Military History | How To Make War | Wars Around the World Rules of Use How to Behave on an Internet Forum
Commandos and Special Operations Discussion Board
   Return to Topic Page
Subject: Insurgency: Analysis and Theoretical Assertions
DGreat1    9/30/2008 10:28:32 PM
Insurgency: Talking Points and Theoretical Assertions By Terrance Jones Insurgents have limited aims such as separation, autonomy, or alteration of a particular policy. Steven Metz, Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in the 21st Century While it is true that insurgents have set their sights on attaining autonomy, it would be a mistake to characterize that achievement as limited in scope and nature, as autonomy facilitates an environment where insurgents can project power. For example, insurgent based autonomy allows insurgent groups to act as proxy war subordinates to a given nation. In this scenario, a given nation can use insurgent groups in a provocative manner when deemed necessary while retaining deniability. Insurgents try to postpone decisive action, avoid defeat, sustain themselves, expand their support, and hope that, over time, the power balance changes in their favor. Steven Metz, Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in the 21st Century This is true, as insurgents are cognizant of the disdain that many people have for protracted wars that lead to costly war expenditures and significant war casualties/fatalities. However, using the current war in Iraq as a model, we have a paradigm shift where the insurgents are hoping for a swift end to hostilities due to the fact that America has made mistakes in the execution of the war that favors the insurgents should forces withdraw from Iraq in the near future (2011) as planned. These mistakes have included totally destroying the infrastructure of the Iraqi Army, failing to institute a divergent distribution strategy that would prevent the Shiite majority from obtaining a monopoly like influence over government operations, and the failure to disarm and decisively defeat armed insurgents that would threaten the new government of Iraq in its infancy stages. Because of these mistakes, America must now opt for a protracted conflict that will allow them to correct these deficiencies. It is less an assessment of a preferred future that drives insurgents or insurgent supporters than an assessment of who will prevail¯the insurgents or the regime. Steven Metz, Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in the 21st Century This is often true, however, we now have a paradigm shift in Iraq where Shiite based insurgency shares the will, intentions and inclinations of the Shiite majority controlled government of Iraq. Both the insurgents and the regime are proxy war partners, therefore proving that the failure to eliminate the insurgents facilitated the existence of the proxy war relationship between the two. Often insurgents have been able to seize and hold the strategic initiative due to inherently greater flexibility and absence of ethical or legal constraints. Steven Metz, Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in the 21st Century This is true as Iraqi insurgents have taken advantage of the fact that the American led coalition has not deemed it appropriate to institute and implement a hard pursuit strategy that is all encompassing and exhaustive in its continuity. In fact, the coalition has done the unthinkable in many instances by allowing seasonal reprieves in order to sidestep the realities of war (hardship, casualties, etc). Insurgents have used these reprieves to recruit, train and reconstitute its configurative posture in Iraq. 20th-century insurgency was a form of proxy conflict caused by the nuclear stalemate between the superpowers. Because direct confrontation between the West and East risked escalation to the thermonuclear level, proxy conflict was considered a safe option. Steven Metz, Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in the 21st Century 21st-century insurgency is a form of proxy conflict as well, as Hezbollah and Hamas are an example of state sponsored proxy war subordinates. It is also important to note that proxy war conflicts are no longer considered a safe option due to the emergence of Pakistan as the first state sponsor of terrorism to acquire a nuclear weapons capability. Iran is poised to become the second state sponsor of terrorism to acquire nuclear weapons. This paradigm shift increases the likelihood that nuclear weapons can be given to an insurgent based proxy war subordinate of a state sponsor of terrorism with nuclear weapons capabilities. Proliferation is also a concern in Southeast Asia, as North Korea has opted to walk away from the six party talks that were geared towards disarmament in regards to North Korea’s nuclear deterrent. North Korea’s decision to continue on a course of proliferation may have a ripple effect in the region amongst neighbors seeking to use proliferation as a way to ensure their safety. Modern insurgents may never develop enough military power to undertake conventional operations and thus have to rely on terrorism and psychological and political means. Steven Metz, Insurgency and Counter Insurgency in the 21st Century It would be a mistake to underes
Quote    Reply

Show Only Poster Name and Title     Newest to Oldest
DGreat1       10/1/2008 6:03:09 PM
It is clear that insurgent operations are only viable in areas where the government forces are too weak to keep control.  The areas cited in the original posting - Palestine, Lebanon - have weak centralized government and poor control over the areas where the insurgent forces are strongest.  The same goes for Afghanistan, Pakistan and in Iraq.Once the local government becomes strong enough to challenge the insurgent operations - they fade very quickly.
This is exactly why I think that we should have disarmed and decisively defeated the insurgents by instituting a year round hard pursuit strategy before setting up a new government instead  of giving the insurgents seasonal reprieves from which they could recruit, train and reconstitute themselves in addition to weakening the government in its infancy stages through attacks and or threats of the same. Therefore, we created an environment where the government will remain weak and under constant threat. These conditions are tailor made for an Iranian mentorship of Iraq should we pull American forces out of Iraq in 2011 as planned. Now America must sell the idea that a protracted conflict in Iraq is in the best interest of America, as more time is needed to correct the mistakes that I have noted. Do you see the paradigm shift? The asymmetrical warfare waging insurgents are hoping for a swift end to hostilities while the conventional force-America is depending on selling the idea of a protracted conflict in order to obtain some semblance of victory. This goes against conventional wisdom in regards to how best to wage insurgency warfare, however, it gives America its best and only chance for a clear and decisive victory.  
Quote    Reply