Counter insurgency
A counter-insurgency or counterinsurgency (COIN) involves actions taken by the recognized government of a nation to contain or quell an insurgency
An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents...

 taken up against it. In the main, the insurgents seek to destroy or erase the political authority of the defending authorities in a population they seek to control, and the counter-insurgent forces seek to protect that authority and reduce or eliminate the supplanting authority of the insurgents.

Counter-insurgency operations are common during war
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

, occupation
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

 and armed rebellion
Rebellion, uprising or insurrection, is a refusal of obedience or order. It may, therefore, be seen as encompassing a range of behaviors aimed at destroying or replacing an established authority such as a government or a head of state...

s. Counter-insurgency may be armed suppression
The term suppression may refer to:* Oppression, the exercise of authority or power in a burdensome, cruel, or unjust manner, also an act or instance of oppressing...

 of a rebellion, coupled with tactics such as divide and rule
Divide and rule
In politics and sociology, divide and rule is a combination of political, military and economic strategy of gaining and maintaining power by breaking up larger concentrations of power into chunks that individually have less power than the one implementing the strategy...

 designed to fracture the links between the insurgency and the population in which the insurgents move. Because it may be difficult or impossible to distinguish between an insurgent, a supporter of an insurgency who is a non-combatant
Non-combatant is a term in the law of war describing civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities, as well as persons such as medical personnel and military chaplains who are regular soldiers but are protected because of their function as well as soldiers who are hors de combat ; that is, sick,...

, and entirely uninvolved members of the population, counter-insurgency operations have often rested on a confused, relativistic, or otherwise situational distinction between insurgents and non-combatants.


Counter-insurgency is normally conducted as a combination of conventional military operations and other means, such as propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

, psy-ops, and assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

s. Counter-insurgency operations include many different facets: military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

, paramilitary
A paramilitary is a force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces....

, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions taken to defeat insurgency
An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents...


To understand counter-insurgency, one must understand insurgency to comprehend the dynamics of revolutionary warfare. Insurgents capitalize on societal problems, often called gaps; counter-insurgency addresses closing the gaps. When the gaps are wide, they create a sea of discontent, creating the environment in which the insurgent can operate.

In The Insurgent Archipelago John Mackinlay puts forward the concept of an evolution of insurgency from the Maoist paradigm of the golden age of insurgency to the global insurgency of the start of the twenty-first century. He defines this distinction as 'Maoist' and 'post-Maoist' insurgency.

Legal and ethical challenges

William B. Caldwell
William B. Caldwell
William B. Caldwell, IV is a United States Army Lieutenant General who is serving as the Commander, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan, as well as, Commanding General, Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan....


Santa Cruz de Marcenado

The third Marques of Santa Cruz de Marcenado (1684–1732) is probably the earliest author who dealt systematically in his writings with counter-insurgency. In his Reflexiones Militares, published between 1726 and 1730, he discussed how to spot early signs of an incipient insurgency, prevent insurgencies, and counter them, if they could not be warded off. Strikingly, Santa Cruz recognized that insurgencies are usually due to real grievances: "A state rarely rises up without the fault of its governors." Consequently, he advocated clemency towards the population and good governance, to seek the people's "heart and love".

B. H. Liddell Hart

The majority of counter-insurgency efforts by major powers in the last century have been spectacularly unsuccessful. This may be attributed to a number of causes. First, as B. H. Liddell Hart pointed out in the Insurgency addendum to the second version of his book Strategy: The Indirect Approach, a popular insurgency has an inherent advantage over any occupying force. He showed as a prime example the French occupation of Spain
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 during the Napoleonic wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

. Whenever Spanish forces managed to constitute themselves into a regular fighting force, the superior French forces beat them every time.

However, once dispersed and decentralized, the irregular nature of the rebel campaigns proved a decisive counter to French superiority on the battlefield. Napoleon's army had no means of effectively combatting the rebels, and in the end their strength and morale were so sapped that when Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

 was finally able to challenge French forces in the field, the French had almost no choice but to abandon the situation.

Counter-insurgency efforts may be successful, especially when the insurgents are unpopular. The Philippine–American War, the Shining Path
Shining Path
Shining Path is a Maoist guerrilla terrorist organization in Peru. The group never refers to itself as "Shining Path", and as several other Peruvian groups, prefers to be called the "Communist Party of Peru" or "PCP-SL" in short...

 in Peru, and the Malayan Emergency
Malayan Emergency
The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army , the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party, from 1948 to 1960....

 in Malaya
Federation of Malaya
The Federation of Malaya is the name given to a federation of 11 states that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957...

 have been the sites of failed insurgencies.

Hart also points to the experiences of T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...

 and the Arab Revolt
Arab Revolt
The Arab Revolt was initiated by the Sherif Hussein bin Ali with the aim of securing independence from the ruling Ottoman Turks and creating a single unified Arab state spanning from Aleppo in Syria to Aden in Yemen.- Background :...

 during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 as another example of the power of the rebel/insurgent. Though the Ottomans often had advantages in manpower of more than 100 to 1, the Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

s' ability to materialize out of the desert, strike, and disappear again often left the Turks
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 reeling and paralyzed, creating an opportunity for regular British forces to sweep in and finish the Turkish forces off.

In both the preceding cases, the insurgents and rebel fighters were working in conjunction with or in a manner complementary to regular forces. Such was also the case with the French Resistance
French Resistance
The French Resistance is the name used to denote the collection of French resistance movements that fought against the Nazi German occupation of France and against the collaborationist Vichy régime during World War II...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and the National Liberation Front during the Vietnam War. The strategy in these cases is for the irregular combatant to weaken and destabilize the enemy to such a degree that victory is easy or assured for the regular forces. However, in many modern rebellions, one does not see rebel fighters working in conjunction with regular forces. Rather, they are home-grown militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

s or imported fighters who have no unified goals or objectives save to expel the occupier.

According to Liddell Hart, there are few effective counter-measures to this strategy. So long as the insurgency maintains popular support, it will retain all of its strategic advantages of mobility, invisibility, and legitimacy in its own eyes and the eyes of the people. So long as this is the situation, an insurgency essentially cannot be defeated by regular forces..

Another option in combating an insurgency would be to make the presence of troops so pervasive that there is simply no place left for insurgents to hide, as demonstrated in Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

's conquest of Republican Spain during the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

 or the Union occupation of Confederate States with Federal troops following the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. In each of these cases, enormous amounts of manpower were needed for an extended period of time to quell resistance over almost every square kilometre of territory. In an age of ever shrinking and increasingly computerized armed forces, this option too is precluded from a modern commanders options.

Essentially, then, only one viable option remains. The key to a successful counter-insurgency is the winning-over of the occupied territory's population. If that can be achieved, then the rebellion will be deprived of its supplies, shelter, and, more importantly, its moral legitimacy. Unless the hearts and minds
Hearts and Minds
Hearts and Minds may refer to:* A biblical quotation; see the Wikisource link-Film:* Hearts and Minds , a 1974 documentary film about the Vietnam War-Television:...

 of the public can be separated from the insurgency, the occupation is doomed to fail. In a modern representative democracy
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

, in the face of perceived incessant losses, no conflict will be tolerated by an electorate without significant show of tangible gains.

Vietnam War

The US in Vietnam attempted to neutralize the advantage of popular support for the insurgency by simply taking away the civilian population that shielded the insurgents; however, this had the foreseeable effect of alienating the populace and further fueling support for the rebels.

Although the United States and its ARVN allies won every single major battle with North Vietnamese forces and their opponents suffered staggering losses (2 million+ casualties), the cost of victory was so high in the opinion of the US public (58,193
Vietnam War casualties
The Vietnam War began in 1955 and did not end until 1975, two years after all US and allied personnel had withdrawn, when North Vietnamese forces finally conquered Saigon...

 U.S. casualties) that it came to see any further possible gains as not worth the troop losses. As long as popular support is on their side, an insurgency can hold out indefinitely, consolidating its control and replenishing its ranks, until the occupiers simply leave.

Current situations

In these cases, such as the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, which ended in 2000, and the current Iraqi insurgency
Iraqi insurgency
The Iraqi Resistance is composed of a diverse mix of militias, foreign fighters, all-Iraqi units or mixtures opposing the United States-led multinational force in Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government...

, the goal of the insurgent is not to defeat the occupying military force; that is almost always an impossible task given the disparity in resources. Rather, they seek through a constant campaign of sneak attacks to inflict continuous casualties upon their superior enemy forces and thereby over time demoralize the occupying forces and erode political support for the occupation in the homeland of the occupying forces. It is a simple strategy of repeated pin-pricks and bleedings that, though small in proportion to the total force strength, sap the will of the occupier to continue the fight.

David Galula

David Galula
David Galula
David Galula was a French military officer and scholar who was influential in developing the theory and practice of counterinsurgency warfare.-Life and career:...

 gained his practical experience in counter-insurgency as a French officer in the Algerian War. His theory of counterinsurgency is not primarily military, but a combination of military, political and social actions under the strong control of a single authority.

Galula proposes four "laws" for counterinsurgency:
  1. The aim of the war is to gain the support of the population rather than control of territory.
  2. Most of the population will be neutral in the conflict; support of the masses can be obtained with the help of an active friendly minority.
  3. Support of the population may be lost. The population must be efficiently protected to allow it to cooperate without fear of retribution by the opposite party.
  4. Order enforcement should be done progressively by removing or driving away armed opponents, then gaining support of the population, and eventually strengthening positions by building infrastructure and setting long-term relationships with the population. This must be done area by area, using a pacified territory as a basis of operation to conquer a neighbouring area.

Galula contends that:
With his four principles in mind, Galula goes on to describe a general military and political strategy to put them into operation in an area that is under full insurgent control:
According to Galula, some of these steps can be skipped in areas that are only partially under insurgent control, and most of them are unnecessary in areas already controlled by the government. Thus the essence of counterinsurgency warfare is summed up by Galula as "Build (or rebuild) a political machine from the population upward."

Robert Thompson

Robert Grainger Ker Thompson wrote Defeating Communist Insurgency in 1966, arguing that a successful counter-insurgency effort must be proactive in seizing the initiative from insurgents. Thompson outlines five basic principles for a successful counter-insurgency:
  1. The government must have a clear political aim: to establish and maintain a free, independent and united country which is politically and economically stable and viable;
  2. The government must function in accordance with the law;
  3. The government must have an overall plan;
  4. The government must give priority to defeating political subversion, not the guerrillas;
  5. In the guerrilla phase of an insurgency, a government must secure its base areas first.

David Kilcullen

In "The Three Pillars of Counterinsurgency", Dr. David Kilcullen
David Kilcullen
David John Kilcullen F.R.G.S is an Australian author and consultant who is a leading theorist on counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. In 2007 he served as the Senior Counterinsurgency Adviser to the Commander of the Multi-National Force - Iraq responsible for planning and executing the Joint...

, the Chief Strategist of the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism of the U.S. State Department in 2006, described a framework for interagency cooperation in counterinsurgency operations. His pillars – Security, Political and Economic – support the overarching goal of Control, but are based on Information:
Kilcullen considers the three pillars to be of equal importance, because
The overall goal, according to this model, "is not to reduce violence to zero or to kill every insurgent, but rather to return the overall system to normality — noting that 'normality' in one society may look different from normality in another. In each case, we seek not only to establish control, but also to consolidate that control and then transfer it to permanent, effective and legitimate institutions."

Martin van Creveld

Military historian Martin van Creveld
Martin van Creveld
Martin Levi van Creveld is an Israeli military historian and theorist.Van Creveld was born in the Netherlands in the city of Rotterdam, and has lived in Israel since shortly after his birth. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he has...

, noting that almost all attempts to deal with insurgency have ended in failure, advises:
In examining why so many counterinsurgencies by powerful militaries fail against weaker enemies, Van Creveld identifies a key dynamic that he illustrates by the metaphor of killing a child. Regardless of whether the child started the fight or how well armed the child is, an adult in a fight with a child will feel that they are acting unjustly if they harm the child, foolish if the child harms them and wonder if the fight is necessary.

Van Creveld argues that "by definition, a strong counterinsurgent who uses his strength to kill the members of a small, weak organization of insurgents - let alone the civilian population by which it is surrounded, and which may lend it support - will commit crimes in an unjust cause," while "a child who is in a serious fight with an adult is justified in using every and any means available - not because he or she is right, but because he or she has no choice." Every act of insurgency becomes, from the perspective of the counterinsurgent, a reason to end the conflict, while also being a reason for the insurgents to continue until victory. Dang Xuan Khu, second in command to Ho Chi Minh
Ho Chi Minh
Hồ Chí Minh , born Nguyễn Sinh Cung and also known as Nguyễn Ái Quốc, was a Vietnamese Marxist-Leninist revolutionary leader who was prime minister and president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam...

 of Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

, wrote in his Primer for Revolt:
The first method relies on superb intelligence, provided by those who know the natural and artificial environment of the conflict as well as the insurgents. Once such superior intelligence is gained, the counterinsurgents must be trained to a point of high professionalism and discipline such that they will exercise discrimination and restraint. Through such discrimination and restraint, the counterinsurgents do not alienate members of the populace besides those already fighting them, while delaying the time when the counterinsurgents become disgusted by their own actions and demoralized.

General Patrick Walters, British commander of troops in northern Ireland, explicitly stated that his objective was not to kill as many terrorists as possible, but to ensure that as few people on both sides were killed. In the vast majority of counterinsurgencies, the "forces of order" kill far more people than they lose. In contrast and using very rough figures, of the approximately 3000 British killed during The Troubles, 1700 were civilians and 1000 were British soldiers and members of security forces, translating into a three-to-one kill ratio in favor of the terrorists.

If the prerequisites for the first method - excellent intelligence, superbly trained and disciplined soldiers and police, and an iron will to avoid being provoked into lashing out - are lacking, van Creveld posits that counterinsurgents who still want to win must use the second method exemplified by the Hama massacre
Hama massacre
The Hama massacre occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian army, under the orders of the president of Syria Hafez al-Assad, conducted a scorched earth policy against the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime of al-Assad...

. In 1982 the regime of Syrian president Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad
Hafez ibn 'Ali ibn Sulayman al-Assad or more commonly Hafez al-Assad was the President of Syria for three decades. Assad's rule consolidated the power of the central government after decades of coups and counter-coups, such as Operation Wappen in 1957 conducted by the Eisenhower administration and...

 was on the point of being overwhelmed by the countrywide insurgency of the Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

. al-Assad sent a division under his brother Rifaat
Rifaat al-Assad
Rifaat al-Assad is the younger brother of the former President of Syria, Hafez al-Assad, and the uncle of the current President Bashar al-Assad, all of whom come from the minority Alawite Muslim sect. He was born in the village of Qardaha, near Lattakia in western Syria. He is perhaps best known...

 to the city of Hama
Hama is a city on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria north of Damascus. It is the provincial capital of the Hama Governorate. Hama is the fourth-largest city in Syria—behind Aleppo, Damascus, and Homs—with a population of 696,863...

, known to be the center of the resistance.

Following a counterattack by the Brotherhood, Rifaat used his heavy artillery to demolish the city, killing between ten and 25 thousand people, including many women and children. Asked by reporters what had happened, Hafez al-Assad exaggerated the damage and deaths, promoted the commanders who carried out the attacks, and razed Hama's well-known great mosque, replacing it with a parking lot. With the Muslim Brotherhood scattered, the population was so cowed that it would years before opposition groups would dare disobey the regime again and, van Creveld argues, the massacre most likely saved the regime and prevented a bloody civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....


Van Creveld condenses al-Assad's strategy into five rules, while noting that they could easily have been written by Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic...

  1. There are situations in which cruelty is necessary, and refusing to apply necessary cruelty is a betrayal of the people who put you into power. When pressed to cruelty, never threaten your opponent but disguise your intention and feign weakness until you strike.
  2. Once you decide to strike, it is better to kill too many than not enough. If another strike is needed, it reduces the impact of the first strike. Repeated strikes will also endanger the morale of the counterinsurgent troops; soldiers forced to commit repeated atrocities will likely begin to resort to alcohol or drugs to force themselves to carry out orders and will inevitably lose their military edge, eventually turning into a danger to their commanders.
  3. Act as soon as possible. More lives will be saved by decisive action early, than by prolonging the insurgency. The longer you wait, the more inured the population will be to bloodshed, and the more barbaric your action will have to be to make an impression.
  4. Strike openly. Do not apologize, make excuses about "collateral damage
    Collateral damage
    Collateral damage is damage to people or property that is unintended or incidental to the intended outcome. The phrase is prevalently used as an euphemism for civilian casualties of a military action.-Etymology:...

    ", express regret, or promise investigations. Afterwards, make sure that as many people as possible know of your strike; media is useful for this purpose, but be careful not to let them interview survivors and arouse sympathy.
  5. Do not command the strike yourself, in case it doesn't work for some reason and you need to disown your commander and try another strategy. If it does work, present your commander to the world, explain what you have done and make certain that everyone understands that you are ready to strike again.

Lorenzo Zambernardi

In "Counterinsurgency’s Impossible Trilemma", Dr. Lorenzo Zambernardi, an Italian academic now working in the United States, clarifies the tradeoffs involved in counterinsurgency operations. He argues that counterinsurgency involves three main goals, but in real practice a counterinsurgent needs to choose two goals out of three. Relying on economic theory, this is what Zambernardi labels the "impossible trilemma" of counterinsurgency. Specifically, the impossible trilemma suggests that it is impossible to simultaneously achieve: 1) force protection, 2) distinction between enemy combatants and noncombatants, and 3) the physical elimination of insurgents.

According to Zambernardi, in pursuing any two of these three goals, a state must forgo some portion of the third objective. In particular, a state can protect its armed forces while destroying insurgents, but only by indiscriminately killing civilians as the Ottomans, Italians, and Nazis did in the Balkans, Libya, and Eastern Europe. It can choose to protect civilians along with its own armed forces instead, avoiding so-called collateral damage, but only by abandoning the objective of destroying the insurgents. Finally, a state can discriminate between combatants and noncombatants while killing insurgents, but only by increasing the risks for its own troops, as the United States and ISAF did in Afghanistan under the leadership of Gen. Stanley McChrystal. So a country must choose two out of three goals and develop a strategy that can successfully accomplish them, while sacrificing the third objective.

Zambernardi’s theory posits that to protect populations, which is necessary to defeat insurgencies, and to physically destroy an insurgency, the counterinsurgent’s military forces must be sacrificed, risking the loss of domestic political support.

Population control

With regard to tactics, the terms "drain the water" or "drain the swamp" involves the forced relocation
Population transfer
Population transfer is the movement of a large group of people from one region to another by state policy or international authority, most frequently on the basis of ethnicity or religion...

 of the population ("water") to expose the rebels or insurgent
Insurgent, insurgents or insurgency can refer to:* The act of insurgency-Specific insurgencies:* Iraqi insurgency, uprising in Iraq* Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir, uprising in India* Insurgency in North-East India...

s ("fish"). In other words, relocation deprives the aforementioned of the support, cover, and resources of the local population.

A somewhat similar strategy was used extensively by US forces in South Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 until 1969, initially by forcing the rural population into fenced camps, referred to as Strategic Hamlets, and later by declaring the previous areas as free-fire zone
Free-fire zone
A free-fire zone in U.S. military parlance is a fire control measure, used for coordination between adjacent combat units. The definition used in the Vietnam war by US troops may be found in field manual FM 6-20:- Free-fire zones in the Vietnam War :...

s to remove the rest from their villages and farms. Widespread use was made of Agent Orange
Agent Orange
Agent Orange is the code name for one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the U.S. military as part of its herbicidal warfare program, Operation Ranch Hand, during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children born with birth...

, sprayed from airplanes, to destroy crops that might have provided resources for Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops and their human support base. These measures proved ineffective, as the Viet Cong often relocated activists and sympathizers inside the new communities. In any event, the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 was only partly a counter-insurgency campaign, as it also involved conventional combat between US/ARVN forces, Vietcong Main Force Battalions, and the North Vietnamese Army (NVA
NVA is a three-letter acronym for:*National People's Army, or Nationale Volksarmee, the army of former German Democratic Republic*Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, a Flemish political party also known as New-Flemish Alliance...


According to a report of the Australian military:

Oil spot

The oil spot approach is a descriptive term for the concentration of counter-insurgent forces into an expanding, secured zone. The origins of the expression is to be found in its initial use by Marshal Hubert Lyautey
Hubert Lyautey
Louis Hubert Gonzalve Lyautey was a French Army general, the first Resident-General in Morocco from 1912 to 1925 and from 1921 Marshal of France.-Early life:...

, the main theoretician of French colonial warfare and counter-insurgency strategy. The oil spot approach was later one of the justifications given in the Pentagon Papers
Pentagon Papers
The Pentagon Papers, officially titled United States – Vietnam Relations, 1945–1967: A Study Prepared by the Department of Defense, is a United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967...

 for the Strategic Hamlet Program
Strategic Hamlet Program
The Strategic Hamlet Program was a plan by the governments of South Vietnam and the United States during the Vietnam War to combat the Communist insurgency by means of population transfer.In 1961, U.S...


Cordon and search

Cordon and search
Cordon and search
Cordon and search is a military tactic to cordon off an area and search the premises for weapons or insurgents. It is one of the basic counter insurgency operation. Other related operations are Cordon and knock and Cordon and kick....

 is a military tactic to cordon off an area and search the premises for weapons or insurgents. It is one of the basic counter-insurgency operations. Other related operations are Cordon and Knock and Cordon and Kick.

It has taken over the old term of a simple house search. It is part of new doctrine called Stability and Support Operations or SASO. It is a technique used where there is no hard intelligence of weapons in the house and therefore is less intense than a normal house search. It is used in urban neighborhoods. The purpose of the mission is to search a house with as little inconvenience to the resident family as possible.

Air operations

Air power can play an important role in counter-insurgency, capable of carrying out a wide range of operations:
  • Transportation in support of combattants and civilians alike, including casualty evacuations;
  • Intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance;
  • Psychological operations, through leaflet drops, loudspeakers, and radio broadcasts;
  • Air-to-ground attack against 'soft' targets.

Public diplomacy

In General David Petraeus
David Petraeus
David Howell Petraeus is the current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sworn in on September 6, 2011. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a four-star general serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander...

Counterinsurgency Field Manual
U.S. Army Field Manuals
U.S. Army Field Manuals are published by the United States Army's Army Publishing Directorate. As of 27 July 2007, some 542 field manuals were in use. They contain detailed information and how-tos for procedures important to soldiers serving in the field. They are usually available to the public at...

, one of the many tactics described to help win in counterinsurgency warfare involves the use of public diplomacy
Public diplomacy
In international relations, public diplomacy or people's diplomacy, broadly speaking, is the communication with foreign publics to establish a dialogue designed to inform and influence. There is no one definition of Public Diplomacy, and may be easier described than easily defined as definitions...

 through military means. Counterinsurgency is effective when it is integrated "into a comprehensive strategy employing all instruments of national power," including public diplomacy. The goal of COIN operations is to render the insurgents as ineffective and non-influential, by having strong and secure relations with the population of the host nation.

An understanding of the host nation and the environment that the COIN operations will take place in is essential. Public diplomacy in COIN warfare is only effective when there is a clear understanding of the culture and population at hand. One of the largest factors needed for defeating an insurgency involves understanding the populace, how they interact with the insurgents, how they interact with non-government organizations in the area, and how they view the counterinsurgency operations themselves.

Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

 is a common public diplomacy aspect that is emphasized in COIN warfare. Insurgents win their war by attacking internal will and the international opposition. In order to combat these tactics the counterinsurgency operations need to treat their prisoners and detainees humanely and according to American values and principles. By doing this, COIN operations show the host nation’s population that they can be trusted and that they are concerned about the well being of the population in order to be successful in warfare.

"Political, social, and economic programs are usually more valuable than conventional military operations in address the root causes of the conflict and undermining the insurgency." These programs are essential in order to gain the support of the population. These programs are designed to make the local population feel secure, safe, and more aligned with the counterinsurgency efforts; this enables the citizens of the host nation to trust the goals and purposes of the counterinsurgency efforts, as opposed to the insurgents’. A counterinsurgency is a battle of ideas and the implementation and integration of these programs is important for success. Social, political and economic programs should be coordinated and administered by the host nation’s leaders, as well. Successful COIN warfare allows the population to see that the counterinsurgency efforts are including the host nation in their re-building programs. The war is fought among the people and for the people between the insurgents and the counterinsurgents.

A counterinsurgency is won by utilizing strategic communications and information operations
Information warfare
The term Information Warfare is primarily an American concept involving the use and management of information technology in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent...

 successfully. A counterinsurgency is a competition of ideas, ideologies, and socio-political movements. In order to combat insurgent ideologies one must understand the values and characteristics of the ideology
An ideology is a set of ideas that constitutes one's goals, expectations, and actions. An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things , as in common sense and several philosophical tendencies , or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to...

 or religion. Additionally, counterinsurgency efforts need to understand the culture of which the insurgency resides, in order to strategically launch information and communication operations against the insurgent ideology or religion. Counterinsurgency information operatives need to also identify key audiences, communicators, and public leaders to know who to influence and reach out too with their information.
Information operations

Public diplomacy in information operations can only be achieved by a complete understanding of the culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 it is operating in.
Counterinsurgency operations must be able to perceive the world from the locals’ perspective. To develop a comprehensive cultural picture counterinsurgency efforts should invest in employing “media consultants, finance and business experts, psychologists, organizational network analysts, and scholars from a wide range of disciplines.” Most importantly, counterinsurgency efforts need to be able to understand why the local population is drawn into the insurgent ideology; like what aspects are appealing and how insurgents use information to draw their followers into the ideology. Counterinsurgency communication efforts need a baseline understanding of values, attitudes, and perceptions of the people in the area of operations to conduct successful public diplomacy to defeat the enemy.

Developing information and communication strategies involve providing a legitimate alternate ideology, improving security and economic opportunity, and strengthening family ties outside of the insurgency
An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents...

. In order to conduct public diplomacy through these means, counterinsurgency communication needs to match its deeds with its words. Information provided through public diplomacy during a counterinsurgency cannot lie, the information and communication to the people always has to be truthful and trustworthy in order to be effective at countering the insurgents. Public diplomacy in counterinsurgency to influence the public thoughts and ideas is a long time engagement and should not be done through negative campaigning about the enemy.

Conducting public diplomacy through relaying information and communicating with the public in a counterinsurgency is most successful when a conversation can happen between the counterinsurgency team and the local population of the area of operation. Building rapport with the public involves “listening, paying attention, and being responsive and proactive” which is sufficient for the local population to understand and trust the counterinsurgency efforts and vice versa. This relationship is stringent upon the counterinsurgents keeping their promises, providing security to the locals, and communicating their message directly and quickly in times of need.

Understanding and influencing the cognitive dimension of the local population is essential to winning counterinsurgency warfare. The people’s perception of legitimacy about the host nation and the foreign country’s counterinsurgency efforts is where success is determined. “The free flow of information present in all theaters via television, telephone, and Internet, can present conflicting messages and quickly defeat the intended effects.” Coordination between the counterinsurgency operations, the host nation, and the local media in information presented to the public is essential to showing and influencing how the local population perceives the counterinsurgency efforts and the host nation.

Public opinion
Public opinion
Public opinion is the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the adult population. Public opinion can also be defined as the complex collection of opinions of many different people and the sum of all their views....

, the media, and rumors influence how the people view counterinsurgency, the government hosting their efforts, and the host nation legitimacy. The use of public diplomacy to strategically relay the correct messages and information to the public is essential to success in a counterinsurgency operation. For example, close relationships with media members in the area is essential to ensure that the locals understand the counterinsurgency objectives and feel secure with the host nation government and the counterinsurgency efforts. If the local media is not in sync with the counterinsurgency operatives then they could spread incomplete or false information about the counterinsurgency campaign to the public.

“Given Al Qaeda’s global reach, the United States must develop a more integrated strategic communication strategy for counter-insurgency with its allies to diminish violent rhetoric, improve its image abroad, and detect, deter, and defeat this social movement at its many levels.” Information operations and communicative abilities are one of the largest and most influence aspects of public diplomacy within a counterinsurgency.


British forces were able to employ the relocation method with considerable success during the "Malayan Emergency
Malayan Emergency
The Malayan Emergency was a guerrilla war fought between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army , the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party, from 1948 to 1960....

". The Briggs Plan, implemented fully in 1950, relocated Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

Federation of Malaya
The Federation of Malaya is the name given to a federation of 11 states that existed from 31 January 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957...

 into protected "New Villages", designated by British forces. By the end of 1951, some 400,000 ethnic Chinese had moved into the fortifications. Of this population, the British forces were able to form a "Home Guard", armed for resistance against the Malayan Communist Party
Malayan Communist Party
The Malayan Communist Party , officially known as the Communist Party of Malaya , was founded in 1930 and laid down its arms in 1989. It is most famous for its role in the Malayan Emergency.-Formation:...

, an implementation mirrored by the Strategic Hamlet Program
Strategic Hamlet Program
The Strategic Hamlet Program was a plan by the governments of South Vietnam and the United States during the Vietnam War to combat the Communist insurgency by means of population transfer.In 1961, U.S...

 later used by US forces in South Vietnam. Despite British claims of a victory in the Malayan Emergency, military historian Martin van Creveld
Martin van Creveld
Martin Levi van Creveld is an Israeli military historian and theorist.Van Creveld was born in the Netherlands in the city of Rotterdam, and has lived in Israel since shortly after his birth. He holds degrees from the London School of Economics and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he has...

 has pointedly noted that the end result of the counterinsurgency, namely the withdrawal of British forces and establishment of an independent state, are identical to that of Aden
Aden is a seaport city in Yemen, located by the eastern approach to the Red Sea , some 170 kilometres east of Bab-el-Mandeb. Its population is approximately 800,000. Aden's ancient, natural harbour lies in the crater of an extinct volcano which now forms a peninsula, joined to the mainland by a...

, Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 and Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, which are not considered victories.


France had major counterinsurgency wars in its colonies in Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

 and Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

. McClintock cited the basic points of French doctrine as:
  • Quadrillage (an administrative grid of population and territory)
  • Ratissage (cordoning and “raking”)
  • Regroupement (relocating and closely controlling a suspect population)
  • ‘Tache d'huile' – The 'oil spot' strategy
  • Recruitment of local leaders and forces
  • Paramilitary organization and militias

Much of the thinking was informed by the work of earlier leading French theoreticians of colonial warfare and counter-insurgency, Marshals Bugeaud, Gallieni and Lyautey.

While McClintock cites the 1894 Algerian governor, Jules Cambon
Jules Cambon
Jules-Martin Cambon was a French diplomat.He began his career as a lawyer , served in the Franco-Prussian War and entered the civil service in 1871...

, as saying "By destroying the administration and local government we were also suppressing our means of action. ...The result is that we are today confronted by a sort of human dust on which we have no influence and in which movements take place which are unknown to us.“ Cambon's philosophy, however, did not seem to survive into the Algerian War of Independence, (1954–1962).


Post-WWII doctrine, as in Indochina, took a more drastic view of "Guerre Révolutionnaire", which presented an ideological and global war, with a commitment to total war. Countermeasures, in principle, needed to be both political and military; "No measure was too drastic to meet the new threat of revolution." French forces taking control from the Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese did not seem to negotiate seriously with nationalist elements in what was to become Vietnam,
and reaped the consequences of overconfidence at Dien Bien Phu
Dien Bien Phu
Điện Biên Phủ is a city in northwestern Vietnam. It is the capital of Dien Bien province, and is known for the events there during the First Indochina War, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, during which the region was a breadbasket for the Việt Minh.-Population:...


It occurred to various commanders that soldiers trained to operate as guerrillas would have a strong sense of how to fight guerrillas. Before the partition of French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

, French Groupement de Commandos Mixtes Aéroportés
Groupement de Commandos Mixtes Aéroportés
The Groupement de Commandos Mixtes Aéroportés commonly referred as just GCMA, was the "Action Service" of the SDECE French counter-intelligence service active during the Cold War...

 (GCMA), led by Roger Trinquier
Roger Trinquier
Roger Trinquier was a French Army officer during World War II, the First Indochina War and the Algerian War, serving mainly in airborne and Special forces units...

, took on this role, drawing on French experience with the Jedburgh teams. GCMA, operating in Tonkin
Tonkin , also spelled Tongkin, Tonquin or Tongking, is the northernmost part of Vietnam, south of China's Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces, east of northern Laos, and west of the Gulf of Tonkin. Locally, it is known as Bắc Kỳ, meaning "Northern Region"...

 and Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

 under French intelligence, was complemented by Commandos Nord Viêt-Nam in the North. In these missions, the SOF teams lived and fought with the locals. One Laotian, who became an officer, was Vang Pao
Vang Pao
Vang Pao was a Lieutenant General in the Royal Lao Army. He was an ethnic Hmong and a leader of the Hmong American community in the United States.-Early life:...

, who was to become a general in Hmong and Laotian operations in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 while the US forces increased their role.


The French counterinsurgency in colonial Algeria was a savage one. The 1957 Battle of Algiers
Battle of Algiers (1957)
The Battle of Algiers was a campaign of guerrilla warfare carried out by the National Liberation Front against the French Algerian authorities from late 1956 to late 1957. The conflict began as a series of hit-and-run attacks by the FLN against the French Police in Algiers. Violence escalated...

 resulted in 24,000 detentions, with most torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

d and an estimated 3,000 killed. It may have broken the FLN
FLN may refer to:* One of a number of organisations named National Liberation Front* The National Liberation Front * The National Liberation Front * The National Liberation Front of Chad...

 infrastructure in Algiers, but it also killed off French legitimacy as far as "hearts and minds" went.

Counter-insurgency requires an extremely capable intelligence infrastructure endowed with human sources and deep cultural knowledge. This contributes to the difficulty that foreign, as opposed to indigenous, powers have in counter-insurgent operations.
One of France's most influential theorists was Roger Trinquier
Roger Trinquier
Roger Trinquier was a French Army officer during World War II, the First Indochina War and the Algerian War, serving mainly in airborne and Special forces units...

. The Modern Warfare counterinsurgency strategy described by Trinquier, who had led anti-communist guerillas in Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

, was a strong influence on French efforts in Algeria.

Trinquier suggested three principles:
  1. separate the guerrilla from the population that supports him;
  2. occupy the zones that the guerrillas previously operated from, making the area dangerous for the insurgents and turning the people against the guerrilla movement; and
  3. coordinate actions over a wide area and for a long enough time that the guerrilla is denied access to the population centres that could support him.

Trinquier's view was that torture had to be extremely focused and limited, but many French officers considered its use corrosive to its own side. There were strong protests among French leaders: the Army’s most decorated officer, General Jacques Pâris de Bollardière
Jacques Pâris de Bollardière
Jacques Pâris de Bollardière was a French Army general, famous for his non-violent positions during the 60s.-Early life:...

, confronted General Jacques Massu
Jacques Massu
Jacques Émile Massu was a French general who fought in World War II, the First Indochina War, the Algerian War and the Suez crisis.-Early life:Jacques Massu was born in Châlons-sur-Marne to a family of military officers; his father was an artillery officer...

, the commander of French forces in the Battle of Algiers, over orders institutionalizing torture, as "an unleashing of deplorable instincts which no longer knew any limits." He issued an open letter condemning the danger to the army of the loss of its moral values "under the fallacious pretext of immediate expediency", and was imprisoned for sixty days.

As some of the French Army protested, other parts increased the intensity of their approach, which led to an attempted military coup against the French Fourth Republic
French Fourth Republic
The French Fourth Republic was the republican government of France between 1946 and 1958, governed by the fourth republican constitution. It was in many ways a revival of the Third Republic, which was in place before World War II, and suffered many of the same problems...

 itself. Massu and General Raoul Salan
Raoul Salan
Raoul Albin Louis Salan was a French Army general and the fourth French commanding general during the First Indochina War. Salan was one of four generals who organized the 1961 Algiers Putsch operation and then founded the Organisation de l'armée secrète....

 led a 1958 coup in Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

, demanding a new Republic under Charles de Gaulle
Charles de Gaulle
Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle was a French general and statesman who led the Free French Forces during World War II. He later founded the French Fifth Republic in 1958 and served as its first President from 1959 to 1969....

. When de Gaulle's policies toward Algeria, such as a 1961 referendum on Algerian self-determination, did not meet the expectations of the colonial officers, Salan formed the underground Organisation de l'armée secrète (OAS), a right-wing terrorist group, whose actions included a 1962 assassination attempt against de Gaulle himself.

Subsaharan Africa

France has had taken Barnett's Leviathan role in Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

 and Ivory Coast, the latter on two occasions, most significantly in 2002-2003. The situation with France and Ivory Coast is not a classic FID situation, as France attacked Ivorian forces that had attacked UN peacekeepers.


There have been many insurgencies in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 from its creation in 1947. The Kashmir insurgency, which started by 1989, was brought under control by Indian government and violence has been reduced. The Army's elite Rashtriya Rifles
Rashtriya Rifles
The Rashtriya Rifles or RR are a branch of the Indian Army placed under the authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs....

 (RR) played a major role in putting down the insurgency. The RR was well supported by Central Reserve Police Force
Central Reserve Police Force
The Central Reserve Police Force also known as CRPF is the largest of India's Central Armed Police Forces. It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India. The CRPF's primary role lies in assisting the State/Union Territories in police operations to maintain...

 (CRPF), Border Security Force
Border Security Force
The Border Security Force is a border patrol agency of the Government of India. Established on December 1, 1965, it is one of the Central Armed Police Forces. Its primary role is to guard India's international borders during peacetime and also prevent transnational crime...

 (BSF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police
Indo-Tibetan Border Police
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police is an Indian force conceived on October 24, 1962 for security along the India's border with the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, border covering 2115  kilometres...

 (ITBP) and state government police.

The Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) is located in the northeastern town of Vairengte
Vairengte is a town in the Kolasib district of Mizoram state, India. It is located about 130 km from the state capital Aizawl. It is primarily known for the Counterinsurgency and Jungle Warfare School , which is considered as one of world's most prestigious special warfare training...

 in the Indian state of Mizoram
Mizoram is one of the Seven Sister States in North Eastern India, sharing borders with the states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur and with the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh and Burma. Mizoram became the 23rd state of India on 20 February 1987. Its capital is Aizawl. Mizoram is located in the...

. Personnel from countries such as the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

, Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 and Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 have attended this school. High quality graduate level training by a joint staff of highly trained special operators at Camp Taji Phoenix Academy and the Counterinsurgency Center For Excellence is provided in Iraq. as well as many Iraqi Officers.

United States

The United States has conducted counterinsurgency campaigns during the Philippine–American War, the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, the post-2001 War in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

, and the Iraq War. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in increased interest in counterinsurgency within the American military, exemplified by the 2006 publication of a new counterinsurgency field manual
Field Manual
__FORCETOC__Field Manual is the second solo album by Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, released on January 29, 2008 on Barsuk Records. The album is Walla's first under his own name...

, FM 3-24.

See also

  • Civilian casualty ratio
    Civilian casualty ratio
    In armed conflicts, the civilian casualty ratio is the ratio of civilian casualties to combatant casualties, or total casualties...

  • Collective punishment
    Collective punishment
    Collective punishment is the punishment of a group of people as a result of the behavior of one or more other individuals or groups. The punished group may often have no direct association with the other individuals or groups, or direct control over their actions...

  • Death squad
    Death squad
    A death squad is an armed military, police, insurgent, or terrorist squad that conducts extrajudicial killings, assassinations, and forced disappearances of persons as part of a war, insurgency or terror campaign...

  • Eizenstat and closing gaps
  • False flag
    False flag
    False flag operations are covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is flying the flag of a country other than one's own...

  • Gladio
  • Guerrilla warfare
    Guerrilla warfare
    Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

  • Human rights violations
  • Internally displaced people 
  • Irregular Warfare
    Irregular warfare
    Irregular warfare is warfare in which one or more combatants are irregular military rather than regular forces. Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare, and so is asymmetric warfare....

  • Kilcullen's Pillars
  • Logical line of operation
    Logical line of operation
    A logical line of operation is an American military concept related to counter-insurgency doctrine. In the traditional sense, a line of operations is "an imaginary line between the force's base of operations and the objective." In contrast, a logical line of operations is one in which...

  • Low intensity conflict
    Low intensity conflict
    Low intensity conflict is the use of military forces applied selectively and with restraint to enforce compliance with the policies or objectives of the political body controlling the military force...

  • Anti-partisan operations in World War II
    Anti-partisan operations in World War II
    Anti-partisan operations were operations against the various resistance movements during World War II by the Axis powers...

  • Strategic Hamlet
  • Fireforce
    Fireforce is a variant of the tactic of vertical envelopment of a target by helicopter-borne and parachute infantry developed by the Rhodesian Security Forces during the Rhodesian Bush War...

U.S. specific:
  • SEAL Team Six
  • Special Activities Division
    Special Activities Division
    The Special Activities Division is a division in the United States Central Intelligence Agency's National Clandestine Service responsible for covert operations known as "special activities"...

  • Delta Force
    Delta Force
    1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta is one of the United States' secretive Tier One counter-terrorism and Special Mission Units. Commonly known as Delta Force, Delta, or The Unit, it was formed under the designation 1st SFOD-D, and is officially referred to by the Department of Defense...

Police adaptations of model:
  • C3 Policing
    C3 policing
    C3 Policing or Counter Criminal Continuum Policing is a modification of counter-insurgency methods used by U.S. Armed Forces adapted for use by law enforcement agencies...

External links

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