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We Must Change Our Tactics If We Are To Effectively Combat Insurgency

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We must change our Tactics if we are to effectively Combat Insurgency

The United States of America is by far the strongest nation on the planet. In a measure of military might no other nation in the world is stronger or more technologically advanced than us. With all this military might at our disposal we still lose soldier after soldier against an enemy that hides under cover of the shadows and randomly strikes out to not only stop but to also disrupt and terrorize the local population for a belief, usually a religious one at that. For some the belief is to purify and unify Umah, or the Muslim community (Gerges, 2006). There is a mixture of influences that cause someone to turn to terrorism (Egendorf, 2007). Four of these would be; rational motivation, psychological motivation, cultural motivation, and fearing the values of others. The rational terrorist thinks through all his options when planning out his operation. This thought process covers maximum effect for finances or in simpler terms, getting the biggest bang for his buck. Psychological motivations are usually due to the terrorists own dissatisfaction with their lives and or accomplishments, When this motivation moves a terrorist to conduct his operations they are usually finding self worth in their terrorist acts. Cultural Values motivate whole nations to a movement that may seem excessive to foreign observers. An example of this would be the way Iran has influenced the majority of its country into believing that the western ways need to change, and if we will not change on our own then they will make us even if it costs our lives. Fearing the values of others is a major cultural determinate of the impression of outsiders and the anticipation of malice towards their whole way of life, or the secularization of their beliefs. This is believed to be the current driving force that motivates the secular violence that happens daily within Iraq on a day to day basis.

Throughout history we have seen firsthand how effective guerrilla warfare tactics can be. One example was during Napoleons campaign across his spanning empire. During this time frame the local population would strike out against Napoleons soldiers in retaliation to being required to house and feed them. During our battle against the Indians while founding this great nation, we were subjected to guerrilla type tactics. Toe to toe the Indians would never have been able to stand up to our more modern weapons. This is why the Indians would hide off undercover. The Indians would then strike out and return to cover. While fighting against the Vietnamese we were again fighting an asymmetrical war conventionally. Here the enemy would hide in the jungles, or through the tunnel networks. In doing this they were able to sustain a fight that once again in a conventional methods woul never has been able to last. By continuing to follow these outdated tactics we, the United States people, are setting ourselves up for failure.. Just as we see on a day to day basis in Iraq or Afghanistan, the enemy no longer follows our set rules of war fighting. If they would the war would have been over long ago.

While all insurgencies are different, the reasons most insurgents fight their battles are similar. Some past insurgencies have included a fight for freedom from the oppression of an overbearing government. The rising up of ethnic or religious people against those they do not see eye to eye such as the current jihad against the U.S. In the beginning insurgents were mainly concerned with defending land, home, royal stations and traditional religious beliefs. Later the insurgents began to have a more revolutionary purpose. Now insurgents are no longer content with maintaining their ways of life in their on homeland, now they are looking at converting globally. To effective combat the insurgents, a counterinsurgent must determine the insurgents motivation, their methods of delivery. A few of these methods of delivery include but are not limited to; conspiratorial, military, urban, protracted popular war, identity focused, and coalition. Some adjustments will need to be made depending on the location, reason for the insurgency, and the beliefs of the insurgents but the basics can all be drawn from as a starting point. With this in mind it is important to remember that "The side that learns and adapts the fastest usually wins" as stated in the Counterinsurgency Field Manual (Unk, 2007)

This being said, an effective way to combat insurgency begins with; understanding the mission of counterinsurgency. Counterinsurgency is a combination offensive operations, defensive operations, and stability operations. The offensive, and defensive missions are self explanatory. Under stability the things to consider are civil security, civil control, essential services, governance, and economics and infrastructure development. Some of the steps that the counterinsurgent should consider in combating insurgency is developing and practicing counterinsurgency doctrine, known in layman's terms as a plan of attack or execution, and indentifying participants and their responsibilities in counterinsurgent operations. These participants that should be considered are the local law enforcement and the host nations own military once that is an option. Other key participants would be US forces of course to observe, maintain, and guide the local forces, any other nations forces involved in the area of operations would also be included, U.S. government Agencies, Non-governmental Organizations (NGO) these can be agencies such as A Self-Help Assistance Program (ASAP), Institute for Development Research, Inc. (IDR), Project Open Hearts (POH). These are just examples and in no way are they all inclusive. There are many other organizations that are out there specifically to help a poorer nation to rebuild its infrastructure, health system, educational system to name a few. The wonderful thing about these organizations is that they are not using our money to accomplish this. The only money our nation is spending is of course the US military costs. By helping the country in question we not only bring it to a point where it can care for its own people without violating human rights of any kind, we win the hearts and minds of the local population that was opposing us and take away from the support base of the insurgents. Another group that can help is International Government Organizations (IGO). These organizations fall into the same boat essentially as the Non-Governmental Organizations but as the name implies are international. Examples of these could include the United Nations. Another group that is included are Multinational contractors because they will be part of the workforce needed to conduct the work that the NGO's and IGO's provide the funds and or materials for. And

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