This publication uses the term insurgent to describe those taking part in any activity designed to undermine or to overthrow the
Counterinsurgency is those military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civicactions taken by a
government to defeat insurgency (JP 1-02). It is an offensive approach
involving all elements of national power; it can take place across the
range of operations and spectrum of conflict …
In dealing with the local populace, the primary aims must be to:
•Protect the population.
•Establish local political institutions.
•Reinforce local governments.
•Eliminate insurgent capabilities.
•Exploit information from local sources. …
An insurgency is organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion and armed conflict
(JP 1-02). It is a protracted politico-military struggle designed to
weaken government control and legitimacy while increasing insurgent
control. Political power is the central issue in an insurgency.
An insurgent organization normally consists of four elements:
Combatants (main forces, regional forces, local forces).
Cadre (local political leaders that are also called the militants).
Mass base (the bulk of the membership). …
A perceived serious potential of dissident American groups rising up against constituted authority has been clearly identified by
counter-intelligence agencies.. The stated cause for such an uprising
appear to be growing dissatisfaction with the course and conduct of the
war in Iraq, the chronic inability of Congress to deal with various
pressing issues and the perception of widespread corruption and
indifference to public needs.
The support of the people, passive or active then, is the center of gravity. It must be gained in whatever proportion is necessary to
sustain the insurgent movement (or, contrariwise, to defeat it). As in
any political campaign, all levels of support are relative.
Insurgent movements begin as “fire in the minds of men.” Insurgent leaders commit themselves to building a new world. They construct the
organization to carry through this desire. Generally, popular grievances
become insurgent causes when interpreted and shaped by the insurgent
leadership. The insurgency grows if the cadre that is local insurgent
leaders and representatives can establish a link between the insurgent
movement and the desire for solutions to grievances sought by the local
Insurgent leaders will exploit opportunities created by government security force actions. The behavior of security forces is critical.
Lack of security force discipline leads to alienation, and security
force abuse of the populace is a very effective insurgent recruiting
tool. Consequently, specific insurgent tactical actions are often
planned to frequently elicit overreaction from security force
individuals and units.
Insurgencies are dynamic political movements, resulting from real or perceived grievance or neglect that leads to alienation from an
A successful counterinsurgency will result in the neutralization by the state of the insurgency and its effort to form a counterstate. While
many abortive insurgencies are defeated by military and police actions
alone, if an insurgency has tapped into serious grievances and has
mobilized a significant portion of the population, simply returning to
the status quo may not be an option. Reform may be necessary, but reform
is a matter for the state, using all of its human and material
resources. Security forces are only one such resource. The response must
be multifaceted and coordinated, yet states typically charge their
security forces with “waging counterinsurgency.” This the security
forces cannot do alone.
These imperatives are—
· Facilitate establishment or reestablishment of a ‘legitimate
· Counterinsurgency requires perseverance.
· Foster popular support for the incumbent US government.
· Prepare to perform functions and conduct operations that are outside
normal scope of training.
· Coordinate with US governmental departments and agencies, and with
vital non-governmental, agencies.
· Protection of government facilities.
· Protection of infrastructure.
· Protection of commercial enterprises vital to the HN economy.
· Protection of cultural facilities.
· Prevention of looting.
· Military police functions.
· Close interaction with civilians.
· Assistance with reconstruction projects.
· Securing the national borders.
· Training or retraining a national military police and security force.
Establishing and maintaining local government credibility.
· Contributing local government is both tangible and psychological.
Local security forces must reinforce and be integrated into the plan at
· Facilitate and use information and intelligence obtained from local
sources to gain access to the insurgent’s economic and social base of
support, order of battle, tactics, techniques, and procedures.
Army forces help local pro-government police, paramilitary, and military forces perform counterinsurgency, area security, or local
security operations. They advise and assist in finding, dispersing,
capturing, and destroying the insurgent force.
US forces may conduct offensive operations to disrupt and destroy insurgent combat formations. These operations prevent the insurgents
from attacking government-controlled areas.
There are many organizations and extensive resources available to aid counterinsurgent forces.
Commanders should not overlook the aid these organizations may provide. All forces assigned an AO or function should determine which
departments and agencies are assisting in that AO and coordinate actions
so that there is no duplication of effort.
Such departments, councils and agencies include—
· National Security Council.
· Department of Defense.
· Department of State.
· Department of Justice.
· Department of the Treasury.
· Department of Homeland Security.
· Department of Agriculture.
· Department of Commerce.
· Central Intelligence Agency.
· Department of Transportation
Various governmental departments directly administer or support other governmental agencies. Examples of these US agencies are—
· The US Coast Guard (under Department of Homeland Security).
· The Federal Bureau of Investigation (under Department of Justice).
· Immigration Customs Enforcement (under Department of Homeland
· Federal Communications Commission
. The proper application of force is a critical component to any successful counterinsurgency operation. In a counterinsurgency, the
center of gravity is public support. In order to defeat an insurgent
force, US forces must be able to separate insurgents from the
population. At the same time, US forces must conduct themselves in a
manner that enables them to maintain popular domestic support. Excessive
or indiscriminant use of force is likely to alienate the local
populace, thereby increasing support for insurgent forces. Insufficient
use of force results in increased risks to US forces and perceived
weaknesses that can jeopardize the mission by emboldening insurgents and
undermining domestic popular support. Achieving the appropriate balance
requires a thorough understanding of the nature and causes of the
insurgency, the end state, and the military’s role in a
counterinsurgency operation. Nevertheless, US forces always retain the
right to use necessary and proportional force
for individual and unit self-defense in response to a hostile act or
demonstrated hostile intent.
The media, print and broadcast (radio, television and the Internet), play a vital role in societies involved in a counterinsurgency. Members
of the media have a significant influence and shaping impact on
political direction, national security objectives, and policy and
national will. The media is a factor in military operations. It is their
right and obligation to report to their respective audiences on the use
of military force. They demand logistic support and access to military
operations while refusing to be controlled. Their desire for immediate
footage and on-the-spot coverage of events, and the increasing contact
with units and Soldiers (for example, with embedded reporters) require
commanders and public affairs officers to provide guidance to leaders
and Soldiers on media relations. However, military planners must provide
and enforce ground rules to the media to ensure operations security.
Public affairs offices plan for daily briefings and a special briefing
after each significant event because the media affect and influence each
potential target audience external and internal to the AO. Speaking
with the media in a forward-deployed area is an opportunity to explain
what our organizations and efforts have accomplished.
Continuous PSYOP are mounted to—
· Counter the effects of insurgent propaganda.
· Relate controls to the security and well-being of the population.
· Portray a favorable governmental image.
.Control measures must—
· Be authorized by national laws and regulations (counterparts should be
trained not to improvise unauthorized measures).
· Be tailored to fit the situation (apply the minimum force required to
achieve the de-sired result).
· Be supported by effective local intelligence.
· Be instituted in as wide an area as possible to prevent bypass or
· Be supported by good communications.
· Be enforceable.
· Be lifted as the need diminishes.
· Be compatible, where possible, with local customs and traditions.
· Establish and maintain credibility of local government.
A control program may be developed in five phases:
· Securing and defending the area internally and externally.
· Organizing for law enforcement.
· Executing cordon and search operations.
· Screening and documenting the population (performing a detailed
· Performing public administration, to include resource control.
Support to the judiciary may be limited to providing security to the existing courts or may lead to more comprehensive actions to build
local, regional, and national courts and the required support apparatus.
To avoid overcrowding in police jails, the courts must have an
efficient and timely magistrate capability, ideally co-located with
police stations and police jails, to review cases for trial.
Cordon and search is a technique used by military and police forces in both urban and rural
environments. It is frequently used by counterinsurgency forces
conducting a population and resource control mission against small
centers of population or subdivisions of a larger community. To be
effective, cordon and search operations must have sufficient forces to
effectively cordon off and thoroughly search target areas, to include
PSYOP, civil affairs, and specialist interrogation teams should augment cordon and search orces to increase the effectiveness of
operations. Consider the following when conducting cordon and search
Cordon and search operations may be conducted as follows:
Disposition of troops should—
· Facilitate visual contact between posts within the cordon.
· Provide for adequate patrolling and immediate deployment of an
effective re-serve force.
Priority should be given to—
· Sealing the administrative center of the community.
· Occupying all critical facilities.
· Detaining personnel in place.
· Preserving and securing all records, files, and other archives.
Key facilities include—
· Administrative buildings.
· Police stations.
· News media facilities.
· Post offices.
· Communications centers.
· Transportation offices and motor pools.
· Prisons and other places of detention.
· Medical facilities.
Search Techniques include—
· Search teams of squad size organized in assault, support, and security
One target is assigned per team.
· Room searches are conducted by two-person teams.
· Room search teams are armed with pistols, assault weapons, and
· Providing security for search teams screening operations and
Pre-search coordination includes—
· Between control personnel and screening team leaders.
· Study of layout plans.
· Communications, that is, radio, whistle, and hand signals.
· Disposition of suspects.
· On-site security.
· Guard entrances, exits (to include the roof), halls, corridors, and
· Assign contingency tasks for reserve.
· Room searches conducted by two- or three-person teams.
· Immobilize occupants with one team member.
· Search room with other team member.
· Search all occupants. When available, a third team member should be
· Place documents in a numbered envelope and tag the associated
individual with a corresponding number.
SCREENING AND DOCUMENTING THE POPULATION
Screening and documentation include following:
· Systematic identification and registration.
· Issuance of individual identification cards containing—
A unique number.
Picture of individual.
Personal identification data.
An official stamp (use different colors for each administration region).
Family group census cards, an official copy of which is retained at the
local po-lice agency. These must include a picture and appropriate
Frequent use of mobile and fixed checkpoints for inspection,
identification, and reg-istration of documents.
Preventing counterfeiting of identification and registration documents
by laminat-ing and embossing.
Programs to inform the population of the need for identification and
Covert surveillance is a collection effort with the responsibility fixed at the intelligence/security division or detective division of the
police department. Covert techniques, ranging from application of
sophisticated electronics systems to informants, should include—
Informant nets. Reliability of informants should be verified. Protection of identity is a must.
Block control. Dividing a community or populated area into zones where a trusted resident reports on the activities of
the population. If the loyalty of block leaders is questionable, an
informant net can be established to verify questionable areas.
Units designated for counterinsurgency operations
· 115th MIB, Schofield, HI
· 704th MIB, Fort Made, MD, Collaboration with NSA
· 513st MIB, Fort Gordon, GA in Collaboration with NSA
· Arlington Hall Station, VA
· Aberdeen Proving Ground (Maryland)
· US Army Intelligence and Security Command – INSCOM- Huachuca ( Arizona
· INTELLIGENCE THREAT and ANALYSIS CENTER ( Center Analysis for threat
and Intelligence )
· 501st Military Intelligence Brigade EAC
· 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion Exploitation Area