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The U.S. army against the guerrillas: the guide?
Material posted: -Publication date: 23-11-2007

In mid-December 2006 the leadership of the Ministry of defense had promulgated the manual on counterinsurgency actions and counter-insurgency FM 3-24, MCWP 3-33.5 "Counterinsuregency". The instruction entered into effect on 15 December 2006 to replace an outdated document FMI 3-07.22, from 1 October 2004, and MCWP 3-33.5 of 29 January 1980.

According to Russian military experts, the manual is largely a propaganda move designed to show that the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is well spent and the experience gained used to develop a new guidance document for the armed forces.

Overall assessment of the document is kept, although it recognizes the existence of several new moments. In particular, the most interesting is the description of the procedures, techniques and methods of formation of generalized model of the insurgency and its use for the formation of a strategy of counter-insurgency, with emphasis on methods of information confrontation.

The main content of the document – the attempt to summarize the accumulated knowledge on counter insurgency and counterinsurgency holding action by the U.S. armed forces. The emphasis is on the use of forces of the marine corps of the United States, as well as parts of military-air and naval forces of the United States (in terms of ensuring logistics at the realization of the strategy of counter-insurgency).

The instruction given is a brief historical note on the development of the theory of counter-insurgency and the fight against the guerrillas. Moreover, it provides a description of the structure of the rebel movement and the main methods of fighting the rebels with regular military formations. The material is prepared using the experience gained with the US marine corps in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The authors of the manual state that in modern conditions the rebellion is a very effective form of asymmetric struggle. Its effectiveness relies on the fact that traditional security systems and armed struggle that exist today in the States and is built on hierarchical models of command, is not able to effectively uncover and destroy the network structure of control rebellion.

To increase the effectiveness of the rebellion played a significant role and development of the processes of globalization. The use of modern means of communication, methods of management of financial flows and electronic media, allow you to effectively organize long-term struggle with conventional (traditional) by the army and security services.

One of the important insights that make the authors of the material, is the conclusion that globalization has led to a serious transformation of the rebellion, as a form of asymmetric warfare. The authors observed that if the insurgency remained largely local, and the interaction of the rebels with the outside world could be brought under control by the authorities, but today it is almost impossible: the development of means of communication, enables the rebels to communicate with the outside world almost without restriction. This, in turn, leads to necessary changes in the forms and methods of counter-insurgency: in a new environment it is necessary to plan and implement almost all activities, focusing on the global context.

A key factor in the struggle for which is in operation on counter-insurgency is the support of the population: one who can seize the initiative in dealing with the civilian population gets a chance to dominate in a situation, and eventually to win. The dominant role of this factor clearly shows that traditional methods, primarily using conventional weapons and tactics of the forces of General application, to deal effectively with the rebels impossible. Therefore, according to the guidance, the main role should the methods of non-violent control and subjugation of the civilian population, to deny support to the rebel forces. In this regard, the basic elements of information-psychological warfare. An important role is played by methods of integration of the actions of the military and civilian personnel: key challenges faced by the civil staff in collaboration with the government of the rebel country, and military forces protect the civilian population from terrorist acts by the rebels and not allow the blockade and disruption of the normal operation of the system of state power in the country.

According to the authors of the leadership, participating in counter-insurgency should be: U.S. armed forces (especially the marine corps, and Navy and air force), the multinational force to resolve the conflict and counter-insurgency (including the armed forces rebel of the country), the United States government Agency, government agencies of other countries interested in conflict resolution, non-governmental organizations (both national and international), multinational corporations, the state apparatus of the rebellious country.

The most important role in countering the insurgency is given to the intelligence agencies. In this case the primary is not technical, and human intelligence.

In terms of intelligence support activities for the suppression of the rebellion is important, according to the authors, is to collect information about social network structures among the local population (ancestral, tribal and clan ties, relations of subordination in the service, cultural, ethnic, religious and other relations, the interaction of national social networks with similar organizations abroad), Special attention should be focused on identifying the most influential individuals in all social networks and searching for the weak (narrow) seats in network infrastructures, a malfunction which will cause a degradation of relations in the network as a whole. Important is the study of relationships in each of the identified networks, revealing the hidden contradictions, competing groups, etc. the Availability of such information is an important basis for building the strategy of counter-insurgency.

Among the areas of intelligence when forming the strategy of counter-insurgency Handbook stands out analytical work on open sources of information. It is noted that this type of analytical work allows most fully to represent the nature of the relationships and interaction in social networks of the rebellious States.

In addition, the authors of the guide, proposed to form an integrated model of rebellion by making it a comprehensive analysis. Interestingly, one of the main tools of forming a model of rebellion are encouraged to use "mental maps" (mind maps), which is widely used in business for the formation of development strategies of companies.

It is noted that a full and detailed analysis of the structure of the rebellion (identifying financial and migration flows, a key political and religious leaders, relationships within social networks, etc.) requires the analytical units of hard work for several months. Only then is it possible to talk about validity of a set of measures to counter the insurgency. Typical is the observation of the authors regarding the process of building a model of insurgency: complexity and the complexity of this problem forces the analyst to work on a model by the method of "immersion", except when one single task, the analyst nothing else does, and that the period of "immersion" for analysts with high level of training in the problem can be to a year or more. This approach, according to the authors, the most effective, however, requires substantial changes in the structure and functions of units engaged in analytical work and by building a model of insurgency.

In General, the material of instruction is a generalization of scientific and methodical work of a number of research centres and individual experts in the United States, studying the features of construction and functioning of social networks. The guidance, according to experts, is not the nature of the guidance document is complete and requires further work on the specification of a number of provisions.


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