By 1970, however, there were over 15 manuals between the Army and Marine Corps covering information related to counterinsurgency warfare leaving no clear U.S. doctrine.
18 Although the military published other field manuals during the 1970¶s and 1980¶s, these manuals were largely ignored for various reasons. It was not until 1995 (post El
Salvador, Somalia, and other low intensity conflicts) that the military released Joint Publication 3-07 but provided few changes to U.S. doctrine. The United States, as the result, entered the post 9/11 era with a doctrine that had evolved little since the midtwentieth century (Norton, 2007, p. 51-55). Field Manual 3-24 Motivated by the problems facing the United States as the insurgency in Iraq developed, the Doctrine Division of the Combined Arms Center (CAC) hurried to produce a new doctrinal counterinsurgency manual (Nagl, 2007, p. xv). Released in 2006, FM 3-24 is the most complete document on the study of counterinsurgency. Synthesizing the lessons from prior campaigns, along with other deliberations from military officials, politicians, academics, human rights advocates, and experts in counterinsurgency warfare, the manual provides a strategic framework for countering insurgencies. Although a team of writers authored the manual, FM 3-24 is popularly attributed to then Lieutenant General David H. Petraeus, U.S. Army, and Lieutenant General James F. Amos, U.S. Marine Corps. According to Nagl, Petraeus is an ³atypical´ general. In addition to his doctorate in international relations from Princeton University, Petraeus has proven his skill in counterinsurgency through his successful governing of Mosul, Iraq after the U.S. invasion in 2003 (Ibid). The joint publication of FM 3-24 by the Army and Marine Corps is both symbolic and practical. Likely based on the successes of the British in Malaya and the CORDS program in Vietnam, the joint publication represents the
19 realization that unity of effort (and unified command) is a fundamental precept of effective counterinsurgency campaigns. Noted in the previous section, the fact that
through the 1970¶s and 1980¶s the Army and Marine Corps had over a dozen manuals relating to counterinsurgency, yet no clear strategy, was also likely a contributing factor. The new manual characterizes counterinsurgency as a subset of irregular warfare. The formal adoption of stability operations, in addition to offensive and defensive operations, makes this subset unique. These stability operations are also commonly referred to as peace support missions, reconstruction, and nation-building (Sewall, 2007, p. xxiii). The proportion of effort in terms of the three-pronged approach changes over time and can vary geographically (Headquarters, 2007b, p. 35). With the addition of a third type of operation, the act of balancing offensive, defensive, and stability operations is another core precept of FM 3-24. The inclusion of stability operations is likely the result of one of the doctrine¶s most renowned precepts: focus efforts on the population, not the insurgents. This population-centric precept draws on the writings of Trinquier and Galula as well as the fact that numerous twentieth century counterinsurgency campaigns failed due to the reliance on search-and-destroy strategies. The change in focus from an enemy-centric to a population-centric approach is a significant break from the previous American warfighting doctrine. Like Galula,
FM 3-24, argues that the host nation¶s population commands the attention of the campaign, not the insurgents. The counterinsurgents must convince the host population to work with them to defeat the insurgency (Sewall, 2007, p. xxv). In order to gain the host population¶s support, counterinsurgents must begin with the safety and security of the civilian population. The first requirement of success in FM 3-24 is the security of the
20 host population (Nagl, 2007, p. xix). The population must have a sense of safety and the host nation¶s government must have the security it needs to operate politically. Safety and security, however, are not enough to persuade the host population from supporting (even passively) the insurgency. Security, economic development, and good governance must all occur simultaneously within a ³matrix´ of information (propaganda) operations (Ibid). This again relates to the importance of a unified effort. In a counterinsurgency campaign, counterinsurgents must also realize the importance of nonmilitary actors. Unlike the frontlines of a conventional war, during a counterinsurgency campaign, the host country is filled with political envoys, nongovernmental organizations (NGO¶s), construction contractors, civilian intelligence personnel, and others fulfilling roles in the three-pronged approach. Even in a secure village, a social or political misstep by an NGO, for example, can have damaging repercussions throughout the entire campaign. Like the British in Malaya and the French in Algeria, FM 3-24 places a heavy emphasis on intelligence. The collection of intelligence outlined in the manual, however, patterns more closely to the British approach than the French use of torture. FM 3-24 recognizes that intelligence must isolate the insurgents from the general population. The manual uses the following analogy: ³Without good intelligence, counterinsurgents are like blind boxers wasting energy flailing at unseen opponents...With good intelligence, counterinsurgents are like surgeons cutting out cancerous tissue while keeping other vital organs intact´ (Headquarters, 2007b, p. 41). This isolation of insurgents is crucial to counterinsurgent victory. Civilian casualties are not simply collateral damage, they
provide the insurgents with propaganda, increase insurgent recruitment, and undermine
21 the counterinsurgent¶s ability to win the support of the population. The French
experience in Algeria demonstrated the consequences of collateral damage. In order to avoid collateral damage, this also means that counterinsurgents must carefully calculate the type and amount of force applied (another failure of the French in Algeria). The manual places a special interest on the use of Social Network Analysis due to the interconnected, yet loosely aligned insurgent groups inherent in contemporary insurgencies (p. 8, 305-333). As opposed to conventional warfare in which intelligence supports operations, according to FM 3-24, in counterinsurgency campaigns, intelligence drives operations. A cycle develops in which intelligence gathered from one operation, leads to another operation, which gathers new intelligence and so forth. As a result, all missions must have an intelligence component and collectors and analysts must be closely linked. (p. 41, 80, 118-119). Commanders and policy makers need this timely intelligence to
continually adapt their understanding not only of the insurgents, but of the perceptions, values, beliefs, and interests of the general population and its culture (p. 80).5 FM 3-24 states that in order to wage an effective counterinsurgency campaign, counterinsurgents (specifically military personnel) must assume a greater level of risk. This is primarily the result of the change in the role of intelligence. Since good
intelligence is based on the popular support of the host population (p. 52, 135), soldiers are required to move out of their armored vehicles and outposts and interact with the
The January 2010 publication of ³Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan,´ popularly referred to as the Flynn Report, highlights the United States¶ continued inability to adapt the intelligence process to focus more on the host population, political environment, and social structures to effectively combat the insurgency in Afghanistan. A copy of the Flynn Report can be accessed at http://www.cnas.org/files/documents/publications/AfghanIntel_Flynn_Jan2010_code507_voices.pdf (accessed March 2010).
22 population. Constant interaction with the populace allows soldiers to increase the level of trust between the population and the counterinsurgents. An effective way to decrease the level of risk assumed by counterinsurgents is the training of host nation security forces (in insurgencies in which the United States in intervening). The use of local, indigenous forces also allows the host government to increase its legitimacy. The success of the British and El Salvadorian counterinsurgency campaigns illustrated the utility of indigenous security forces. To summarize, unity of efforts, the balance of the three types of operations, focus on the host population, intelligence-driven operations, and the training of host nation security forces are some of the most important precepts of FM 3-24. In addition to these precepts, FM 3-24 has already received considerable recognition for its ³Paradoxes of Counterinsurgency Operations.´ FM 3-24 represents a fundamental shift in American warfighting. The nine paradoxes exemplify the shift from conventional to
counterinsurgency warfare. The paradoxes are also popularly referred to as the ³nine maxims,´ as characterized by John Nagl (2007, p. xvii). According to FM 3-24, these paradoxes turn traditional military thinking on its head. They are as followed: 1. ³Sometimes, the more you protect your force, the less secure you may be´ ± military forces that remain in their compounds lose touch with the population, appear that they are scared, and cede the initiative to the insurgents. Aggressive patrols are needed, sharing risk with the population. 2. ³Sometimes, the more force is used, the less effective it is´ ± the more force, the greater the probability of collateral damage, providing ammunition for the insurgent¶s propaganda.
23 3. ³The more successful the counterinsurgency is, the less force can be used and the more risk must be accepted´ ± as violence drops, the requirements of international law and the expectations of the host population lead to a reduction in military actions. 4. ³Sometimes doing nothing is the best reaction´ ± violent actions by insurgents are often used to entice counterinsurgents into overreacting in a way that the insurgents can exploit. 5. ³Some of the best weapons for counterinsurgents do not shoot´ ± true victory comes from a vibrant economy, political participation, and restored hope. Money and ballots become more important than bombs. 6. ³The host nation doing something tolerably is normally better than [the United States] doing it well´ ± who does the operation is just as important as how well it is done. Success requires a viable host nation government. 7. ³If a tactic works this week, it might not work next week; if it works in this province, it might not work in the next´ ± insurgents are adaptive, they adjust to effective counterinsurgency strategies. 8. ³Tactical success guarantees nothing´ ± although military action is necessary, insurgents can achieve their objective without ever scoring a military victory. 9. ³Many important decisions are not made by generals´ ± counterinsurgents at all levels may make tactical decisions that have strategic consequences. (p. 47-51) The manual states that these paradoxes represent the different mindset needed to execute a counterinsurgency operation, however, the situation should always be taken into consideration (p. 47-48).
24 With an understanding of the objectives of FM 3-24, as well as the evolution of counterinsurgency doctrine (specifically the case studies used to derive lessons), it is now possible to begin assessing the transferability of the new doctrine. Critiques of Field Manual 3-24 As the previous section illustrated, FM 3-24 is a summary of counterinsurgency best practices, a lessons learned from the previous modern counterinsurgency operations. Does this derivative process translate into success? According to Colin Jackson (2010), assistant professor at the Naval War College, when studying prior campaigns and formulating new doctrines and policies, two critical questions must be answered. First, are the assumptions about what worked valid? transferable? This next section expands on that second question of transferability. The Second, are the lessons learned
following is a list of critiques that challenge the notion that FM 3-24 is ³applicable worldwide´ in the current geopolitical environment. While some of the pieces of
literature are direct challenges to FM 3-24, others were published prior to the final release of the manual in late 2006; however, this paper argues that FM 3-24 did not adequately take into account the presented critiques. Although various authors have questioned certain aspects of the effectiveness of FM 3-24 in a variety of situations/theatres, this discussion is likely the first to compile the questions into one comprehensive critique examining the manual¶s transferability. New Geopolitical Environment According to Stathis N. Kalyvas (2008), a professor of political science at Yale University, FM 3-24 ³breaks little new ground.´ (p. 351). He acknowledges that the
25 manual does provide more direction on intelligence and the design of counterinsurgency operations, but Kalyvas argued that the manual is a reformulation of the counterinsurgency body of work from the 1960¶s that emerged from the anti-colonial and communist insurgencies of Malaya and Algeria (p. 351). His critique, however, that FM 3-24 is a reformulation of old material raises questions about the new doctrine that run deeper than a lack of novelty. Austin Long (2006), whose impressive book that summarized RAND¶s five decades of counterinsurgency research was touched upon earlier in this chapter, highlighted the argument that twenty-first century counterinsurgency is qualitatively different than twentieth century insurgencies (Malaya and Algeria) due to the end of the Cold War and the rise of militant Islam, among other factors (p. 29). In the end, Long concluded that there is value in re-examining the anti-colonial and communist insurgencies of the last century, but he admitted that the geopolitical context of today is quite different and ³the full effects of this change on COIN is unclear at present´ (p. 57). Liberation Insurgencies and Third-Party Counterinsurgents Dr. Steven Metz, of the Strategic Studies Institute, has consistently argued that the United States needs to adapt its counterinsurgency doctrine from the Maoist guerrilla movements of the Cold War to the twenty-first century. As early as November 2004, Metz and Lt. Col. Raymond Millen proposed that the operational concepts, organization, and doctrine from twentieth century insurgencies should not be applied to the insurgencies of the twenty-first century without refinement. The article, titled
³Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in the 21st Century: Conceptualizing Threat and Response,´ contended that there are two major variants of insurgency: national and
26 liberation. National insurgencies, which primarily arose in the twentieth century, are struggles between an insurgency and an indigenous government. The distinction between the two parties was often economic class, ideology or identity. Conversely, liberation insurgencies are a struggle against a ruling power viewed by the insurgents as foreign; thus, the insurgency ³liberates´ the population from the outsiders. Most of America¶s counterinsurgent doctrine and strategy, however, has been derived from national insurgencies. Due to the evolution in insurgency today, the United States military must reconceptualize its doctrine to confront insurgency¶s new variants. Metz and Millen conclude, ³To simply extrapolate the ideas, strategies, doctrine, and operational concepts from several decades ago and apply them to 21st century insurgency is a recipe for ineffectiveness´ (p. 1). Further, they argued that FM 3-24 does not provide any
consideration for the special requirements of a liberation insurgency. Is the United States more likely to encounter national or liberation insurgencies in the twenty-first century? Metz and Millen suggested that historically the decision to intervene in an insurgency was made when a pro-American government faced an overwhelming insurgency. In the post September 2001 world, however, the United States is likely to engage in stabilization and transformation operations for the duration of the War on Terror such as Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. As the result, the United States is much more likely to face liberation-type insurgencies (p. 19). Similarly, at the U.S. Naval War College¶s Irregular Warfare Conference, Erin Simpson (2009), an assistant professor at the U.S. Marines Corps Command and Staff College, offered that today¶s insurgencies may be ³systematically´ different than those of the twentieth century. This systematic difference is driven by the increase of third-party
27 counterinsurgents. These counterinsurgents typically suffer from a lack of information compared to indigenous counterinsurgent forces, and third-party counterinsurgents are only likely to intervene into situations that are dire enough to require support. As a result, third-party counterinsurgents must approach an insurgency differently than an indigenous government or authority body. Simpson rested her conclusion on a
quantitative analysis of insurgencies. Since 1945, Simpson counted 98 insurgencies, 26 of which included third-party counterinsurgents.6 Of these 26 insurgencies, only five have outright victories by the counterinsurgent forces. Simpson concluded that the
numbers indicate a significant difference in terms of success rate when third-party counterinsurgents are involved. Finally, she noted that within the category of third-party counterinsurgents, colonial powers typically have the advantage of having higher information densities due to their relative familiarity with their colony¶s people. This was particularly the case with the British in Malaya. Domestic Insurgency vs. Global Insurgency This section reviews literature that differentiates the domestic twentieth century insurgencies with the modern global insurgency of Al Qaeda and radical Islam. Lt. Col. David Kilcullen¶s (2004) ³Countering Global Insurgency´ argued that the Global War on Terror (GWOT) is better understood as a global insurgency, initiated by a radical grouping of Islamists seeking to restore Islam¶s role in the world order. Although the global insurgents primarily use terrorism, it is not their only tactic. As a result,
counterinsurgency, rather than counterterrorism, may offer the best approach to defeating this global jihad. Developed in the 1960¶s, classical counterinsurgency, however, was
Sampson¶s tabulation of 26 insurgencies that included the presence of third-party counterinsurgents since 1945 excludes insurgencies in which third-parties were limited to roles as advisors or peacekeepers.
28 developed to combat insurgencies in a single country. Classical counterinsurgency
doctrine demands a coordinated political-military response, with integrated inter-agency measures, and protracted commitment that cannot be achieved on a global scale. Consequently, traditional counterinsurgency doctrine will not work and must be reappraised to develop methods effective against a globalized insurgency. In order to successfully combat the Islamic global insurgency, Kilcullen proposed a strategy of ³disaggregation´ based on Complexity theory from systems analysis. A strategy of disaggregation seeks to de-link or dismantle the links that allow the global jihad and insurgency to function as a global entity. More specifically, Kilcullen writes: Disaggregation focuses on interdicting links between theatres, denying the ability of regional and global actors to link and exploit local actors, disrupting flows between and within jihad theatres, denying sanctuary areas, isolating Islamists from local populations and disrupting inputs from the sources of Islamism in the greater Middle East. (p. 46) To further illustrate disaggregation, he provided the following example: Disaggregation does not demand the immediate defeat of the Chechen insurgency; instead, it only demands that Chechen jihad is denied its links to the global movement, followed by support for Russia as the country addresses Chechen separatism (p. 37). It is important to note that while Kilcullen was one of the first to conceptualize the Global War on Terror as a global insurgency, other counterinsurgency theorists and authors have endorsed this argument, including Robert Cassidy (2006, p 2, 11). In fact, FM 3-24 also conceptualizes the war against Al Qaeda as a global insurgency. The manual states, ³Today¶s operational environment also includes a new kind of insurgency,
29 one that seeks to impose revolutionary change worldwide. Al Qaeda is a well-known example of such an insurgency«Defeating such enemies requires a global, strategic response«´ (Headquarters, 2007b, p. 8). Although FM 3-24 acknowledges the existence of a global insurgency led by Al Qaeda, nothing in the manual specifically addresses how counterinsurgents should approach a global insurgency compared to a domestic one. Doctrine Derived from Wrong Case Studies After the release of the final version of FM 3-24 in December of 2006, Metz (2007-2008) authored another article titled, ³New Challenges and Old Concepts: Understanding 21st Century Insurgency.´ Metz advised that despite the extensive effort to relearn counterinsurgency doctrine and strategy by the United States military as a whole, and the authors of FM 3-24 more specifically, theorists may not have gotten the lessons and principles right. Ironically, as the military worked to overcome the Vietnam syndrome, a new syndrome emerged: Vietnam became the universal insurgency model and the Viet Cong the archetypical foe. Metz specifically cited that as the military tried to understand the insurgency in Iraq, the most recommended books were David Galula¶s Counterinsurgency Warfare and John Nagl¶s Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife. Both books examined wars of imperialism and nationalism, not the complex conflicts of the post Cold War era. conflicts. In a sense, the United States derived new strategies from old
Metz theorized that modern day insurgencies are more like the complex
internal conflicts of the 1990¶s: Somalia, Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Congo, Colombia, and Kosovo (p. 22).
30 Different Motivations Continuing with Metz (2007-2008), he also argued in ³New Challenges and Old Concepts: Understanding 21st Century Insurgency´ that the motivations of insurgents have changed. Metz believed that Americans, following Clausewitz, view insurgency as war and quintessentially political. dimensions of the insurgency. As a result, Americans focus on the political
Although politics are an important component, he
recognized that an insurgency also fulfills economic and psychological needs of the insurgent. Not only does participation in the insurgency often provide a source of income proportionately higher than what insurgents could otherwise earn, but more importantly, it provides a source of identity and empowerment. Metz wrote, ³Without a gun, most insurgent soldiers are simply poor, uneducated, disempowered people with no prospects and little hope. Insurgency changes all that´ (p. 27). Frank Hoffman (2007), author of ³Neo-Classical Counterinsurgency?´ also shared this sentiment. Again, although politics obviously play a role in motivating some insurgents, specifically hard-liners in Al Qaeda that believe in overthrowing moderate Islamic regimes, religion, rather that some form of nationalism, motivates many insurgents. For these insurgents, just participating in jihad itself is enough (p. 73). Relationship with Host Government Stephen Biddle (2008), a Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, charged that FM 3-24 makes assumptions about the relationship between the United States and the host government. In instances in which the United States¶ interests are aligned with the host government, the manual¶s prescriptions
31 are sound. In other situations, the manual could easily lead to ³serious strategic error´ (p. 348). According to Biddle, the manual assumes that insurgencies contest for the loyalty of a largely uncommitted host population that may side with the insurgents or the host government through a hearts and minds campaign. In cases such as Vietnam and other ideological wars, it is not an unreasonable assumption. Insurgencies are not always ideological, however. Ethnic and sectarian insurgencies often contain a small,
uncommitted population, further reduced as civilians turn to their fellow ethnicity or religion for survival. More importantly, many threatened governments will commit more to their own subgroup¶s interests than an abstract idea of national well-being. These governments, which are already facing questions of illegitimacy, will view Americansponsored reforms as a greater threat to their personal survival than the insurgency. Biddle wrote, ³One thus cannot assume that the U.S. interest and the host government¶s interests are aligned in COIN; what the United States wants is not necessarily in the selfinterest of the host leadership´ (p. 348). For example, Lt. Col. JJ Malevich (2010), a branch chief for the US Army/USMC Counter Insurgency Center, blogged on the USA and USMC Counterinsurgency Center Blog that the interests of the elders in Afghanistan may not be aligned with the interests of the United States. In regards to FM 3-24¶s population-centric approach, Malevich suggested that the United States mirror-images Western culture onto other cultures and then develops policies that would work well in Western cultures, often resulting in frustration when outcomes are different than expected. The underlying question, then, is how well does population-centric doctrine account for differences in cultures with respect
32 to authority. He asked whether Coalition efforts towards the Afghan population have been blocked by the elders which Coalition forces are forced to work through. Malevich concluded that the United States assumed that it was dealing with a power structure that has the community¶s best interest at heart (typically the case in Western culture). Afghan elders, in contrast, are likely looking out for their best interest, which includes maintaining their authoritative role in Afghan culture and exploiting it for its benefits. * * *
It is important to note that while this paper categorized the various critiques relating to transferability into six categories, the arguments are highly interrelated and could easily be grouped a number of ways. Regardless of how these critiques are
categorized, a common theme runs through all of them. Perhaps it was best summarized in the article, ³Neo-Classical Counterinsurgency?´ by Frank Hoffman (2007) which was briefly mentioned above. He acknowledged that the manual is a step forward and that we need to draw upon classical counterinsurgency operations. Speaking about FM 3-24, however, Hoffman concluded, ³...it still fails to answer the most critical question: How is this relevant to the highly connected, religiously inspired, urban dwelling, global guerrilla?´ (p. 84).
The following chapter will present in detail the methodology used to examine this question of transferability in regards to FM 3-24. This chapter will include sections on source collection, the most influential resources, the construction of a matrix to evaluate transferability, and the selection of case studies to provide real-world perspective. Source Collection Given the importance of sources in qualitative research, special consideration was given to the collection of sources. This paper draws on a variety of sources ranging from official government and military publications from both the United States and abroad, articles authored by veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, academic theses, videorecordings of conferences, postings on respected blogs, and publications by think-tanks. News articles in reference to current events also supplemented the case studies of Afghanistan and Somalia. These sources were collected through the use of traditional methods²such as library catalog and proprietary academic database searches²as well as more modern, sophisticated methods including ³push´ resources. For instance, Google Alerts yielded a number of valuable resources on counterinsurgency theory and the insurgencies in Afghanistan and Somalia. The use of two different methods of collection increased the level of confidence that research yielded a variety of perspectives on counterinsurgency theory as well as a comprehensive picture of the insurgencies in Afghanistan and Somalia.
34 Most Influential Resources Given the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the recent publication of FM 3-24, there is what seems like an infinite number of sources on counterinsurgency. Almost everyone interested in military affairs, international relations, and politics has their own opinion on how effective counterinsurgency operations are and how they should be successfully executed. These views are published daily online as well as on the editorial and opinion pages of popular newspapers and magazines. In order to clarify the quality of sources drawn upon for this paper, this section provides a short list of the most influential resources used in this examination of the transferability of FM 3-24. These resources include the United States Army War College¶s Strategic Studies Institute, the Small Wars Journal blog, the USA and USMC Counterinsurgency Blog (part of the Combined Arms Center Blog), and the journals Parameters and Military Review. These resources were highly influential and valuable due to the frequency in which they published quality articles examining aspects of counterinsurgency doctrine from a variety of perspectives. In the world of counterinsurgency theorists and military circles, the blogs and the Strategic Studies Institute are frequently referenced in the ongoing discussion on counterinsurgency theory and practice. Construction of Transferability Matrix Due to the complexity of counterinsurgency doctrine itself, seeking to evaluate the transferability of such a theory is also quite challenging. In an attempt to provide a level of structure, this paper has constructed a matrix to assist in the examination of FM 3-24¶s transferability. In order to construct the matrix, however, significant time and thought was dedicated to the question of exactly what data should compose the matrix.
35 Two sets of data were needed for the matrix to be effective: one set relating to FM 3-24, and a second set by which transferability could be derived from. The literature review provided a solution for the latter. The subheadings from the second section of the literature review dedicated to the critiques of FM 3-24 provided six entries in which FM 3-24 could be compared against to examine the doctrine¶s transferability. The more challenging question, relating to the other set of data, became exactly which characteristics of FM 3-24 would be used to compare against the six categories of critiques. There is no one official (de facto or de jure) list that summarizes FM 3-24. Moreover, since this question of transferability is exploratory, there is no agreed upon list of principles or characteristics of FM 3-24 that should be used to evaluate the transferability of the new doctrine. As the result, the author needed to determine what list (or set of data) the analysis should use to effectively summarize FM 3-24 for the purpose of evaluating the doctrine¶s transferability. Initially, considerable consideration was given to the idea of using FM 3-24¶s nine paradoxes of counterinsurgency operations as the other set of data. Although the nine paradoxes are quite popular in counterinsurgency literature due to their controversial break from conventional warfighting, it was determined that the paradoxes did not provide the best set of data. The paradoxes do provide a rough summary of FM 3-24, but the true goal of the paradoxes is not to summarize the modern doctrine, rather they contrast counterinsurgency campaigns from conventional warfighting. The author also considered using the twelve principles listed in the section ³Historical Principles for Counterinsurgency´ in the first chapter (Headquarters, 2007b,
36 p. 36-44). As its title suggests, however, the section summarizes the key principles from prior counterinsurgency campaigns rather than the current FM 3-24 manual. As the result, the author brainstormed a list of eight FM 3-24 precepts that summarized the doctrine¶s key characteristics. In order to ensure the validity of the brainstormed precepts, the following lists the eight precepts and the respective paragraph using the manual¶s official numbering system in parentheses: Balance offensive, defensive, and stability operations (1-106), Population-centric (1-124), Intelligencedriven operations (1-126), Unity of effort (1-121), Calculate carefully the type and amount of force applied (1-141), Train host nation security forces (5-40), and Continually learn and adapt (1-144).7 The author was also careful to characterize this list as
³precepts´ in order to differentiate it from the lists paradoxes/maxims and historical principles. A picture of the Transferability Matrix, is provided below.
The Field Manual paragraph numbers only provide one example (often the most succinct) of the precept¶s discussion, however, many of the precepts, such as Unity of effort and Intelligence-driven operations, have whole other sections and chapters dedicated to their discussion. The only exception is the Populationcentric precept. FM 3-24 never uses the wording ³population-centric´ but the term is used to denote the doctrine¶s focus; everything from security, to intelligence, and legitimacy is all based on the host population. The paragraph number associated with this precept in the text refers to a paragraph in the manual outlining all the aspects of the population counterinsurgents must know.
Across the top of the matrix, or the distinction between columns, are the critiques of FM 3-24 that relate to characteristics of transferability presented in the second section of the literature review in the previous chapter. Along the left side, or the distinction between rows, are the eight brainstormed precepts of FM 3-24. Since the chart is
qualitative in nature, lacking numerical values, a coding scheme was developed to identify each box within the matrix in order to avoid confusion in the analysis of the matrix. For instance, a discussion on box Precepts 1, Critiques 1 (P1C1) will analyze the validity of the precept ³Balance offensive, defensive, and stability operations´ against the ³New geopolitical environment´ critique.
38 The objective of the matrix is to determine whether the critiques significantly call into question the transferability of FM 3-24, represented by the doctrine¶s precepts. To do so, this paper will compare each critique with each of the precepts of FM 3-24 and ask, ³Does the critique presented in the second chapter invalidate the precept in today¶s insurgencies?´ Selection of Case Studies: Afghanistan and Somalia Due to the complexity of evaluating transferability, as mentioned above, this paper will also explore FM 3-24¶s implementation in Afghanistan and estimate its effectiveness if employed against the insurgency in Somalia. As the result, this paper will be able to examine the question of transferability not only in the abstract through the use of the matrix, but also from the perspective of two real-world case studies. These real-world case studies should validate the analysis of the matrix and/or offer additional insights and perspective. Due to the announcement of an increase in American forces by President Obama in December 2009, the recent major offensive in Marjah, and the preparation for another offensive in Kandahar, popular attention in the United States has shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan. As the result, the selection of Afghanistan as a case study in this
examination should not be surprising. The selection of Somalia, on the other hand, may be more surprising to some readers. The conditions in Somalia, however, not only provide another effective litmus test for current counterinsurgency doctrine, but the situation in Somalia is important for the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States. Located off the Horn of Africa are vital sea lanes for international trade, and Somalia has emerged as a
39 safe haven for terrorists including known Al Qaeda operatives. The following paragraphs will briefly discuss the country¶s relationship with the United States, background on the insurgency in Somalia, and further justification for Somalia¶s inclusion in this study of FM 3-24. Somalia first appeared in the American mainstream in the early 1990¶s under then President George H.W. Bush. At the time, Somalia found itself amid a period of famine and political turmoil. Somalia¶s dictator, Siad Barre, was overthrown and fled the
country in January 1991, propelling the country into civil war as factions competed to assume control of the government, most notably between Mohammad Farah Aidid and Ali Mahdi Mohammed. Along with a devastating drought, the warring factions often used food as a weapon, which resulted in widespread famine across the country. To contain the growing humanitarian crisis, President Bush launched Operation Provide Relief followed by Operation Restore Hope. In October 1993, a failed mission by Delta Force and Army Rangers to capture Aidid resulted in a tragic firefight in the streets of Mogadishu that claimed the lives of eighteen American soldiers and thousands of Somalis. The high number of casualties shocked the American public as the operation in Somalia was supposed to be a peacekeeping mission. President Clinton (2004) called the tragic October day, ³one of the darkest days of my presidency´ (p. 549). withdrew from the country. In the nearly two decades since, Somalia has remained a failed state. In 2006, the Islamic Courts Union, an Islamic fundamentalist party who largely controlled the country, was expelled from power by the mostly Christian Ethiopian forces. To fill the Shortly thereafter, American forces
40 political vacuum, a Transitional Federal Government was established with the support of the West and the United Nations. Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahidin, popularly known as Al-Shabaab, the militant wing of the Islamic Courts Union, has waged an insurgency against the Transitional Federal Government ever since. Al-Shabaab, which originated as a guerrilla organization, has evolved into a political organization that has continued to terrorize the Somali population and combat Transitional Federal Government forces. Today, the United States officially categorizes Al-Shabaab, who has known links to Al Qaeda, as a terrorist organization. Additionally, it appears that Al-Shabaab is beginning to expand its influence and the Islamic extremists may be plotting attacks outside of Somalia. For instance, Reuters reported in January 2010 that the Somali man who attacked Kurt Westergaard, the Danish cartoonist of depicted Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist, in Copenhagen was connected to Al Qaeda and Al-Shabaab and terror-related. Previously, in August 2009, Australian police foiled an attack against a military base that also had connections to Al-Shabaab (Q+A, 2010). At the time of the writing of this thesis, the Somali Transitional Federal Government is gearing up for a major offensive against Al-Shabaab. The United States has pledged support on the behalf of the Transitional Federal Government. Statements by the United States government and the Somali government, along with news reports, however, conflict about the level of involvement by the United States within the offensive.
As expressed in the Introduction, the goal of this paper is to further define and explore the United States¶ modern counterinsurgency doctrine outlined in FM 3-24. The literature review provided in the second chapter traced the evolution of
counterinsurgency doctrine and summarized the principles and critiques of FM 3-24, further defining the United States¶ modern doctrine. This chapter will move beyond defining FM 3-24 by exploring the exact transferability of the new doctrine. In doing so, this chapter will analyze the Transferability Matrix and test the findings against the case studies of Afghanistan and Somalia. Analysis: Transferability Matrix The goal of the Transferability Matrix is to add a level of organization to this examination. Using the matrix, counterinsurgency theorists can analyze the level of transferability within the doctrine presented in FM 3-24 in two ways. Either theorists can proceed horizontally by row comparing one FM 3-24 precept with each of the critiques or theorists can analyze the matrix vertically by column in which each critique is compared to the eight precepts. In order to ensure the validity and thoroughness of this analysis, a portion of each approach is provided below.
42 Horizontal Approach: Row 1
This section will analyze the first row of the Transferability Matrix. This analysis will consist of testing the precept ³Balance offensive, defensive, and stability operations´ against the six critiques. In box P1C1, the precept is tested against the critique that the new geopolitical environment that exists today in the post September 11, 2001 world is quite different from the environment during the Cold War. No longer are colonial
powers battling Maoist insurgencies seeking independence. The Cold War has ended and insurgents today are religious extremists rather than nationalists. Although the
proponents of this critique are correct, and it is likely that characteristics of insurgency have evolved since the Cold War, it is unlikely that this critique invalidates the precept. Even in today¶s environment, counterinsurgents are likely to continue to need to balance offensive and defensive operations with stability operations in order to eliminate insurgents incapable of pacification, protect the host population, and nation-build to target the root causes of the insurgency. Returning to Austin Long¶s (2006) quote from the second chapter, ³the full effects of this change [in the geopolitical environment] on COIN is unclear at present´ (p. 57), can also be flipped around in defense of FM 3-24. While it is true that the full effects are unknown, which may invalidate some of
43 FM 3-24¶s precepts, until the full effects are known, nothing about the current environment invalidates the precept. Box P1C2 compares the same precept against the critique that insurgencies waged for liberation against a governing authority viewed as foreign, such as third-party counterinsurgents, are systematically different from the largely national wars studied by the authors of FM 3-24. Again, the critics are likely correct that third-party
counterinsurgents and other authority bodies viewed as foreign are likely to have to pursue slightly different strategies than indigenous ruling authorities. Does the
overarching doctrine have to change, however? The need for offensive and defensive operations paired with nation-building remains the same. Potentially the third-party counterinsurgents and indigenous forces apply slightly different strategies, but it all occurs within the same doctrinal approach. Even if the third-party counterinsurgents focus on the offensive and defensive operations while indigenous forces nation-build, and if the two parties are unified, then together, the counterinsurgency campaign balances the three types of operations. The modern history of domestic counterinsurgency campaigns provides a story of counterinsurgents seeking the perfect balance between offensive, defensive, and stability operations. Many campaigns devoted a significant portion of their resources to the offensive aspect, but the British in Malaya does provide one example, among others, in which considerable resources were spent on stability operations. Box P1C3, however, examines how significant this balance is to a counterinsurgency campaign combating a transnational or global insurgency. The result of this comparison is different from the results of boxes P1C1 and P1C2. While in those comparisons it was clear that the critic
44 had a legitimate concern, although it did not necessarily negate the importance of the precept, in this comparison, it is quite definitive that the rise of a global insurgency does not invalidate the need to balance the three types of operations. In fact, due to the very nature of a transnational or global insurgency, and the necessary resources a counterinsurgency campaign would likely consume, the need to balance offensive, defensive, and stability operations becomes all the more critical. In fact, FM 3-24 states that the proportion of offensive, defensive, and stability operations are likely to vary by time and geographic location (Headquarters, 2007b, p. 34-35). An insurgency spanning state borders is likely to require a varying mix of operations throughout the duration of the campaign across locations. The result of the comparison of box P1C4, consisting of the critique that the authors of FM 3-24 studied the wrong case studies in their formulation of the new doctrine, is similar to the previous box, P1C3. Although a deeper examination of the 1990¶s ³complex internal conflicts´ (p. 22), as Metz (2007-2008) referred to them, may have yielded additional insights to the authors of FM 3-24, an examination of them here demonstrates that the ³balance´ precept holds true. For example, Operation Restore Hope in Somalia did contain a balance of offensive and stability operations. American forces conducted a number of offensive raids, including the one on October 3, 1993, as well as engaged in a number of nation-building projects consisting of the construction of schools, irrigation systems, and roadways (United, 2003, p. 23). Moving on to box P1C5, this box addresses the critique regarding the idea that insurgents today are called to action by different motivations. Rather than the largely nationalistic motivations of the past, insurgents today are often religiously inspired or
45 seeking the gratification of some other psychological need. Again, this also re-
emphasizes the need for counterinsurgents to include stability operations into their campaigns in order to target the root causes of modern insurgencies. Finally, box P1C6 compares the ³balance´ precept with the critique that FM 3-24 makes too many assumptions about the relationship between the United States and the host government; often assuming that the goals of the United States and the host government are aligned. Even if there are divisions between the United States and the host government, this does not invalidate the need to balance offensive, defensive, and stability operations within the counterinsurgency campaign. A poor relationship between the two governments is likely to lead to disagreements over how the operations should be conducted and negatively affect their effectiveness, but again, this does not invalidate the precept.
46 Vertical Approach: Column 2
This next section continues to analyze the matrix by comparing one critique to the precepts of FM 3-24. The conclusions in this section, however, are identical to the ones from the previous section. The argument at the heart of the critique does not invalidate the precepts. For example, box P2C2 compares the population-centric precept against the ³liberation insurgency/presence of third-party counterinsurgents´ critique. Regardless of who is conducting the counterinsurgency campaign²indigenous forces or third-party counterinsurgents²actions must be focused on the population. The previous campaigns
47 throughout the Cold War time period clearly illustrated the inherent failure of solely targeting the insurgents. As the result, the introduction of new players (third-party
counterinsurgents) into the equation does not reduce the need for a population-centric approach that targets the recruitment and support base of the insurgency. Similar to the population-centric precept, intelligence-driven operations (box P3C2) remains a key precept of counterinsurgency doctrine despite the critique. Again, it does not matter if the counterinsurgency campaign is conducted by indigenous or by third-party forces, intelligence must drive operations. Intelligence allows the
counterinsurgents to better understand the operational environment, the population within that environment, and the lines between the uncommitted population and the insurgents. In fact, this is a another reason why the population-centric precept is still crucial today, the intelligence necessary to drive operations must come from the population, who will only provide the information in an environment in which they feel safe. Box P4C2 provides another example in which the critique not only fails to invalidate the precept, but the critique actually further demonstrates the precept¶s importance. With the introduction of third-party counterinsurgents into today¶s
insurgencies, unity of effort becomes all the more critical to the success of the counterinsurgency campaign. Third-party counterinsurgents must not only unify their efforts with the host government, but efforts must be synchronized with nongovernmental organizations (NGO¶s), intelligence services, domestic and foreign media outlets, private contractors, etc. As mentioned in the second chapter, military successes can be undone by a social misstep of an NGO or other entity within the coalition of counterinsurgent forces. For this reason, as the number of players within the operational environment
48 increases, the importance of unified efforts increases proportionately, if not exponentially. In box P5C2, there is a bit of disconnect between the critique and the precept of ³assuming a greater level of risk´ by the counterinsurgents. When the two are compared, there is not an immediate conclusion. The introduction of third-party counterinsurgents likely increases the overall number of counterinsurgent forces which may decrease the amount of risk taken by the forces as a whole. The heart of the precept, however, is the idea that counterinsurgents must leave their fortified bases and move amongst the people, building trust and gathering intelligence. Again, although the number forces may
increase, the counterinsurgent forces must still freely move amongst the host population in order to achieve legitimacy and collect intelligence. Like box P4C2, box P6C2 presents another instance in which the critique actually supports the precept. Even with the presence of third-party counterinsurgents, the
coalition of forces must carefully calculate the kind and amount of force used in operations. Again, the presence of additional forces only increases the likelihood that excessive force may be used. Excessive force in a counterinsurgency operation not only is wasteful, but it can have negative consequences for the larger campaign. Collateral damage is a powerful recruitment tool for the insurgents. Even with the presence of third-party counterinsurgents, ultimate success in counterinsurgency operations comes only when the host government can govern and protect its population on its own. As the result, the training of host nation security forces (box P7C2) remains critical to the success of the counterinsurgency campaign. In fact, as the counterinsurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan demonstrate today, counterinsurgent
49 forces can only think about withdrawing from the environment once adequate security forces are in place. Finally, in box P8C2, the critique unequivocally fails to invalidate the precept that success in counterinsurgency is dependent upon the counterinsurgency force¶s ability to learn and adapt. As mentioned in the second chapter, this precept is quite generic. In any type of warfare, the ability to learn and adapt greatly increases the effectiveness of the campaign. The importance of this precept, however, is all the more important in
counterinsurgency warfare. The presence of third-party counterinsurgents has little effect on the importance of this precept. Further Analysis of the Matrix In order to balance redundancy with thoroughness, this section will briefly analyze just a few more boxes from the Transferability Matrix to ensure that the previous analyses were not cherry-picked. Yet again, there is a level of disconnect that exists between the ³different motivations´ critique and the ³unity of effort´ precept (box P4C5), which by default, means that the critique does not invalidate the precept. Similarly, the argument that the authors of FM 3-24 studied the wrong case studies and did not thoroughly draw on the operations throughout the 1990¶s, does not invalidate the precept that counterinsurgency operations should be intelligence-driven (box P3C4). Lastly, the relationship between the host government and the United States, again, has little effect on the importance of training indigenous security forces (box P7C6). In conclusion, in analyzing every box of the Transferability Matrix to this point, two trends have emerged. Either the critiques fail to invalidate FM 3-24¶s precepts (including some instances in which the critiques seems to further support the precepts) or
50 there is a level of disconnect between the two, with the precept emerging unscathed by default. The importance and implications of this disconnect will be discussed in the final chapter. Conflict Arises: Population-centric Meets Global Insurgency There is only one box in the Transferability Matrix in which a critique significantly calls into question a precept. Box P2C3 compares the population-centric precept with the critique that the emergence of global insurgencies is a break from the domestic insurgencies of the Cold War era. Twentieth century counterinsurgency
campaigns, in addition to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, highlight the immense resources (time, money, personnel, etc) consumed by counterinsurgent forces. For
instance, in terms of personnel, Fall (1967) recommended that the ratio of defenders to attackers should be 15 to 1 or even 20 to 1 (p. 171-172). Similarly, FM 3-24 emphasizes a ratio of security forces (including host nation forces) to population density. FM 3-24 suggests that this ratio should be 20 to 25 counterinsurgents per 1,000 residents in an area of operation (Headquarters, 2007b, p. 23).8 According to these numbers, how many counterinsurgent forces are necessary to effectively combat an Islamic global insurgency across the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia? The question, then, is given the limits of time, money, and personnel, can counterinsurgents employ a population-centric doctrine against transnational and global insurgencies? The number of counterinsurgents necessary to defeat a global insurgency is difficult to calculate. According to the Council of Foreign Relations, Al Qaeda has operatives and cells (with varying degrees of autonomy) in 100 countries (Bajoria and
Interestingly, the change of focus to a ratio of counterinsurgents to residents in terms of population density from a ratio of defenders to attackers further illustrates the shift from an enemy-centric approach to a population-centric one in current counterinsurgency doctrine.
51 Bruno, 2009). Obviously, the number of operatives ranges from country to country. Some countries may only have a single cell while other countries, such as Somalia, are suffering from full-blown insurgencies with insurgents connected to Al Qaeda. Some may even argue that the global insurgency is broader than Al Qaeda, involving radical Islam as a whole, encompassing Hezbollah, the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as other radical jihadist organizations around the world. Even using modest numbers, however, provides insight into the challenges of executing a population-centric approach against a global insurgency. If the reach of Al Qaeda was limited to Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan, the number of counterinsurgents needed, according to the ratio based on population density provided by FM 3-24, would range from 4.2 million to 5.2 million.9 To put these numbers in perspective, including reserve forces, the armed forces of the United States only total 1.4 million (DoD, n.d.). Using Afghanistan as an example of international support, non-U.S. forces in Afghanistan only total 40,139 (International, 2010). Previously discussed in the second chapter, Kilcullen¶s (2004) strategy of disaggregation provides an alternative to FM 3-24¶s population-centric approach in a fight against a global insurgency. Disaggregation does not concentrate on every
insurgent in every environment; rather, disaggregation targets the links that allow localized insurgencies to unify into a larger, regional or even global insurgency.10 Kilcullen recognized that the protracted commitment necessary to defeat insurgencies
This numbers were calculated by adding the populations of Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan (using the CIA World Factbook¶s statistics as of May 2010). In order to account for the proper ratio of counterinsurgents to population density, the quotient of the population of the three countries divided by 1,000 was multiplied by 20 and 25. 10 Global insurgencies, however, do have a geographic component (the insurgents and their actions must be located somewhere) meaning counterinsurgents battling a global insurgency must address host country support to a certain degree.
52 utilizing a population-centric approach cannot be matched on a global scale. A
population-centric approach is more than the protection of the host population, but the establishment of social services, political and economic reform, infrastructure development, and more. The history of modern insurgencies likely validates the FM 3-24 doctrine in a domestic insurgency. Whether a population-centric doctrine or disaggregation is more effective against a global insurgency, however, remains unclear. Only time will tell. Important to remember, though, is that FM 3-24 does recognize the war against Al Qaeda as a new type of insurgency, a global one (Headquarters, 2007b, p. 8).11 If global insurgency really is the new form of insurgency, and it is unlikely that a counterinsurgency campaign based on FM 3-24 can be employed on a global scale, then the transferability of the doctrine must be questioned when it is moved from a domestic campaign to a global one. Results: Transferability Matrix Pictured below is a snapshot of the Transferability Matrix, color-coded according to the results of each of the analyses comparing the critiques to precepts. Green boxes indicate comparisons in which the critique failed to invalidate the precept. Orange boxes highlight the comparisons in which a level of disconnect existed between the critique and precept. The red box stresses the conflict between the population-centric precept and the ³global insurgency´ precept.
Interestingly, the view that the war against Al Qaeda is a global insurgency is similar to the way some viewed the spread of communism as a global phenomenon. In fact, Kilcullen acknowledged that his theory of disaggregation is similar to the theory of Containment in the Cold War.
Analysis of the Transferability Matrix yields a clear result. Despite the critiques of some counterinsurgency theorists, FM 3-24 has a high level of transferability. The transferability of FM 3-24 is not limited by a change in the geopolitical environment, a shift in the motivations of insurgents, the presence of third-party counterinsurgents, nor other characteristics that differentiate insurgencies today from the twentieth century. This means that the doctrine¶s precepts²the balance of offensive, defensive, and stability operations, the importance of intelligence-driven operations, the necessity of training host nation security forces, etc²remain valid in a post-anti-colonial era. This result, however, only applies to domestic insurgencies. Serious questions emerge about the doctrine when
54 it is applied to regional or global insurgencies. This means that the transferability of FM 3-24 is not limited by time or geography, but by the type of insurgency it combats. Analysis: Case Studies of Afghanistan and Somalia By briefly examining the implementation of FM 3-24 in Afghanistan and estimating the doctrine¶s potential effectiveness in Somalia, this section will provide realworld perspective to the transferability of FM 3-24 and the results presented in the previous section. Beginning roughly in August 2006, a number of journalists began asking whether Somalia is the new Afghanistan, or at least East Africa¶s Afghanistan. The first article exploring this question the author found was published by Arab News (Shank, 2006). Shortly thereafter, the question reached more mainstream news outlets. BBC News
published an article titled, ³Somalia ± East Africa¶s new Afghanistan?´ (Watson, 2008) followed by the Times Online and the article ³Is Somalia the new Afghanistan?´ (Swain, 2009). Authors continue to discuss the question in other news outlets, blogs, and
international organizations¶ publications. Unsurprisingly, the answer lacks consensus. Despite obvious differences between the insurgencies in Afghanistan and Somalia²such as geography, the years the insurgencies began, the key players, etc² there are a number of similarities between the two countries. For instance, Afghanistan and Somalia are largely Sunni Muslim countries consisting of a complex network of tribes/clans. Islamic extremists seeking the expulsion of foreign forces and the
implementation of Sharia law nationally wage the insurgencies in both countries. Additionally, the Taliban and Al-Shabaab receive a portion of their funding from international illegal activities. Although it is not the sole source of revenue, the opium
55 trade is a well-documented moneymaker for the Taliban (Whitlock, 2009). While it remains a misconception that the Somali pirates and Al-Shabaab are directly tied, it does not mean that the two entities operate completely separate from each other. According to ABC News, the pirates pay ³taxes´ to Al-Shabaab, up to $100,000 dollars, on ransom money earned from hijacking ships and kidnapping ship-personnel (Hughes, 2010). Finally, both insurgencies have, albeit complicated, ties to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Afghanistan The following section will examine the implementation of the United States¶ counterinsurgency doctrine, exemplified in FM 3-24, in Afghanistan. Although the case study of Afghanistan does not provide an ability to evaluate the transferability of FM 3-24, the case study provides real-world context, or a comparison to the case study of Somalia. The true evaluation of transferability will be the doctrine¶s applicability to Somalia. Since 2001, the war in Afghanistan has been tumultuous to say the least. The United States achieved early success in ³liberating´ the country, overthrowing the Taliban, and holding democratic elections. Although the period certainly had it setbacks, 2003-2005 witnessed steady improvement in the military and humanitarian spheres. From roughly 2005-2008, the Taliban resurged and stole the imitative from the United States and Coalition forces (Barno, 2007, p. 97). Today, in May 2010, the United States has shifted its focus from Iraq to Afghanistan. In an attempt to regain the initiative in Afghanistan, better protect the Afghan population, and increase the training of Afghan
56 security forces, the United States is in the process of increasing its troop levels from 68,000 to around 100,000 (Mount, 2009). In the early years of Operation Enduring Freedom, the United States largely employed an enemy-centric approach to the war in Afghanistan and the fight against the Taliban. Again, early in the war, the United States achieved relative success, however much of the Pashtun Taliban either assimilated into the local Pashtun tribes or fled to Pakistan, waiting to fight another day. In addition to an enemy-centric approach, the United States also lacked any significant unity of effort (Barno, 2007, p. 87). Under General McChrystal, the United States has shifted its approach in Afghanistan, employing a strategy congruent with the United States¶ new
counterinsurgency doctrine outlined in FM 3-24. The new clear-hold-build approach places a heavier emphasis on being population-centric, unifying efforts, training local security forces such as the Afghan National Police (ANP) and the Afghan National Army (ANA), and executing operations that are intelligence-driven. The United States has primarily focused its reconstruction efforts on large population centers and around Kabul, despite only twenty-three percent of the population living in urban areas. Over fifty percent of construction spending has been spent in Kabul (Savage, 2009). The strategy is to secure, hold, and build population centers and project Afghan government power outward. The flipside, then, withdraws soldiers from rural areas in which commanders deem the presence of forces unnecessary and potentially counterproductive (Rosenberg, 2010). The insurgency, however, has focused more on the mountainous, rural areas (Savage, 2009). The recent offensive in Marjah, and the upcoming offensive in
57 Kandahar, are examples, though, of Coalition forces concentrating efforts away from the capital city. Advancements in technology have allowed those outside of the warzone in Afghanistan to gain an in depth understanding of the implementation of the U.S. doctrine in Afghanistan. John D. McHugh¶s (2009) video journalism series of his months
embedded with American soldiers in Afghanistan provides such an example.12 The video, ³Afghanistan: Lost in Translation´ effectively captures the implementation of America¶s counterinsurgency doctrine and the inherent challenges of its execution. In the video, American forces try to gather intelligence from an Afghan village elder in a town from which the Taliban has launched rockets against Coalition forces. Unfortunately, although the village elder says that he does not support the Taliban, the fear of retribution from the Taliban forces the elder to withhold any intelligence. The series, and
specifically this video, provides a stark example of the difficulties of executing a population-centric doctrine in attempt to protect a host population when the population provides little support, specifically in terms of intelligence. ³Nation builders or
warriors?´ which is another video in the series, illustrates the difficulties for Coalition forces who are required to balance the roles of aggressive, fearless warriors and compassionate nation-builders. Although the new approach and counterinsurgency doctrine as a whole has been largely accepted within military circles and by the American mainstream, it remains unclear just how effective the ³surge´ in American forces and the strategic adjustment has been. A recent article by the Washington Post, published in May 2010, asked Erin
For another video journalism series that provides a fuller understanding of the mission in Afghanistan, its implementation, strengths, and weaknesses from a variety of perspectives, see the ³30 Days through Afghanistan´ video blog at http://30days.isaf.nato.int/.
58 Simpson, John Nagl, high-profile professors in academia schooled in counterinsurgency, and a former NATO ambassador if the new strategy in Afghanistan is working. Unsurprisingly, each of the six respondents answered differently. Responses ranged from a ringing endorsement of the strategy to outright denunciation, and even an ³it¶s still too early to tell´ (Is President, 2010). Somalia Is FM 3-24 transferable and applicable to Somalia, or was the doctrine drafted amidst the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as a solution more specifically for those insurgencies? This section will examine the current situation in Somalia and estimate the transferability of FM 3-24 to the Somali insurgency. In all fairness to this examination, it must first be noted that Somalia provides a case study of a situation that no solution may effectively resolve. As noted in previous sections, Somalia has spent the past several decades as a failed state with no legitimate national government. The level of poverty, disillusionment, and famine dwarfs just about anywhere else in the world, likely including Afghanistan. Despite the potentially insurmountable challenges presented by Somalia, FM 3-24 is likely highly transferable to the Al-Shabaab insurgency.13 A number of the precepts from FM 3-24 would likely be necessary in order to wage a successful counterinsurgency in Somalia. Specifically, these precepts include being population-centric, balancing
offensive, defensive, and stability operations, unifying the efforts of all counterinsurgent forces, and training of local security forces.
This report does not mean to oversimplify the situation in Somalia by attributing the insurgency solely to Al-Shabaab; other insurgent groups do exist. Al-Shabaab, however, receives much of the international attention due to the organization¶s suspected ties to Al Qaeda. In addition, recent reports indicate that another major insurgency organization, Hizbul-Islam, has disintegrated, with forces either assimilating into Al-Shabaab, remaining independent, or joining smaller organizations.
59 Similar to other counterinsurgency campaigns, counterinsurgents in Somalia would likely have to be population-centric. An enemy-centric approach would provide real challenges to the counterinsurgent forces. Although Somali insurgents could not rely on dense jungles or a complex system of caves to provide cover, they could likely use urban areas such as the capital Mogadishu and other port cities to blend into the general population. Further, an enemy-centric approach would likely be hampered by vague distinctions about who constitutes as the enemy. For instance, are the notorious Somali pirates insurgents or simply outlaws? The pirates often use force to hijack ships and are opposed to any group that attempts to rein them in. The pirates, however, are not seeking to overthrow the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). Rather, they are in some ways similar to the opium farmers in Afghanistan who have simply turned to illegal activities to make money in order to survive. Finally, a population-centric approach would be necessary to protect the Somali population. Although Al-Shabaab concentrates their violence on TFG and African Union forces, the insurgent organization terrorizes the population through harsh disciplinary action for the violation of Sharia laws. Dozens of news articles report Al-Shabaab militants whipping (Sheikh, 2009), stoning, and killing (Hughes, 2008) Somalis who break laws upheld by the terrorist organization. Counterinsurgent forces would also likely have to balance offensive, defensive, and stability operations to be successful. Counterinsurgents would likely need to
eliminate many of the Al-Shabaab true believers in offensive operations. Through the use of stability operations, however, many of the insurgents could likely be pacified by improving the economic conditions in Somalia. The economic conditions are so poor in Somalia, reports indicate that TFG forces are deserting to Al-Shabaab as a result of
60 insufficient pay (Smith, 2010). Stability operations would also be critical in improving the country¶s complete lack of infrastructure. In order for the stability operations to be successful, as well as the campaign as a whole, counterinsurgents would require significant assistance from a variety of players on the security and humanitarian fronts, including a large number of nongovernmental organizations (NGO¶s). These organizations would likely play a considerable role in easing the famine and improving healthcare. In fact, NGO¶s have been active in Somalia for decades. During Operation Restore Hope, before the American mission began to blur, the primary objective of American forces was to secure the delivery routes for food delivered by the United Nations and NGO¶s (United, 2003, p. 5). As a result of likely large number of NGO¶s and coalition forces necessary for the security of the country, unity of effort would be critical to the success of the counterinsurgency campaign. Similar to Afghanistan and other previous counterinsurgencies, the training of local security forces would also be necessary for the long-term security of Somalia. In fact, the United States already has experience training Somali forces. According to FM 3-24, Marines in Somalia, from 1992 to 1993, used extrapolated lessons from the Combined Action Program implemented in South Vietnam in 1965 in which teams of Marines were paired with host-nation security forces (Headquarters, 2007b, p. 187). More recently, the United States has funded the training of Somali security forces. In March 2010, the United States announced that it is considering joining an effort with the European Union to actually provide the training for Somali forces in Uganda starting in May 2010 (Lekic, 2010).
61 Results: Case Studies of Afghanistan and Somalia The case studies of Afghanistan and Somalia confirm the conclusions drawn from the Transferability Matrix. FM 3-24 is not limited by time or geography. Although the situation is Somalia provides another example of a complex insurgency located on a different continent from Afghanistan, it is likely that the precepts of FM 3-24 would transfer well to the counterinsurgents. Like the FM 3-24 critiques, there is nothing about the insurgency in Somalia that would invalidate FM 3-24¶s precepts, when categorized and viewed as a domestic insurgency. Similar to FM 3-24, however, this paper¶s
examination of the case studies provides little insight into the appropriate doctrine necessary to the defeat of a global insurgency.
The goal of this paper was to further explore American¶s modern counterinsurgency strategy. Specifically, this paper analyzed FM 3-24 to evaluate the exact transferability of the new doctrine. According to the author¶s research, no other
document matches this paper¶s comprehensiveness in regards to the transferability of FM 3-24. As part of this exploration, this paper examined a total of seven insurgencies, from Malaya to Somalia, and the approaches of counterinsurgent forces from three countries²Great Britain, France, and the United States. In addition, the transferability of FM 3-24 was evaluated through the use of two methodologies, one theoretical and another providing real-world perspective. This chapter will summarize the results and subsequent conclusions of this comprehensive study and suggest three areas in which counterinsurgents need to study further. As the result of this comprehensive approach and two methodologies, this paper concludes that FM 3-24 is highly transferable among domestic insurgencies; however, the doctrine¶s transferability is more limited when it is applied to global insurgencies²such as the war against Al Qaeda. Specifically, it is the population-centric precept of FM 3-24 that likely limits the doctrine¶s transferability to global insurgencies. Quite simply, the resources (time, money, personnel, etc) demanded by the doctrine cannot be matched on a global scale. This means that the transferability of FM 3-24 is not limited by time or geography, but rather by the type of insurgency. Interestingly, FM 3-24 does discuss the importance of counterinsurgents understanding what type of insurgency they are facing. The manual, however, defines the ³type´ of insurgency differently than the conclusion here (domestic vs. global
63 insurgency). In determining the type of insurgency, the manual stresses that commanders should understand the root causes of the insurgency, the extent to which the insurgency enjoys external support, the motivations and level of commitment of the insurgents, and the likely insurgent weapons. The manual then goes on to discuss the different
approaches insurgents may utilize²conspiratorial, military-focused, urban, protracted popular, identity-focused, as well as composite and coalition (Headquarters, 2007b, p. 89). The manual, however, does not go on to describe the ways in which the
counterinsurgents need to adapt their doctrine or strategies based on the type of insurgent they are countering. This leaves the reader to conclude that FM 3-24 is broad enough that its precepts can effectively counter the various ³types´ of insurgencies as defined by the manual. For the sake of the scope of this paper, the author concedes that this is likely the case. Conversely, the manual fails to take into account the type of insurgency as it relates to the insurgency¶s expansiveness (domestic versus global). Due to the results of this study, as well as the absence any discussion relating to the potential doctrinal adjustments necessary for the countering of a global insurgency, this paper suggests that counterinsurgency theorists explore how to effectively defeat a global insurgency and how this new type of insurgency affects modern counterinsurgency doctrine. Kilcullen¶s theory of disaggregation provides a start to this discussion,
however, it remains unclear whether Kilcullen is correct, whether this paper is correct, and whether there are any alternative approaches. A related component unexplored by any of the literature is how to counter insurgencies (global ones included) with the new phenomenon of cyber-insurgencies.
64 The final two areas of further study suggested by this paper come from the Transferability Matrix. Although many of the critiques voiced against FM 3-24 failed to invalidate the doctrine¶s precepts, this does not mean that the critiques should not be studied and pursued further. In fact, this paper recognizes that several of the critiques may have a more significant impact if they are developed further. For instance, the ³global insurgency´ critique was easy to compare against FM 3-24¶s precepts because there was a corresponding alternative offered by the critique (the theory of disaggregation). Today, many of the critiques are just that, critiques. If these critiques are accompanied by alternatives or solutions, it may be easier to contrast them against FM 3-24. For instance, theorists should continue to question what lessons can be derived from the complex internal conflicts of the 1990¶s. By further examining these operations, how can FM 3-24 be modified and improved? Finally, the Transferability Matrix highlighted the need for one more area of further study related to the one directly above. This paper already highlighted six As
categories of critiques that related to the question of transferability.
counterinsurgency theorists continue to explore these critiques, hopefully additional critiques will also emerge. As theorists construct an ever-growing list of critiques,
theorists also need an effective, structured way to reconcile the critiques with the United States¶ doctrine. This suggestion is largely attributed to the discussion under the ³Further Analysis of the Matrix´ subheading in the fourth chapter. When the Transferability Matrix compared several of the critiques to the precepts, there was a level of disconnect. This disconnect provides a real challenge to theorists¶ ability to continually learn and adapt counterinsurgency theory. How can America¶s doctrine be improved if the
65 critiques raised against the doctrine do not match up with the doctrine¶s precepts? This paper used a simple methodology in which it directly compared the precepts and the critiques. Is there a better alternative? Is there a way to structure the critiques in a way in which it is easier to contrast them against the standing doctrine? Failure to do so will severely handicap the ability to further study and improve counterinsurgency doctrine. At the 2009 Irregular Warfare Conference hosted by the U.S. Naval War College, Jeremy Pugh-Moran (2009) commented that doctrine is evolutionary, but the insurgency it combats is often revolutionary,14 creating doctrine problems no matter how hard counterinsurgency theorists worked to update the doctrine. As the result,
counterinsurgents must continue to develop an effective counterinsurgency doctrine against all types of insurgencies, critique it, and find a structured, efficient methodology to analyze and synthesize the critiques with the evolving doctrine.
The term ³revolutionary´ here has a dual meaning. First, insurgencies are political struggles, revolutionary, in a sense, against an established government. Second, ³revolutionary´ also refers to the strategy and tactics employed by insurgents, which are often revolutionary. For instance, consider the ways in which indiscriminate terrorism (which includes the targeting of the host population) revolutionized insurgency from the situations in which terrorism was only employed against counterinsurgents and government institutions.
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APPENDIX RECOMMENDED COIN READING LIST
The following is a list of works on counterinsurgency that are highly recommended by the author. Only works not previously cited or referenced in the paper are included below. The works are sorted alphabetically.
Counterinsurgency reader II (2008, August). Military Review [Special Edition]. Retrieved May 12, 2010 from http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/coin/repository/COIN_ READER_II.pdf. Flynn, M.T., Pottinger, M. & Batchelor, P.D. (2010, January). Fixing intel: A blueprint for making intelligence relevant in Afghanistan. Center for a New American Security. Retrieved May 12, 2010 from http://www.cnas.org/files/documents/publications/ AfghanIntel_Flynn_Jan2010_code507_voices.pdf. Galula, D. (2006). Pacification in Algeria: 1956-1958 (2nd ed.). Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Hammes, T.X. (2006). The sling and the stone: On war in the 21st century. St. Paul, MN: Zenith Press. Headquarters, Department of the Army (2009, April). FM 3-24.5: Tactics in counterinsurgency. Retrieved May 12, 2010 from http://www.fas.org/irp/doddir/army/fm3-24-2.pdf.
75 Kilcullen, D. (2006, March). Twenty-eight articles: Fundamentals of company-level counterinsurgency. Retrieved May 12, 2010 from http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/ COIN/repository/28_Articles_of_COIN-Kilcullen(Mar06).pdf. Kilcullen, D.J. (2010). Counterinsurgency. Oxford University Press. Rid, T. & Keaney, T. (Eds.). (2010). Understanding counterinsurgency: Doctrine, operations, and challenges. New York, NY: Routledge. Sepp, K.I. (2005, May-June). Best practices in counterinsurgency. Military Review, 85(3), 8-12. Tomes, R.R. (2004, Spring). Relearning counterinsurgency warfare. Parameters, 34(1), 16-28. Ucko, D.H. (2009). The new counterinsurgency era: Transforming the U.S. military for modern wars. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press. Watson, R. (2008, May 2). Somalia-East Africa¶s new Afghanistan?. BBC News. Retrieved May 12, 2010 from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7379721.stm.
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