Small Wars Journal

counterinsurgency

Irregular Warfare Isn’t Going Away, Thai Counterinsurgency Lessons Matter

Despite America shifting its national security focus from global terrorism and insurgency to conventional, near peer threats such as Russia and China, Irregular Warfare (IW) isn’t going away. Official US national security strategy will still aim to counter global movements such as ISIS and al Qaeda, Foreign Internal Defense will remain a key US Special Forces mission, and IW will continue to be a part of Russian, Iranian, Pakistani, and Chinese hybrid warfare strategies.

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Legitimacy as Political Capital in Insurgency

At its very core, insurgent warfare is a conflict between competing claims to legitimate governance over a people or territory. The enduring viability of counterinsurgency doctrine thus lies in understanding the factors that contribute to the legitimacy of a regime, and how they are mobilised to engender public resilience and popular support for insurgents’ actions.

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The Bolivian Insurgency of 1966-1967: Che Guevara’s Final Failure

On October 9th, 1967 at 1:45 PM, Colonel Joaquin Zetenento announced to the world that Che Guevara was dead. Many were surprised to hear the news – and it was even more surprising that he died in Bolivia of all places. Questions began to swirl around his death while world leaders began to take sides concerning his legacy. Some, such as Cuba’s Fidel Castro, publicly mourned his death and vowed to continue Guevara’s vision of global revolution.

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Moro Separatism in the Philippines: The Strategic Failure of a Promising Counterinsurgency

COIN strategy in the Philippines has focused on tactical, reactionary successes against insurgent groups, and failed to build the appropriate political and economic capacity to effectively address the grievances of the local population. Without a coordinated, multi-faceted COIN strategy, incidents of violence will continue to occur on Mindanao as the population drifts further away from government control and into the influence of insurgent organizations.

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Advise, Assist and Enable in Iraq: It’s a Human Thing

Over the fourteen months from September 2016 to November 2017, the Iraqi Security Forces wrestled their nation from the clutches of the Islamic State in some of the fiercest and most brutal urban combat experienced since World War Two. In May 2017, the Australian Special Operations Task Group Rotation VII took over the great work of previous rotations in advising, assisting and enabling the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service, our primary partners.

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The Sinai Insurgency: The Next ISIS Crisis? SWJED Mon, 08/27/2018 - 12:12am
The Sinai conflict possesses all the traits of a robust insurgency, a human rights disaster, and the prerequisite conditions to escalate outside the peninsula. Strategies are based on resources, and resource limitations necessitate a focus on such issues as ISIS in Syria. However, external states cannot turn away from the situation. Europe and the United States should challenge human rights abuses and push the Egyptian authorities to reform their counterinsurgency tactics.

Insurgent Relief and Assistance Teams: The Free Burma Rangers Organize-Train-Equip-Sustain Model

Insurgents have a symbiotic relationship with their popular support base. The people provide money, food/supplies, new recruits, and intelligence while the insurgents provide protection, advancement of social, economic, and political aims, and social services, e.g., education and health care. Oppressive regimes attempt to separate the insurgents from their popular support base, that is according to Mao Zedong, to dry up/divert the water (popular support base) in which the fish (insurgents) swim. The FBR organize-train-equip model design is worthy of study by the unconventional warfare community for its potential applicability to support insurgences through strengthening the bonds and rapport between insurgents and their popular support base.

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