Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 9

Search results for: counterinsurgency

9 Pakistan’s Counterinsurgency Operations: A Case Study of Swat

Authors: Arshad Ali

Abstract:

The Taliban insurgency in Swat which started apparently as a social movement in 2004 transformed into an anti-Pakistan Islamist insurgency by joining hands with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) upon its formation in 2007. It quickly spread beyond Swat by 2009 making Swat the second stronghold of TTP after FATA. It prompted the Pakistan military to launch a full-scale counterinsurgency military operation code named Rah-i-Rast to regain the control of Swat. Operation Rah-i-Rast was successful not only in restoring the writ of the State but more importantly in creating a consensus against the spread of Taliban insurgency in Pakistan at political, social and military levels. This operation became a test case for civilian government and military to seek for a sustainable solution combating the TTP insurgency in the north-west of Pakistan. This study analyzes why the counterinsurgency operation Rah-i-Rast was successful and why the previous ones came into failure. The study also explores factors which created consensus against the Taliban insurgency at political and social level as well as reasons which hindered such a consensual approach in the past. The study argues that the previous initiatives failed due to various factors including Pakistan army’s lack of comprehensive counterinsurgency model, weak political will and public support, and states negligence. Also, the initial counterinsurgency policies were ad-hoc in nature fluctuating between military operations and peace deals. After continuous failure, the military revisited its approach to counterinsurgency in the operation Rah-i-Rast. The security forces learnt from their past experiences and developed a pragmatic counterinsurgency model: ‘clear, hold, build, and transfer.’ The military also adopted the population-centric approach to provide security to the local people. This case Study of Swat evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the Pakistan's counterinsurgency operations as well as peace agreements. It will analyze operation Rah-i-Rast in the light of David Galula’s model of counterinsurgency. Unlike existing literature, the study underscores the bottom up approach adopted by the Pakistan’s military and government by engaging the local population to sustain the post-operation stability in Swat. More specifically, the study emphasizes on the hybrid counterinsurgency model “clear, hold, and build and Transfer” in Swat.

Keywords: Insurgency, Counterinsurgency, clear, hold, build, transfer

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8 The Role of Police in Counterinsurgency: A Case Study of Tripura

Authors: Yagnik Patel

Abstract:

This paper will analyze and explain two main objectives. First, it will examine the emergence of the insurgency in the state of Tripura. The State of Tripura was facing the full blow of insurgency problem since 1978 after the formation of Tripura National Volunteers (TNV). But, the roots of this insurgency were found even before 1978. This study will analyze the roots and trajectory of insurgency in the Tripura. Second, it will examine the role played by the police in counterinsurgency in the State of Tripura. Even though state police are mandated for the maintenance of the law and order and public order (like every police), the state police of Tripura have played a significant role in curbing the insurgency by enhancing their counterinsurgency (COIN) capabilities and re-structuring the new comprehensive COIN doctrine. And by the end of May 2015, the State Government has lifted The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from the State of Tripura, as declaiming of the violence. The fight against the insurgency, usually done by the military or para-military, but nowadays the police organization is also becoming a vital state apparatus. After Punjab police and Andhra Pradesh police, Tripura police have also successfully curbed the insurgency from the state. This was the third time when successful counterinsurgency did by the state police in India. This has shown the importance of the police in the fight against the insurgency. In this regard, this paper will use both quantitative and qualitative research methods for an explanatory case study to analyze and explain the roots, causes and the trajectory of insurgency in the state of Tripura and the role played by the police in COIN in Tripura. Along with this, the paper will also examine the successful ‘Police Model of Tripura’.

Keywords: counterinsurgency, insurgency, police, Tripura state rifles

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7 The Evolution of Strike and Intelligence Functions in Special Operations Forces

Authors: John Hardy

Abstract:

The expansion of special operations forces (SOF) in the twenty-first century is often discussed in terms of the size and disposition of SOF units. Research regarding the number SOF personnel, the equipment SOF units procure, and the variety of roles and mission that SOF fulfill in contemporary conflicts paints a fascinating picture of changing expectations for the use of force. A strong indicator of the changing nature of SOF in contemporary conflicts is the fusion of strike and intelligence functions in the SOF in many countries. What were once more distinct roles on the kind of battlefield generally associated with the concept of conventional warfare have become intermingled in the era of persistent conflict which SOF face. This study presents a historical analysis of the co-evolution of the intelligence and direct action functions carried out by SOF in counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, and training and mentoring missions between 2004 and 2016. The study focuses primarily on innovation in the US military and the diffusion of key concepts to US allies first, and then more broadly afterward. The findings show that there were three key phases of evolution throughout the period of study, each coinciding with a process of innovation and doctrinal adaptation. The first phase was characterized by the fusion of intelligence at the tactical and operational levels. The second phase was characterized by the industrial counterterrorism campaigns used by US SOF against irregular enemies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The third phase was characterized by increasing forward collection of actionable intelligence by SOF force elements in the course of direct action raids. The evolution of strike and intelligence functions in SOF operations between 2004 and 2016 was significantly influenced by reciprocity. Intelligence fusion led to more effective targeting, which then increased intelligence collection. Strike and intelligence functions were then enhanced by greater emphasis on intelligence exploitation during operations, which further increased the effectiveness of both strike and intelligence operations.

Keywords: counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, intelligence, irregular warfare, military operations, special operations forces

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6 Understanding Human Rights Violations in the Fight against Boko Haram: A Historical Perspective

Authors: Anthony Mpiani

Abstract:

Recent media and NGO reports suggest that human rights violations have been a salient characteristic of the government Joint Task Force (JTF) in the war on Boko Haram. However, there has been relatively scant scholarly engagement with the forms of abuses committed by the JTF against civilians and why such human rights violations occur. The focus of this paper is to analyse the various human rights violations committed by JTF in the war against Boko Haram. Employing a historical approach, it argues that the JTF's human rights violations is shaped by the philosophy of colonial policing in Nigeria. Consequently, the failure of successive post-colonial governments to ideologically transform policing is accountable for the human rights abuses being witnessed in Nigeria today. A philosophical transformation in Nigeria's security forces especially the police and military is a prerequisite for ending human rights abuses in the fight against Boko Haram.

Keywords: colonialism, policing, joint task force, counterinsurgency, Boko Haram, human rights violations

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5 Human Security Providers in Fragile State under Asymmetric War Conditions

Authors: Luna Shamieh

Abstract:

Various players are part of the game in an asymmetric war, all making efforts to provide human security to their own adherents. Although a fragile state is not able to provide sufficient and comprehensive services, it still provides special services and security to the elite; the insurgents as well provide services and security to their associates. The humanitarian organisations, on the other hand, provide some fundamental elements of human security, but only in the regions, they are able to access when possible (if possible). The counterinsurgents (security forces of the state and intervention forces) operate within a narrow band defined by the vision of the responsibility to protect and the perspective of the resolution of the conflict through combat; hence, the possibility to provide human security is shaken at this end. This article examines how each player provides human security from the perspective of freedom from want in order to secure basic and strategic needs, freedom from fear through providing protection against all kinds of violence, and the freedom to live in dignity. It identifies a vicious cycle caused by the intervention of the different players causing a centrifugal force that may lead to disintegration of the nation under war.

Keywords: asymmetric war, counterinsurgency, fragile state, human security, insurgency

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4 United against Drugs: Divergent Counternarcotic Strategies of US Government Agencies in Afghanistan

Authors: Anthony George Armiger II

Abstract:

This paper focuses on the counternarcotic strategies of US government agencies in Afghanistan from 2001-2014. Despite a heavy US presence in the country, Afghanistan currently accounts for 80% of opium production worldwide and remains a key contributor to the global drug market. This paper argues that the divergent counternarcotic strategies of various US government agencies on the ground in Afghanistan are a product of the organizational differences amongst those agencies and that those differences can challenge the implementation of counternarcotics policies in Afghanistan. To gain a more in-depth perspective, this paper analyzes the counternarcotic strategies of two US government agencies in Afghanistan; the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Utilizing the framework of the organizational behavior model of organizational theory, this paper will highlight the varying organizational interests, opinions, standard operating procedures, and routines of both of the government agencies. The paper concludes with implications on counternarcotics, as well as the counterinsurgency in Afghanistan and provides recommendations for future research on foreign policy and counternarcotics.

Keywords: Afghanistan, drug policy, organizational theory, United States foreign policy

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3 Enhancing Strategic Counter-Terrorism: Understanding How Familial Leadership Influences the Resilience of Terrorist and Insurgent Organizations in Asia

Authors: Andrew D. Henshaw

Abstract:

The research examines the influence of familial and kinship based leadership on the resilience of politically violent organizations. Organizations of this type frequently fight in the same conflicts though are called 'terrorist' or 'insurgent' depending on political foci of the time, and thus different approaches are used to combat them. The research considers them correlated phenomena with significant overlap and identifies strengths and vulnerabilities in resilience processes. The research employs paired case studies to examine resilience in organizations under significant external pressure, and achieves this by measuring three variables. 1: Organizational robustness in terms of leadership and governance. 2. Bounce-back response efficiency to external pressures and adaptation to endogenous and exogenous shock. 3. Perpetuity of operational and attack capability, and political legitimacy. The research makes three hypotheses. First, familial/kinship leadership groups have a significant effect on organizational resilience in terms of informal operations. Second, non-familial/kinship organizations suffer in terms of heightened security transaction costs and social economics surrounding recruitment, retention, and replacement. Third, resilience in non-familial organizations likely stems from critical external supports like state sponsorship or powerful patrons, rather than organic resilience dynamics. The case studies pair familial organizations with non-familial organizations. Set 1: The Haqqani Network (HQN) - Pair: Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). Set 2: Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) - Pair: The Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). Case studies were selected based on three requirements, being: contrasting governance types, exposure to significant external pressures and, geographical similarity. The case study sets were examined over 24 months following periods of significantly heightened operational activities. This enabled empirical measurement of the variables as substantial external pressures came into force. The rationale for the research is obvious. Nearly all organizations have some nexus of familial interconnectedness. Examining familial leadership networks does not provide further understanding of how terrorism and insurgency originate, however, the central focus of the research does address how they persist. The sparse attention to this in existing literature presents an unexplored yet important area of security studies. Furthermore, social capital in familial systems is largely automatic and organic, given at birth or through kinship. It reduces security vetting cost for recruits, fighters and supporters which lowers liabilities and entry costs, while raising organizational efficiency and exit costs. Better understanding of these process is needed to exploit strengths into weaknesses. Outcomes and implications of the research have critical relevance to future operational policy development. Increased clarity of internal trust dynamics, social capital and power flows are essential to fracturing and manipulating kinship nexus. This is highly valuable to external pressure mechanisms such as counter-terrorism, counterinsurgency, and strategic intelligence methods to penetrate, manipulate, degrade or destroy the resilience of politically violent organizations.

Keywords: Counterinsurgency (COIN), counter-terrorism, familial influence, insurgency, intelligence, kinship, resilience, terrorism

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2 Role of Obama's Administration Counter-Terrorism Strategies towards Pakistan

Authors: Ahmed Bux Jamali

Abstract:

The purpose of this study is to examine and evaluate the overall counterterrorism cooperation during Obama Administration towards Pakistan. It aims and focuses on the performances and measures taken by United States of America during President Obama in office in order to eradicate terrorism from Pakistan. Being a grave national security threat, terrorism played a disastrous role in the domestic peace and stability of both countries. For the sake of curbing this menace in South Asia in general and Pakistan in particular, the role of Obama Administration is viable and results-oriented despite major ups and downs in Pakistan U.S Relations during that period of time. Obama administration formulated policies when he comes to office in 2009 by looking at the already efforts done by Bush Administration to counterterrorism from Pakistan. Obama’s foreign policy was revolving around defense and diplomacy when it comes to dealing with Pakistan. The concept of smart power was indeed a core principle of Obama’s administration to gain the strategic objectives in Pakistan. Obama’s strategies in terms of providing military aid packages and various assistance programs, working on institutional building and strengthening the economy helped Pakistan in strengthening the military capabilities to go for militant operation in the safe havens area in the tribal areas of Pakistan. It further helped building institutional mechanism in the governmental policies to counter terrorism and militancy. The training of combat forces, artillery, and equipment provided by US proved fatal for the militant terrorist organizations seeking hideouts in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Resultantly, many top leaders of al Qaeda and many affiliated militant groups were captured and given to US as well. Despite many ups and downs in the bilateral relations on various domestic and international issues, both countries didn’t compromise the elimination of terrorist phenomena from Pakistan which was indeed a great success of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism and counterinsurgency strategies in the long run.

Keywords: counterterrorism cooperation, national security strategy, Obama administration, Pakistan-US relations

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1 Political Coercion from Within: Theoretical Convergence in the Strategies of Terrorist Groups, Insurgencies, and Social Movements

Authors: John Hardy

Abstract:

The early twenty-first century national security environment has been characterized by political coercion. Despite an abundance of political commentary on the various forms of non-state coercion leveraged against the state, there is a lack of literature which distinguishes between the mechanisms and the mediums of coercion. Frequently non-state movements seeking to coerce the state are labelled by their tactics, not their strategies. Terrorists, insurgencies and social movements are largely defined by the ways in which they seek to influence the state, rather than by their political aims. This study examines the strategies of coercion used by non-state actors against states. This approach includes terrorist groups, insurgencies, and social movements who seek to coerce state politics. Not all non-state actors seek political coercion, so not all examples of different group types are considered. This approach also excludes political coercion by states, focusing on the non-state actor as the primary unit of analysis. The study applies a general theory of political coercion, which is defined as attempts to change the policies or action of a polity against its will, to the strategies employed by terrorist groups, insurgencies, and social movements. This distinguishes non-state actors’ strategic objectives from their actions and motives, which are variables that are often used to differentiate between types of non-state actors and the labels commonly used to describe them. It also allows for a comparative analysis of theoretical perspectives from the disciplines of terrorism, insurgency and counterinsurgency, and social movements. The study finds that there is a significant degree of overlap in the way that different disciplines conceptualize the mechanism of political coercion by non-state actors. Studies of terrorism and counterterrorism focus more on the notions of cost tolerance and collective punishment, while studies of insurgency focus on a contest of legitimacy between actors, and social movement theory tend to link political objectives, social capital, and a mechanism of influence to leverage against the state. Each discipline has a particular vernacular for the mechanism of coercion, which is often linked to the means of coercion, but they converge on three core theoretical components of compelling a polity to change its policies or actions: exceeding resistance to change, using political or violent punishments, and withholding legitimacy or consent from a government.

Keywords: counter terrorism, homeland security, insurgency, political coercion, social movement theory, terrorism

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