Share this Post
Interviewing Tactics in Counterinsurgency
by Stacy S. Lamon, Ph.D., Nahama
Broner, Ph.D., John Hollywood, Ph.D., and COL Billy McFarland, USAR
Download the full article
There is a recent growing body of literature on strategic, operational and theoretical
approaches to interacting with insurgents, as well as official documentation on
the topic. Though there is demand for it, often from junior officers, surprisingly
little attention is given to the applied, boots-on-the-ground questions of "How
do I do it? Who do I ask? What do I ask them?" and"How do I ask it?"
Not since Galula's 1964 manual on counterinsurgency has a basic hands-on approach,
written for the user, been offered. Using techniques from criminology, police investigation,
military science, psychology, and social network analysis, as well as practices
learned in the field, this article provides a framework for organizing tactics of
how to conduct interviews in non-controlled settings with the uninvolved man or
woman in the street and the bystander or victim aware of insurgent activities, as
well as the non-combatant collaborator and functionary of an insurgency, and a framework
for interviews in semi-controlled settings such as government or police offices.
In effect, this article walks the reader through the interview process step-by-step,
question-by-question, from planning to execution to analysis. In doing so,
it provides a basic tactical answer to the question "How do I do it?" -- This
is how it can be done.
Download the full article
Dr. Stacy S. Lamon, a clinical and forensic psychologist and research scientist,
is currently a senior development advisor to the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) in Iraq.
Dr. Nahama Broner as a senior research psychologist at RTI International and
adjunct Associate Professor at New York University researches violence (victimization
and perpetration), public health and safety risk management interventions of offender
populations, and the translation of research to practice.
Dr. John Hollywood is an operations researcher at the RAND Corporation, where
he studies intelligence collection and analysis methods to preempt violent attacks
in the areas of crime prevention, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency.
COL Billy McFarland, USAR, is the Assistant Chief of the U.S. Army's Foreign
Area Officer Proponent, the Pentagon office responsible for the design, support
and advocacy for the Army's Foreign Area Officers -- the language, regional and political-military experts serving commanders, Defense agencies, and Embassy Country Teams around the globe.