End of an era counterinsurgency (Stratfor, USA)

South American military for years discussed the need for counter-insurgency operations. Based on a world shaped by the Vietnam War, many in the military have long been reluctant to counterinsurgency operations. Others view such operations as inevitable component of future U.S. wars. The debate is between those who believe that the purpose of conventional armed forces — defeat the ordinary armed forces of the enemy, and those who think that classical military conflicts will increasingly give way to conflicts similar nedavneshnim counterinsurgency operations. In similar operations conflicts goal is the transformation of the occupied society in order to undermine the position of the rebels.

In order to extract the essence of the debate, it is necessary to realize that the counterinsurgency actions are not the kind of war — is a strategy applied disproportionately strong common military force to conduct asymmetric warfare. As is apparent from the name, operation is a response to insurgent acts — the type of asymmetric conflict, in which small groups linked to the occupied society, participate in order to defeat superior to the power of ordinary military. Typically, the rebels are very motivated — in another they rapidly lose — and often their intelligence works better than the intelligence services of foreign invaders. Small groups of rebels with their good intelligence can avoid facing the more massive the ordinary armed forces and are able to strike at them at their own discretion. Usually there is no hope that the rebels prevail against the forces of invaders by the use of direct military force. But the underlying assumption similar strategy is that the occupying forces are less enthusiastic in the final of the war than the insurgents, because over time the inability to defeat the rebels force the occupants to leave.

According to counterinsurgency theory, force insurgency lies in the relationship between the rebels and the rest of the population. Links provide a base for logistics and intelligence apparatus. They also provide shelter, because they allow the rebels to connect with the local population and disappear in the event of pressure from the invaders. According to counterinsurgency theory, the destruction of this relationship is of mandatory. This requires the population to provide economic incentives to make a deal with his minions and protecting population from the rebels, who may start punitive operations as a result of cooperation of the population with the occupation forces.

The weakness of counterinsurgency theory is the assumption that population turn away from the insurgency for economic reasons, or that the forces leading counterinsurgency operations will be able to protect the population from the insurgents. Some values, such as religion and nationalism are very necessary in some societies, and the ability of the occupying power to change these values is small. It does not matter how useful, sincere and peaceful is occupying force. Moreover, to protect population from the rebels hard. Most insurgents are spouses, brothers and toddlers peaceful inhabitants. Population can aspire to an economic benefit that is offered by the occupying power, but that does not mean that citizens will betray or substitute their own friends and relatives. In the end, deceptive assumption that the mass of strangers in a position to do more than scare people. The extent of this intimidation is also unclear.

The candidacy of counterinsurgency?

Of course, there is another plane of asymmetrical warfare, which contains a guerrilla war and special operations. In the framework of the war itself perfectly cooked light infantry forces landed with a mission and do not depend on the local population. Instead of such forces avoid contact with the population, existing and working, using their own stocks or stocks acquired at the least contact with the local population. Noteworthy that no matter which side can use a similar strategy. Most important in the assessment of the guerrilla war from the perspective of counterinsurgency is that this strategy — not only for the rebels. It may be a possible candidate counterinsurgency operations.

Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan have shown that South American military is not quite good in counter-insurgency operations. It can be argued that the United States should do their best opportunities in the conduct of counterinsurgency operations, but not enough that shows that this can be. But there is another option of war with ground-based units, and specifically in the form of the U.S. armed forces are strong. In another embodiment, this does not provide the zeal to, to win over the population — it is aimed at achieving a very specific military objectives: the destruction of objects to intimidate, engaging in military action and the probable destruction of enemy forces, including the rebels.

Special purpose forces are very useful for services similar goals, but we must also take into account other forces. U.S. Marine Corps — a good example of this. Replaced in order to occupy the area, and just instead of trying to change public opinion, these forces are doing relatively mundane mission malehankih groups. Their goal — to use military force within a very specific task, avoiding contact with the population and dealing a blow to the opposition forces and objects. The best example of this can be a counter-terrorist operations or the assault of certain objects.

Such operations are economically profitable and do not require the occupation. More importantly, such operations are designed Makarov, so as not to entail political consequences, curses long counter-insurgency operations. The candidacy of counterinsurgency operations is the avoidance of war and occupation in a painstaking definition more limited missions.

In order to illustrate these operations, take the example of what we consider one of the important poyavlyuschihsya threat: the possibility of non-state actors acquiring international system of ground-based anti-ship missiles. Globalism leads to an increase in maritime trade. We have followed the spread of various types of guns in the middle of non-state actors. Just imagine what kind freeware tools will be mobile land-based anti-ship missiles. Guerrilla or insurgent group armed similar systems can use the vegetation as a cover for traveling and to strike at warships. In fact, we've already watched several incidents in which teams used a similar strategy. "Hezbollah" acted exactly as during operations against Israel in 2006. Pirates off the coast of Africa is the danger of non-state maritime transport of goods, even though they have not benefited from similar orudiem.My litsezreem such a possibility in the case of the use of boats with suicide bombers, swims off the coast of Yemen.

In a world of many cramped sea straits — in a similar "bottleneck" the movement of ships is limited, and they are in the range of reach for the anti systems located on the shore. Certain restrictions, for example, Hormuz, and Malacca Straits of Gibraltar, are natural phenomena, while the Suez and Panama canals built by man and is very vulnerable to the use of the least sophisticated weapons than anti-ship missiles. These sea passages, and other fundamental coastal zones, show the vulnerability of the global economy to municipal and non-participants to the international system. Their capture will be a logical transition to the next level after piracy.

The provision of marine escorts to protect commercial ships will not solve the problem of. Force support, may not even be able to poruha land-based aggressors, whose residence may be unclear. Air strikes can be, but we have the example of places like Kosovo, realized that masking is an effective means of dealing with airstrikes, despite its flaws. < br>
In these criteria will be useful in varying the amount of independent groups. South American Marines have sufficient strength in order to resist the enemies in a relatively large area, ideal for such operations.

Teams for specific purposes may be needed to defeat marked perevigayuschihsya and not physical objects, but the marines in the units varied by the number of people able to provide search, identification and destruction of attacking, which are in constant motion or create regrouping. Due to the fact that it will be both terrestrial and marine operations, very principled coordination of naval and land forces. These missions — apparently for the Marines, with, perhaps, they will be very urgent tasks.

Example with missiles — one of the huge number of possible missions against non-state actors who can come up with for small units in a scenario of mixed military action. This mission will help to avoid mistakes of counter-insurgency operations. Moreover, it will give the forces in place to distinguish between targets, camouflage and innocent victims in all of this still allowing the introduction of drones and other means.

The issue is not between choosing between "equal" military conflict and counterinsurgency operations. Though becoming increasingly rare, peer conflicts continue to be a danger to the existence of any country. The real task is to ensure that the mission commensurate resources, with all this without the occupation of the country or — worse than that — its transformation.

The scope and mission

Type of government that controls Afghanistan will not affect the national interests of the United States. In the interest of the U.S. government — the lack of planned, organized or executed terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. In order to achieve this goal, need not occupation or transformation of the social structure. Necessary actions will vary in each case, but the main containment level of involvement of the U.S. in every conflict at the very probable. On it there are three prerequisites. In 1-x, a similar strategy of containment leads to the definition of such mission objectives, which really can be achieved. This implies a sober attitude to the job. Moreover, while minimizing the level of involvement may be to avoid a scenario in which the withdrawal is considered expedient politically unfeasible. Finally, it allows you to avoid the consequences of attempts to change the whole country.

Military intervention should be a rare event, when it happens, it must be proportionate to the objective. In the scenario of sea straits mentioned above, the goal is not how to defeat the insurgency, because the insurgency can not be destroyed without occupation and without transforming the occupied society. The aim is to prevent the introduction of ground-based rocket launchers against ships. The purpose of the destruction of these plants just to justify a political point of view, because it can help avoid a real war of occupation. There are effective means of countering the insurgents without the use of counter-insurgency operations.

These operations require a little band, which can be different methods to transfer to the installed zone. They must be able to use the powers of different levels — from a company officer to the highest levels if the need arises. Sent to the target forces must be able to vorachivatsya without leaving the zone with all this theater of hostilities. In this case, they do not have without the need to be placed in a specific area of conflict, to bear the loss of a battle, as to fight for secondary purposes, and — in this case, inevitably — against the civilian population. In other words, the mission must not lead to political consequences, which actually avoided.

The main thing — to recognize the failure of protivopostancheskih actions, to realize that war conducted at different levels, and that at least some military units should be spoobnym adapt to the mission, in the standard functioning without a large ground-based facilities, and without going into occupation.

Today's debate on counter-insurgency operations can well think not only about the "scaling" of military forces, but also the idea that the mission should have in mind only the occupation of areas in the most recent cases. Occupation leads to resistance, resistance — to retaliatory attacks, and they, in turn, lead to counterinsurgency operations. The rapid landing forces, usually from the sea, can lead to an optimal strategic and operational planning, and the strategies to end the war. Easier to finish the war, when it requires only otchalivanie ships.

Not all wars can be conducted in such a manner. But in cases where a similar strategy is not appropriate, you need to very carefully obmozgovat situation. As indicated by the past, optimism, history does not inspire similar wars.

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