TBR News February 8, 2019

Feb 08 2019

Vol XVI, No. 31, February 8, 2019

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. February 8, 2019:”The business with Jeff Bezos is typical of the behavior of Donald Trump. Mr. Bezos owns the Washington Post, a newspaper that is not fond of Mr. Trump. True to form, Trump got David Pecker, a good personal friend and owner of the sleazy National Enquirer, to smear Bezos and attempt to put him in a position where his Washington Post would change its negative tune. As usual, Trump failed and one can now expect so see even more unpleasant information about him in print. Trump is a bully but runs away if his targets turn on him. One supposes if an American print publication said, on its front page, ‘Donald Trump is fond of a Pecker’ that very soon, the paper would be sanctioned and Bolton would be threatening it with troop actions.”

Table of Contents

  • The State of the President
  • Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer owner of ‘extortion and blackmail’
  • National Enquirer Boss David Pecker Tiptoes Away From His Pal Trump as Scandal Swirls and Circulation Drops
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • Domestic Military Control Paper

The State of the President

Americans don’t need anyone else to tell them how the country is doing. So Tuesday’s address is really a checkup on Trump.

February 5, 2019

by David A. Graham

The Atlantic

No president in American history has been so deft at capturing public attention as Donald Trump, and yet, paradoxically, he has few tangible political achievements to show for it. In the State of the Union, the president will once more attempt to convert public attention, in the form of his most high-profile speech of the year, into political capital. But he’s likely to find that task harder than ever before.

The American people hardly need Trump, or anyone else, to tell them what the state of the union is: The union is a bit of a mess. It has just emerged from the longest government shutdown in history, with a reprise possible next week. It is polarized, angry, and, according to many Americans, on the wrong track. The economy is strong, at least, though there are some rumblings of trouble.

So Tuesday’s address will serve instead as a checkup on Trump himself—just as everything else in American politics seems to be these days. Trump’s omnipresence is inextricable from the chaotic state of the union. The speech comes at a pivotal time in Trump’s presidency. He has gotten his first taste of divided government and found it bitter. His legislative agenda seems moribund. Investigations by both Special Counsel Robert Mueller and House Democrats continue to dog him. And his 2020 reelection campaign will soon begin in earnest. State of the Union addresses seldom have much real impact, but this one should offer some indication of how Trump assesses his own position.

It is already clear that Trump’s bully pulpit does not stand as tall as it did one year ago, when he delivered his first State of the Union. Watching the speech—over Trump’s left shoulder, fittingly—will be Speaker Nancy Pelosi. After helping lead Democrats to a big victory in the midterm elections, recapturing control of the House, Pelosi quickly moved to show Trump her strength, forcing Trump to reopen the government (temporarily) without getting money for his border wall, and postponing this very speech, over Trump’s objections, in the midst of the shutdow

Trump never really seemed to find a rhythm to working with Congress when both chambers were controlled by Republicans, ending up with little more than a scaled-back tax cut over two years, and he now faces a far more complicated task with a Democratic House. Yet as Trump’s dogged pursuit of a shutdown in December showed, he feels pressure to execute on his central campaign promise of building a border wall as the 2020 presidential election approaches.

Ahead of the speech, the White House has telegraphed a mixed strategy. On the one hand, Trump has said he wants to offer a conciliatory, unifying speech. On the other, he also wants to speak at length about immigration, the topic so divisive that it produced the lengthy government closures. It’s not clear how, or whether, Trump and his speechwriters can square this circle.

“I really think it’s going to be a speech that’s going to cover a lot of territory, but part of it’s going to be unity,” the president said last week. A Republican source told Politico that Trump would even offer an olive branch to Pelosi. It’s not unusual for a president to strive for a warm and fuzzy tone in the State of the Union, but it’s unusual for Trump to do so in any forum. And any attempts at unity would seem to be at odds with his plans to focus on immigration. Trump has thus far not managed to find a way to lure House Democrats away from their implacable opposition to spending $5.7 billion on the wall, a figure that would fund only a fraction of the barrier. The State of the Union gives Trump an opening to reset his relationship with Congress, but a tentative rapprochement could blow up next week. In recent days, he has said that congressional negotiations to fund the government after a February 15 deadline are a waste of time if he doesn’t get the wall money.

Last year’s State of the Union was not especially memorable, but it’s worth recalling that immigration was one of its central themes. The president described “four pillars” for immigration policy: a path to citizenship for “Dreamers”; the end of the visa lottery; the end of chain migration; and $25 billion for the wall. So far, Trump hasn’t gotten any of those things, and while his natural gifts as a campaigner have been discussed unto boredom, there’s no indication that he’s learning how to marshal his power more effectively. (This year, aides are promising a five-pillared speech, so that’s one form of growth.)

Trump might have better luck on grasping for unity when he discusses infrastructure investment and lowering prescription-drug prices, both of which have substantial Democratic support. But Trump has not managed to deliver on either in his first two years as president, and most of his other ideas on health care are likely to elicit nearly unanimous Democratic opposition.

The president will be on more solid ground praising the economy, which remains the brightest spot of his administration, even though White House policy is not the greatest cause of growth, and even though his trade war may be taking a bite out of it. There’s been increasing pessimism about the economy, with some experts predicting a recession within the next couple of years, but Trump got a boost on Friday with the release of the most recent jobs numbers, which showed that the economy added 304,000 new positions in January.

By contrast, don’t expect to hear much about the Russia investigations. Though the Mueller probe drives Trump to fury on Twitter and in interviews, he avoided it during last year’s speech, and he will likely do so again, just as former President Bill Clinton avoided any mention of the Monica Lewinsky affair in the 1998 State of the Union.

That assumes Trump stays on message during the speech, sticking to what’s on the teleprompter, which aides have suggested he will do. Last year, there was still a strangeness to watching Trump, an improvisatory speaker, deliver an address straight. By now, the novelty has worn off, as Trump has shown repeatedly he is able to do it—most recently in his first Oval Office address, which was focused on the shutdown. Yet he remains a stilted, somewhat awkward orator in formal settings. “I’m saying listen closely to the State of the Union. I think you’ll find it very exciting,” he said last week. But that seems unlikely. Trump is more comfortable on a MAGA rally stage, but the spree of events he held before the midterm elections, and the election results, demonstrated how ineffective those speeches are at reaching beyond his core supporters. Worse for him, there are signs of shakiness among those voters post-shutdown.

The State of the Union is a rare forum for Trump to speak to a wider audience, outside his base and beyond the Fox News airwaves. Yet given his oversaturation in public life, the meandering quality of his speeches, and the already-declining ratings he drew last year, it’s hard to imagine Trump keeping his numbers up. There’s a danger that even as Trump struggles to put the power of the presidency to use, his grip on attention might be eroding, too.


Jeff Bezos accuses National Enquirer owner of ‘extortion and blackmail’ 

Amazon chief alleges tabloid threatened to publish nude images of him

  • New twist to tale of Trump, Russia and the media
  • David Pecker: Trump’s friend and fixer

February 8, 2019

by Sam Levin in San Francisco

The Guardian

Jeff Bezos has accused the publisher of the National Enquirer of “extortion and blackmail” in a blogpost alleging it threatened to publish revealing personal photos unless the Amazon chief executive publicly affirmed the paper’s reporting was not politically motivated.

Bezos, who is the world’s richest man and owns the Washington Post, became the subject of tabloid papers in January after he and his wife, MacKenzie, announced they were divorcing. Shortly after, the National Enquirer published “intimate text messages” revealing Bezos’s relationship with Lauren Sánchez, a former TV anchor.

Bezos wrote in a Medium blogpost that he employed the private security consultant Gavin de Becker “to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer”, which is published by American Media Inc (AMI).

Bezos said an “AMI leader” subsequently told him that David Pecker, the chief executive of AMI, was “apoplectic” about the private investigation.

In the blogpost, titled “No thank you, Mr Pecker”, Bezos accused AMI of telling him “they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation”.

Bezos said his ownership of the Washington Post was a “complexifier” because it had made him the enemy of people including Donald Trump, who has frequently targeted him. Pecker is a longtime confidant of the president.

In December, prosecutors in the southern district of New York gave AMI immunity from prosecution for its cooperation in the investigation into Trump’s presidential campaign and alleged hush payments to a Playboy model. AMI admitted the company had coordinated with Trump’s presidential campaign to “catch and kill” – buy up but not publish – the story of Karen McDougal, the model who claimed she had an affair with Trump. AMI admitted it had worked “in concert” with the campaign to pay McDougal $150,000 for her story and then suppress it. Bezos noted in the blogpost that AMI had entered into the immunity deal.

According to Bezos, AMI’s chief content officer, Dylan Howard, emailed threats to Bezos’s lawyer, Martin Singer, allegedly writing: “[I]n the interests of expediating [sic] this situation, and with The Washington Post poised to publish unsubstantiated rumors of The National Enquirer’s initial report, I wanted to describe to you the photos obtained during our newsgathering.”

The email, which Bezos published in full, but with personal information redacted, said the Enquirer had obtained a “below the belt selfie – otherwise colloquially known as a ‘d*ck pick’” as well as nine other images. Those included a selfie, a shirtless photo of Bezos holding his phone “while wearing his wedding ring”, a “full-length body selfie” of him in his underwear, and photos and messages from Sánchez.

“It would give no editor pleasure to send this email. I hope common sense can prevail – and quickly,” Howard allegedly wrote.

Bezos’s blogpost also included an email from Jon Fine, an AMI lawyer, seeking “a public, mutually agreed upon acknowledgment from the Bezos parties, released through a mutually agreeable news outlet, affirming that they have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that AM’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces, and an agreement that they will cease referring to such a possibility”.

The proposed agreement in Fine’s email also said: “AM agrees not to publish, distribute, share, or describe unpublished texts and photos (the ‘Unpublished Materials’)”.

Bezos wrote on Thursday: “Rather than capitulate to extortion and blackmail, I’ve decided to publish exactly what they sent me, despite the personal cost and embarrassment they threaten.

“Any personal embarrassment AMI could cause me takes a back seat because there’s a much more important matter involved here. If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?”

He continued: “Be assured, no real journalists ever propose anything like what is happening here: I will not report embarrassing information about you if you do X for me. And if you don’t do X quickly, I will report the embarrassing information.”

National Enquirer and AMI representatives did not immediately respond to request for comment. Amazon and Bezos’s attorney also did not immediately respond to inquiries.



National Enquirer Boss David Pecker Tiptoes Away From His Pal Trump as Scandal Swirls and Circulation Drops

Nothing Trump touches ever remains the same, including supermarket tabloids.

by Asawin Suebsaeng, Dean Sterling Jones and Lachlan Markay

Daily Beast

Shortly after the feds raided the office of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s now estranged personal attorney and longtime enforcer, National Enquirer publisher David Pecker went into a state of calculated retreat.

For years, Pecker’s tabloid had promoted and puffed up Trump’s political rise and his presidency. But once a regular fixture on the cover of the National Enquirer, Trump hasn’t appeared on it since an issue dated early May. That appearance was for a cover story on the various scandals swirling around… Cohen.

In that same issue detailing Cohen’s dirty work—work in which the Enquirer itself played a key role—there was another story showing how the Enquirer’s “lie detector examination” supposedly absolved Trump of any Russia-related collusion. Since then, the tabloid’s approach to the saga has ranged from muted to silent. The most recent issue of the Enquirer, dated July 30, 2018, doesn’t feature a single item on Trump in the entire 47-page edition—though the issue did have room for a story on how the late James Bond actor Roger Moore “SMELLED BAD!” due to “rampant flatulence.”

The president’s disappearance from the pages of Pecker’s famous, Trump-endorsing supermarket tabloid was no coincidence. It also further demonstrates how so much of what President Trump touches, including the tabloids that relish the drama he produces, seems to suffer under the weight of scandals.

According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, Pecker and the Enquirer’s top brass made a conscious decision to pull back on their pro-Trump coverage, just as Pecker’s media empire found itself increasingly embroiled in Trumpworld’s legal and public-relations woes.

A month after the Enquirer’s last Trump cover, the Wall Street Journal reported that federal authorities had subpoenaed Pecker and other executives at American Media Inc. (AMI), which publishes the tabloid. They sought records related to allegations that the company purchased the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story of an affair with Trump, then killed the story for Trump’s benefit, a practice known as “catch and kill.” Prosecutors are exploring whether such an agreement may have constituted an illegal in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign by AMI.

But the dialing-back of Trump content may have come with a cost. The National Enquirer’s circulation numbers declined in the first half of the year, according to industry metrics compiled by the Alliance for Audited Media. The tabloid lost about 4,700 paid subscriptions from January through June, about six percent of its total at the beginning of the year.

An AMI spokesperson acknowledged the downturn in an emailed statement. “AMI is not immune to the challenges facing the publishing industry, which is why we have continued to diversify and grow our revenue with new channels and acquisitions,” the spokesperson wrote.

The rep also dismissed any implication of its lack of Trump covers or coverage of late, saying, “any decisions about our covers are driven by proprietary data on what our readers are most interested in and what is most likely [to] perform well at the newsstand, period.”

Nevertheless, the seven National Enquirer issues in the first half of the year that featured Trump on the cover sold, on average, about 13,000 more newsstand copies than issues that did not, according to the data. The president graced the cover of the two most widely circulated issues of the first six months of the year.

As Pecker and his team were distancing themselves from Trump publicly, a more surreptitious effort was underway to cleanse the public record of details of Pecker’s involvement in the McDougal scandal and the AMI boss’s relationship with the president.

Over the course of a week last month, an anonymous Wikipedia user repeatedly tried to scrub Pecker’s page of damaging information regarding his alleged links to the McDougal hush-money scandal, removing huge blocks of text describing Pecker’s and AMI’s roles in paying the model for her story. The edits also removed references to Pecker as “a close friend of Donald Trump” and a supporter of his 2016 presidential campaign in addition to scrubbing mention of a federal investigation of the payment that stemmed from the raid on Cohen’s office (In a recently leaked tape, Trump told Cohen to make the payment “in cash” to “our friend David,” assumed to be Pecker.)

The origin of the edits was even more interesting. They were made by someone using an I.P. address associated with the high-powered Hollywood talent agency William Morris Endeavor, according to publicly-available web database information. The same I.P. address has been used to edit pages for WME itself, the head of the agency’s literary division, and a number of WME clients. A Wikipedia editor using a second I.P. address associated with the agency previously attempted to edit the page of agency’s chief— super-agent Ari Emanuel—by scrubbing details of a former WME employee’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the agency (WME denied her allegations, and the suit was settled for $2.25 million). An anonymous editor using that second IP address later said he or she had made other tweaks to Emanuel’s page at his behest.

There’s no way of gleaning from Wikipedia edit logs whether any of those changes were the work of the same person, or even how many different people have edited the various pages using WME IP addresses. WME declined to speak on the record about the edits, but a source familiar with the agency’s work downplayed their significance, saying they were not undertaken on behalf of a client or in any official capacity.

The source, however, said that the stealth-edits purging the page of Trump scandal could have been made by any individual with access to the company’s wireless internet network.

A representative for AMI claimed that neither Pecker nor AMI had requested the Wikipedia stealth-editing campaign. WME subsidiary IMG “only represents AMI in regard to various licensing opportunities for its brands, as it has for many years,” an AMI spokesperson told The Daily Beast in an email. All of the anonymous user’s edits were subsequently reinstated by other Wikipedia editors.

WME is a noteworthy nexus between Pecker and Trump. The agency currently counts AMI as a client. It also formerly represented the president. Emanuel, the oft-branded “King of Hollywood,” has a history with both men and, like other power players of his stripe, he has often leveraged his relationship with AMI’s chief executive to kill negative or potentially embarrassing stories about his rich and famous friends and clientele.

Emanuel and Pecker are known in tabloid and entertainment circles as chummy, reportedly socializing and dining together over the years. In a 2014 interview with The Native Society, an exclusive club for New York’s elite power brokers, Pecker named both Emanuel and Trump as close friends he admired.

Last year, Emanuel introduced Pecker to a French businessman, Kacy Grine, at a White House meeting hosted by Trump. Grine has acted as a middleman between Pecker and members of the Saudi royal family, whom Pecker has subsequently approached about business opportunities in the kingdom. AMI would later publish a glossy magazine hailing the greatness of Saudi Arabia and its autocratic rulers.

Pecker is also a longtime financial supporter of Chicago’s Democratic mayor Rahm Emanuel, Ari’s brother, who courted the AMI chief’s business during his tenure at investment firm Wasserstein Perella & Co. Trump, too, is a Rahm campaign-booster, having donated $50,000 to his mayoral campaign in 2010, reportedly at Ari’s request.

An unnamed associate of Pecker told the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this year that both Ari and Rahm previously worked for Pecker’s magazine publisher Hachette Filipacchi in the early 90s, with Ari “representing its magazine editors on the talent side,” and Rahm as an advisor to the Hachette business.

Trump’s business and personal relationship with Emanuel has also been comparably warm in recent years, despite their political differences. Emanuel served as the president and former reality-TV star’s former agent. And during the presidential transition, following Trump’s shock election victory, he met with the president-elect despite having supported Trump’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. A few months later, Emanuel followed Trump into the political arena, co-founding a political action committee with WME co-CEO Patrick Whitesell to engage politicians on civic issues during the Trump presidency.

Trump campaign sources recounted to The Daily Beast that Trump would talk about Emanuel in glowing terms, with one former senior official likening Trump’s admiration of the Hollywood power player to a “man crush.” The president is especially fond of Emanuel’s notoriously hard-charging, take-no-prisoners (and often loudly vulgar) business style, and his unique brand of celebrity, power, and financial success—traits that inspired the character Ari Gold on the HBO series Entourage.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter mid-2016, Trump claimed that Emanuel is “a very good friend of mine” who “calls me a lot,” and, according to Trump’s version of a conversation, had even offered to help make a pro-Trump mini-movie to be played at the Republican National Convention.

“I call him a lot and we talk,” Trump added. “He gets it. You’re shocked to hear that, right, [about the alleged convention movie offer]? But, yeah, I might do something with Ari.”

Even before THR’s piece had run, Clinton’s campaign had heard rumors of an Emanuel-Trump collaboration, according to two Clinton-world sources. And aides began making calls to figure what “the hell was actually going on,” said a former senior aide. The aide recalled asking, “Would Ari really do that [to us]?”

In the end, the 2016 GOP convention came and went without any Ari Emanuel-produced short film.

Comment: David Jay Pecker was born September 24, 1951, to a Jewish family in the Bronx, New York. His father was a bricklayer,who died in 1967, when Pecker was sixteen, and to support his mother, he started bookkeeping for local businesses, in New Rochelle and in The Bronx. He graduated from Pace University


The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

February 8, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks,”: Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publications


Conversation No. 120

Date: Saturday, December 20, 1997

Commenced: 10:29 AM CST

Concluded: 10:50 AM CST


GD: Good morning, Robert.

RTC: And to you.  Getting ready for Christmas?

GD: Just another day, Robert. Christmas used to be something I looked forward to and enjoyed but like childhood, those days have long passed. Another day. My one son is not interested in giving  but he loves to get. The true Christmas season. By the way, did you know what the Jewish Santa said to the children at the local mall?

RTC: A Jewish Santa?

GD: Anything for money, Robert, anything. He said, ‘Ho, ho, ho children. Want to buy some toys?’

RTC: (Laughter) Not tolerant. A pedophilic Santa would say, ‘Come and sit on Santa’s lap.’

GD: (Laughter) Kill them all, Robert and let God punish the bad ones by making them listen to Wayne Newton records for all eternity. I wonder when we will have a new war? These seem to come in cycles, don’t they? If the politicians had to put on oversized uniforms and get shot at, we would have eternal peace, wouldn’t we?

RTC: No doubt about that. The Vietnam war was a disaster.

GD: Oh yes, a real disaster. The public was getting worked up and we started on the first steps of revolution here. You know that.

RTC: Probably so. Johnson was lousy.

GD: So was MacNamera and all the rest of them.

RTC: We were only there to appease the French.

GD: Yes, and your people killed Diem and made things worse. But I did my bit.

RTC: You were in then?

GD: You might say so, Robert. I did my bit. No I was not in military service but I did terrible damage to it.

RTC: How so?

GD: I ran a group that smuggled young Americans into Canada and security from the draft.

RTC: How many?

GD: Me personally? A little over three thousand.

RTC: My God, how ever did you do it?

GD: I organized some of the more competent ones into small cells and used the services of a commercial truck company to smuggle them into Canada, mostly  Vancouver. And to make a bit of money for the cause, we smuggled immigrant Chinese workers back into the States from Canada to labor in the sweatshops of Chinatown in Frisco. Fifteen hundred a head coming back balanced nothing charged for going up.

RTC: Surely the Bureau must have gotten wind of all this movement.

GD: Of course they did. You see, I worked for a fancy hotel in Santa Monica and always dressed very well. One day, an FBI team hidden in the usual television repair truck, saw me chatting with a know trouble-maker down on the beach and the next day, two of them came into the hotel to visit me. Polite enough. Showed me a picture of this fellow with a ratty beard and I at once said I had met him in Venice. That’s how it got started. I looked respectable and even acted respectable so they asked me to spy for them. They were more than considerate and the money was good. They were looking for someone known as ‘The Doctor’ who was smuggling live bait out of the country. I  could have made their day by telling them that I was the Doctor but why upset people unnecessarily? In essence, they were paying me to find myself. Because I am not schizophrenic, I never met myself but I was well-paid for my efforts. Actually this was a wonderful  cover for my activities because now I could mingle with civil resistance people without fear of detection. They were so happy with my reports, Robert. Clandestine meetings in distant parking lots and envelopes stuffed full of money vanishing into my pocket. And I got rid of rivals and if I spotted a stool pigeon, I got them onto the official shit list. Actually, it was an interesting and rewarding time in my life.

RTC: It was in Vancouver where you did the funny money caper, wasn’t it?

GD: Of course it was. They evicted me when I went there after the Vietham war was over and they threw me out of the country and stole my money. I only went to get it back.

RTC: Kimmel was telling me about this in horror. You cost them millions, didn’t you?

GD: Yes, but I got my money back, every cent of it.

RTC: How much?

GD: Four dollars and ten cents, Robert. Yes, I have two Canadian two dollar bills and a dime in a shadow box over my desk even as I am speaking to you. I told Tom about this and he had a fit.

RTC: I would imagine. He did not think that was amusing.

GD: No, but I did and after all, that’s what really matters, isn’t it?

RTC: In the end, I suppose so. I read a report on your activities once. Corson gave it to me. Actually we both thought it was highly entertaining. Are you really a doctor of something?

GD: No, I lie sometimes. But they lie all the time.

RTC: I won’t ask you who you are talking about.

GD: I could go on for hours.

RTC: Jesus, over three thousand? I heard about this doctor person once as I recall but I have forgotten most of it. Well, now I can say I know a famous outlaw.

GD: I’ll accept that, Robert, in the Christmas spirit of kind giving. Oh and taking as well. You can’t do one without the other. After all, our loss was Canada’s gain. When Carter pardoned all of the escapees, most of them stayed in Canada. Doesn’t speak well of the atmosphere here, does it?

RTC: I suppose not. Having a tree this year?

GD: No, I am not. And I am not buying any toys from the Jewish Santa either. I don’t fancy reindeer shit on my roof.


(Concluded at 10:50 AM CST)




Domestic Military Control Paper

Note: This study, prepared for the NART group of the DoD is considered to be classified as Secret, NoForn, and is not to be copied or sent by email under any circumstances.


  • All firearms, to include pistols, rifles and shotguns, to be seized and impounded.
  • No ammunition to be sold and any found to be confiscated.
  • National ID card to be carried by all American citizens at all times and made available for inspection upon demand.
  • All unemployed Americans to be inducted into a CCC type organization and put to work on public projects like forest clearance, road work, governmental construction projects. Youths between 18 and 25 will be inducted and then sent to work projects sufficiently distant from their homes to discourage and prevent desertions, escapes, etc.
  • Certain breeds of dogs, such as German Shepherds, Pit Bulls and Rottweilers will be subject to confiscation and euthanasia.
  • Citizens on Social Security or other governmental support programs must present the National ID card in order to collect benefits.
  • All current US passports will be revoked and new ones with tracking chips embedded in them will be issued.
  • Public gatherings of more that five (5) persons must only occur with prior, written official permission.
  • All motor vehicles, to include passenger cars, trucks and busses, will be equipped with GPS devices, officially installed, and may not be removed or otherwise interfered with under penalty of law.
  • Small water craft, to include sail and motor boats, must be simililarly equipped with GPS devices, also under penalty of law.
  • The construction, possession and use of radio controlled aircraft models is strictly forbidden.
  • The possession or use of any garment or other device, intended to block or otherwise interfere with infared surveillance is strictly forbidden.


Understanding Insurgency

Domestic insurgencies date to the earliest forms of government and will continue to exist as long as the governed harbor grievances against authority that they believe cannot be resolved by peaceful means.

What is a domestic insurgency? The Department of Defense (DOD) defines domestic insurgency as “an organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion and armed conflict.” Simply put, a domestic insurgency is a struggle between a non-ruling group and their ruling authority. Domestic insurgents use political resources, to include the increased use of the media and international opinion, as well as violence to destroy the political legitimacy of the ruling authority and build their own political legitimacy and power. Examples of this type of warfare range from the American Revolution to the previous situation in Iraq. The conflict itself can range from acts of terrorism to the more conventional use of the media to sway public opinion. Whatever form the insurgency takes, it serves an ideology or political goal.

What are the root causes of a domestic insurgency? For a domestic insurgency to flourish, a majority of the population must either support or remain indifferent to insurgent ideals and practices. There must be a powerful reason that drives a portion of the populace to armed opposition against the existing government. Grievances may have a number of causes, such the lack of economic opportunity, restrictions on basic liberties, government corruption, ethnic or religious tensions, or the presence of an occupying force. It is through this line of thought or ideal that insurgents attempt to mobilize the population.

Understanding Counterinsurgency

What is counterinsurgency?—DOD defines counterinsurgency as “those military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions taken by a government to defeat insurgency. Also called “COIN” The United States government intends to use a wide breadth of national capabilitie to defeat any domestic insurgencies through a variety of means. The Department of State (DOS), Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) use country teams to generate strategic objectives and assist the sitting government. The military will support those efforts by employing conventional forces, in combination with Special Operations Forces (SOF), in a variety of activities aimed at enhancing security and/or alleviating causes of unrest.

What is the likely role of the military? While military forces may be the most visible sign of U.S. government involvement, especially in the early phases of a domestic counterinsurgency, they play a supporting role to the political and economic initiatives designed to enhance the effectiveness legitimacy of the government. Establishing a secure environment for these initiatives is normally a primary objective of military forces and can take many forms. This can be a minimal requirement to support pro-sitting government supporters with advisors and equipment or it can mean a large scale- commitment of U.S. forces to carryout the preponderance of operations. In addition to providing a secure environment, U.S. military forces may also be called upon to support infrastructure development, provide health services, conduct police functions, or directly target insurgent cells. Given the wide range of potential military contributions, it is imperative that all military personnel understand how their actions and decisions must support the overall campaign design to de-legitimize the domestic insurgency in the eyes of the population. Significantly, successful counterinsurgencies are normally measured in years or even decades and require a unity of effort across the spectrum of U.S. agencies.


  • The domestic insurgency force, the civil population and the terrain are

virtually inseparable factors in guerrilla warfare.

  • What is the structural organization of the domestic insurgent group?

Identification? Composition? Overall organizational characteristics:  strength; combat efficiency; status of training; means of communications; morale and discipline? Ideology?

  • Where are the domestic insurgent groups located? Guerrilla camps?

Assembly points? Rendezvous points? Trails?

  • What is the domestic insurgent group’s method of operations? Political?  Economic? Converting? Propaganda? Types of tactics employed?  Insurgent aims?
  • How is the domestic insurgent group armed and equipped? Supply source of food and commodities? Weapons and ammunition? Means of providing logistic support?
  • What are the factors which cause or contribute to the development and continuation that motivate the domestic insurgent group?
  • What is the relationship between the domestic insurgent group and the population?
  • What is the relationship with any external forces?
  • What are the psychological vulnerabilities of the domestic insurgent group?
  • What is the identification of any hostile, uncommitted or friendly

 elements that may be assisting the domestic  insurgent group? Location?

Name? Organizational structure?

  • What are the domestic insurgent group’s motivations and loyalties to the various elements of the population
  • What is the size and proportion of the civil population that is likely to actively support the domestic insurgent group?
  • What are the effects of the local authorities and police on the civil population?
  • What are the capabilities of the local populace to provide food, nsupplies, shelter, etc. to the domestic insurgent group? Type? Amount?

Method? Location?

  • What are the capabilities of the local populace to provide food, supplies, shelter, etc. to friendly, pro sitting government  forces? Type? Amount? Method? Location?
  • What is the availability of water and fuel?
  • What are the vulnerabilities of the friendly civil populace?


A key to understanding domestic insurgencies is recognition that domestic insurgents use a distributed network, motivated by a common ideology, to mobilize the population to their cause. Insurgent networks are often a trusted group of individuals created through family/ marriage, business, religious, political and/or social relationships. Family ties create a strong core that insurgent groups leverage to link to various political, social and business arms of the populace. A single family may only have a small number of active insurgents; however, marriage, friendship and group ties can extend communications, support and loyalty. A local-national who might otherwise turn in an insurgent will not divulge information that may eventually harm a family member. Networks provide the insurgency a means to rapidly spread information and intelligence, and enable the logistics support and communication necessary for distributed operations. Insurgents leverage relationships and networking to tie to trans-national terrorist groups, political wings, academic institutions, local business, and social groups. Understanding these relationships and networks is essential in undermining the insurgents’ efforts to mobilize support.

Persuasion, Coercion and Intimidation

Insurgents use a combination of persuasion, coercion and intimidation to influence a population. Perception and use of information are critical to insurgent success. Insurgents base their actions on their capabilities and intentions. Insurgents can employ a huge variety of tactics. Typical insurgent tactics and operations include, but are not limited to:

  • Ambushes— Used to create maximum damage and create an illusion of domestic insurgent strength among the local civilian populace. They can also be used to capture and publicly torture individuals to further terrorize local civilians, counterinsurgency forces and the international community.
  • Vehicle Ambushes— Often initiated via improvised explosive devises (IED), vehicle-borne IED or rocket propelled grenades (RPG) to stop a convoy or vehicle patrol and establish a kill zone. Normally these are used for disruptions, slowing logistics and bogging down the counterinsurgency force. In some instances insurgents will use convoy or vehicle ambushes to acquire supplies and munitions. Vehicle ambushes are most effective in tight city streets where insurgents can establish well defined kill zones and secondary anti-personnel devices used against dismounting troops.  The close quarters eliminate the vehicle’s maneuverability and the complexity of the terrain makes it difficult to fire from a turret.
  • Personnel Ambushes—Personnel ambushes can be used to deny a patrol access to an area as a defensive action as well as for the destruction or capture of individuals. Like any patrol, they are planned in detail and are seldom random.
  • Assassination—A term generally applied to the killing of prominent persons and symbolic personnel as well as “traitors” who defect from the group, human intelligence (HUMINT) sources, and others who work with/for the sitting government or U.S. forces supporting it.
  • Arson—Less dramatic than most tactics, arson has the advantage of low risk to the perpetrator and requires only a low level of technical knowledge.
  • Bombing and High Explosives—The IED is currently the insurgent’s weapon of choice, followed by suicide bombing. They gain publicity for the insurgent cause while providing the ability to control casualties through selective placement of the device timed detonation. They also allow the insurgents to deny responsibility should the action produce undesirable results. Critical to our mission is the ability to deny the time and place for detonation.
  • Civil Operations—In many cases insurgent organizations or the political wing that supports them will conduct civil type operations (e.g. give money to schools and poor families, aide in religious or child development activities) to virtually replace the sitting  government in communities that support them. The purpose of these operations is to create legitimacy, presenting the insurgency as a responsible and moral organization.
  • Deliberate Attacks—In recent conflicts deliberate, coordinated attacks served as mostly psychological and informational operations. Their goal is to create as much destruction as possible without owning any terrain. Generating shock, fear and publicity is generally the main purpose of these attacks. This does not mean the attacks are ineffective militarily; the strategic effect generated can cause policy change, shifts in international opinion and can destroy local trust in coalition security.
  • Demonstrations— Can be used to incite violent responses by counterinsurgents and also to display the popularity of the insurgency cause.
  • Denial and Deception—Denial involves measures taken by the threat to block, prevent, or impair U.S. intelligence collection. Examples include killing or otherwise intimidating HUMINT sources. Deception involves manipulating information and perceptions in order to mislead.
  • Hijacking or Skyjacking—Sometimes employed as a means of escape, hijacking is normally carried out to produce a spectacular hostage situation. Although trains, buses, and ships have been hijacked, aircraft are the preferred target because of their greater mobility and because they are difficult to penetrate during terrorist operations.
  • Hoaxes-Any insurgent or terrorist group that has established credibility can employ a hoax with considerable success. A threat against a person’s life causes that person and those associated with that individual to devote time and efforts to security measures. A bomb threat can close a commercial building, empty a theater, or delay an aircraft flight at no cost to the insurgent or terrorist. False alarms desensitize and dull the efficiency of security personnel, thus degrading readiness while undermining the moral authority of the local government and creating doubt within the population.
  • Hostage Taking—This is an overt seizure of one or more individuals with the intent of gaining publicity or other concessions in return for release of the hostage. While dramatic, hostage and hostage barricade situations are risky for the perpetrator
  • Indirect Fire—Insurgents may use indirect fire to harass counterinsurgents, or to cause them to commit forces that are attacked by secondary ambushes.
  • Infiltration and Subversion—Gain intelligence and degrade the effectiveness of government organizations by getting them to hire insurgent agents or by convincing members of the government to support the insurgency. Subversion may be achieved through intimidation, indoctrination of sympathetic individuals, or bribes.
  • Information—The aggressive use of information to influence and promote insurgent ideals and discredit a government or counterinsurgency. Insurgents leverage networks and information technologies to penetrate the local population and broadcast their message regionally and globally. Using information much like an advertising or marketing company every effort is made to “sell” their value and ideas while driving a wedge between the population and those opposing the insurgency. At times the insurgent will lie, sensationalize, and exaggerate or modify the truth leaving the counterinsurgent to explain the truth. The largest information outlet insurgents have to the international community is the news media. Many operations are used to generate attention from international news groups such as CNN and BBC.  Insurgents will allow reporters access to their operations in an attempt to gain international sympathy.
  • Kidnapping— While similar to hostage taking, kidnapping has significant differences. Kidnapping is usually a covert seizure of one or more specific persons in order to extract specific demands. It is normally the most difficult task to execute. The perpetrators of the action may or may not be known for a long time. Media attention is initially intense, but decreases over time. Because of the time involved, successful kidnapping requires elaborate planning and logistics. The risk to the perpetrators may be less than in the hostage situation.
  • Propaganda—Insurgents may disseminate propaganda using any form of media, as well as face-to-face talks.
  • Raids or Attacks on Facilities—Armed attacks on facilities are usually undertaken to:
  • Demonstrate the government’s inability to secure critical facilities or national symbols.
  • Acquire resources (for example, robbery of a bank or armory).
  • Kill U.S. military or government employees.
  • Intimidate the sitting government and the general populace.
  • Sabotage-The objective in most sabotage incidents is to demonstrate how vulnerable a particular society, or government, is to terrorist actions.  Industrialized areas provide especially vulnerable targets. Utilities, communications, and transportation systems are so interdependent that a serious disruption of any one affects all of them and gains immediate public attention. Sabotage of industrial or commercial facilities is one means of creating significant disruption while making a statement of future intent. Military facilities and installations, information systems, and information infrastructures may become targets of terrorist sabotage.
  • Seizure—Seizure usually involves a building or object that has value in the eyes of the audience. There is some risk to the perpetrator because security forces have time to react.
  • Terror and crime—Although most forms of domestic insurgent actions are used to generate some form of terror, tactics such as ambushes and attacks can be justified as interactions between two armed forces. There are other actions however, that are clearly terrorist or criminal in nature. Some examples are: Deliberately targeting civilians or civilian leadership; Beheadings, hangings, burnings and other forms of public torture; Kidnappings (either to torture or for monetary gain); Drug smuggling or selling; Theft and other organized crime
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction/Effects—Some domestic insurgent groups may possess chemical and biological (CB) weapons, and there is a potential for use of CB weapons in the future. These weapons, relatively cheap and easy to make, may be used in place of conventional explosives in many situations. The potential for mass destruction and the deep-seated fear most people have for CB weapons could be attractive to a group wishing to attract international attention. Although an explosive nuclear device is acknowledged to be beyond the financial and/or technical reach of most terrorist groups, a CB weapon or even a radiological dispersion device using nuclear contaminants is not. The technology is simple and the payoff is potentially higher than conventional explosives.


  • Preparation for Counterinsurgency

The time prior to deployment is critical and must be used wisely. Pre- deployment training and preparation is most likely the last time you will be able to analyze the situation without the pressures of a fluid and violent environment constantly surrounding you. Maximize this time; make use of every means to understand your operating area, the problems, and people in it. Take note of the following checklists and delegate the tasks to ensure that workload, knowledge and understanding are disseminated throughout your unit. Mission type orders are essential in the prosecution of COIN operations in that they are based on mutual trust in the chain of command. Give subordinate leaders responsibility and trust, and then evaluate them in detail. Once you are in the situation, success will only be achieved if you trust their ability to seize every opportunity to legally, ethically, and morally carry out their duties and accomplish the mission.

  • Intelligence Preparation

Know your patch. Know the people, the topography, economy, history and culture. Know every community, road, field, population group,local leadership, both pro and con the sitting government, and local grievance. Your task is to become the world expert on your particular district… Neglect this knowledge, and it will kill you.

Dr David Kilcullen, 2006

To be effective in a counterinsurgency operation you must understandmore than the enemy’s composition, disposition and strength.

A quick METT-T analysis is not enough to create the depth of understanding needed to positively affect an area. You have to understand the area as a whole. To be effective you must first become an expert in your area of responsibility and know how it ties into and relates to the areas surrounding it. This knowledge will become the basis for your planning and execution, and how to adapt to the inevitable changes as operations progress in your area.

Make contact and maintain open communication with the current commander on the ground via phone, email or personal liaison.

Ask for any turnover information he may have and any additional lessons learned he acquired while there. Prepare specific questions to fill your  gaps and holes; remember, although the commander will most likely be more than willing to aid his replacement, he is still in the fight. Do not waste his time by making him guess what information you need.

Intelligence Preparation of the Operations Area (IPOA) Checklist:

Our current intelligence gathering process has been optimized for conventional warfare and cannot reveal the level of detail required for COIN operations. To be effective it is critical that locally applicable information and intelligence on the local cultural, informational and operational terrain is gathered, understood and applied to operational planning and activity. The following checklist represents an outline IPOA.

  • Culture

Religion(s)? Types? Beliefs? Traditions? Holy days / places / books? Clergy / leaders and their place in the community?

Local customs / traditions / holidays?

Families? Influential families? Connections to other families? Family leaders? Role of the family in the community

  • Economy

Means of income and distribution? Key industries and markets? Central market areas? Popular shops and cafes? Forms of commerce and trade? Key industrial leaders and merchants?

Standard of living? Divisions between wealthy, middle, and low income? Effect of current hostilities on the economy?

  • Civil Infrastructure. Water? Food? Sewer? Health care? Electric? Fire department? Police department?
  • Terrain

Key terrain? Buildings and infrastructure? Lines of communication: roads and railways; waterways; trails; tunnels and bridges?

Insurgent occupied / dominated areas?


Religious and cultural areas? Whereare they and what do they mmean?

  • Military / Para-military

Government-supportive sponsored militia in the area?

Non-government sponsored militia in the area?

  • Enemy

Popular mobilization? Single narrative? Civil projects?  Connection to the populace? Connection to the narrative?

Key leaders?

Decision makers? Operations leaders? Connecting files? Daily routine?

Networking? Family relationships: immediate and extended?  Friendships? Business relationships?  Income, interests, industry and alignments? (Internal and external sources of income; connections to other industries; interests in political offices and other power bases; alignments with nongovernmental organizations, transnational extremists organizations, academic organizations, religious groups or political parties?)

Activity? Recent actions such as assaults, raids, ambushes, etc.?  (Locations; times; specific actions; goals; success?) Recent arrests? Counter actions? Recent civil / humanitarian actions?

Composition, disposition, and strength? Weapons? Size of operational elements? General strength of the force?  Most probable course of action?

  • Other Elements

Nongovernmental organizations in the area?

Other government agencies in the area?

Special operations forces in the area?


Remember, the overall purpose is to mobilize the population behind your message. Use the information gathered in your Intelligence Preparation of the Operations Area (IPOA) to dissect the problem; the key questions you should look for are:

  • What is the insurgency’s main objective?
  • What is their single narrative—their mobilizing message?
  • What are the weak points in their message and how can you exploit them?
  • What are the needs of the local populace and how can you gain their support?
  • What is your message to the populace?
  • How will you involve yourself with the local populace, and how will you pass and portray that message to the populace in your operations?
  • What assets and contacts will you already have when you arrive?
  • What will you need to request, build and develop to gain access to the locals and break down the insurgency?


Intent— What is the underlying purpose behind all of your operations?  What are you trying to achieve? What is the one statement that will guide all of your junior leaders?

Concept of Operations—Make the plan simple and flexible and leave room for setbacks and changes. Unlike a conventional operation, there is no ground or single objective to advance on and measure forward progress. Remember the overriding objective is the support of the populace in order to marginalize the insurgents. There will be a constant ebb and flow of advances and setbacks of your goals as well as constant adaptations to your plan, tactics and techniques. Prepare for them now; do not allow your enemy to gain initiative due to a rigid plan and inflexibility.

The Message—Next,get the message that you need to send to the populace to mobilize them to your cause. Like commander’s intent, this should feed from higher, and your message or single narrative should reflect the message sent from higher, aiding in the overall strategic objective. The wording and highlighted point must be specific to your area depending on the size and demographics of that area. Yours may be the exact same message as the division, regiment and battalion or it might be specific to the company; if your message does differ it should be approved and supported by your higher command. Utilize the minds of your junior leaders and, if available, an interpreter to ensure that the message translates properly and clearly.

Scheme of Maneuver— Again, the scheme of maneuver must be simple and flexible. Highlight by phase and be prepared to both move back and forth between phases as required and to have different units in different phases at one time. Also, no one phase or element can be a single approach; for example, security and dominance must be achieved immediately, however, that effort does not end once the goal is attained, nor should you try to gain security and dominance without simultaneously conducting civil, information or intelligence operations.

Wargaming the Plan—Bring in your subordinate leaders to try to predict setbacks and enemy weaknesses and to work out contingency courses of action (COA). Think through problems from the enemy’s point of view and predict how they will react to your actions. Use a cunning and experienced individual to play the enemy against your plans. Then adapt your plan to stay a step ahead. Prepare to be wrong and adapt a step ahead of your enemy.

  • Task Organization

As you organize your unit take into account the key functions that have to be performed. Intelligence, information operations and civil operations are but a few of the issues that you may have to deal with on your own. Success in this fight comes at the small unit level, many of these tasks will have to be done together and many units will be doing similar tasks concurrently. Do not expect extra manning or aid from higher; prepare with what you have and expect minimal aid from your higher command. Give your most trusted leaders the billets that require the least supervision and give developing leaders the positions that can be closely watched. Listed below are some suggestions for task organization. Ultimately the decision is up to you; do not follow a single template; adapt your unit to best fight your area.

IntelligenceThe insurgent is normally easy to kill but hard to find.  Intelligence will become one of your main concerns and will require the majority of your time. Do not attempt to accomplish this task on your own; it is possible to form an intelligence cell at the company level. Put an officer, a Staff NCO or an NCO that is capable of performing detailed, complex and cognitive tasks in charge of this intelligence cell and support him with a team of competent personnel that can gather, sort and analyze information and make predictions about the enemy and indigenous personnel. Key: Every individual within the unit is an mintelligence collector.

Operations Cell— It may also be necessary to establish a company ops cell to initiate and track plans. Counterinsurgencies are multi- dimensional and a company commander will be required to stay involved in every aspect; but not in every minute detail. Again, this is a consideration and it may not be applicable or even possible in your situation.

Information and Civil Operations—Information operations are central to mobilizing the populace. This cell should include a political officer whose sole job it is to provide you with information about the local populace. The perfect political officer is a DHS or FBI agent who, knows the people and understands the local culture. This may not be possible at the company level, but the billet is vital. A single officer or staff NCO must be assigned to this billet; the commander must have a constant feed of information and he should not attempt to do it himself, nor should he task it to his intelligence cell, which will be fully committed to the vital tactical information aspects of your operation. Key: Just as every individual is an intelligence collector in COIN; they are also “transmitters” of our message to the local populace by his actions, conduct, bearing, and words.

 Civil operations in most cases will be prepared and initiated by you and performed by another unit. Seek and be prepared to accept engineers and civil affairs personnel into your structure.

Operating Areas—A way to achieve a great deal of understanding of and connection with the area is to assign your subordinate units to their own operating areas. Let them become familiar with the streets, people and patterns of a specified area. The benefits are numerous: junior leaders can design their own patrolling plans with guidance, will have knowledge of the area, can develop trusted contacts and assets and can set their posture based off of their threat. This technique requires platoon commanders and squad leaders that are proactive, are able to grasp an understanding of changing situations and are capable of designing and executing logical plans based off of guidance. A set back of this technique is possible complacency and comfort with the area; this can be mitigated by proper supervision. Only under unusual circumstances should a commander shift unit operating areas because of the loss of area awareness and local relationships.

Functional Areas—A more centrally controlled method of task organization is to rotate units along functional areas. For example, one platoon conducts patrolling for a set number of days while another platoon is on guard and the third is on rest and QRF. This method gives units a break from the monotony and stress of a single task and can allow for more flexibility at the company level in some cases. It does not, however, allow for the same amount of contact with the local populace, nor does it allow for a detailed understanding of a specific area.

Attachments—Attachments are more than just increases in manpower and firepower. They are now a part of your unit, and you need to treat them as such. Be ready to employ them to the fullest extent of their abilities. Operational relationship will dictate the level of flexibility you mhave to employ your attachments and should be the first consideration when accepting them from higher. Examine their capabilities and how you can use them; do not limit yourself to traditional thought or doctrine when planning for their employment; find out how they can best benefit the campaign and use them accordingly. Assimilate them as soon as possible, use their leadership to help determine capabilities and limitations and make them a part of your planning process. Key: This demands that each unit have a coherent and rehearsed plan for integrating augments, be it an individual or a unit.

Interagency Operations

Other government agencies are central to counterinsurgency. The State Department, national intelligence agencies, Department of Justice and Army Corps of Engineers are a few of the organizations that conduct operations in counterinsurgency. They are assets in conducting civil-military operations and it is imperative that you and they are working in coordination with each other. Train the company staff as well as a Marine per each squad on interagency operations. If possible set up briefings with their representatives and exchange your plan with theirs.

Training, Partnering and Advising Indigenous Forces— It is possible that you will find yourself working with local police forces. These units are key to the eventual success of your mission. This task requires approval from the highest levels of command as it is a matter of national policy as reflected in the campaign design for the intervention in which you are engaged. Assuming you are directed to train host nation forces, there are some considerations for planning theseactivities:

  • Determine the mission of the domestic local police force you are training and how they will be used, and tailor the training appropriately.
  • Avoid “mirror imaging” – which is the tendency to make the police force behave and even look like you.
  • Exercise great patience. The range of experience and the quality of local police personnel ranges widely.
  • Focus on the basics. You may need to teach the police personnel how to shoot and move as a team. Conversely, you may find the unit generally well trained and only in need of more advanced collective skills.
  • Train the trainer. Where possible, you are usually served best by training a cadre of leaders within the local police unit and then assisting them as they teach their personnel.
  • Using your small units as examples, show the local police unit(s) how to perform collective tasks such as day and night patrolling.
  • Once a local police unit is basically trained, your personnel can act as an integrated training cadre to that local poice unit. The next stage is coalition actions at the small unit level.
  • Once a local police unit gains a measure of confidence from successful coalition operations against an enemy, they will be able to take on more demanding and complex combat tasks on their own.
  • Treat the local police unit’s personnel with respect—particularly their leaders. This engenders goodwill and should add to their confidence. This is especially true in the presence of the indigenous populace. You want them to believe in their security forces.
  • You may have to work with the bureaucracy (or emerging bureaucracy) of the host nation in order to ensure that the local police unit you are working with is being paid and otherwise provisioned. Pay should come from their government—not you.
  • If you plan to continue working with the unit, plan on posting a liaison team with the local police unit unit after you have trained them.



Training and education must be ongoing activities – and you are the chief instructor. Develop a culture of training in which you prepare your unit members in advance of deployment, but continue to train even as you are executing in combat. Do this in such a manner that what you teach in training is practiced in combat and what is practiced in combat is borne out in ongoing (in-theater) training. To fight an intelligent and adaptive enemy, you must maintain the initiative of adaptation relative to your opponent, and training is your means of doing exactly that.

Teach and evaluate your junior leaders and company staff. They are your training cadre and they need to share your commitment to and philosophy of continuous training.

Where to Begin?— You will always have resource limitations to training.  The time available to train during the precious weeks and months prior to deployment will come at a premium and you must focus on what is most important for your unit for mission accomplishment. Begin with what you deem the most important and work your way backwards to classes easily taught during down time in movement to theater. Backwards plan from your deployment date and include the battalion’s training plan.  Work with the S-3 and use the battalion’s evolutions to reinforce your training. Ensure you use the training time to drive your mission and intent into your unit’s psyche. The proper attitude and understanding of expectations cannot be overemphasized. Teach the ROE and ensure that Marines understand that it does not restrict them from self defense.  Develop and solidify your SOPs, then base them against scenarios where Marines / Soldiers and junior leaders must make decisions. Follow with evaluations and remediation. Ensure that there is sufficient time in the schedule for subordinate leaders to train their units. You are the only one that can decide what training is most important to your unit and where the priorities lie. Focus on commander’s intent, your mission and the unique qualities of your area and allow your junior leaders to do the same. Remember, however, that your higher headquarters will have a training program of which you are a part, and this will focus much of your training time. You must prioritize and make best use of every available moment in training. You must strive to train as you will fight.

Evaluation—Evaluation should not be prescriptive. Get to the root of why a Marine, Soldier or Sailor made his or her decision and adjust their perception of the situation. This type of process has three benefits: It builds confidence and proficiency in the junior leader’s decision making ability. Your intent and expectations are continually reinforced. You may find that your intent may not be as clear or descriptive as you thought.

Company Staff— Remember that your reorganized company staff is doing jobs that most were not formally trained for. However, the value of education is that we teach our leaders to prepare them for circumstances that are beyond our ability to forecast. In this sense, leader education, formal and informal, enables junior leaders to bridge the gap between what the unit is trained to do based on what is known and what a mission actually requires. The best case would be to send members of your company team to formal schooling although this not often possible or practical. Set the standard for your team, put them in positions as soon as possible and train them using scenarios. When you go to the field establish a CP and have them perform their functions to the level of proficiency you expect. Push your intelligence staff to begin gathering and adapting your Intelligence Preparation of the Operations Area (IPOA), push them to brief the platoon commanders and coordinate with the other staff cells. Use your operations cell to start forward planning, executing and directing the other staff elements.

Attachments—Get your hands on your attachments as soon as possible, allow them time to train for their primary specialties and bring them into the fold. Train them with the rest of your unit, not as a separate entity.  They must understand all of your SOPs and immediate actions. They must be as clear on your intent and expectations as the rest of your unit— completely integrated.

Leaders—Train your leaders to the point of complete trust and understanding. Evaluate the talents and abilities of your subordinates and assign them where they can best use their talents. Whenever possible, make them a part of the planning and decision making process.  Give them the leeway to succeed. Supervise their actions and effectiveness and evaluate and guide them properly to high levels of initiative, mature decision making and a savvy form of aggressiveness.

Considerations for training: No list of training ideas can be comprehensive. Included below is a simple list to help leaders begin the planning process. A good view to adopt is to adopt a “patrolling culture” that treats ever action as a sub-set of mission accomplishment. These five rules form a basis for all of your preparation. Your attention to every detail in preparation must begin with your initial training and carry throughout every action.

  • Practice pre-combat checks and inspections as an ingrained activity. Be exacting from checking eq1uipment to knowledge of actions on the objective. No detail is too small. These should be as common as brushing your teeth.
  • Conduct rehearsals. The more you rehearse, the smoother your actions will be when action begins and the chaos of combat makes specific direction difficult or impossible.
  • Conduct thorough confirmation briefs with all your unit leaders and take the time for a confirmation brief with all unit members before you begin your mission.
  • Conduct thorough AARs. You learn from operations and adapt in advance of the enemy. Use AARs to help you adapt. Use wargaming to help your leaders learn from operations. Every scenario that you have war-gamed with your leaders will be a tool in their tool chest.
  • Make post-action debriefs an integral part of both training and combat.

The “Big Three.” Remember the “Big Three” rules when preparing for and executing operations:

  • Guardian Angels. These are the alert military units placed in ambush, unseen by the enemy, watching over their units. Your entry control point (ECP), patrol, squad, platoon, company establishes patterns by its very existence and movement. The enemy responds to those patterns and future expectations of patterns; no matter how innovative your tactics or silent your movement, eventually units are going to be spotted and a pattern of some type discerned by the enemy. You want to always have at least one Marine that the enemy can’t find-at least one Marine in a position of ambush, overwatching the rest of his unit-alert, protecting-a guardian, ready to fire from ambush. Security is the first priority of work. Guardian angel placement is the first priority of security.
  • Geometry of Fires. Active and continuous placement of units, Marines, and sectors of fire to ensure that, in the moment when fires are needed, the ability to fire is not masked by Marines or by innocents. This is a 360-degree fight, and your geometry of fires must take that factor into account in operations ranging from ECPs to snap vehicle checkpoints to patrolling alleyways to full-on urban combat.
  • Unity of command. One Marine is always in charge. In the dynamic, nonlinear environment, with units all transiting through your battlespace someone must own the area of operations (AO), regardless of the rank of the senior interloper.

Standards and Ethics. These final five rules describe will help to form your unit’s character and must be engrained in each unit member and every action.

  • No better friend, no worse enemy. No better friend to the populace and no worse enemy to the insurgent.
  • First, do no harm. Avoid and prevent the killing or wounding of innocents. This is inherent to our mission.
  • The people are not the enemy, but our enemy hides amongst them.
  • Professionalism.

Our actions and appearance demonstrate our professionalism at all times. We are confident, alert, and proficient.  We fully understand the nature of the fight, the rightness of our cause, and are ready to show our courage to those friendly and enemy observers watching our every move.

  • Consistent and continuous application of individual and small unit discipline and tactical skills.

These skills include use of micro-terrain, covering each other’s back, understanding the value of cover and local security in relation to the enemy’s ability to gain an advantage, and understanding that urban combat is all about angles. Guardian angels and alert leaders combine to create tactically cunning, hard to kill units. Complacency kills, and it only takes a moment of inattention for complacency to take its toll. Teach your Marines to be hard to kill.


Mobilizing the Populace

As described in Chapter 2, insurgents use a variety of measures— coercive and persuasive—to mobilize the populace in support of their objectives. To succeed in countering the insurgency, security forces must also mobilize the populace so as to marginalize the insurgents, create a less permissive operating environment for their activities, and win popular support. Therefore the essence of COIN is a competition to mobilize the populace. This is not a new or “soft” approach. Marines like Chesty Puller have successfully done this in our history and it is vital to successful COIN operations.

The populace includes a number of overlapping sub-groups, across a spectrum from active supporters of the COIN force to active insurgent fighters. The aim of populace mobilization is not solely to destroy groups at the “enemy” end of the spectrum, but also to progressively shift individuals and groups closer to the “friendly” end of the spectrum.  The enemy will try to force your Marines to hate all locals. Nothing is more critical to denying the enemy this victory than the attitude of sturdy small unit leaders who can combat shocks in stride and maintain their subordinates morale and fighting power. We are America’s elite and must never forget that we represent a great country that stands against oppression and evil. We must bridge cultural gaps and combat perceptions that distract from what we represent in order to undercut the enemy’s support.

Purpose and Importance of Mobilization

The purpose of mobilization is threefold. First, it builds local allies that can actively or passively assist COIN forces in carrying out their mission.  Second, it creates a permissive operating environment for COIN forces, improving operational security, reducing tactical friction, and allowing commanders to contemplate more ambitious operations than would otherwise be possible. Finally, it marginalizes insurgents, denying popular support to their activities, forcing them to spend more effort on force protection and security, and often causing them to turn against the populace – further exacerbating their loss of support.

Populace mobilization is fundamentally a political activity, and will normally be directed by civilian interagency leaders, primarily the country team under the U.S. ambassador, working in close cooperation with the military force commander and his staff. At unit level and below, commanders within the security forces work to support a broader set of political objectives designed to win over the populace.

Mobilizing the populace underpins all aspects of COIN. All operations, even logistic and force protection postures, or small-unit actions, affect the overall progress of political mobilization. And all operations, if mishandled, have the potential to undermine efforts to mobilize the populace. Every Marine needs to understand that his or her actions have strategic consequences in a COIN operation.

Populace mobilization is an incremental, gradual process. It occurs by cementing the support of local allies, winning over uncommitted members of the populace, and marginalizing hostile elements (insurgent sympathizers or supporters) within the populace. Large, spectacular, “quick-fix” activities rarely succeed in winning over the populace. A steady stream of incremental measures to build trusted networks normally works better.

Populace mobilization is primarily a matter of perception management

–addressing the populace’s expectations and perceptions to generate a desired effect. Perceptions matter more than reality in this context, and for the populace you are trying to influence—their perception is their reality. COIN forces must strenuously avoid creating expectations that cannot be fulfilled, leading to disappointment and loss of support. Commanders must constantly seek to understand and counteract rumors, popular misperceptions, and relationships with key community leaders.

Relationship to “Hearts and Minds”

Often the saying “winning the hearts and minds” is stated as a goal in COIN operations. Completely winning the hearts and minds is an unachievable endstate however, we are battling for support of the populace. Mobilizing the populace is a subset of “hearts and minds” activities. Hearts and Minds are two distinct but related areas of perception management, as follows:

  • The “Hearts” dimension seeks to persuade the populace that their interests are best served by the COIN force’s success. This is achieved by building a commonality of interest between the security forces and the populace, and giving the populace a stake in success. For example, development and assistance programs should be turned over to local community leaders, with the absolute necessary minimum of COIN force support – this allows the community to “own” these projects and feel they have a stake in the success of the counterinsurgency.
  • The “Minds” dimension seeks to persuade the populace that the COIN force is going to succeed in its mission. This helps convince wavering community leaders to join the winning side, and deter those who might otherwise support the insurgents. It is achieved by demonstrating consistency, reliability and authority, building the prestige of the security forces and those who cooperate with them. For example, a visible security force presence in key populace centers, combined with public successes in arresting key insurgent leaders or defeating insurgent attacks, creates a sense of confidence in the populace. This must all be done while “maintaining the moral mhigh ground” and keeping our honor clean.

Minimizing Alienation

All kinetic operations, particularly those that result in civilian death, wounding or property destruction, tend to alienate the local populace and reduce their support for COIN forces. This does not mean that such operations must be avoided – on the contrary, they are an essential part of COIN. Rather, commanders must apply force sparingly, seek to understand the effects of their operations on public perception, and act to minimize the resultant alienation. Key: Taken from the physician’s oath, the guidance of “First, do no harm” has been used by the Marines. The concept is to recognize the local populace must identify that maturity, morality, and genuine concern abides with us, not the enemy.

Commanders must understand the process of alienation. Most commanders realize that popular resentment increases in the aftermath of a negative incident (such as an inadvertent killing of a non-combatant). But most incorrectly assume that such resentment gradually subsides after such an incident, until another incident occurs In fact, it is more normal for resentment to remain high after an incident or even increase, until the next incident raises it to a new high

Therefore commanders must have a detailed knowledge of the history of security force interaction with a given village, populace group or location in order to understand the degree of alienation and resentment in that area, and hence the amount of work required to win over that populace group. In general terms, when a populace has become alienated, only a concerted effort– usually working with and through local community leaders – will win back that mpopulace. The mere passage of time or absence of additional “unfortunate incidents” will not suffice.


Credibility, Honor and Reliability

Credibility—convincing the populace that COIN forces can and will deliver on promises made—is fundamental to mobilizing popular support. Credibility underpins the “minds” dimension of Hearts and Minds, by persuading the populace that COIN forces are serious players in the local environment. This is especially important for any promises or commitments given in relation to the populace’s security. Commanders must follow through on any commitments made and, conversely, must avoid making any commitment that cannot be kept. The key is to avoid mcreating unattainable expectations and subsequent disappointment.

Honor is a major motivating factor in traditional societies. It is more important in tribal or remote environments than in settled districts and towns, but remains a prominent feature of any interaction between security forces and the populace. Commanders and troops at all levels must be sensitive to the honor of local community leaders, seeking to build the prestige of leaders who cooperate with COIN forces, while undermining the prestige of those who do not. Likewise, all members of the force must be sensitive to the issue of “face” – avoiding any incident that would tend to humiliate or undermine a local leader in the eyes of his people. Generally speaking, local community leaders will forgive mistakes, even those involving loss of life, far more readily than loss of face.

Reliability contributes to credibility by convincing the populace that COIN forces are a viable long-term partner. Periodic force rotation, every few months, makes it difficult for COIN forces to be consistent in meeting expectations and ensuring that commitments are honored.

Commanders, planners and civil affairs staffs must conduct a detailed handover with predecessor units, to ensure that a complete record is kept of all such commitments. Commanders should also meet with community leaders as soon as possible on assuming control of an area, to ensure that their expectations are fully understood. In the event that commitments cannot be honored, keeping the populace informed of developments in a timely fashion can help reduce disappointment and thus minimize alienation.

Building Trusted Networks

A key element of IPB in counterinsurgency is an understanding of local networks within the at-risk society. Such networks include kinship ties, educational networks, economic linkages, patronage and influence networks, political party alignments, traditional trading or smuggling networks, criminal networks, ethnic and cultural groupings, religious networks and official government or state structures, among others. Commanders must enter their area with a basic mental model of these network structures, and a general plan to exploit them in order to build popular support.

Trusted Networks

The purpose of building trusted networks is to create local allies, who share common interests with the COIN force and are prepared to act in support of COIN objectives while actively or passively opposing the insurgents. Such networks may be conceived of as roots which the COIN force puts down into the populace base. Like the roots of a tree, these provide stability and resilience in the face of setbacks. Also like the roots of a tree, such networks expand into the populace by following the natural line of least resistance. Finally, like tree roots, such networks require effort and emphasis; otherwise the whole campaign structure may become unbalanced. One method of building trusted networks is to commence with local allies or supporters, then identify the key networks in which these allies operate. Targeted intelligence, civil affairs, liaison and security operations are then conducted to build bridges to other players in these networks, winning over further allies. The process is then repeated in an iterative fashion to consolidate networks of trust Note that it is not necessary for the COIN force to interact directly with each member of a trusted network. Indeed, this may often be counterproductive since some members of the populace may be willing to cooperate with the COIN force’s local allies, but not with the COIN force itself. Rather, at every level, commanders should seek to strengthen the position of local allies, and extend and cement relationships through them with wider networks.

Methods of Mobilizing the Populace

Applying the concepts described above, the COIN force may adopt any or all of the following methods to mobilize the populace:

Physical Mobilization. Control over the methods and routes that the populace uses to move about the area assists in mobilizing popular support. Conducted properly, presence patrols, vehicle checkpoints and security posts provide a feeling of security to the populace and allow commanders to influence their perceptions. Movement assistance (e.g. convoying or escorting civilian vehicles, providing transport for movement of goods to market, prevention of transport disruption, security of gasoline and oil supplies) also provides opportunity to build networks within the populace and win over uncommitted members of the community.

Psychological Mobilization. Mobilization of the populace through a range of psychological operations and influence activities provides everage over key community leaders and groups. Activities should initially be directed to mapping the human terrain in the area of operations, identifying opinion leaders and influential groups and individuals. Once these are identified, influence operations should comprise two basic types: activities directed at securing the support and cooperation of key individuals, and activities directed at influencing the populace at large. Military Information Support Teams and tactical psyop teams are employed using similar methods as in other forms of warfare.

Political Mobilization. Political staff of the country team, the host government or the COIN force headquarters will direct activities in support of political mobilization. These may include support to registering of voters, protection of political rallies and canvassing activity, polling place protection during elections, support to local government administrators, intelligence activity to protect local political leaders allied to the COIN force, and support to electoral registration, vote-counting or election monitors. Close cooperation with interagency leaders is critical to ensure that troops’ activities and posture supports established political objectives.

Socio-Economic Mobilization. The COIN force may support activities to mobilize the populace through developing social and cultural leverage via the trusted networks described in paragraph 6. Humanitarian and economic assistance, business promotion activities, reintegration and employment programs and support to commercial activity are key elements of socio-economic mobilization. Such activities are normally directed by Intelligence, civil affairs, aid and development and embassy political staff. Deployed units provide protection to key personnel conducting these activities, and provide a critically important stream of tactical reporting that enables commanders to assess progress in building networks.


Tactics, Techniques and Procedures of Mobilization

Needs assessments. COIN force commanders should develop a standard format for assessing populace needs, to include humanitarian, economic, development, security, health, education and environmental needs. Civil Affairs staffs normally maintain standardized survey questionnaires and other assessment tools, which have wide applicability as an intelligence and operational planning tool in COIN. All troops should be trained in conducting preliminary needs assessments, and in reporting assessment results to civil affairs staff and headquarters. Civil affairs staff must share needs assessment results with other staff branches via a consolidated populace database.

Tactical Reporting. All troops operating in a COIN environment – regardless of specialization – must be trained in tactical reporting of key populace indicators that allow staffs to assess progress in mobilizing support. Reporting guidelines must be jointly developed with interagency staff (especially political staff on the Embassy country team) and with civil affairs and intelligence personnel. Tactical reporting databases must be handed over to successor units and updated regularly as the situation changes – in particular, old reporting that is out of date must be weeded out. Village reports, route condition reports, records of conversation with key local leaders, infrastructure reports and economic activity reports are examples of some of the types of tactical reporting that may be established. All leaders, to the lowest level, must be aware of the importance of such reporting details and their role in keeping them up-to-date.

Inter-agency Operations. Deployment of health services, humanitarian assistance, civil-engineer, intelligence and psychological operations personnel in distributed small-unit operations may also provide significant benefits, particularly in urban areas with mixed populaces.  This is a crucial aspect in gaining legitimacy for the local government authorities, who will have to remain and operate effectively once the COIN force withdraws. Cooperative police/military patrolling is a useful aid to interagency cooperation, but commanders should note that local police are not always accepted by the local populace – under certain circumstances the military or coalition forces may be perceived as more impartial. Where possible, however, arrests and interrogations of local community members should be carried out by police and include representation by local community leaders.

Inter-agency Operations Centers. Establishment of joint interagency tactical operations centers greatly assists in mobilizing the populace.  Where feasible, these should include police, intelligence services, justice officials, aid and development officials, representatives of non-government organizations assisting in the COIN effort, Foreign Service political staff and coalition forces. It will not always be possible or necessary to include the full range of interagency representation at every level. At a minimum police, intelligence, military and local administration staffs should be represented.

Demonstrations. Demonstrations are a technique to assist in developing credibility and winning minds. These may be of significant benefit early in a tour as a “show of force”. They may include staged events such as open days where the populace has an opportunity to understand the level of firepower, mobility and technology available to the force. More often, they will be impromptu activities where commanders seize an opportunity to impress upon the populace the COIN force’s ability to assist the populace and hurt their enemies. Such activities may involve firepower and maneuver, but may also involve targeted civil affairs. For example, commanders may use forward teams to conduct a rapid needs assessment of key local villages, then follow these assessments with prompt assistance packages designed to show the populace that the government, through the COIN force, can respond to its needs. Again, while this can be a powerful tool, remember that an unfulfilled promise can be damaging to your credibility. The rule should be to under promise and over deliver.

Targeted civil affairs. Tailored humanitarian, medical and infrastructure development assistance, including provision of basic services, can be a significant tool in mobilizing the populace. Provision of humanitarian assistance must be grounded on human needs, but within these parameters groups that cooperate more fully with the COIN force can be targeted with additional assistance, greater financial and other incentives, and less restrictive security measures. Civil affairs teams working closely with intelligence staffs and commanders thus send a consistent message to encourage the populace to support the counterinsurgency effort.

Cyber-mobilization. Modern insurgents employ the internet and cell phone technology to mobilize supporters. In particular, the use of SMS messages via cell phone is a potent tool for rallying insurgent supporters, threatening government sympathizers, passing information and spreading propaganda. Because of this, commanders may allocate a portion of SIGINT effort to countering or exploiting SMS traffic, and a portion of psyop effort should be allocated to influencing the populace via SMS and internet. As with other forms of psychological operation, this technique is most effective when electronic means of mobilizing the populace are synchronized in mutual support with physical movement and maneuver.

Populace control. Populace control measures (including vehicle checkpoints, stop and search activities, cordon and knock, curfews, food and water control measures) are a potent tool for mobilizing the populace.  They can be applied to produce incentives for supporting the government and disincentives for supporting the insurgency. Commanders may wish to divide their operational area into sectors, and grade each sector (e.g. a village or neighborhood) on its degree of cooperation with the security forces. Cooperative areas may then be granted additional privileges and incentives while more insecure areas are subjected to a greater degree of populace control. This approach is only effective if movement between cooperative and denied areas can be effectively controlled or monitored.  Populace control measures are essential in COIN operations, but all involved must remain aware of the disruption to the locals, which can influence their perceptions of the COIN force. Marines must be “fair, firm, and friendly” when undertaking these control measures.

Locally-raised forces. As trusted networks and local alliances develop, commanders may be in a position to raise, train and employ locally- raised irregular forces. Such activity must always be coordinated with force headquarters and the country team in order to prevent the emergence of local militia outside government control. But provided local forces are loyal to local government leaders, they can be a useful tool in mobilizing the populace. COIN force units raise and train local partner units, normally keeping unit size small and equipment light and locally-procured. Local forces should be irregular in nature, operating in an auxiliary fashion in local areas. Besides providing a link to the local populace and improving situational awareness, such forces also provide a source of income for the community, prestige for local community leaders and additional leverage in building networks and help to put a “local face” on operations- thus enhancing local government authority and positively influencing populace perceptions of the COIN force.

Information and Intelligence Operations

Introduction— Intelligence and information operations will make up the bulk of your unit’s work. Every meeting, patrol, raid, arrest and civil action sends a message to the local populace, the insurgency and possibly the world; every observation, interaction and engagement feeds you with intelligence. Therefore, everything you do should intend to either gather intelligence or spread a message. They are the logic behind your operations and the means of mobilizing the populace.

Information Operations

The richest source of power to wage war lies in the masses of the people.—Mao Tse-tung

The previous chapter discussed mobilizing the population in support of your efforts and away from those of the insurgents. Information Operations (IO) are the vehicle to achieve that end. Diplomatic, military and civil actions all have either a positive or a negative effect on the perception of your presence and should therefore be planned and executed with that effect in mind. Your actions must be justifiable and honest and your message must be consistent; you cannot please everyone, so do not try to. Many will be dissatisfied with your actions; the validity of your reasoning is the only defensive ground you will have to answer with. You will make mistakes. Be prepared to answer for them, maintain the moral high ground and make public restitution for public mistakes. Promise only what you can deliver, say what you mean and then do what you say. In the end, actions speak louder then words and you want someone to know about your actions.

Means of Dissemination—There are primary methods through which information spreads to the local populace, the host nation and the world.  Whatever your aim or message, ensure that it is understood by all audiences; do not tell the locals one thing and the media another – the message should be the same for everyone.

  • Word of Mouth— This is the most basic form of sending and receiving information, and ultimately the form that every other method will become. Word of mouth is the quickest, most common, most inaccurate and most uncontrollable means of disseminating information; but it may be the best way to send your message. Rumors, spins, casual conversations and dinner-table discussions —whatever form they take, word of mouth travels like wild fire. It spreads out of control and the story grows and changes with each conversation like school kids playing a game of Telephone. Everything your unit does is observed and discussed by the locals and spun by the enemy. Be sure that you are prepared to counter false information. Your patrols must interact with the populace. Listen for rumors and correct the ones you hear, but do not waste time arguing about them. Instead, stay positive, tell them the positive things you are doing, listen to their grievances and reinforce your message. You can also point out the negative effects the insurgency is having on them, however, do not direct it at a single individual or group unless your intent is to draw an argument; ties can run deep and you could offend your audience or worse, you mcould raise the perceived status of an individual insurgent and make him a rallying figure.
  • Announcements—Both written and verbal announcements are quick and controlled means of sending messages. Flyers, loud speakers and public speaking are useful ways of informing the populace of progress, incentive programs, civil projects and operations.
  • Town Hall Meetings—Town Hall meetings are an effective means of discussing points and counter points to your presence, operations and the unifying message. They tend to draw the people that are most interested in the issues and have the most legitimate grievances.

This type of meeting also exposes the leaders of the community and the general opinion of the locals. These are planned meetings with an open forum. Use caution and do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of arguments that drag you down paths that are dangerous to your message. Keep in mind that it is an open forum and the insurgents will ensure that people sympathetic to their cause are present and are fighting for their interests in the political arena. A few considerations for Town Hall Meetings are:

Get approval and interagency support. This type of meeting requires approval from some of the highest levels; local government officials should be the main Chairmen of this meeting and you or a U.S. representative should be a board member. The U.S. State Department has a country team whose job is to develop relations with the populace and create a stable government. They should drive this campaign, get a representative from DOS involved as soon as possible to share in the planning process.

Choose your time, ground and topics. Town hall meetings are not good tools when public opinion is already against you; however, they can aid in exploiting a rising following of your efforts. Therefore, the timing of such meetings should coincide with a noticeable rise in local opinion. Pick the place; ensure that you think through where you hold the meeting. Decide whether you want to hold the meeting in a pro-American or neutral part of the AO or if your cause has enough inertia to encroach on insurgent areas. Hold the meeting in a friendly area and you are telling the people, “Agree with us and we will help you.” Hold a successful summit in an insurgent strong hold and you are telling the enemy, “Get on board because we are winning popular opinion.” Choose the topics and stay focused, prepare for the perspectives of insurgent sympathizers and use your political officer and State Department representatives to keep you on track.

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare—Do not walk in cold. Practice and plan; ensure that all officials meet prior to the Town Hall meeting and are on the same page. In every case be prepared to answer, as a group, the litany of questions and grievances that will arise. Know how to answer them—do not make promises you cannot keep and be sure that any other officials who attend understand that they cannot speak for your unit.

Security is paramount. Gathering as a large group for any purpose provides a target for insurgents, especially one that could possibly challenge their ties to the local populace. In the best case, the base of security should be local, supported by advisors and reinforced with coalition forces. If people do not feel safe they will not attend.

  • Media—The media offers a platform for both the host nation and the world. Television, newspapers and magazines circulate information, right or wrong, to a large audience. They can be biased and sensational, and can help your cause or destroy it. Again, they cannot be controlled or manipulated however it is incumbent upon you to ensure they have access to your message and your actions. Reporters are professionals with experience in uncovering lies and relating to their audience. This can be the best opportunity you have to build support and let the world see what good you are doing; or it can be the worst enemy to your cause. The effect depends on how you treat the information/ media. Tell the truth; do not hide facts to try to protect your mission. If your unit makes mistakes, be honest with the people and let them know what actions you are taking to mrectify the problem. Brief the media and give them access to what you are doing; sell your campaign, sell the human rights efforts you are taking and answer their questions honestly. Do not speak out of your lane; if you are a squad leader tell the reporters about your squad and what it is doing. Be prepared to speak with the media, consider designating an individual for that purpose. At the company level, one Marine should be charged with keeping contact with the

PAO and coordinating media operations. Do not sell out your security; ensure that reporters understand your operational security requirements and let them know the rules as to what and where they have access. Once again, in the end your actions will speak louder than your words. Some media agencies will try to undermine your efforts; the majority of legitimate newspapers and broadcasters will report what they see and understand. Your job is to offer accurate information, protect sensitive information, speak only for yourself and your unit and do what you say you will do.

  • Rules of the Road for Interacting with the Media.

− Don’t divulge classified or details on updoming operations

− Don’t provide the enemy with insights to how we operate.

− Don’t give the enemy specifics on BDA or casualties.

− Share your courage with the American people and the population myou are helping, “No Fear”

− Never grieve in public for a lost comrade.




Counterinsurgency is those military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic mactions 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





An insurgency is organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion and armed conflict. 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.

Each insurgency has its own unique characteristics based on its strategic objectives, its operational environment, available resources, operational method, and tactics (For example, an insurgency may be based on mass mobilization through political action or the FOCO theory.

Insurgencies frequently seek to overthrow the existing social order and reallocate power within the country.

The goal of an insurgency is to mobilize human and material resources in order to form an alternative to the state. This alternative is called the counterstate. The counterstate may have much of the infrastructure possessed by the state itself, but this must normally be hidden, since it is illegal. Thus the counterstate is often referred to by the term “clandestine infrastructure.” As the insurgents gain confidence and power, the clandestine infrastructure may become more open, as observed historically in communist regions during the Chinese

Revolution, in South Vietnam after the North Vietnamese 1972 Easter Offensive, and in Colombia in the summer of 1998.

.       Successful mobilization provides active and passive support for the insurgency’s programs, operations, and goals. At the national level, mobilization grows out of dissatisfaction by some elite members with existing political, economic, or social conditions. At the regional level, members of an elite have become marginalized (that is, they have become psychologically alienated from the system), and have established links with followers by bringing them minto the counterstate. At the local, district and province-levels, local movement representatives called the cadre address local grievances and do recruiting. The cadre gives credit to the insurgent movement for all local solutions. Loyalty to the insurgent movement is normally won through deeds but may occur through appeal to abstract principles. Promises to end hunger or eliminate poverty may appeal to a segment of the population, while appeals to eliminate a foreign presence or establish a government based on religious or political ideology may appeal to others.   Leadership figures engage in command and control of the insurgent movement. They are the idea people and planners. They see solutions to the grievances of society in structural terms. They believe that only altering the way the institutions and practices of society fit together mwill result in real change. Reforms and changes in personalities are deemed insufficient to “liberate” or “redeem” society. Historically, insurgencies have coalesced around a unifying leader, ideology, and organization. However, this precedent can no longer be assumed. It is possible that many leaders at the head of several organizations with different ideologies but united by a single goal of overthrowing the government or ridding the country of a foreign presence will emerge.




. The combatants do the actual fighting and are often mistaken for the movement itself.

This they are not. They exist only to carry out the same functions as the police and armed forces of the state. They only constitute part of the movement, along with the planners and idea people. In many insurgencies the combatants maintain local control, as well as protect and expand the counterstate. Combatants who secure local areas are the local forces. The local forces use terror initially to intimidate and establish local control and later to enforce the will of the leadership. They conduct limited ambushes of government forces and police, also.

Combatants who link local areas and provide regional security are the regional forces. Both of these elements normally are tied to specific AO. Main forces, in contrast, are the “heavy” units of the insurgent movement and may be deployed in any AO. Rather than employing terror (local forces) and guerrilla warfare (the main activity of regional forces), they engage in mobile warfare and positional warfare, both subsumed under the “conventional warfare” rubric but different in emphasis when used by insurgents. Due to the growing possibility of separate leaders in different regions with various goals, this force-role linkage may not be present. Instead, independent insurgent leaders may carry on military operations, to include terror, independent of other insurgent forces. Conventional warfare may be minimized. Ultimately, time is on the side of the insurgent. Fear, intimidation and violence—coupled with the television and internet—may achieve the social upheaval the insurgent seeks and force foreign powers to abandon the HN because of pressures from their own people at home.




The cadre is the political activists and local political leaders of the insurgency. They are referred to as militants since they are actively engaged in struggling to accomplish insurgent goals. The insurgent movement provides guidance and procedures to the cadre, and the cadre use these to assess the grievances in local areas and carry out activities that satisfy those grievances. They then attribute the solutions they have provided to the insurgent movement itself. Deeds are the key to making insurgent slogans meaningful to the population.

Larger societal issues, such as foreign presence, facilitate such action, because these larger issues may be blamed for life’s smaller problems. Insurgents, however, may have no regard for popular dissent or local grievances. The insurgents play by no rules, and they will use fear as a means to intimidate the populace and thereby prevent cooperation with the HN.




The mass base consists of the followers of the insurgent movement that are the population of the counterstate. Mass base members are recruited and indoctrinated by the cadre, who implement instructions and procedures provided by the insurgent leadership. Though they do not actively fight for the insurgency, mass base members provide intelligence and supplies. Mass base members may continue in their normal positions in society, but many will either lead second, clandestine lives for the insurgent movement, or even pursue new, full-time positions within the insurgency. Combatants normally begin as members of the mass base before becoming armed manpower.

The insurgent leadership thus provides organizational and managerial skills to transform regions into an effective base for armed political action, while the cadre accomplishes this same transformation at the community and mobilized individual level. What results, as in any armed conflict, is a contest of resource mobilization and force deployment. A state is challenged by a counterstate. No objective force level guarantees victory for either side. It is frequently stated that a 10 to 1 or 20 to 1 ratio of counterinsurgents to insurgents is necessary for counterinsurgency victory. In reality, research has demonstrated time and again there are no valid ratios that, when met, guarantee victory. As in conventional war, correlation of forces in an insurgency depends upon the situation. Though objective and valid force-correlation ratios do not exist, counterinsurgency has been historically manpower intensive.

Time, which often works on the side of the insurgent, just as often places serious constraints upon counterinsurgent courses of action.




.      Rising up against constituted authority has been present throughout history. The causes for such uprisings have been as numerous as human conditions. Uprisings against indigenous regimes have normally been termed “rebellions.” Uprisings against an external occupying power have normally been termed “resistance movements.” Historical particulars can at times combine the two.

Rebellions and resistance movements are transformed into an insurgency by their in-corporation into an armed political campaign. (See Figure 1-1, page 1-4.) A popular desire to resist is used by an insurgent movement to accomplish the insurgents’ political goal. The insurgency thus mounts a political challenge to the state through the formation of, or desire to, mcreate a counterstate.

The desire to form a counterstate grows from the same causes that galvanize any political campaign. These causes can range from the desire for greater equity in the distribution of resources (poverty alone is rarely, if ever, sufficient to sustain an insurgency) to a demand that foreign occupation end. Increasingly, religious ideology has become a catalyst for insurgent movements. The support of the people, 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.

. Violence is the most potent weapon available to insurgents. Nonetheless, violence can alienate when not linked to a vision of a better life. Violence is often accompanied by a variety of nonviolent means that act as a potent weapon in an external propaganda war and assist recruiting. Historically, astute movements have recognized the efficacy of both means to the extent they have fielded discrete units charged with nonviolent action (for example, strikes in the transportation sector) to supplement violent action. The insurgents in Algeria rarely defeated French forces in the field; they employed indiscriminate violence, success fully initiated nonviolent strikes, developed associated propaganda for external use, and thereby handily won their war. “People’s war” in its Chinese and Vietnamese variants did this also.


Insurgency Development

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 thisdesire. Generally, popular grievances become insurgent causes when interpreted and shaped by the insurgent leadership. The insurgency grows if the cadre that is local insurgentleaders mand representatives can establish a link between the insurgent movement and the desire for msolutions to grievances sought by the local population.

. 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 mtool. Consequently, specific insurgent tactical actions are often planned to frequently elicit moverreaction from security force individuals and units.




Insurgent doctrine determines how insurgents actually implement the two types of insurgency. A defensive insurgency has much in common with a resistance movement, since the counterstate already exists and will normally adopt overt techniques necessary for self-defense.

An offensive insurgency, on the other hand, is faced with the task of creating the counterstate from scratch. To do this, there are two basic approaches.

Mass mobilization. A first approach is to emphasize mobilization of the masses.

This course places a premium upon political action by the cadre in local areas, with mstrategic and operational directives coming from above. Emphasizing mass mobili-zation mresults in a hierarchical, tightly controlled, coordinated movement. The in-surgent mmovement that results will resemble a pyramid in its manpower distribu-tion, mwith the combatants the smallest part of the movement (the apex of the pyramid).

Armed action. A second approach emphasizes armed action. This course favors violence rather than mass mobilization and normally results in an inverted pyramid, with the combatants themselves the bulk of the movement. This was the approach taken by Castro in Cuba during the 1950s and may be an approach some insurgents in Iraq have taken against the post-Saddam government




A mass base sustains the first approach. The second approach has a much smaller support base. The support base will not have the numbers of the mass base generated by the mobilization approach.

If emphasis is upon mass mobilization, the combatants exist to facilitate the accom-plishment of the political goals of the insurgent movement. In local areas, terror and guerrilla action are used to eliminate resistance, either from individuals who are opposed to the movement or from the local armed representatives of the state, initially the police and militia, but later the military. Main force units, which are guerrilla units that have been “regularized” or turned into rough copies of government units but are usually more mobile and lightly armed, are used to deal with the state’s inevitable deployment of the military. The purpose of main forces is to engage in mobile (or maneuver) warfare. The intent is force-on-force action to destroy government main force units. Tactics may include major battles as well as ambushes and small-scale engagements. These battles and engagements result in the securing and expansion of the counterstate (which may be clandestine in all or part), but are not designed to seize and hold positions as in conventional warfare. This occurs only in positional warfare. Though the terminology is drawn especially from Soviet usage, the North

Vietnamese Army (NVA) and the Viet Cong (VC) used both mobile and positional warfare throughout the war in Vietnam. Examples of insurgencies that used the mass mobilization approach follow:

The NVA and VC frequently deployed battalions and regiments using classic mobile warfare, even as terror and guerrilla action continued against US forces from

1965 until the US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973.

Classic positional warfare was seen three times in the Vietnam War: the Tet Offensive in January–February 1968; the Spring 1972 “Easter Offensive,” which resulted in the permanent seizure and loss of portions of South Vietnamese territory; and the Spring 1975 offensive, which saw the fall of South Vietnam and its absorption into a unified Vietnam. In the latter two of these campaigns, enemy divisions and corps were used, with terror and guerrilla action assuming the role of special operations in support of conventional operations. During Tet, the NVA employed all 52

VC battalions exclusively, and multiple battalions attacked objectives simultaneously, though these battalions were under individual command and control.

More recently, in El Salvador, where the United States successfully supported a counterinsurgency, government forces twice, in 1981 and 1989, had to beat back “positional warfare” offensives designed to seize widespread areas, including portions of the nation’s capital.

In Colombia, where the US is similarly involved in support of the counterinsurgency, the insurgents of FARC (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia) initiated their mobile warfare phase in 1996. There followed a string of Colombian

Army defeats that culminated in a FARC positional warfare attack that seized a department capital, Mitu, in mid-1998. The relief of Mitu galvanized a military reform effort that led to government success in a half dozen major mobile war battles fought between 1998 and 2001. The largest of these involved a FARC force of eight battalion-equivalents engaged by an equal number of Colombian Army counterguerrilla battalions. FARC consequently returned to an emphasis upon terror and guerrilla action.

In Nepal, where US assistance has played an important role in government counterinsurgency, the ’mass mobilization approach adopted by the Communist Party of

Nepal (Maoist), or CPN (M), has progressed in classic fashion. Widespread use of terror and guerrilla action has been complemented by mobile warfare to overrun government positions of up to company size. Mobile warfare targets have been chosen operationally (that is, as part of campaign planning) to position the CPN (M) for anticipated positional war offensives, notably against major population centers.




If emphasis is on the second approach, armed action, the political goal is to be accomplished primarily by violence rather than mass mobilization. The insurgents attempt to inflict such a level of casualties and destruction the state is incapable or unwilling to continue counterinsurgency actions. Both approaches emphasize inflicting casualties. The distinction is whether mobilization or armed insurrection is the initial emphasis. Insurgents may also employ terrorist tactics if they lack a mass base, do not have the time needed to create such a base, or have objectives that do not require such a base. In this approach, the combatant force rarely moves beyond terrorist and guerrilla actions. Units are small and specialized, frequently no more than squad or platoon sized. Sympathizers provide recruits for the support base, but these sympathizers are actively involved only occasionally, though they are often central to the information warfare component of the insurgent campaign.

An illustration of the armed action approach is “The Troubles” of 1968–98 in

Northern Ireland (Ulster). An initial mass mobilization approach followed by the

Provisional Irish Republican Army was penetrated by the state; hence it was abandoned in favor of a cellular “active service unit” methodology. Normally composed of no more than 300 people, the active service unit network engaged almost exclusively in terror actions and was sustained by a support base that numbered only ithe thousands out of a total 1.5 million population in an area the size of Connecticut.

Sympathizers came overwhelmingly from a minority within the Catholic community, thus forming a minority within a minority. At its peak, however, this sympathetic base proved capable of mustering 17 percent of the votes in democratic elections and served to keep open to question the legitimacy of British rule, which was actually favored by a substantial majority.

More recently, the insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan have used the armed action approach. Terror and low-level guerrilla action have been focused on the indigenous supporters and infrastructure of the new regimes in Baghdad and Kabul. Simultaneously,        attacks on US forces have sought to inflict casualties to break the will of the US public to continue. The insurgents have recognized that the indigenous regimes annot continue in the short term without US backing and assistance. Neither ill the new regimes be able to continue if their populations can be suitably terrorized into sullen neutrality as the US begins to withdraw.


. There are seven dynamics that are common to most insurgencies. These dynamics provide a framework for analysis that can reveal the insurgency’s strengths and weaknesses. Although analysts can examine the following dynamics separately, they must study their interaction to fully understand the insurgency. These seven dynamics are—





Environment and geography.

External support.

Phasing and timing.




Leadership is critical to any insurgency. Insurgency is not simply random political violence.

It is directed and focused political violence. It requires leadership to provide vision, direction to establish and set the long-term way ahead, short-term guidance, coordination, and organizational coherence. Insurgent leaders must make their cause known to the people and gain popular support. Although, theoretically, the insurgent leader desires to gain popular support for the cause, that desire is often accompanied by a terror campaign against those who do not support the insurgents’ goals. Their key tasks are to break and supplant the tiesbetween the people and the government, and to establish legitimacy for their movement.

Their education, family, social and religious connections, and positions may contribute to their ability to think clearly, communicate, organize, and lead an insurgency; or their lack of education and connections may delay or impair their access to positions where they are able to exercise leadership.

Insurgencies are dynamic political movements, resulting from real or perceived grievance or neglect that leads to alienation from an established government. Alienated elite members advance alternatives to existing conditions. (Culture defines elites. For example, in most of the world educators and teachers are members of the elite; in Islamic and many Catholic nations, religious leaders are elite members.) As their movement grows, leaders decide which body of “doctrine” to adopt. In the mass mobilization approach, leaders recruit, indoctrinate, and deploy the cadre necessary to carry out the actions of the movement. In the armed action approach, there is often a much more decentralized mode of operations, but this is usually guided by a central organization. Extreme decentralization results in a movement that rarely functions as a coherent body but is nevertheless capable of inflicting substantial casualties and damage.



Effective analysis of an insurgency requires interpreting strategic, operational, and tactical objectives. Understanding the root causes of the insurgency is essential to analyzing the insurgents’ objectives. The strategic objective is the insurgents’ desired end state: the seizure of political power and the overthrow of an existing government. Operational objectives are the decisive points (military, political, and ideological) along lines of operation toward the strategic objective, and they are the means to link tactical goals with strategic end states.

One of the political decisive points is the total destruction of government legitimacy. Tactical objectives are the immediate aims of insurgent acts. Tactical objectives can be psychological and physical in nature. Some examples include the dissemination of PSYOP products, intimidation (a psychological objective), and the attack and seizure of a key facility (a physical objective).




In its ideology an insurgency sets forth a political alternative to the existing state. Both theoretically and actually, it offers a vision of a counterstate. The most powerful ideologies tap latent, emotive concerns of the populace, such as the desire for justice, the creation of an idealized religious state, or liberation from foreign occupation. Ideology influences the insurgents’ perception of the environment by providing the prism, to include vocabulary and analytical categories, through which the situation is assessed. The result is that ideology shapes the movement’s organization and operational methods.




. Environment and geography, including cultural and demographic factors, affect all participants in a conflict. The manner in which insurgents and counterinsurgents adapt to these realities creates advantages and disadvantages for each. The effects of these factors are immediately visible at the tactical level, where they are perhaps the predominant influence on decisions regarding force structure, and doctrine (including TTP). Insurgency in an urban environment often presents a different set of planning considerations than in rural environ-ments.

These planning considerations affect structure, and TTP directly.




The need for access to external resources and sanctuaries has been a constant throughout mthe history of insurgencies. Rarely, if ever, has an insurgent force been able to obtain the arms and equipment (particularly ammunition) necessary for decisive action from within the mbattle area. External support can provide political, psychological, and material resources that might otherwise be limited or totally unavailable.

A recent phenomenon has been the advent of internal sanctuaries. These may be in the form of religious structures. They may be large cities where neither HN nor external military forces are sufficiently strong to counter the insurgents.




Insurgencies often pass through common phases of development. The conceptualization generally followed by insurgents is drawn from that postulated by Mao Zedong. Regardless of its provenance, movements as diverse as communist or Islamic insurgencies have used the Maoist conceptualization because it is logical and based upon the mass mobilization emphasis.

It states that insurgents are first on the strategic defensive (Phase I), move to stalemate (Phase II), and finally go over to the offensive (Phase III). Strategic movement from one phase to another incorporates the operational and tactical activity typical of earlier phases.

It does not end them. The North Vietnamese explicitly recognized this reality in their “war of interlocking” doctrine, which held that all “forms of warfare” occur simultaneously, even as a particular form is paramount.

Not all insurgencies experience every phase, and progression through all phases is not a requirement for success. The same insurgent movement may be in different phases in different regions of a country. Successful insurgencies can also revert to an earlier phase when under pressure, resuming development when favorable conditions return.

. Political organization occurs throughout all phases. While on the defensive, however, in Phase I per Mao, a movement will necessarily fight the “war of the weak,” emphasizing terror and guerrilla action. These will be used to eliminate resistance from individuals and local government presence, especially the police. Invariably, the government must commit itmain force units (normally the army) to reclaim what it has lost. Knowing this, insurgents form their own main force units. These are used to defeat government forces in detail as the latter disperse to engage in area domination. It is through such action that stalemate, Phase

II, is achieved. The government’s forces in the contest of armed power are systematically neutralized through mobile (or maneuver), force-on-force warfare. Only in Phase III does a transition to the holding of position occur (hence the term, “positional warfare”).

If the insurgents adopt the armed action approach, these phases do not necessarily apply.

Inflicting an unsustainable level of pain on HN or external military forces may eliminate the need to form main force units. Pressure from within the HN or country providing the forces may lead to capitulation or withdrawal. In attacking democratic societies, insurgent using this approach attempt to tap the purported aversion of democratic societies to protracted, costly conflicts that appear endless. They seek to break the will of the state to continue the struggle.




A successful counterinsurgency results 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 mnot be an option. Reform may be necessary, but reform is a matter for the state, using all ofits 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.

The state first decides upon its goal (restoration of legitimate government writ), then, produces a plan to accomplish that end. All elements of national power are assigned their roles in carrying out the plan. The government establishes the legal framework and command and control (C2) mechanisms to enable the plan to be implemented.

The legal framework normally includes a series of extraordinary measures that are associated with emergency situations, or even martial law. It will frequently expand military powers into areas delegated solely to the police in “normal times.”

Historically, effective C2 architecture has involved setting up local coordinating bodies with representation from all key parties. This local body directs the counterinsurgency campaign in the AO concerned, though one individual will have the lead. Minimally, such a coordinating body includes appropriate representatives from the civil authority, the military, the police, the intelligence services, and (though not always) the civil population. The most effective use of coordinating bodies has given permanent-party individuals (for example, district officers) responsibility for counterinsurgency C2 in their AOs and control over civil or military assets sent into their AOs. Reinforced intelligence bodies, in particular, have been assigned as permanent party. Involvement of local officials and civilians can defeat the insurgents’ attempt to undermine the political system.

HN military and police forces must be the most visible force to the people. Security forces sent into an area to engage in counterinsurgency perform as follows:

Strategically, they serve as the shield for carrying out reform. It is imperative that

HN military and police forces protect the populace and defend their own bases while simultaneously fighting an insurgency.

Operationally, they systematically restore government control.

Tactically, security forces eliminate insurgent leadership, cadre, and combatants, through death and capture, by co-opting individual members, or by forcing insurgents to leave the area. This is analogous to separating the fish from the sea. The local populations (that also provide the insurgent mass base) are then secure anable to engage in normal activities. The forces also assist with civic action projects.

These actions convey to the people a sense of progress and concern by the government.

The counterinsurgency plan analyzes the basis of the insurgency in order to determine its form, centers of gravity, and insurgent vulnerabilities. These dictate the most effective type force to employ (either police, militia, and military; or primarily military and police).

The counterinsurgency plan details the scheme to reclaim what has been lost and establish priority of effort and timelines. Concurrently, it outlines how the government intends to secure the critical infrastructure of the state and the government’s centers of power.

Counterinsurgency operations must balance elimination of grievances (that is, reform, to include elimination of human rights abuses) and security force action that eliminates the insurgents. The security forces provide the populace the protection necessary for the restoration of government presence, basic services, and control.

. Counterinsurgency plans and operations exploit shifts in the internal or external situation that work against the insurgent and favor the state. This normally involves an extended period of time, a “protracted war.” This makes it difficult for representative governments to sustain counterinsurgency campaigns, particularly in the present world environment where there appears to be a lack of overt, sustained agreement regarding strategic interests, endsand means, and operational and tactical concerns.

Leaders and planning staff need to be aware that there will always be constraints upon the prosecution of counterinsurgency. Constraints must be identified and analyzed systematically, because they impact upon the conduct of operations at all levels. They ought to be reevaluated regularly. The bottom line is that forces have to operate in the environment as it is, not as they might wish it to be. Some constraints may include—

Time. Strategic or political factors may dictate the time frame during which conditions for success must be achieved. (See Chapter 2).

Means. The means (for example, weapons, equipment, mature concepts, and TTP) available are likely to be limited. (See Chapter 3 and Appendix C).

Legal. The international,US,and HN legal frameworks place constraints on the conduct of operations (for example, ROE, powers of arrest, ability to prosecute and rules of evidence, powers of detention). (See Chapter 2, and Appendix J.)

Geography. In addition to terrain factors, there may be areas where, for reasons of political, cultural, religious, or environmental sensitivity, the ability to conduct operations is constrained, moderated, limited, or prohibited (for example, cross-border operations, hot pursuit, and bombing sanctuaries.) (See Chapters 2 and 4, and thesix associated appendixes).

Domestic and international considerations. Events in the theater of operations are likely to be subject to media scrutiny and reporting (both accurate and inaccurate).

It is a reality that US domestic and international considerations must be weighed, and these may limit how operations are conducted. (See Chapters 2 and 3, and Appendix C.)

Multinational partners. Multinational partners may have differing political and legal imperatives. The need to maintain cohesiveness among members of a coalition may affect US force behavior. (See Chapter 2.)

Host nation. The HN’s leadership, culture, and politics (among many possible factors) generate a wide range of pressures, some conflicting, upon the military that must be considered carefully. These create a further source of constraints or limitations.



. Security of the populace is an imperative. This is security from the influence of the insurgents initially. The population is then mobilized, armed, and trained to protect itself. Effective security allows local political and administrative institutions to operate freely and commerce to flourish.



Establishing conditions favorable for the development of HN governmental institutions consistent with US objectives. These conditions include the establishment of law enforcement and freely elected political leaders where possible, public information, health care, schools, public works, and fire fighting capabilities.



. Contributing local government is both tangible and psychological. Local security forces must reinforce and be integrated into the plan at every stage. This local integration is constantly emphasized with the local and HN police, and civil and military leaders through deeds to ensure these forces have great visibility with the populace. Psychologically, the populace must be assured continuously and effectively that conditions are becoming better to counter insurgent propaganda. Counterinsurgency operations must establish conditions that contribute to HN and local government effectiveness.




Neutralize insurgent capabilities to exploit grievances. Work with local authorities and leaders to resolve the issues creating concern in order to legitimize governmental institutions.



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.




The role of the Army in counterinsurgency operations is to administer, train for,and successfully conduct full spectrum operations, with great emphasis on stability operations.

Counterinsurgency is a type of stability operation. Each regional combatant commander advises the Department of State in developing peacetime military engagement packages appropriate for the situation. Each combatant command provides military                                                                                                                                       forces under the program as well as military advice, tactical and technical training, and intelligence and logistic support. Army forces help HN police, paramilitary, and militaryforces perform counterinsurgency, area security, or local security operations. They advise and assist in finding, dispersing, capturing, and destroying the insurgent force. Army forces emphasize the training of HN national, state, and local forces to perform essential defense   functions. They aim to provide a secure environment in which developmental programs can take effect while respecting the rights and dignity of the people.

2-16. US policymakers determine the scope of military participation based on US interests mand the desires of the HN. The US military aims to improve the effectiveness of the HN security forces and to assist in preventing support for the insurgents. To prevent the overthrow of a government friendly to the US or to provide security while a new government is established,

US forces may be required to engage in combat, either unilaterally or with multina-tional or HN forces. As quickly as possible, though, HN military and police must assume the primary combat role. A long-term US combat role may undermine the legitimacy of the HN government and risks converting the conflict into a US-only war. That combat role can also further alienate cultures that are hostile to the US. On the occasion when the threat to US interests is great and indirect means have proven insufficient, preemptive US combat operation may be required. Direct use of US combat forces in counterinsurgency operations remains ma policy option for the President, and Army forces provide it when required. HN forces should conduct stability operations when necessary, employing concepts such as population and resource control (see Appendix C). When US forces are involved, the HN must provide mrepresentatives to assist US forces in their contacts with local populations.

US forces may conduct offensive operations to disrupt and destroy insurgent combat formations. These operations prevent the insurgents from attacking government-controlled areas. They also disrupt insurgent efforts to consolidate and expand areas already under mtheir control. US forces may also be required to secure borders to prevent third-nation elements from supporting or joining the insurgency. Success in stability operations enables the HN to resume the military aspects of its counterinsurgency campaign and creates conditions in which US combat forces may withdraw





Within a joint force, ARSOF assets (less PSYOP and CA units) are ordinarily attached to and under OPCON of a designated joint special operations task force (JSOTF) commander.

The special operations command and control element (SOCCE) assists the JSOTF commander in fulfilling the supporting or supported commander responsibilities. A SOCCE is based on a specialforces operational detachment-B and is augmented with a special com-munications package and personnel as required. It may include a ranger liaison officer, PSYOP and CA representatives, and special operations aviation personnel. The SOCCE is normally collocated at corps level and above, with smaller liaison teams operating at division level and below. The supported unit provides the SOCCE administrative and logistic support. The SOCCE is the focal point for ARSOF coordination and synchronization with conventional forces. At corps level, the SOCCE coordinates with the corps operations center, fire support element, deep operations coordination cell, and battlefield coordination detachment to deconflict targets and operations. It provides ARSOF locations through personal coordination and provides overlays and other friendly order of battle data to the fire support element and battlefield coordination detachment. The SOCCE can exercise C2 of designated ARSOF units when the JSOTF commander determines the need.



A specialforces liaison element is a special forces or joint special operations element that conducts liaison between US conventional forces, division-level headquarters, and subordinate HN or multinational forces brigades and battalions.




. Commanders employ PSYOP (as an element of IO) to influence target audience behaviors        that support US national policy objectives. Planning includes personnel with expertise  in the region’s culture. PSYOP missions roles include—

Influencing the attitudes and behaviors of foreign populations.

Advising commanders of target restrictions during the targeting process (planning for application of effects) to minimize reactions that may adversely affect PSYOP objectives.

Providing public information (in coordination with the public affairs office) to foreign populations to support humanitarian assistance and to restore or maintain  civil order.


Countering enemy propaganda and disinformation.


. To execute the PSYOP mission, the JFC may create a psychological operations task force, a joint psychological operations task force, or a PSYOP support element. Mission requirements dictate the composition of the task force.

2-42. The regional combatant commander’s staff performs initial PSYOP planning with assistance from a PSYOP assessment team. The PSYOP assessment team deploys to a theater at the request of the combatant commander to assess the situation, develop PSYOP objectives, and recommend the appropriate level of support to accomplish the mission. Both the psychological operations group and regional PSYOP battalion are capable of forming the nucleus of or establishing a PSYOP assessment team or joint psychological operations task force. Tactical PSYOP battalions provide tactical support to corps-, division-, and lower-level units and below. Tactical PSYOP companies provide tactical support to division-, and brigade- level units and below. Tactical PSYOP teams detachments support brigade-sized elements.

Tactical PSYOP teams are attached to battalions companies to provide loudspeaker support and to disseminate leaflets and posters.

2-43. The combatant commander or JFC level usually retains PSYOP C2 and product approval.

National objectives, however, may dictate that product approval be retained at national level. PSYOP approval authority can be sub-delegated below regional combatant commander and JFC with approval from the Secretary of Defense.


2-44. The special operations coordination element acts as the primary special operations staff officer and advisor to an Army corps or Marine expeditionary force commander and staff on

SOF integration, capabilities, and limitations.




2-45. CMO include activities that establish, maintain, influence, or exploit relations between military forces, governmental and nongovernmental civilian organizations and authorities, and the civilian populace in a friendly, neutral, or hostile area of operations. The purpose of CMO is to facilitate military operations and consolidate and achieve US objectives. Designated CA units as well as other military forces may perform CMO, or a combination of CA units and other forces may also do so. CMO include—

Coordinating foreign nation support.

Managing dislocated civilians.

Conducting humanitarian assistance and military civic action in support of military operations and US national objectives.

2-46.The regional combatant commander or JFC may create a joint civil-military operation task force to conduct CMO. CA Soldiers assigned to this task force provide specialized expertise in the areas of support to civil administration, foreign humanitarian assistance, populace and resources control, and military civic action. CMO personnel coordinate with HN civil authorities to increase the credibility of the HN government with the people.

2-47.Four civil affairs commands exist within the US Army. The command designated to support counterinsurgency provides the combatant commander with teams that have government administration expertise, planning teams to augment staffs or subordinate headquarters, and teams to provide staff augmentation, planning, and assessment support at the tactical level.




2-48. As described earlier, ARSOF and conventional ground forces may operate in close proximity to each other during counterinsurgency operations. While JFCs may place ARSOF under a conventional ground force, they normally maintain a centralized, responsive, and un-ambiguous SOF C2 structure under the JSOTF. Through assignment of missions and supported or supporting command relationships, the JFC provides the JSOTF commander freedom to organize and employ forces to satisfy both JFC requirements and those of supported commanders. The tactical commander considers SOF capabilities and limitations, particularly in the areas of tactical C2, sustainment and overall counterinsurgency mission accomplishment.

2-49. Historically, commanders have employed SOF before conventional force follow on operations to ensure the timing and tempo of the overall campaign are maintained. During extended operations involving both SOF and conventional forces, combined control and decon fliction measures take on added significance. Because situations change rapidly, conventional unit commanders may find themselves under SOF units, or SOF units under a conventional unit. Thus, during counterinsurgency operations, it is essential to integrate and synchronize SOF with other joint and conventional forces through a joint command operations and intelligence fusion cell.

2-50. Special operations often involve air operations that transit theater airspace control areas, air defense areas, and artillery firing patterns. Therefore, coordination of ARSOF operations is extremely important to prevent duplicate targeting and fratricide. The JSOTF and conventional force headquarters coordinate closely to prevent these actions.

2-51. Integration of ARSOF with conventional forces is always a major concern for ARSOF commanders. Factors they consider typically include, but are not limited to— Target deconfliction.

Command and control.

Political concerns.

Civil populace.

Possible linkup of ARSOF with conventional forces.

Intelligence collection efforts.

Airspace deconfliction.

Fire support coordination.

Graphic control measures.

Coordination of logistics and theater support.

Combat search and rescue.


2-52.The exchange of liaison elements between the staffs of appropriate conventional forces and SOF further enhances integration of all forces concerned. This normally is accomplished through a special operations liaison element. This element typically works with the Army mspecial operations task force commander to accomplish this integration, but works for the mjoint force special operations component commander. These liaison elements aid mission execution, preclude fratricide, and eliminate duplication of effort, disruption of ongoing operations, and loss of intelligence sources. These efforts are crucial to maintaining the com-mander’s overall unity of effort, coordination of limited resources, and campaign tempo.





. There are many organizations and extensive resources available to aid developing na-tions.

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—

US Agency for International Development.

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 Security).

Federal Communications Commission.

Peace Corps.



. Nongovernmental organizations are transnational organizations of private citizens that maintain a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN.

Governmental organizations may be professional associations, foundations, multinational businesses, or simply groups with a common interest in humanitarian assistance activities (development and relief). “Nongovernmental organizations” is a term normally used by non-UnitedStates organizations, There are several thousand NGOs. Many of these or-ganizations focus on relief or short-term support and development, on long-term support, or a combination of the two. Some NGOs do not want to be seen as cooperating or associating with US military forces. Gaining their support and coordinating operations can be a difficult and frustrating task. Some examples of NGOs are—


World Vision.

Medecin Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).

Catholic Relief Society.

CARE (Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere).

OXFAM (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief).

International Committee for the Red Cross and Red Crescent.




The most notable of international organization is the UN. Regional organizations, such as the Organization of American States, may also be involved. Depending on the level of relief or development needed in the country involved, any one of several of their organizations may be present such as—


World Food Program.

UN Refugee Agency (known by the acronym for its director, the UN High Commisioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

UN Development Program.

Regional programs, such as Alliance for Progress (oriented on Latin America).






. The insurgent’s primary target is the people; therefore, counterinsurgency must separate the insurgent from the people and their resources. Population and resource control is implemented as required to support counterinsurgency operations. Leaders must be knowledgeable regarding the principles, concepts, tasks, and techniques of population and resource control in order to train and work with their counterparts on their implementation. The primary objectives of population and resource control are to separate the insurgents from the populace and to identify and eliminate the insurgents, their organization, their activities, and influence while doing so.


Civil control measures are very similar to police functions. Civil police should initiate controls because—


They are best suited by cultural background, training, and experience.


Their area orientation results in a closer relationship with the local population.


They permit military forces to concentrate on offensive counterinsurgency opera-tions.

. Where local police require reinforcement or are ineffective, local paramilitary forces— including home guards, village militia, and police auxiliaries—are mobilized or created, organized, and trained as reserves. Military forces are used only as expedients since extended assignment to this duty detracts from their main mission of offensive operations.

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 mto 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 evasion.

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 census).

Performing public administration, to include resource control.




. Security and defense begin concurrently with, or immediately subsequent to, offensive operations. Security of urban centers and defense of key infrastructure are prerequisites to beginning offensive operations. The entire political administrative unit (region, province, district, village), as well as each individual community, must be secured all the time. In areas munder insurgent influence, it will be necessary to construct defenses around existing villages and concentrate rural populations into defendable population units. Normally, this will be maccomplished concurrently with counterinsurgency operations, environmental improvement, and population and resource control programs. Techniques for securing and defending the

AO include establishing defended urban areas and relocating populations

Defended Urban Area

Defended urban areas may be established if—

Less restrictive measures have failed to eliminate population support of the insurgent.

Government forces have been unable to provide defense or internal security.

The population must provide their own defense to release military forces to conduct counterinsurgent warfare. However, the populace must be armed and trained to be effective.

They are required as bases from which to mount operations.

Leaders can assist in the development of the defended community by—

Coordinating requests for USAID support with appropriate USAID area represen-tatives.

Planning urban defenses, to include provisions for support.

Organizing, equipping, and training, urban defense forces.

Ensuring military defense forces are provided until local defense forces are ade-quate mand supported by regional paramilitary and military forces.

Implementing control techniques (curfews, alert and warning systems, systems of identifying both friendly and insurgent forces).

Military civic action projects based on self-help.

Establishing local government by organizing urban civil-military leader commit-tees, electing community officials (where possible), and creating governmental in-stitutions.

Relocating Populations

The most severe of the restrictive measures, is accomplished when—

Wide dispersion of the population prevents effective defense, internal security, and mcontrol.

Requirements exist to evacuate or populate selected areas.

Leaders can contribute to the implementation of this technique by providing assistance in the following areas:

PSYOP to prepare the population for relocation.

Defense during relocation. If relocation is combined with the defended urban area technique, the leader can further assist, once relocation is completed.

Logistic requirements—such as subsistence, transportation, and medical assistance

—to facilitate movement and relocation of the population and their possessions.


A successful counterinsurgency depends ultimately and initially on a legitimate and ef-fective

HN justice program integrating law enforcement, the judiciary, and a penal system.

The existing justice program may be limited by capability (leadership and training), resources, or corruption, and require direct or indirect efforts to support or even reestablish police services, courts, and prisons. Such efforts must be coordinated with the country team and closely synchronized with other civil-military actions. The responsibility for these efforts may fall initially on US military assets during the initial stages of an operation or when the security situation is untenable for civilian agencies and contract advisors. The division staff judge advocate and provost marshal may require additional technical support from judge advocate and military police assets (for example, administrative and criminal law experts, criminal investigators, and corrections specialists) to support local-, regional-, or national-level justice programs, while setting the conditions for transfer of support to other US governmental or international agencies.

Support to law enforcement may be limited to coordinated actions at local levels btween

US military police and the HN police (for example, joint patrols, co-location of military police at police stations) or require more comprehensive support to national and regional police headquarters and technical departments. Other support may include support mof—

Administrative divisions, which may include the headquarters, personnel, and finance m departments.

Police (training) academy.

Investigative division, to include a criminal laboratory facility.

Traffic division, to include highway patrol and traffic accident investigations.

Specialized police that may include special reaction teams, personnel security, and customs and immigration police.

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.

Support to the penal system may be limited to monitoring conditions and adherence to basic humanitarian standards or require more comprehensive support to reestablish all levels mof incarceration and a rehabilitative programs. Points to remember:

Local jails are typically co-located with police stations and administered by the local police to hold suspected criminals until a magistrate determines whether there mis sufficient evidence for trial.

Regional jails are typically run by prison officials to hold detainees referred to trial, mbut not convicted. Pretrial detainees should not be incarcerated with convicted mcriminals.

Prisons hold convicted criminals and are typically designed and divided to address mlevel of inmate risk (high, medium, and low), rehabilitative programs (e.g., violence, drug addiction, sex crimes), and the separation of genders and juvenile offenders.



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 subsurface areas.

PSYOP, civil affairs, and specialist interrogation teams should augment cordon and search forces to increase the effectiveness of operations. Consider the following when conducting cordon and search operations:

Allocate ample time to conduct thorough search and interrogation of residents of affected areas.

Operations should be rehearsed thoroughly, whenever possible.

Firm but fair treatment must be the rule. Every effort must be made to avoid any incident that results in unnecessarily alienating the people.

. 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 reserve 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 ele-ments.

One target is assigned per team.

Room searches are conducted by two-person teams.

Room search teams are armed with pistols, assault weapons, and automatic weapons.

Providing security for search teams screening operations and facilities.

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 tunnels.

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 the re-corder.

Place documents in a numbered envelope and tag the associated individual with a corresponding number.


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 police magency. These must include a picture and appropriate personal data.

Frequent use of mobile and fixed checkpoints for inspection, identification, and registration of documents.

Preventing counterfeiting of identification and registration documents by laminating and embossing.

Programs to inform the population of the need for identification and registration.




Public administration at local levels is normally performed by the mayor and police. It is at this level that resources are managed and controlled. After screening has been completed, action must be taken for continuation of governmental functions, and the following factors should be considered:

Combining internal security and defense activities under a public safety office.

Employing population surveillance (overt and covert) based on area coverage.




. Overt surveillance is the responsibility of the police patrol division. It is conducted with conventional police procedures, using the officer on the beat as the lowest official of government in contact with the public.

Police patrols—

Vary routes and movement frequently to avoid establishing a predictable pattern.

Should not be limited to the confines of the community but should include adjacent areas.

Must be coordinated with the activities of military and paramilitary forces to avoid duplication of effort and confusion.

Use military dogs to contribute to overall effectiveness.


. 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.





The primary objective of counterinsurgency operations is to neutralize the insurgents and, together with population and resource control measures, establish a secure environment within which political, social, and economic progress is possible. Counterinsurgency operations include US, HN, and multinational forces. Planning includes all three, and the conduct of operations must include close coordination among the forces of the various nations involved.






. Threats from adversaries other than insurgents include the following:

Espionage, data collection, network mapping or reconnaissance, and data theft. These sophisticated capabilities may be provided by transnational or criminal groups, drug cartels, or insurgents sponsored by another state. State-sponsored offensive IO, especially computer network attacks, using state-of-the- art tools and covert techniques conducted in coordination with military operations. Attacking systems and satellites by jamming, broadcasting false signals, deceptive transmissions, lasers, or electromagnetic pulses.

Commanders evaluate insurgents from several perspectives, using the following factors:

Insurgent C2 system. Does the enemy C2 system include computers, digital devices, and networks? Or, do the insurgents use less technical means to exercise C2, and what are they?

Sources of information. The sophistication and technical complexity of the insurgents’ C2 system determine the means required to exploit it. What is the most effective way to collect information on the insurgents’ C2 system?

Insurgent goals and interests. What are the insurgents’ short- and long-range goals? How can friendly forces affect both?

Decision makers, influential groups, and individuals. These people may be leaders within the insurgents’ political movement, counterstate, or armed forces. They may be outside interest groups not officially associated with the insurgency. They may be located within or outside the AO. Decision makers may be political leaders, commanders or trusted subordinates. Determine what individuals or groups decide or influence insurgents or other group actions.

Insurgent IO resources and capabilities. An accurate understanding of current insurgent capabilities is essential to success in a dynamic operational environment. Determine what resources insurgents can use to protect their C2 system or inhibit friendly mission success. Expect these to be dynamic rather than static over time. Insurgents may gain, lose, or reconstitute IO resources and capabilities, based on combat actions or outside support.

Insurgent information-based vulnerabilities. How and where are insurgents vulnerable to friendly IO? How can we exploit those vulnerabilities? What countermeasures are insurgents using to prevent exploitation?

Friendly vulnerabilities to insurgent IO efforts. How and where are we vulnerable?

What can we do to prevent insurgents from exploiting those vulnerabilities?






Consider how in a counterinsurgency environment the application of these elements and activities most effectively supports the counterinsurgency effort. IO are enabling operations that create opportunities for decisive operations. Commanders use offensive and defensive IO simultaneously to counter insurgent actions and seize and maintain the initiative.


Core Elements Supporting Elements Related Activities

  • Electronic warfare
  • Computer network operations
  • Psychological operations
  • Operations security
  • Military deception
  • Physical destruction
  • Information assurance
  • Physical security
  • Counterintelligence
  • Counter deception
  • Counterpropaganda
  • CMO
  • PA




The overall objective during a counterinsurgency is to win the battle of ideas and the politico-military struggle for power. IO can help the HN explain how the HN is addressing the concerns of the people. Well-synchronized offensive IO can cripple not only insurgent armed forces but also insurgent political decision making capabilities. IO is most effective when coordinated with conventional and special operations, and fully integrated into planning and targeting.

Counterpropaganda reduces the ability of insurgent propaganda to influence the HN populace. Counterpropaganda includes preventive actions, counteractions, and rumor control.

It attacks insurgent propaganda. Propaganda awareness programs inform friendly populations about the nature of hostile propaganda.

Counteractions are measures that PSYOP units take to reduce or neutralize the effects of hostile propaganda. Sometimes the most effective countermeasure is not to respond or attempt mto counter the propaganda. Direct response to propaganda can lend credibility to it and may be counterproductive. Rumors are a means of propaganda based on widely disseminated talk or opinion. They have no discernable source and no known authority. Rumor control mseeks to counter rumors that are unfavorable to HN interests.

Failure to counter insurgent propaganda can produce significant negative effects.

These range from simple confusion to disrupting ongoing operations. Common effects of hostile mpropaganda, misinformation, and disinformation, include—

Prompting neutral parties to resist or not support HN military operations.

Increasing insurgent will to resist by fanning hatreds, biases, and predispositions.

Inciting riots.

Leading multinational partners to question their roles.

Causing refugees to block lines of communication.

Fostering distrust for the police and HN forces. Are the police and HN forces corrupt or puppets? Do they represent the HN society or some other nation?

Causing the HN populace not to cooperate with friendly forces.

Causing essential communicators to deny cooperation or resist.

Causing diversion of military assets to address problems that, while seemingly insignificant, mrequire significant resources.

Leading friendly governments to questions their own policies and support for counterinsurgency operations.


The media—the printed medium, radio, television, and the Internet—have a vital role in societies directly and indirectly involved in counterinsurgency. The news media and other information networks’ increasing availability to societies’ leadership, bureaucracies, and mpopulace means members of this news and communication medium have a significant impact on political direction, achieving national security objectives, policy formation, and national will. Media scrutiny of military operations, journalists’ desire for immediate footage and on-the- spot coverage of confrontational events, and the increasing contact with units and Soldiers (including embedded reporters) require that commanders and public affairs officers mprovide guidance to leaders and Soldiers on media relations. The media affect and influence each potential target audience and personnel external and internal to the AO. Speaking with

.Counterinsurgency Operations the media in a forward-deployed area is an opportunity to explain what our organizations and efforts have accomplished, but be prepared to field questions regarding perceived negative impacts also. Figure 3-4 contains general public affairs guidelines.

In addition to these general guidelines, leaders should always consult the public affairs office guidance related to the current operation

Points to Remember When Doing Media

Interviews What to Do When the Media Visits Your AO:

  • Be relaxed, confident, and professional.
  • Be concise: think about what you will say before you speak
  • Avoid using colorful or profane language.
  • command to the area public affairs officer.



Civil considerations comprise the manmade infrastructure, civilian institutions, and attitudes and activities of the civilian leaders, populations, and organizations within an area ofoperations influence the conduct of military operations They include the population of an area and information about it. Factors of interest include the gender and mix of the populace; the cultural, religious, and socio-economic beliefs and thinking; and the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of groups and individuals.


Population and Culture

The center of gravity in counterinsurgency operations is the population. Therefore, un-derstanding the local society and gaining its support is critical to success in. For US forces to operate effectively among a local population and gain and maintain their support, it is important to develop a thorough understanding of the society and its culture, to include its history, tribal/family/social structure, values, religions, customs, and needs.

4-12.The history of a people can often help explain why the population behaves the way it does. The roots of an insurgency may become clear through that knowledge. A given AO may have several different regions, each with different sets of customs. US forces can anticipate local reaction to friendly courses of action as well as avoid losing indigenous support for the mission through understanding and supporting those local customs. That support, however, must be consistent with US laws and the law of war.

4-13. Understanding and working within the social fabric of a local area is initially the most influential factor in the conduct of counterinsurgency operations. Unfortunately, this is often the factor most neglected by US forces. The density of civilians and the constant interaction required between them and US forces greatly increases the importance of social considerations.

The fastest way to damage the credibility of US forces and the legitimacy of our involvement with the local national government is to ignore or violate the social mores or precepts of a particular population.

4-14. The interaction of different cultures demands greater recognition during counterinsurgencyoperations than in other environments. This greater need for understanding comesfrom the increased need for interaction with the civilian populace. Every culture has a set of norms and values, and these could involve such diverse areas as protocol and social skills, attitudes toward women, manners, food, sleep patterns, casual and close relationships, and cleanliness. Understanding these differences is only the start of preparation for counterin surgency operations.

4-15. Religious beliefs and practices are among the most important, yet least understood, aspects of culture. The role religion plays in both culture and individual value systems varies greatly from place to place. While it is never possible to disentangle religion completely from politics, mores, and the other aspects of culture, religion plays an especially powerful anddominant role in some societies. Many conflicts have a strong religious dimension, not only in the origin of the dispute but also in the way the fight is conducted. Some religiously motivated antagonists will operate with a significantly different view of what constitutes just conduct in war than the western consensus that created the law of land warfare and the Geneva Conventions.

4-16. When assessing events, intelligence professionals consider the norms of the local culture or society. Failure to recognize, respect, understand, and incorporate an understanding of the cultural and religious aspects of the society in which US forces are interacting could rapidly lead to an erosion of the legitimacy of the mission. For example, whilebribery is not an accepted norm in US society, it may be a totally acceptable practice in another society. If US intelligence professionals assess an incident of this nature using our own societal norms and values as a reference, it is probable the significance of the event will be misinterpreted.

Leaders and Institutions

4-17. US military planners should conduct interagency coordination to identify key government officials early in the operation. US policy officials determine which key local leaders are supportive of the US military and which are not. These key personnel can providvaluable information needed for successful completion of the operations, to include local infrastructure, a common picture of cultural norms, suspected enemy strengths, and probable means of support and locations for enemy forces. In counterinsurgency missions, US forces are often supporting a state. As such it is critical to understand the potential audience.

4-18. Many governments are rife with nepotism and trading favors, are indifferent to local conditions, and support no security presence at the village level. The power of officials may be based on family and personal connections, clan loyalty, and age, and only after that on education, training, and competence. Corruption may be pervasive and institutionalized as a practical way to manage excess demand for local services.

4-19. A local government’s breakdown from a previous level of effectiveness will quickly ex-acerbate problems of public health and mobility. Attempts to get the local-level bureaucracy to function along US lines may produce further breakdown, passive indifference, or resentment.

Any unintentional or intentional threat to the privileges of ranking local officials or tribal leaders or to members of their families will be stubbornly resisted. Avoiding such threats and assessing the importance of particular officials requires knowledge of family ties.

4-20. US military planners must realize that the local populace will behave in their perceived self-interest. They will be keenly aware of five sets of interests at work: those of the US forces, the insurgent/hostile elements, the local opportunists, the legitimate government, and the general population. All five elements assess these interests constantly in order to ascertain their own stakes, risks, and advantages.

Refugees and Ethnic Groups

4-21. Another significant cultural challenge is the presence of refugees within a unit’s AO.

Rural immigrants displaced by conflict, combined with city residents, can create a significant problem. Noncombatants and refugees without hostile intent can disrupt local missions. Additionally, there may be insurgent troops, criminal gangs, vigilantes, paramilitary factions, and factions within those factions hiding in the waves of the displaced.

4-22. The enemy knows it is nearly impossible for US forces to accurately identify friend from foe from disinterested. Local combat situations can change with bewildering speed, as the supposed innocent becomes an active aggressor within close quarters and an indefensible position. In Chechnya, Chechen rebels and Hezbollah terrorists effectively used the cover of refugees to attack occupying forces. The Chechens counted on the ferocious nature of the Russian counterattack causing heavy civilian casualties to gain support from the indigenous population for the Chechen separatist cause.

4-23. One goal of insurgent forces will be to place stress on the US and local national government soldiers in order to break down discipline and operational integrity. The constant pressure of differentiating friend from foe taxed and sometimes undermined ROE from Belfast to Lebanon, and in some cases, entire missions.

Social Structure and Customs

4-24. Defining the structure of the social hierarchy is often key to understanding the population.

Identifying those local personnel in positions of authority is important. These local officials, tribal leaders or village elders are often the critical nodes of the society and influence the actions of the population at large. In many societies nominal titles do not equal power–– influence does. Many “leaders” are figureheads, and the true authority lies elsewhere.

4-25. Most areas around the world are not governed by the rule of law, but instead rely upontradition. Often tribal membership, ethnic loyalty, and religious affiliation provide societal cohesion and the protocol of proper behavior and ethics in dealing with outsiders, such as the

US and multinational partners. It is important to understand the complicated inner workings of a society where potential internal conflicts predominate. This is difficult and requires a thorough examination of a society’s culture and history.


4-26. Identifying and understanding trends and patterns of activity provide important information for intelligence analysts and mission planners. Every local area has discrete and discernible patterns of daily activity. The time of heaviest activity along a line of communication is one case in point. Trade and business transactions, market sales, religious practices, governmental functions, and criminal activity are other examples of daily behavior than can be analyzed for consistencies. Disruptions or irregularities in these patterns serve as a warning that something is amiss in the area.4-27. It is important to remember that while certain general patterns do exist, most regional areas are normally composed of a multitude of different peoples, each with its own standards of conduct. Treating the local population as a homogenous entity can lead to false assumptions, cultural misunderstandings, and a poor operational picture. Individuals act independently and in their own best interest, and this will not always coincide with friendly courses of action. Do not ignore the presence or actions of the different population components within an AO when developing assessments.


4-28. Understanding the infrastructure and the interrelationships of various elements within a unit’s AO and the relationship with neighboring AOs is critical in counterinsurgency operations.

Infrastructure has physical, social, economic, and political elements.


4-29. Intelligence staffs identify critical physical infrastructure components (transportation and communications systems, water treatment and waste disposal facilities) and the effects they have on the local, regional, and national populations. Insurgents will use and exploit ex-isting infrastructure. A common method insurgents use to display the weakness of the cur-rent local national government is to disrupt or destroy critical components of infrastructure, such as power stations and waterworks,that affect large portions of the local population.

They may also create additional infrastructure where gaps in government-provided services exist in order gain the good will of the local population. If successful, this demonstrates the government’s inability to protect critical infrastructure components and their inability to provide basic services such as security for the population.

Social, Economic, and Political

4-30. The social infrastructure includes communication, religious, and education centers; and the roles of tribes, families, casts, and clans. Economic infrastructure includes banks, stock markets, and the monetary control system. Political infrastructure includes political parties, party headquarters and offices, government offices, and state institutions.



4-31. During the military decision making process, intelligence personnel provide commanders with a battlefield assessment based upon a systematic approach known as IPB. IPB consists of four steps:

Define the battlefield environment.

Describe the battlefield’s effects.

Evaluate the threat.

Determine threat courses of action.


4-32. In defining a counterinsurgency environment, intelligence professionals do the following:

Consider the nature and strategy of the insurgency.

Are there internal factors, external factor, or both that form a basis for the insurgency?

Is there an identifiable pattern of insurgent activities?

Does the insurgent organization function primarily within the established political system or in open competition with it?

Determine international and national support to the insurgents. Include sources of moral, physical, and financial support.

Consider the neighboring countries, boundaries and frontiers, and coastal water-ways.

Consider third-country support for the insurgency.

Analyze the population, government, military, demographics, and threat.

Who are the vulnerable elements in the population?

Are they subject to insurgent exploitation?

Evaluate political structure, economy, foreign policy and relations, and policies on military use.

Consider if US presence, or potential presence, by itself could be a catalyst for insurgent activity.


4-33. In defining the battlefield’s effects in a counterinsurgency environment, intelligence professionals do the following:

Determine points of entry, infiltration and exfiltration routes, C2 structures for operations, and agricultural areas.

Evaluate weather’s effects on the mobility of insurgents and their logistic efforts, mfor example, the availability of food supply due to weather extremes.

Consider migration and settlement patterns to identify which areas are pro-government or proinsurgent. Identify the locations of groups that create territorial boundaries the insurgents may try to make autonomous to gain political advantage.

Determine how political and religious affiliation and practices influence the people’s attitudes towards both enemy and friendly operations.

Examine efforts to create or increase unrest and dissension among the population.

Are the insurgents conducting IO against existing or proposed HN policies and programs?

Evaluate how economics and money affect the insurgents’ ability to conduct offensive operations. They will influence the populace’s active support for or against the insurgency.


In evaluating the threat in a counterinsurgency environment, intelligence professionals do the following:

Identify which insurgent groups are present, thought to be present, or have access to your AO.

Is the insurgency linked to a racial, religious, ethnic, or regional base?


Does the insurgent organization function through predominately legal means or mclandestine operations?

What and who constitute the organizational elements of the movement?

Identify leaders, trainers, recruiters, staff members, and logistics personnel.

Is the leadership clearly defined or do competing actions exist?

Is the insurgency affiliated with any political, labor, student, or social organization?

What is the philosophy of the leadership?

Develop doctrinal templates based on observed operating procedures.

Assess and analyze the number of functional specialties within the insurgency. For example, the number of trainers for a specific weapon might indicate the type otactics, level of readiness, and the number of personnel trained.

Determine the types of weapons that the insurgents have at their disposal. Sophisticated weaponry may be an indicator of external support as well as the insurgents’capability to attack important and possibly well-defended targets.

Consider the insurgent organization.

Does it have a high degree of command and control?

What is the level of planning and training within the organization?

Analyze movement patterns. Movements may coincide with operational or logistic activities.


Enemy courses of action might include the following:

Attacks and raids on police stations, security forces, military installations, or other

HN government and security-related facilities.

Attacks on public utility installations (power, water, telephone) or other forms of economic sabotage (pipelines, transmission towers, ports, marketplaces).

Kidnapping, murder, or intimidation of public officials (and their families or family members) supporting US or HN forces.

Propaganda directed against the populace or local economic leaders (such as shop-keepers and business owners).

Ambushes of HN or friendly convoys; kidnapping of drivers and insurgent de-mands.

Attacks on the population.

Evaluate the most vulnerable locations and facilities that can quickly affect the greatest number of the populace—such as power plants; transmission lines; road, rail and water networks; and local open-air markets—to determine the most likely locations for potential insurgent attacks, sabotage, raids, and roadblocks—most likely insurgent course of action.

Insurgent targets and attacks will not be based on a US-style of thinking and application of ethics.

Use trend and pattern analysis to template, predict, and prioritize insurgent activity to include––

Movement around potential objectives, such as infiltration or exfiltration routes.

Assembly points, rally points, and staging areas.

Surveillance positions.

Centers of proinsurgent populations. Include an evaluation of individual villages and large political divisions, such as states and provinces.

Areas of antigovernment influence and residences of insurgent leadership or key sympathizers.

Location of known and suspected base camps.

Location of known and suspected training camps.

Logistic routes and transshipment hubs.

Cache sites, water sources, agricultural areas, and fuel storage and production areas.

Locations of communications equipment. Include commercial establishments and government installations where such equipment may be purchased or stolen.

Potential ambush sites.


Insurgents require the support of the local population. That support can be either active or passive. In order to succeed, they must increase the support of the local population in their favor. To defeat the insurgency, US forces assist the local authorities in separating the insurgents from the population and ultimately in gaining the population’s active support. If a substantial portion of the population does not actively oppose the insurgency, the insurgents may determine to attack soft targets and purposely inflict civilian casualties to both intimidate the local populace and undermine the legitimacy of local authorities.

Rarely are only two sides involved in modern conflicts. More often, one ethnonational group opposes other groups with conflicting interests. This poses a significantly more complex set of enemy or potential adversaries—entities that leaders must understand. Insurgents try to create conditions to defeat US forces and to slow the support for friendly forces. Increasingly, insurgent groups have no regard for the law of war. They have used human shields, targeted innocent civilians, and occupied religious and health facilities assanctuaries. These actions and techniques offset US advantages and make it more difficult to locate and defeat the enemy. US reaction to these tactics can also have tremendous propaganda appeal.

Insurgents develop organizational structures that are functional for their particular operational environment. Because insurgents usually operate in a hostile environment, security is a primary consideration. Therefore, insurgent organizations may be organized both conventionally and unconventionally.

An unconventional or cellular structure protects members of the organization and allows for better security. Individual elements or cells can operate relatively isolated froother elements or cells, thereby creating increased security. In the event of defection or capture, no one member can identify more than a few others. Some elements within the organization may have multifunction cells that combine several skills into one operational entity, while others create cells of specialists that come together for an operation on an ad hoc basis.

Due to its unconventional nature, the insurgent threat is difficult to determine and                                                              identify. When determining and identifying the insurgent threat, consider the following:

Threat staging area. A threat staging area is a geographic area from which insurgent

organizations and elements coordinate operations, logistics, finance, and recruiting, as well as stage and plan missions. These areas can be thought of as either the operational or strategic areas in which the group conducts the majority of its “behind-the-scenes” activity, as well as defining the area in which the group has the largest sympathetic base to support its goals.

Threat area of operations. Threat AOs are those areas in which an insurgent organization conducts operations against its enemy.

   Intelligence Threat objectives. These are long- and short-term insurgent goals that may in-clude but are not limited to .

Attracting publicity to the group’s cause.

Demonstrating the group’s power.

Demonstrating government and US weakness.

Exacting revenge.

Obtaining logistic support.

Causing a government or US forces to overreact.


In counterinsurgency operations, threat analysis is a continual process of compiling and examining all available information concerning potential insurgent activities that target elements of the population, local security forces, and facilities or bases. A comprehensive threat analysis reviews the factors of an insurgent’s existence, capability, intentions, history, and targeting, as well as the security environment within which friendly forces operate.

Threat analysis is an essential step in identifying the probability of insurgent attacks and results in a threat assessment.

When conducting an insurgency, the threat will normally conform to the five low-intensity imperatives (political dominance, unity of effort, adaptability, legitimacy, and perseverance)

Under the conditions of insurgency, the analyst places more emphasis on .

Developing population status overlays showing potential hostile areas.

Developing an understanding of how each insurgent organization operates and is organized.

Determining primary operating or staging areas.

Determining mobility corridors and escape routes.

Determining the most likely targets.

Determining where the threat’s logistic facilities are located and how their support organizations operate.

Determining the level of popular support (active and passive).

Determining the recruiting techniques and methods of each insurgent organization.

Locating neutrals and those actively opposing these organizations.

Using pattern analysis and other tools to establish links between each insurgent organization and other organizations.

Determining the underlying social, political, ideological, and economic issues that caused the insurgency and that are continuing to cause the members of the organization as well as elements of the population to support it.

4-46. As discussed earlier, evaluation of the threat in counterinsurgency operations begins early and covers a wide range of factors in building an accurate threat organizational diagram.

In addition to the factors discussed, consider the following:

Group collection and intelligence capabilities.

Does the actual desired end state differ from that which is publicly advocated? If so, how does that impact operations?

Do the insurgents desire a different social or political organization than that which exists under current conditions; if so, what are the differences? How will they conduct operations to achieve that goal?

Motivation (ideological, religious, monetary). Depending on the echelon, there may be an opportunity to use PSYOP against the group or its support network.


While identifying the specific structure, leadership, and membership of insurgent or-ganizations is important, it may also be extremely difficult to obtain this information. In the absence of specific information, identifying generalities about the insurgent groups will be of value to the intelligence analyst.

Leader Capabilities

An insurgent organization capable of exercising C2 over long distances has greater mflexibility and reach than an organization that can only operate within the limitations of the mleader’s interpersonal capabilities.

International and National Support

Insurgents may receive support from the following sources:

Moral. A significant leadership or cultural figure may make pronouncements insupport of an organization, activity, or action. This may have the effect of influencing international policy or increasing the success of recruitment efforts.

Physical. Physical support includes safe passage, safe houses, documentation, weapons, and training at sites inside the country.

Financial. Charities, banks, informal transfer of currency by traveler or courier.


Religious, political, and ethnic affiliations. Commonalities and differences are significant in terms of estimating potential support or opposition an insurgent organization may receive in a given area. However, in some cultures, such as the Muslim culture, the philosophy that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” may cause strange and unprecedented relationships to form.


An insurgent organization that recruits from an idealistic and naïve upper and middle class will differ significantly from one that recruits from prisons. Some insurgent organizations recruit university students, either to join the movement as operatives and support personnel, or to prepare for future leadership roles. Insurgents recruit lower-level personnel with little or no education because they are more susceptible to insurgent propaganda, although many insurgents come from an upper-middle class background. The impact of target audiences bears directly upon the willingness of the insurgent recruit to fully commit to the cause and to sacrifice self if deemed necessary.


A thorough analysis of the population within the AO is critical to the execution of successful counterinsurgency operations. Consider the impact the local populace may have on the threat and friendly forces, as well as their location in the AO and area of interest. When analyzing the population, the following are areas to consider:

Identify active and passive supporters and why they are supporting.

Determine what segment of the general population supports or assists the threat and how.

Determine the extent to which the population will support or impede friendly op-erations.


Identify and depict those segments of the population that are friendly or unfriendly toward US/multinational forces.

Identify and depict those segments of the population that are pro-government or anti-government.

Identify terrorist and/or criminal elements and their relationship to the insurgents and the general population.

Determine the availability of weapons to the general population.

Insurgents move among the local population the way conventional forces move over terrain.

The military aspects of terrain may be used to analyze how in-surgents might use this “human terrain” to accomplish their objectives.

Observation and Fields of Fire

Individuals or groups in the population can be co-opted by one side or another to per-form a surveillance or reconnaissance function, performing as moving outposts to gather information.

Local residents have intimate knowledge of the local area. Their observations can provide information and insights about what might otherwise remain a mystery. For instance, residents often know about shortcuts through town. They might also be able to observe and report on a demonstration or meeting that occurs in their area.

Unarmed combatants might provide targeting intelligence to armed combatants engaged in a confrontation. This was readily apparent in Mogadishu, where unarmed combatants with the ability to observe friendly force activities without the threat of being engaged instructed hidden threat forces on where to fire.

Deception and adversarial propaganda threats may hinder a clear view of the threat’s tactics or intentions.

Fields of fire can be extremely limited by the presence of noncombatants in a combat zone because restrictive ROE may prohibit firing into a crowd.

Figuratively, the population or regions within a local area can be identified as nonlethal targets for IO.

Avenues of Approach

Populations present during operations physically restrict movement and maneuver by limiting or changing the width of avenues of approach.

People may assist movement if a group can be used as human barriers between onecombatant group and another. Refugee flows, for example, can provide a concealed avenue of approach for members of an enemy force. A certain individual can provide an avenue of approach to a specific target audience mwhen acting as a “mouthpiece” for an IO mission.

Key Terrain

The population in counterinsurgency operations is key terrain. This is based on the idea that public opinion and their support or lack thereof can change the course or the aim of a mission. The United States’ withdrawal from Somalia following the outcry after seeing a dead Soldier being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu is often used in urban operations mliterature as an example of the power of an audience. Determining which population or portions of it are key to a mission should not be limited to broad-brush characterizations of large populations, however. Certain sectors or individuals within a population can be as pivotal in modern engagements as a piece of high ground was in past eras, or as the entire US population was in regard to Mogadishu.

Captured combatants or a well-informed noncombatant can provide valuable information about the enemy. These individuals can be key terrain in terms of the information they can provide.

A group of people that US forces are deployed to protect might be considered key terrain because loss of that group’s respect could jeopardize the entire operation.

Congregated people can be considered key terrain. Whether moving or stationary, a   large gathering might be a ripe target for attack, closer observation, or attempts at manipulation.


One of the largest obstacles to friendly operations is the portion of the population that actively supports the insurgent.

People conducting their daily activities will often “get in the way” of any type of operation.

For instance, curiosity-driven crowds in Haiti often affected patrols by inadvertently forcing units into the middle of the street and pushing them into a single file. No harm was inflicted, but the unit was made move vulnerable to sniper and grenade attacks.

Strategically, the world audience, as well as its local contingent, can create political, cultural, and ideological obstacles to a mission. The US audience watching events unfold in Vietnam can be understood as an obstacle to the government’s strategy of pursuing its strategic objectives. The cultural differences apparent when US forces were deployed for Operation Desert Storm could have been an obstacle if not adequately addressed. For instance, aPSYOP flier produced to encourage a sense of unity among the Arab populations included a picture of two men holding hands, a sight not common in Western cultures. A flier designed in accordance with Western standards might not have been as effective.

Cover and Concealment

Civilian populations provide ubiquitous concealment for nonuniformed forces. Threat forces operating in any part of a local urban area can instantly blend into any type of crowd or activity.

Threat forces often find cover by operating within a neutral group. For instance, al mQaeda operatives and fighters are able to often move freely among and mix with the rural populace living near Afghanistan-Pakistan border. However, these same people have difficulty remaining nondescript and moving freely among urban populations due to regional differences in their accent, mode of dress, hair and beard styles, and skin pigment. Reportedly, insurgents attempted to move in the company of women and children (acting as family members) and mixed among the populace exiting and entering Fallujah during operations there in spring 2004.



       Human intelligence is the collection by a trained HUMINT collector of foreign information from people and multimedia to identify elements, intentions, composition, strength, dispositions, tactics, equipment, personnel, and capabilities. It uses human sources and a vari-ety of collection methods, both passively and actively, to gather information to satisfy the mcommander’s intelligence requirements and cross-cue other intelligence disciplines (FM 2-0).


During counterinsurgency operations, the most important information and intelligence mwill come from the population and those in direct contact with them—HUMINT. The quantity mand quality of this information and intelligence will depend on the credibility of the US forces, the continuous security they provide the local population, and their ability to interact with the local population (communicate and establish relationships with members of the local population). Every member of the US force, whether on or off duty, is an informal

HUMINT collector and must be aware of the overall intelligence requirements and how their nteractions and observations may assist in the intelligence collection plan. This awareness can and should be developed by regular briefings and debriefings.

Trained HUMINT collectors obtain information from people and multimedia to identify elements, intentions, composition, strength, dispositions, tactics, equipment, personnel, and capabilities within and affecting the local area. HUMINT can assist to establish and more accurately understand the sociocultural characteristics of the local area.

HUMINT sources can provide early warning of deep-rooted problems awaiting US forces during counterinsurgency operations. HUMINT collectors can conduct debriefings, screenings, liaison, HUMINT contact operations, document exploitation, interrogations, and tactical questioning in support of the commander’s intelligence requirements.

Information provided by HUMINT can greatly assist the intelligence staff in deducing critical patterns, trends, and networks within the local area. HUMINT collection team personnel provide these types of capabilities in support of tactical forces. The S-2/G-2/J-2X coor-dinates these capabilities between the tactical, operational, and strategic levels, and can provide their units with access to pertinent national level HUMINT.

Intelligence planning staffs must be aware that battlespace cannot generally be defined in geographical terms for purposes of intelligence collection. This is especially important when determining the allocation of HUMINT assets. Concentrations of humans on the battlefield do not necessarily denote a need to concentrate HUMINT assets in those locations.

Threat actions outside a unit’s AO may be a source of significant events inside a unit’s AO.

Additionally, information from sources in one AO may impact operations in a distant AO.

Creating arbitrary intelligence boundaries can result in a lack of timely fusion of all critical melements of information that may be available.


       Imagery intelligence is intelligence derived from the exploitation of imagery collected by mvisual photography, infrared, lasers, multispectral sensors, and radar. These sensors produce images of objects optically, electronically, or digitally on film, electronic display devices, or other media

IMINT has some severe limitations during counterinsurgency operations. Imaging systems mcannot distinguish between insurgents masquerading as civilians and the general population. Additionally, imaging systems cannot see through buildings in built-up areas, so mlow-flying aerial imagery collection platforms often have restricted fields of vision. Likewise they cannot see threats that may be located inside buildings. Additionally, aerial platforms mthat do not have standoff capabilities may be at risk of being destroyed by local enemy air defense fire.

There are several key advantages that imagery can provide to the commander. UAV mimagery may be one of the fastest, least risky methods by which to conduct reconnaissance of specific areas and to update and verify current maps of that area, showing clear routes, obstacles msuch as damaged and destroyed buildings, and intact and destroyed bridges. The topographical team can use this imagery to create updated mapping products for planning and operational uses.

       Cameras co-located with MASINT systems, such as REMBASS, and activated when those systems are triggered can give the commander additional “eyes on” named areas of interest without wasting manpower by continuously staffing an observation post in those locations. Providing patrols with a digital camera or video camera can greatly assist in the debriefing process and allow the intelligence staff personnel to make their own judgments about items of interest that the patrol reports. Videotaping of events, such as a demonstration, can allow analysts who were not on the scene to identify key elements, leaders, and potential indicators to help preclude future incidents. Gun-camera images from aircraft that can provide a stand-off reconnaissance platform may give valuable insight into enemy TTPs.

Thermal sights on a vehicle patrolling an urban street late at night may note the hot engineof a vehicle on the side of the road, possibly indicating suspicious activity.

The Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) can provide such information as the amount of vehicular traffic entering and leaving an area via multiple avenues, mwhich can be useful when trying to determine if the enemy is shifting forces into or out of a mspecific region, or if there is a covert attempt to exfiltrate or infiltrate the region via lesser-used avenues. This could include monitoring traffic crossing international borders.

The National Geospatial Agency can provide a wide range of imagery products for use prior to and during operations in the urban environment. These products are usually easier mto obtain prior to deployment and are often critical to the initial planning stages of an opera-tion.


Signals intelligence is a category of intelligence comprising either individually or in mcombination all communications intelligence, electronic intelligence, and foreign instrumentation signals intelligence, however transmitted; intelligence is derived from communications, electronics, and foreign instrumentation signals. SIGINT has three subcategories:

Communications intelligence. The intelligence derived from foreign communications by other than the intended recipients

Electronic intelligence. Technical and geolocation intelligence derived from foreign non-communications electromagnetic radiations emanating from other than nuclear detonations or radioactive sources

Foreign instrumentation signals intelligence. Technical information and intelligence derived from the intercept of foreign electromagnetic emissions associated with the testing and operational deployment of non-US aerospace, surface, and sub-surface systems. Foreign instrumentation signals intelligence is a subcategory of signals intelligence. Foreign instrumentation signals include but are not limited to telemetry, beaconry, electronic interrogators, and video data links

SIGINT is of value whenever there is any form of electronic emission, whether from communications (such as hand-held or citizen’s band radios and mobile phones), combat net radio transmissions, or for other purposes such as the radio control of explosive devices or use of radar for surface-to-air missile guidance. The easy availability of high-tech communications and monitoring equipment now allows most nations to have a relatively sophisticated SIGINT capability.

Insurgent groups may use unencrypted, low-power, communications systems to conduct local operations. Ground-based SIGINT collection assets must be properly positioned in advance to be certain that they can obtain the best possible intelligence from these sources.


Collection of unencrypted threat signals can provide key indicators for threat courses of action. Patterns in the amount of known enemy encrypted signals provide indications of specific threat courses of action. Because of signal bounce within urban areas, direction-finding capabilities for all SIGINT collection systems are significantly impaired. During counterinsurgency operations, it may be possible for the local authorities to monitor local telephone lines and provide relevant information they collect to US forces. Likewise, it may be possible for US forces to tip off local national authorities as to what telephone numbers may yield valuable intelligence.


MASINT is technically derived intelligence that detects, locates, tracks, identifies, or describes the specific characteristics of fixed and dynamic target objects and sources. It also includes the additional advanced processing and exploitation of data derived from IMINT and SIGINT collection.MASINT provides important intelligence at the tactical level. Systems such as ground surveillance radars have limited uses in the urban environments because of the lack of wide-open spaces in which they most effectively operate. For that same reason, they can cover large, open areas that are possible avenues of approach or infiltration/exfiltration routeswithin a unit’s AO. Systems such as REMBASS and the Platoon Early Warning Device can play a primary role in monitoring many of the numerous avenues of approach that cannot be covered by human observers due to manpower constraints. REMBASS can monitor avenues such as subterranean passageways (or entrances and exits to such passageways), entrances and exits on buildings, fire escapes on buildings, base camp perimeters, and traffic floalong routes (especially foot trails that may be used to infiltrate and exfiltrate personnel and mequipment between urban and rural areas).


CI is focused on countering adversary intelligence collection activities against US forces. During counterinsurgency operations, CI personnel primarily investigate adversary intelligence collection threats and provide force protection assistance. In conjunction with HUMINT collections, CI agents conduct screening operations to identify personnel that may be of CI interest or have CI leads. CI screening is also conducted during the process of hiring HN citizens (such as linguists). CI investigations and operations may cross-cue the other in-telligence disciplines and may in term be cross-cued by the other disciplines. CI personnel work in conjunction with military police, engineers, and medical service personnel to create mthreat vulnerability assessments that provide commanders and leaders with a comprehen-sive mforce protection assessment. CI personnel provide analysis of the adversary’s HUMINT, IMINT, SIGINT, and MASINT capabilities in support of intelligence collection, terrorism, and sabotage in order to develop countermeasures against them. CI analytical products are important tools in course of action development in the military decision making process.

CI technical services that may be available and of use during counterinsurgency operations minclude surveillance, computer network operations (assisting in protecting US information and information systems while exploiting and/or attacking adversary information and information systems), technical surveillance countermeasures (identifying technical collection activities being carried out by adversary intelligence entities), IO, and counter-signals intelligence. As with scouts and reconnaissance patrols, CI teams are most effective when mlinguist support is provided.


ISR tasks are the actions of the intelligence collection effort. ISR tasks consist of three categories:




Developing the counterinsurgency operational ISR plan is different from developing the plan supporting conventional operations. Due to the unconventional nature of the counterinsurgency environment, the ISR effort will be significantly more complex in combining and integrating HUMINT collectors and surveillance assets with the capabilities and tasks of limited ISR-assigned assets as well as integrating with interagency resources. Techniques must mbe modified for every operation to accomplish ISR requirements—each operation is unique.

Additionally, local, national, and multinational ISR assets must be integrated into the over-all mISR plan at both the local, district, and regional levels. The key to successful ISR efforts is the integration of all ISR-capable units, local and HN government and interagency organizations throughout the entire operations process (plan, prepare, execute, and assess). The coordinated actions of the entire staff to develop the threat and environment portion of the common operational picture are key to providing successful ISR support to the commander.




The purpose of PSYOP is to influence target audience behaviors so that they support

US national policy objectives and the combatant commander’s intentions at the strategic, operational and tactical levels of war. PSYOP provide a commander the means to employ a mnonlethal capability across the range of military operations (offense, defense, stability, and support) and spectrum of conflict, from peace through conflict to war and during postconflict operations.


The mission of PSYOP is to influence the behavior of foreign target audiences to support US national objectives. PSYOP accomplishes this by conveying selected information and madvising on actions that influence the emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign audiences. Behavioral change is at the root of the PSYOP mission. Although concerned with the mental processes of the target audience, it is the observable modificationof target audience behavior that determines the mission success of PSYOP. Leaders and Soldiers must recognize that everything they do or choose not to do has a psychological impact. PSYOP is an integral part of all counterinsurgency activities. They meet the specific requirements for each area and operation. Mission planning for PSYOP in counterinsur-gency must be consistent with US and multinational objectives—military, economic, and po-litical.

PSYOP planners must be thoroughly familiar with all aspects of the HN environment in which PSYOP is employed. This includes the history, culture, economics, politics, regional influence, and other elements that affect the people in the HN. Commanders must consider the psychological impact of military and nonmilitary courses of action. PSYOP emphasize assessing the potential threat to the HN and the United States. PSYOP support the achievement of national goals by specific target audiences. In counterinsurgency, specific PSYOP goals exist for the following target groups:


Insurgents. To create dissension, disorganization, low morale, subversion, and de-fection within insurgent forces. No single way exists to influence foreign targets deliberately.

Planning stems from the viewpoint of those affected by a conflict. The HN’s government needs national programs designed to influence and win insurgents over to its side.

Civilian populace. To gain, preserve, and strengthen civilian support for the HN’s government and its counterinsurgency programs.

Military forces. To strengthen military support, with emphasis on building and maintaining the morale of these forces. The loyalty, discipline, and motivation of the forces are critical factors in combating an insurgency.

Neutral elements. To gain the support of uncommitted foreign groups inside and outside the HN. Effective ways of gaining support are to reveal the subversive activities and to bring international pressure to bear on any external hostile power sponsoring the insurgency.

External hostile powers. To convince them the insurgency will fail.

Local government. To establish and maintain credibility.

PSYOP can assist counterinsurgency by reaching the following goals:

Countering hostile propaganda.

Improving popular support for the HN government.

Discrediting the insurgent forces to neutral groups and the insurgents themselves.

Projecting a favorable image of the HN government and the United States.

Supporting defector programs.

Providing close and continuous PSYOP support to CMO.

Establishing HN command support of positive populace control and protection from insurgent activities.

Informing the international community of HN and US intent and goodwill.

Passing instructions to the HN populace.

Developing HN PSYOP capabilities.


At the tactical level, PSYOP are the supported commander’s most readily available asset to communicate with foreign target audiences. Tactical PSYOP forces provide a powerfulcapability to the supported commander whether providing information during humanitarian assistance operations or broadcasting surrender instructions while supporting combat operations.

PSYOP disseminate products at the tactical level at the most personal level: through face-to-face communication, dissemination of visual products, or from the close proximity of a loudspeaker. Tactical PSYOP Soldiers can often obtain immediate feedback from the target audience they are trying to influence. When attached to a maneuver battalion or company, the tactical PSYOP team disseminates PSYOP products using visual, audio, or audiovisual means. The tactical loudspeakers employed by the teams can achieve immediate and direct contact with a target audience and are used heavily during counterinsurgency operations.

Tactical PSYOP teams can perform other tasks. In addition to disseminating printed materials, they perform face-to-face communication, gather and assess the effectiveness of friendly PSYOP and propaganda, and acquire PSYOP-relevant information from the local populace.


TPTs provide PSYOP dissemination in support of operations conducted by conventional and SOF units. The TPT is a three-person team commanded by a staff sergeant. The TPT’s

Psychological Operations and Military Police Support primary purpose is to integrate and execute tactical PSYOP into the supported commander’s operation. The TPT also advises the commander and staff on the psychological effects of their operations on the target audience in their AO, as well as the effects of propaganda, and answer all PSYOP-related questions. The TPT can conduct face-to-face, communication, loud-speaker operations, and dissemination of approved audio, audiovisual, and printed products.

They are instrumental in the gathering of PSYOP-relevant information, conducting town or area assessments, observing impact indicators, and gathering pretesting and posttesting data. TPTs also conduct interviews with the target audience. They take pictures and document cultural behavior for later use in products. TPTs often play a role in establishing rapport with foreign audiences and identifying key communicators that can be used to achieve

US national objectives. Tactical PSYOP can increase the supported unit commander’s ability to operate on the battlefield by reducing or minimizing civilian interference.

Tactical PSYOP can potentially reduce the number of casualties suffered by the supported unit by reducing the effectiveness of insurgent forces through surrender appeals and cease resistance messages.

Tactical PSYOP can assist the supported unit commander in gaining the tactical advantage on the battlefield through the use of deception measures, allowing the commander to have the element of surprise.

In high intensity conflict, a TPT is normally assigned to each maneuver battalion. In stability operations in general and in counter insurgency in particular, the TPT should support each company or Special Forces ODA. The TPT must interact with the local populationcontinuously to be effective. Most operations that interact with the population regularly are mplanned and executed at the company/ODA level. Given current force protection doctrine the TPT will not be effective if employed above the company/ODA level in supporting counter insurgency.


The TPT leader plays a key role as advisor to the supported commander. The leader manalyzes proposed actions by the supported unit and how they may affect the target audiences within the AO. PSYOP planners are involved in the targeting process. For example, if the supported commander wants to destroy a bridge that is used by local civilians to transport mgoods to and from market, the TPT leader should advise him on the possible adverse effect this may have on the civilians. The TPT leader may also advise the commander on specific insurgent forces to target with PSYOP in order to reduce their effectiveness.


Loudspeaker operations are an extension of face-to-face communications. During operations in which violence is an element, the loudspeaker is the most effective PSYOP medium. Loudspeakers achieve immediate and direct contact with the enemy. When a loudspeaker broadcasts, the enemy becomes a captive audience that cannot escape the message. The loud-speaker can move rapidly to wherever an exploitable PSYOP opportunity is found and can follow the target audience when the target audience moves. The loudspeaker achieves, in effect, face-to-face communication with the adversary. Loudspeakers transmit speeches, music, news, warnings, or sound effects.


The dissemination of printed products by TPTs and other Soldiers is a very effective way of disseminating PSYOP to target audiences. TPTs usually disseminate printed prod-ucts by hand, in a face-to-face manner, which lends credibility to the product. Following is a list of some of the types of printed products a TPT might disseminate: posters, novelty items, leaflets, handbills, newspapers, pamphlets, and magazines.


Face-to-face communication is the foundation of tactical PSYOP and the most common mand effective capability that TPTs bring to the supported unit. Increasing rapport, trust, and credibility with the target audience is accomplished through effective face-to-face communication.

This method also allows PSYOP Soldiers the best way of engaging with a target audi-ence about complex issues. The give and take of personal communication is the most effec-tive form of PSYOP over the long term because it builds rapport and establishes a personal connection with the target audience.


PSYOP personnel use pretesting and posttesting to predict and assess the effectiveness of products on a target audience. An important function of TPTs is that of testing.


This assessment collects detailed information that is useful for the development of PSYOP. TPTs must ensure these town and area assessments are as complete as possible and forward them up the chain of command so they can be incorporated into higher planning and shared with intelligence sections benefiting all levels of command.


TPTs assess radio and television stations on almost every mission. Once the TPT makes contact with a station manager, it is important that they maintain that relationship.

Establishing a good, habitual working relationship can be an effective way to help ensure the ability to exploit the indigenous broadcast capability, such as a radio station.


TPTs will often find themselves assisting in the control of crowds and defusing a poten-tially hostile situation. This may occur as a member of a planned quick reaction force or on the spur of the moment.


Propaganda is any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of any group in order to benefit the msponsor, either directly or indirectly Propaganda can be directed against an enemy or potential adversary to disrupt or influence any instrument of national power—diplomatic information, military, or economic. This information is normally directed at the United States, multinational partners, and key audiences in the AO. PSYOP personnel advise the mcommander and staff of the current situation regarding the use or anticipated use of adversary propaganda in the AO. PSYOP personnel advise commanders on recommended counterpropaganda measures to defeat or diminish the impact of propaganda. Executing successful counterpropaganda involves all of the commander’s assets to collect the wide variety of information and propaganda existing in an area. Due to the sheer volume of information and potential sources, PSYOP forces do not have the organic ability to collect all available infor-mation.

5-4.Psychological Operations and Military Police Support


The following highlights several considerations for countering hard-line insurgencies from a PSYOP perspective:

Do not approach the insurgency as only a series of criminal acts. View the situation through the microscope of root causes of insurgencies. The actions may be the beginnings of a highly organized and deeply rooted insurrection.

Maintain the respect of the loyal government officials, security forces, and civilian population. Reward repentant insurgent sympathizers. Build the infrastructure of cooperative areas and publicize those accomplishments to the less-than-supportive groups. Seeing neighbors being compensated for their help will positively influence others to join in and secure them and their family from insurgent retribution.

Emphasize the Soldier’s primary role is to both serve as an ambassador of goodwill to the populace and to destroy the insurgents.

Include the HN government and security forces in the detailed planning, message content, and operational execution of the counterinsurgency operation.

Realize that the practice of judgment, persistency, patience, tact, justice, humanity, and sympathy are necessary on the part of the sitting government and supporting multinational forces. These traits are essential to the achievement of moral and psychological superiority over the insurgents. Legitimate forces must fully recognize that they represent the better state of things that are being offered to the local populace. Follow the two guiding principles on the conduct of operations in counterinsurgency: The objective is to achieve decisive gains with the least use of combat force and resultant loss of lives. The relationship with the local populace must be based on security, truth, helpfulness, and kindness.



Active patrolling and interaction with the local populace can alert US forces to the possibility of civil disturbances. Patrols can detect changes in daily patterns that may indicate the possibility of violence, observe new people who are not residents of the area, or receive information about upcoming disturbances from those whom they have befriended.

To combat civil disturbances, leaders apply the minimum force necessary to help HN authorities restore law and order. Leaders and Soldiers remain aware that the media often covers civil disturbances. Even when not covered, these disturbances are opportunities to shape the information environment positively toward the US and the HN forces and government.

Combatting these disturbances may involve the following:

Maintain the essential distribution, transportation, and communications systems.

Set up roadblocks.

Cordon off areas.

Make a show of force.

Disperse or contain crowds.

Release riot control agents only when directed to do so. (Only the President can authorize US forces to use riot control agents.)

Serve as security forces or reserves.

Initiate needed relief measures, such as distributing food or clothing, or establishing emergency shelters.

Employ nonlethal munitions and equipment.

Leaders plan and prepare their units for encountering civil disturbances during counterinsurgency operations. Plans include not only how Soldiers and units react, but also the use of tactical PSYOP teams. Leaders coordinate with local civil police to establish lines of authority and responsibility when dealing with civilian disturbances. US military leaders ensure operations involving US forces and HN police conform to US law and policy.

When planning and preparing for civil disturbance operations, commanders emphasize

prevention rather than confrontation. Once a confrontation occurs, military forces also deal with noncombatants that have internationally recognized rights. These rights must be respected while maintaining public order.

Military forces display fair and impartial treatment and adhere to the principle of minimum force.

Civil police apprehend, process, and detain civil law violators. Military forces perform these functions only when necessity dictates and to the minimum extent required. Return these functions to civil authorities as soon as possible.


Proportional and appropriate responses to civil disturbances are based on an analysis of the threat the disturbance poses. Factors to be considered are—

Crowd size. How many people are actually present? Of those, how many are combative (armed or unarmed), and what type people comprise the crowd (grown men, women, juveniles, children, or a mix)?

Motivator. Is this an individual leading the crowd or the crowd feeding on itself?

Driving force. What is the reason for the gathering/riot?

Emotions and intentions. Listen to what the crowd is saying. You may be able to deescalate the situation (treat the crowd like an individual person, but remain observant for changes).

Crowd evaluation. Will the size of the force affect the crowd?

Movement or motion. Where is the crowd trying to go?

Type of crowd clothing. Light or full due to heat or heavy coats to protect due to cold. Clothing affects the type of munitions used and the aiming point.

Area and environment of the situation. This affects the types of munitions  used.

Availability of gravel or rocks. These can be thrown at the control force.

Escape routes for the crowd. There should be at least two avenues of escape that the crowd can use.

Avenues of withdrawal for the control force. There must also be at least two avenues of withdrawal for the formation.


Control force leaders consider the following characteristics when assessing situations involving crowds:

Crowd type.

Health Considerations, Movement Security, and Civil Disturbances

Crowd leadership.

Tactics the crowd is using.


There are four types of crowds:

Casual crowd. Required elements of the casual crowd are space and people.

Sighting crowd. Includes casual crowd elements and an event. The event provides

the group’s common bond.

Agitated crowd. Possesses the three elements of the sighting crowd plus the element of emotion.

Mob. Characterized by hostility and aggression. A mob is an agitated crowd involved in a physical activity.

To control the mob requires simultaneous actions. The primary goal is to reduce the emotional levels of the individuals within the mob. This action will deescalate the aggressiveness mand potential violence of the crowd. Physical force of some type may be necessary to quell the disturbance.


Leadership affects greatly the intensity and direction of crowd behavior. A skillful agitator mcan convert a group of resentful people into an angry mob and direct their aggression and anger toward the control group. The first person to start giving clear orders authoritatively is likely to be followed. Radical leaders can easily take charge, exploit the crowd’s mood, and direct it toward a convenient target.

It is important to note that the leader of the crowd or group does not necessarily fit into one category. The leader may be combative, vocal, or seemingly low-key and may change roles as needed. Properly identifying the leader of an angry or potentially violent group and skillfully removing the leader without causing additional violence is key to defusing a potentially dangerous situation.


Crowd tactics can be unplanned or planned, violent or not. The more organized and purposeful a crowd becomes, the more likely the tactics used will have been planned. Organized mmobs will try to defeat the control force by employing several different types of tactics.

These tactics include—

Constructing barricades.

Using Molotov cocktails, rocks, slingshots, and smoke grenades.

Feinting and flanking actions.

Crowd behavior during a civil disturbance is essentially emotional and without reason. The feelings and the momentum generated have a tendency to cause the whole group to follow the example displayed by its worst members. Skillful agitators or subversive elements exploit these psychological factors during disorders. Regardless of the reason for violence, the results may consist of indiscriminate burning and looting, or open and violent attacks on officials, buildings, and innocent passersby. Rioters may set fire to buildings and vehicles to—

Block the advance of troops.

Create confusion and diversion.

Achieve goals of property destruction, looting, and sniping.

Mobs will often use various types of weapons against authorities. These include but are not limited to—

Verbal abuse.

Use of perceived innocents or weak persons (such as the elderly, women and children) as human shields.

Thrown and blunt impact objects (such as rocks, bricks, and clubs).

Vehicles and other large movable objects.

Firearms, explosives, and other pyrotechnic devices.


Individuals can be categorized according to what level of force they can use or what threat they present:

Complacent resisters. Complacent resisters are nonverbal. They look at you when you talk to them but do not reply in any way. They become limp when touched or forced to move their body. They can very quickly become violent and physically combative. Don’t underestimate them.

Vocal resisters. Vocal resisters offer a verbal reply and, when touched, highlight themselves in an effort to gain the attention of the media.

Combative resisters. Combative resisters pose the greatest danger to the control force. They are not passive once they are touched. Place the individual in a prone position, cuff them, and remove them from the area. (See Appendix I.)



Four elements make up the basic crowd control formation:

Base element. This is the front line of the formation. This element is made up of two ranks. The first rank is shield holders while the second rank contains the nonlethal weapons.

Support element. The support element forms in a column formation behind the base element. It may be used to replace the base element members as needed or provide lateral or direct support. It performs extraction team operations.


A diamond formation is used to enter a crowd. It is the formation of choice for extraction teams. As a defensive formation, the diamond is used when all-around security is required, such as in open areas


The circle formation is used for the same purposes as the diamond formation.

The decision to use either the diamond or circle formation is based on the conformation of the crowd.


Vehicles may be employed with troops in control force formation especially when a large rioting crowd is on hand. When using vehicles, cover the windshield with sturdy, close mesh fencing and the standard safety glass. Create a buffer space between the two surfaces. Shields and or mobile barriers may be built by mounting a wooden or metal frame strung with barbed wire across the front of a vehicle.

Members of the formation should walk as near to the front corners of each vehicle as possible to keep rioters from attacking the sides and rear of the vehicles.

When up-armored HMMWVs or other armored vehicles are used in crowd control for-mations, leaders ensure that they are able to see and control the formation.


Leaders choose their options based on an assessment of the crowd. Leaders select the

combination of control techniques and force options they believe will influence the particular msituation most effectively (based on METT-TC). Leaders choose the response they expect to reduce the intensity of the situation. Options to consider for crowd control are—

Monitor the crowd to gather intelligence and observe to determine whether leaders mhave emerged, volatility has increased, and movement.

Block the crowd’s advance upon a facility or area.

Disperse the crowd in order to prevent injury or prevent the destruction of prop-erty.

Contain the crowd to limit it to the area it is occupying. This prevents it from mspreading to surrounding areas and communities.


Dispersal may result in a crowd breaking into multiple groups, causing greater prob-lems and continued threat to the control forces. A contained crowd has a limited duration; their numbers are likely to diminish as individual needs take precedence over those of the crowd.

Issue a proclamation to assist with dispersing a crowd. A proclamation officially establishes the illegal nature of a crowd’s actions, and it puts the populace on official notice regarding the status of their actions. If a proclamation is issued, ensure action is taken to enforce it. Nonaction will be seen as a sign of weakness. When issuing a proclamation, remember the following:


Intent cannot exceed response capability.

Do not disclose the type of force/munitions to be used.


Use the following techniques to control crowds:

Ensure that ROE, levels of force and uses, and the commander’s intent (to include non lethal weapon and lethal options, if necessary) are clearly understood by all.

Determine in advance the recent psychological characteristics of demonstrations and mobs.

Identify local HN, community, and tribal officials in advance. Know their office and cell phone numbers.

Establish command relationships and the authority to fire nonlethal weapons mu-nitions.

Make an extraction plan and have flexible withdrawal drills.

Always maintain a lethal overwatch of a control force. When marksmen are deployed, keep them covered and out-of-sight. Designated marksman teams build confidence in the members of the control force.

Always maintain a reserve force to reinforce the control force. Hold reserves out-of-sight.

Know who the media representatives are and where they are located. Ask them in advance the theme of any story and information they are developing.

Be reasonable and balanced. However, a mob’s perceived lack of risk encourages rioters.

Move the crowd, but don’t smash them. They will fight if smashed.

Maximize distance and barriers between crowd and control formations. Use nonlethal weapons munitions to create a standoff distance.

If the use of force level escalates to a deadly force, adjusted aim points (head shots) with nonlethal weapons munitions can produce lethal effects.

Create nonlethal weapons range cards for static positions.

Consider environmental conditions and their effect on the performance of less-than-lethalmunitions. Keep in mind the potential for a lethal outcome is possible in all types of missions.


The force applied will continually change dependent on the threat levels and ROE. As the threat increases or decreases, the level of force increases or decreases based on ROE.


.The M9 pistol is the weapon of choice for extraction/apprehension teams. Use of the M203 grenade launcher and 12-gauge shotgun are recommended with nonlethal weapons munitions capability, especially for overwatch of frontline personnel. Add nonstandard weapons, such as shotguns, for a greater nonlethal weapons capabil-ity. Example: the shotgunner is used to protect the M203 gunner as he reloads. Balance weapons mix and munitions according to METT-TC.

Soldiers in the front line of the formation should be armed with their standard weapon carried across the back, butt up and muzzle down. The weapon is cleared and the magazine is in the appropriate ammo pouch.


“Attention! Attention! Soldiers are present in this area. They are preparing to advance. Order must mand will be maintained. Disperse peaceably and leave this area. To avoid possible injury, leave at monce. Disperse now and avoid possible injury! Disperse now and avoid possible injury!” *

(Repeat until Soldiers are committed.)


“Soldiers are advancing now. They will not stop until this crowd is dispersed and order is restored. To avoid injuries, leave the area at once. Return to your homes as peaceful citizens. Soldiers have their orders, and they will not stop until the crowd is dispersed. Avoid injury. Leave this area.” *



“Attention! Attention! This area must be cleared at once! Further unlawful behavior will not be mtolerated. Clear this area at once or the necessary force to do so will be used.” *


“Disperse and retire peaceably! Disperse and retire peaceably! Attention all demonstrators!

“The demonstration in which you are participatingends at _____. The permit that was agreed to by the leaders of the demonstration expires at that time. All demonstrators must depart from the _____ NLT _____. All persons who wish to leavevoluntarily may board the buses. These buses will go to the ______. Those who wish to take buses should move to ______. Those demonstrators who do not leave voluntarily NLT ________ will be arrested and taken to a detention center. All demonstrators are urged to abide by the permit.” *


“Return to your homes! Someone may be looting them at this moment! During a disturbance, criminal activity is at its peak. Your family and/or your property may be in danger.” *

(Used in conjunction with other announcements.)

“Attention! Attention! Do not attempt to cause mfurther disorder. Disperse now in an orderly manner and avoid possible injury to children.

Return at once to your homes.” *

* Indicates the method, the streets, and direction that the crowd should use when dispersing.



6There are advantages and disadvantages in using nonlethal weapons. Nonlethal weapons can be used alone, when they are backed up with the ability to use lethal force, or in conjunction with lethal force. Leaders apply ROE to determine when and where nonlethal weapons may be used. ROE should not jeopardize the right of Soldiers to protect life where necessary with lethal force.Employ nonlethal weapons consistent with extant treaties, conventions, and inter-national and national laws. Their use should be morally and ethically justifiable. Use nonlethal weapons proportionately (the least destructive way to defeat insur-gents) and discriminately (protect noncombatants from direct intentional attack). In planning the employment of nonlethal weapons, fully rehearse the operational response to all possible reactions. Anticipate, coordinate, and prepare for responses from the civil, public affairs, medical, and legal authorities as a consequence of unintended results and side effects caused by the use of nonlethal weapons. Nonlethal weapons should be fully integrated with lethal weapons in order to provide a graduated response to a situation based upon the perception of the threat and use of minimum force.

Health Considerations, Movement Security, and Civil Disturbances

Nonlethal weapons should not be deployed without considering countermeasures possible crowd reactions to their use.

Nonlethal weapons should not be deployed without political-military consideration

for instructions that may be given.




Population and resources control provides a broad base of security in which counterinsurgency operations and national and community development programs, including civic action, can be executed. Population and resources control is a mechanism to collect social and meconomic intelligence. Principles that apply to a population and resources control operation mare—

Deny insurgents access to the population and resources. Deny the enemy the ability

to live. Cut them off from food, water, clothing—everything.

Identify and prioritize population sectors and resources to be secured and protected.

Unify and coordinate all civil and security forces and assets within the community mwith special attention given to around-the-clock security, intelligence collection,

PSYOP and civil affairs.Include HN forces in security-related plans and operations to the maximum extent possible. Mobilize, arm, and train the local population to provide their own local community security.

Structure security force activity and actions to lead to the populace overtly picking a side. However, these activities and actions must not be abusive.

Establish leverage. Use advice, equipment, and money to attempt to change people’s attitudes and behavior positively. US and multinational personnel are trainers for HN personnel, but not advisors.


Typical objectives for a population and resources control operation include the following:

Sever any relationship between the population and insurgents:

Identify and destroy insurgent support activities within the community.

Identify and destroy insurgent organizational infrastructure.

Identify and eliminate the insurgent political apparatus (communications).

Institute harsh penalties for those caught supporting the insurgents.

Create a secure physical and psychological environment for the population, one in which people are free to go about their business and prosper without worrying about insurgents taking their freedom and prosperity from them.

Counteract enemy propaganda. Conduct a national IO campaign strategy with interagency mplanning and resources that distributes its message and is responsive to current events to ensure relevancy. Execute it in the districts and locales.

Provide a discreet means for citizens to provide information about insurgents. People tend to submit reports based on rumors or grudge reports. However, some of these are true. Be alert for them.



In coordination with the country team and other governmental agencies, the initial mconditions to create tactical success are established at the theater- and operational-levels.

Commanders establish AOs based on political geography and demographics. They take into account the levels of concern, resistance, and violence. Staffs identify and recommend higher-priority facilities, elements, and routes. Commanders assign program responsibilities at the province, district, and local levels. Consider the following when planning and preparing a population and resources control operation:

Do not hurt the people, but kill the insurgents. Where US forces violate this dictum, mUS policies may fail.

Obtain legal authority to train and arrest or attack insurgents where necessary. A mlocal judiciary representative or tribal leader/official’s support is crucial here. Remember, police arrest and bring criminals to trial; Soldiers kill and capture insur-gents.

Establish unity of command and representation on the US side. Indigenous leadership would optimally report to only one US person. Do not confuse HN forces with a convoluted US chain of command.

Coordinate operations of the HN police, civil guard, and military through the US, multinational, and HN command and control systems.

Strongly recommend the HN local security forces unify their leadership—the police, civil guard, and military that secure and control the populace, where possible.

Secure the town, area, and then the district around the clock. Live among the people to develop local relationships and gain walk-in intelligence. Patrolling should be active and avoid static positions. Plan to establish hasty roadblocks and check-points for no more than a few hours each to decrease the possibility of insurgent at-tacks on them.

Study the local security force and police training plan. Develop a plan to augment and enhance the training to enable the locals to secure and police their villages.

Plan for recruiting, vetting, training, and equipping the local security people to begin mas soon as possible.

Plan to request to integrate a HN local unit into an equivalent-sized US unit. Then, mintegrate a US organization into a HN local unit as trainers and liaison personnel.

Stay alert.

Research and plan to gain the information from a recent census or conduct a census of each village, community, district, and region. If you do not have access to a current census or do not conduct a thorough census, you will not know who is supposed to live in the area as compared to who is actually there. Recognizing any discrepancy may help identify insurgents.

Population and Resources Control

Within each town draw a diagram (or use satellite imagery) and number the buildings in each square block. Within each building establish who and how many people are living in each apartment or room. Record the names, gender, age, and relationship to the other occupants. Take pictures of each where possible (there may be cultural sensitivities in this area). Then, build a card/digital file with this information categorized. Use GPS devices to establish exact locations and to locate huts, houses, or neighborhoods.Two to three weeks later, cordon-and-search a block during the evening or night to verify the data. Avoid establishing a target sequence/pattern.

Plan and contract for the upgrade and re-equipping of local security forces as required so these forces have a superior level of arms as compared to the insurgents, for example, with weapons such as technicals. Technicals are field expedient vehicles used as weapons platforms. Purchase pick-up trucks and equip them withcrew-served, pintle-mounted weapons, such as .50 caliber machine guns or MK19 automatic grenade launchers. Be prepared for increased interest in these weapons by all sides. Use IO planners to develop a PSYOP program designed to win the confidence and support of the population and establish a base of political allegiance. Ensure the US, multinational and HN forces are making the populace’s life better on a daily basis. Ensure the townspeople all know what you are doing. Start with clean water, sewage disposal, health care, dental checks, and schools. Plan for and coordinate local intelligence development, gathering, and analysis operations. Develop sources among the populace, while recognizing underlying pur-poses.

Children are nondescript collectors of information for you as well as about you. They are very effective as lookouts and in surveillance. They will divulge incredible information as a reward for kindness. Verify and vet the information. Plan for development and issue of an identification card to each resident. Use this card to track personnel movement and as identification for elections. Checkpoints should have mobile card reader technology that feeds movement data into a computer chip/database to track and enable identification of personnel movements and patterns.

Where no card reader exists, track movement by assigning a color and stamp to the community or district (close group of villages or towns). Ensure all citizens have the appropriate color. Anyone from outside the community/district will have a different color, or no color. Record the five Ws (who, what, where, when, and why) at all checkpoints. Pass this to intelligence personnel for analysis. Plan to establish civil-military coordination committees. Find out the populace’s priorities and fears. Find out what you and the security forces are doing that works, and what does not work. Listen to your Soldiers, who are listening to the people. Beware of local leaders who might be working for their own interests. Publicize and inform the people of what you are doing for them. Plan and coordinate civil programs.


Assign subordinates responsibility for each of the above and below-noted tasks. All brief their initial concept and the commander deconflicts and prioritizes; then, rebrief.

The populace of each town (and officials such as the mayor, police and teachersmust be secure around the clock. The security force families must be protected to prevent indirect threats and intimidation.

Establish general surveillance measures and movement control on the roads leading into the town as well as those inside the town.

Organize, combine, and carry out training for the security forces. The graduation exercise is an actual patrol against the insurgents, to include scheduled surveillance.

The local village/community must be trained to secure and police their village.

Start recruiting, vetting, training, equipping the local security people as soon as possible.

Establish covert surveillance of the marketplace and stores. Record discreetly who mbuys what, how much and how often (frequency). Look for unusual amounts of food, clothing, equipment, fertilizers such as urea, ammonium nitrate and phosphates        (not purchased by farmers), and abnormal frequency. Recruit/draft locals to do this work, but crosscheck them to determine who can be trusted. Reward the trusted ones.

Perform a daily comparison of the supplies purchase and movements information against the census card file information. Answer questions such as: Why is someone buying a 50-lb bag of rice and 8 pairs of boots and ten pairs of pants or rolls of cotton cloth when they have only a wife and four children to feed and clothe? If they are underemployed, where did they get the money to buy the food and clothes? Look for breaks in patterns such as a farmer traveling to a nearby village at midday when he is usually working in the fields.

Select and organize civil guards. Draft those with a stake who will benefit from the security. Train and arm them. You must help the populace choose a side. If they are in some type of civil defense force where they are exposed to insurgent attacks but they have the weapons and training to defeat such attacks, they are far less likely to help the insurgents.

Establish security coordination centers. All intelligence-related information comes here, is recorded and analyzed, and goes out to the security forces. Establish separate facilities for prisoner detention and interrogation. Use psychological profiling to set the conditions for gaining information. If prisoners are mistreated or tortured, the populace will find out and the flow of insurgents turning themselves in will dry up. Mistreatment can seriously damage US, multinational, and HN objectives and motives.

Establish, exercise, and refine security and alert systems.

Intensify intelligence collection and analysis to identify the insurgent political and support apparatus.

Establish a system of block wardens with reporting procedures as well as incentives.

Hold the wardens accountable for knowing what is going on in their blockand environs. For example, do any residents go out surreptitiously in the evening and return late (but are not regulars at a coffee house or bar)? Are there any mvisitors min the block? Where arethey from, and mwhom are they visiting? Are they suspicious, and in what way?

Establish systems of coordination with security and military forces in the area.

Intensify PSYOP to win the political allegiance of the people.


Need a sentence describing the point of the phase.

The decisive operation is preventing any population support for the insurgents.

Supporting operations focus on preventing any popular support for the insurgents.

Secure vital infrastructure using local personnel as the security force.

Population and Resources Control

Establish restrictions and controls (curfews, pass systems, surveillance, road blocks).

Transition to using HN local and civil security organizations in ambushes, areasweeps, and raids.

Coordinate use of police and military units as backups.

Establish and develop amnesty and rehabilitation programs. Protect the families of those who choose to cooperate with the HN.

Increase intelligence and PSYOP activities.


During phase IV, US forces hand responsibility for the population and resources control moperation to HN forces. Relinquishment has two stages.

Stage A

Do the following during stage A:

Reduce intensity of controls from Phase III level, although patrols, surveillance, and periodic hasty checkpoints throughout the district area continue.

Reduce major operations (for example, ambushes and raids).

Gradually phase out military forces with primary responsibility for population and resources control, passing to HN police and paramilitary units. Withdraw US forces to bases that are removed from the population.

Continue intelligence activities at a high level and increase PSYOP programs to the maximum level to prevent regeneration of a hard-core apparatus.

Stage B

Do the following during stage B:

Continue checks on the movement of personnel and goods.

Reduce controls and individual restrictions to a minimum and review block warden system.

Reward the population for cooperation and progress. Assess success by regions and areas in order to gradually ease population and resource control measures as districts and provinces demonstrate cooperation and stability. Enable areas to earn less restrictive measures. As districts, provinces, and regions gain a vested interest in assisting the HN government, they can compete against each other to gain better treatment and fewer restrictions.

Continue intelligence and PSYOP with an emphasis on programs designed to assist in providing a solid base of political allegiance to the HN.

Reduce civil guard/local militia units to a stand-by basis (although organization and training should continue).

Inspecting facilities.

Guarding humanitarian assistance distribution sites.

Military police also direct dislocated civilians and refugees to resettlement areas and work closely with local and district HN government agencies during this process.

Military police training, firepower, and mobility, coupled with their interface with mand acceptability to the local populace, make them an asset in certain security-related population and resources control tasks.


Checkpoints and roadblocks are set up to check and control the movement of personnel, mvehicles, and materiel, and prevent actions that aid the enemy. During counterinsurgencyoperations, checkpoints and roadblocks assist the commander in maintaining the initiative magainst the insurgents by disrupting, interfering with, and deterring insurgentoperations, and disrupting the insurgents’ decision making cycle. It is important to conduct mcheckpoints and roadblocks with interpreters, HN police, or other HN security forces.

When conducting checkpoint operations, Soldiers need the following support:

Engineers to build obstacles and barriers to channel traffic.

Linguists that are familiar with the local language and understand your language.

HN police or a civil affairs officer.

Trained interrogators.

Barrier equipment.

Signs and lighting.

Communications equipment.


Attitude and mindset. Think of a checkpoint as an ambush position with a friendly attitude. Trust no one outside of your checkpoint team members while on duty. To reduce misunderstandings and confusion on the part of the local populace, recommend posting instructions min the indigenous languages on signs at the entrances to checkpoints.

Checkpoints site selection should be based on a leader reconnaissance. The site must allow for a vehicle escape route and include plans to destroy a hostile element that uses such a route. If the checkpoint is completely sealed off, insurgents may only penetrate it by attempting to run over or bypass emplaced barricades.

Duration of the checkpoint may vary from 1 to 72 hours depending on the purpose of the operation. Checkpoints that are established early, operate for several hours during periods of peak traffic flow, and then reposition to a different location may lessen the risk of insurgent attack and increase the probability of detecting and attacking or capturing insur-gents.

Lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom indicate checkpoints lasting over 72 m hours were less effective for reasons related to predictability and fatigue.

Checkpoints are deliberate and hasty, but always must consist of the following:

Obstacles or barriers emplaced in a serpentine design to slow or stop speeding vehicles.

Search areas for personnel and vehicles.

Security overwatch and fighting positions.

Holding areas.

Lighting for night operations.

Population and Resources Control

Designated assault/reaction forces to attack or pursue individual, groups, or vehicles that attempt to maneuver through, or turn around and attempt to avoid the checkpoint.

Deliberate Checkpoint

A fixed position set up on a main road in a rural or built-up area that can be classified as either a heavy or light traffic checkpoint. A heavy-traffic deliberate checkpoint normally requires a platoon for manning. Squads can only operate a light traffic checkpoint for a short duration (12 hours or less). (See Figure C-1.)

To operate a heavy traffic checkpoint, task organize the platoon into—

Headquarters element responsible for C2 and maintaining communications.

Search element, normally a squad that—

Halts vehicles at the checkpoint.

Guides vehicles to the designated search point.

Performs personnel and vehicle searches.

Directs cleared vehicles through the checkpoint.

Security element that provides early warning to the search and assault element, observes and reports suspicious activity, and monitors traffic flow up to and through the checkpoint. It should have an antiarmor capability to protect the site from an armored vehicle threat.

Assault element, an additional squad responsible for destroying any insurgent element that forces its way past the search team. Soldiers are positioned beyond the search point and emplaced obstacles/barriers.


Deliberate Checkpoint Legend


A – Search Area/Team: Includes at least one indigenous military or police officer for language capability.

B – Berm/Obstacle/T-Wall to mitigateblast effect.

C – Vehicle turn-around.

D – Passenger holding area.

E – Crew-served weapons.

F – Fighting positions.

G – Central point.

H – Counter mobility serpentine barriers.

I – Concertina wall barrier.


Organization of a Deliberate Checkpoint


Due to possibility of a suicide bomber attack, place the search area outside the unit’s perimeter.

Placing the search area to the side of the road permits two-way traffic. If a vehicle is rejected, it is turned back. If vehicle is accepted for transit, it is permitted to travel through mthe position. If the vehicle is enemy, the checkpoint leader determines whether to attack or apprehend.

Everyone at the checkpoint must know the mission and commander’s intent. Be methodical, detail-oriented, and focus on security.

Be friendly and professional to all. Nonetheless, don’t trust anyone! Young women have been very effective suicide bombers. Children have unknowingly and know-ingly mcarried bombs into and through checkpoints.

Soldiers prepare and occupy fortified fighting positions. Stop all vehicles for an initial search outside the obstacle areas. When confronted by a potentially threatening vehicle—

The search element alerts the checkpoint leader, moves to a safe/fortified position, and may engage or allow the vehicle to pass based on leader instructions and ROE.

If the vehicle passes through the escape lane, the checkpoint leader may direct the assault element to engage and attack the vehicle based on ROE.

If a vehicle turns around and attempts to avoid the checkpoint, a designated element pursues and engages them. Shoot the tires first. Approach carefully, and assume the worst. However, the occupants may simply be tired of waiting min line.

Overall don’t hurt people unnecessarily. Some people simply don’t understand what you are directing them to do.


Hasty Checkpoint


Hasty checkpoints should be set up to last from 5 minutes to up to 30 minutes in du-ration.


One technique is the maximum use of organic vehicles to serve as additional security mand to assist in funneling traffic through the checkpoint in addition to concertina wire and, if available, tire spikes.


The short duration (5 to 30 minutes) reduces the risk of an insurgent organizing and mconducting a mortar or car bomb attack against the checkpoint. Additionally, this may disrupt the timing of another planned insurgent action.


Characteristics of a hasty checkpoint are—

  • Located along likely avenues of approach.
  • Achieves surprise.
  • Temporary and moved often.
  • The platoon is able to carry the construction materials.
  • Uses vehicles as an obstacle between the vehicles and personnel, and reinforces them with concertina wire.
  • Soldiers are positioned at each end of the checkpoint.
  • Soldiers are covered by mounted or dismounted automatic weapons.
  • Reaction force (at least one squad) is concealed nearby to attack or assault in case mthe site is attacked.
  • Soldiers establish hasty checkpoints where they cannot be seen by approaching traffic muntil it is too late for approaching traffic to unobtrusively withdraw. Effective locations on which to set up hasty checkpoints include—


Population and Resources Control

  • Bridges (near either or both ends, but not in the middle).
  • Defiles (either end is better than in the middle).
  • Highway intersections. These must be well organized to reduce the inherent danger.
  • The reverse slope of a hill (hidden from the direction of the main flow of traffic).

Just beyond a sharp curve.


Vehicle Search


The following is a vehicle search checklist:

  • Stop the vehicle at the search area.
  • Direct the occupants to exit the vehicle and escort them away to a nearby search area.
  • Direct the male occupants to lift all clothing to ensure explosive devices are not attached to their body (females must check female occupants). When female inspectors are not present, an effective method is to search women by having them pull their garments tight to their bodies so that any contour formed by an explosive device or material will stand out. Use explosive detection devices, if available.
  • Soldiers remain behind a secure and fortified position while this process is being conducted. (See Figure C-5, page C-13 for prescribed standoff distances against explosives).
  • Direct the occupants to open all doors, the trunk, the hood of the vehicles and the gas cap (to include inside enclosures such as glove compartments).
  • Conduct a visual inspection while the occupants of the vehicles lift any and all obstructions from the Soldiers’ field of view while remaining behind the fortified positions.Such obstructions could include blankets or clothing on seats.
  • The driver removes any loose items that are not attached to the vehicle for inspection.
  • Once the leader determines it is safe to approach the vehicle, two members of the search team position themselves at both rear flanks of the vehicle. These Soldiers mmaintain eye contact with the occupants once they exit the vehicle.
  • Two Soldiers armed only with pistols conduct the search.
  • One Soldier conducts interior searches and the other performs exterior searches.
  • Use mirrors and metal detectors to thoroughly search each vehicle for weapons, explosives, ammunition, and other contraband. Depending on the threat level, the vehicle msearch area should provide blast protection for the surrounding area.


Personnel Searches

Personnel searches are only conducted when proper authorization has been obtained mper the ROE, HN agreements, or status of forces agreement. Planning considerations are—


Plan for same-gender searches.

HN authorities, whenever possible, should conduct or at least observe searches of mlocal nationals.

Preserve the respect and dignity of the individual.

Consider local customs and national cultural differences. In many cultures it is offensive mfor men to touch or even talk to women in public.

Be polite, considerate, patient, and tactful.

Make every effort not to unnecessarily offend the local population.

Search for weapons and ammunition, items of intelligence value, currency, drugs, mother inappropriate items, and anything that seems out of the ordinary.

Soldiers conduct individual searches in search teams that consist of the following:

Searcher. Actually conducts the search. This is the highest-risk position.

Security. Maintains eye contact with the individual being searched.

Observer. The observer is a leader who has supervisory control. He provides early warning.

The two most common methods used to conduct individual searches are frisk and wall searches.

Frisk search. Quick and adequate to detect weapons, evidence, or contraband. A frisk search is more dangerous because the searcher has less control of the individual being searched.

Wall search. Affords more safety for the searcher. Any upright surface may be used, such as a wall, vehicle, tree, or fence.

The search team places the subject in the kneeling or prone position if more control is needed to search an uncooperative individual.

.Strip searches should only be considered when the individual is suspected of carrying documents or other contraband on his or her person. This extreme search method should be conducted in an enclosed area and by qualified medical personnel when available.


Additional Checkpoint Considerations

The following should be considered when operating a checkpoint:

Team duties and reactions must be well-defined, backbriefed by all, and rehearsed.

Standardize the following three mandatory minimum signals at every checkpoint:


Get out of the car.

Lift your shirt.

Prepare and emplace signs in the local language instructing indigenous personnel what to expect and do at the checkpoint.

Determine if it is necessary to apprehend or detain those who see the checkpoint ahead and attempt to turn around.

Use HN police and military when available.

Position a response force close to the approach route to block or detain vehicles that try to avoid the checkpoint.

Clear and maintain control of all buildings and terrain that dominate the check-point.

Stay alert for any change of scenery around the checkpoint. Crowds gathering forno apparent reason or media representatives waiting for an event are all indicators that something may happen.

Use artificial illumination for night operations.

If HN personnel are used to assist, ensure they do not represent a national, ethnic, or religious group or faction that is feared or hated by the majority of the local population.

Move the checkpoint location and change the method of operation at random toavoid setting patterns. The longer your position remains static, the greater the risk you will be attacked.

Population and Resources Control

Record the following information:

The number and type of vehicles stopped. Report identifying markings, license plate numbers, vehicle identification numbers (where present), and any signs displayed on the vehicle.

The point of origination and destination of the vehicle.

The number of passengers in the vehicle. Report the nationality, ages, and gender of passengers.

The condition of passengers (general health, dress, attitude).

The stated reason for travel by passengers.

The type and quantity of cargo.

Possible or actual sightings of weapons.

Explosives or threatening action by the passengers.

A description of arms, ammunition, explosives, and sensitive items found and confiscated from the vehicle.

Anything unusual reported by the passengers.

The illustrations shown below suggest areas for security personnel to search for explosivesor prohibited items.

Search Areas for Family Cars




A roadblock is defined as a barrier or obstacle (usually covered by fire) used to block or limit the movement of vehicles along a route. Position the mroadblock so obstacles like cliffs, swamps, or rivers channel vehicles toward the roadblock.

Select a defendable site for the roadblock. Ensure that defensive positions—

Include a fighting position for crew-served weapons to provide overwatch and cov-ering fire for the roadblock. Establish fields of fire that cover avenues of approach that lead to the roadblock to prevent breach.



Monitor local media (radio, newspaper) both for rumor control/counterpropaganda purposes (essential in population control) as well as intelligence tip-offs (for both current in-telligence and tactical indications and warning). You will notice a different slant from the mnews at home (observed in Bosnia and Haiti).

Identify and listen to what influential local leaders say in public and compare it to mtheir actions in private. These people are leaders in political, government, criminal, ethnic, mreligious, and family realms. It is important to live with the local people and listen to what mthey are also saying.

Infrastructure protection and repair/rehabilitation (for example, electrical power and mwater, electrical pole repair teams) are critical both for improving the populations’ physical mwell-being as well as for the positive psychological effect it creates. The electrical grid is a good confidence target (very visible), and there is no effect equivalent to the lights going out.

“Turning on the lights” in Port-au-Prince contributed to reducing criminal activity (as measured by the murder rate) by about 40 percent in a two-month period (observed in Haiti).

Intelligence screening and selected debriefing of migrants/refugees can yield tactically useful intelligence, especially when coupled with humanitarian relief/civic action activities.

Asking the individuals who have turned themselves in to identify any of the people m working for you is a very effective way to catch planted agents. Expect them to be there.

Indicators of pending insurgent offensive actions are the theft of medical supplies, car when they are not otherwise present (Bosnia and Haiti).

In urban areas, monitor electric power usage and telephone records. Deviations from mnormal usage may indicate terrorist activity (United Kingdom Royal Marine observation in

Northern Ireland).



Composition is the identification of units and political, religious, or ethnic organizations.

Unit identification consists of the complete designation of a specific entity by name or number, type, relative size or strength, and subordination. Composition includes—

Operational and support cells (similar to sections in a military unit).


Staff elements.

Political, religious, ideological, and military aims.

Internal and external C2.

Operational organizations.

Internal and external support structure.

External ties.

Assassination squads.

Bomb and demolition squads.

Attack or hit squads.



Tactics and operations include strategy, methods of procedure, and doctrine. Each refers to the insurgent’s accepted principles of organization and employment of forces. Tactics malso involve political, military, psychological, and economic considerations. Insurgent tactics and operations vary in sophistication according to the level of training the individual or organization has received. Insurgents carefully plan and train for individual and small group moperations. Typical insurgent tactics and operations include, but are not limited to—

Assassination. A term generally applied to the killing of prominent persons and symbolic personnel as well as “traitors” who defect from the group.

Arson. Less dramatic than most tactics, arson has the advantage of low risk to the perpetrator and requires only a low level of technical knowledge.

Bombing. The IED is the insurgent’s or terrorist’s weapon of choice. IEDs can be inexpensive to produce and, because of the various detonation techniques available, may be a low risk to the perpetrator. However, suicidal bombing cannot be overlooked as an employment method. Other IED advantages include their ability to gain publicity, as well as the ability to control casualties through timed detonation and careful placement of the device. It is also easily deniable, should the action produce undesirable results.

Hostage taking. This is an overt seizure of one or more individuals with the intent of gaining publicity or other concessions in return for release of the hostage. While dramatic, hostage and hostage barricade situations are risky for the perpetrator.

Kidnapping. While similar to hostage taking, kidnapping has significant differences. Kidnapping is usually a covert seizure of one or more specific persons in order to extract specific demands. It is normally the most difficult task to execute. The perpetrators of the action may or may not be known for a long time. Media attention is initially intense, but decreases over time unless the kidnapping is accompanied by acts of barbarism that extend news coverage. Because of the time involved, successful kidnapping requires elaborate planning and logistics. The risk to the perpetrators may be less than in the hostage situation.

Order of Battle Factors

Intimidation/Blackmail. Insurgents may attempt to gain coerced political, fiscal, or logistic support from local government officials, local businessmen, or other influential community leaders through intimidation or blackmail. This could be in the form of threats on the individual’s life, kidnapping of people close to the individual, or threats to disrupt or destroy (for example, bombing or arson) infrastructure that is important to the individual.

Seizure. Seizure usually involves a building or object that has value in the eyes of the audience. There is some risk to the perpetrator because security forces have time to react and may opt to use force to resolve the incident, especially if few or no innocent lives are involved.

Raids or attacks on facilities. Armed attacks on facilities are usually undertaken for one of three purposes: Gain access to radio or television broadcasts to make a statement. Demonstrate the government’s inability to secure critical facilities or national symbols. Acquire resources (for example, robbery of a bank or armory).

Sabotage. The objective in most sabotage incidents is to demonstrate how vulnerable a particular society or government is to insurgent actions. Industrialized areas are more vulnerable to sabotage than less highly developed societies. Utilities, communications, and transportation systems are so interdependent that a serious disruption of any one affects all of them and gains immediate public attention. Sabotage of industrial or commercial facilities is one means of identifying the target while making a statement of future intent. Military facilities and installations, information systems, and information infrastructures may become targets of insurgent sabotage.

Hoaxes. Any insurgent group that has established credibility can employ a hoax with considerable success. A threat against a person’s life causes that person and those associated with that individual to devote time and efforts to security measures. A bomb threat can close a commercial building, empty a theater, or delay an aircraft flight at no cost to the insurgent. False alarms dull the analytical and operational efficiency of key security personnel, thus degrading readiness.

Use of technology. Technology has important implications for the insurgent threat. Infrastructure technologies provide attractive targets for insurgents, who can apply a range of rudimentary and advanced attack techniques to disrupt or undermine confidence in a range of systems. Key elements of the national infrastructure— transportation, telecommunications, energy, banking, public health, and water supply—are becoming increasingly dependent on computerized systems and linkages.

Use of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons. Some insurgent groups may possess chemical and biological weapons, and there is a potential for use of both chemical and biological weapons in the future. These types of weapons, relatively cheap and easy to make, may be used in place of conventional explosives in many situations. The potential for mass destruction and the deep-seated fear most people have for chemical and biological weapons could be attractive to a group wishing to make the world take notice. Although an explosive nuclear device is acknowledged to be beyond the financial and technical reach of most insurgent groups, a chemical or biological weapon, or even a radiological dispersion device using nuclear contaminants, is not. The technology is simple and the payoff is potentially higher than conventional or nuclear explosives.

Psychological Operations. Since insurgents want to win over the support of the population—or at least separate the support of the population from the HN government, they will engage in many different types of PSYOP with this intent. They can accomplish this through many different means. For example, insurgents may stage and publicize real or fake atrocities, which they will blame on the US forces. They will also be quick to take advantage of any inadvertent mistakes that the local national government forces or US forces may make when dealing with the local population.



The type and depth of individual and group training that insurgents receive is tied to their tactics and operations. Higher education also plays a role in insurgent training. Insurgent training may include, but is not limited to—

Indoctrination and strategy (political, ideological, or religious).

Operations. Tactics.

Weapons (individual and crew served), including such specialties as demolition, weapons, and assassinations.

Communications. Logistics.

Transportation (covert movement).


Media manipulation.


The effectiveness of insurgent operations depends heavily on logistics. This dependency fluctuates horizontally and vertically between the various groups and levels of operation.

The intensity of logistic activity is based on operations. Critical components of logistics include, but are not limited to—

Financing. Food. Water.

Weapons and ammunition.

Bomb-making components.

PSYOP materials (paper, ink, printing press).


Transportation (on-hand and required).


Combat effectiveness for insurgent forces is not measured the same way as combat effectiveness for conventional forces. Combat effectiveness factors for insurgent forces include, mbut are not limited to—

Outside support (financial, physical, moral).

Intimidation. Fear. Political change.


Popular support.



In counterinsurgency operations, the lack of an obvious formal insurgent organizational structure or architecture impedes development of an extensive threat electronic order of battle database and an electronic technical database. The insurgent has communications equipment available ranging from the most modern to the most primitive. Insurgent forcecan use high frequency (HF), short-wave, and ham radio sets; cellular phones; the Internet; the mail; and couriers. Citizen band-set is also used. While not playing a significant historical mrole, the insurgent’s potential use of radar cannot be ruled out.



Miscellaneous data includes supporting information needed but not covered by an order mof battle factor. This could include—

Family history.

False unit identification.

Names or designators

Political and military goals

PSYOP. Demographics.

PSYOP activities may result in insurgent-sponsored, commercial, or clandestine radio broadcasts. Covert broadcasts normally originate outside the national boundaries or from remote, inaccessible areas. Commercial radio broadcasts may use code words to control and coordinate threat operations. Television broadcasts are used similarly.

PSYOP files contain—

Copies of leaflets, posters, and other printed material.

Video recordings of television broadcasts.

Audio recordings of radio broadcasts.

Copies of speeches.

Analysis of local grievances.

Background material.

Without an insurgent organizational or operational structure, intelligence analyses during counterinsurgency operations primarily rely on pattern and trend analysis. This allows the analysts to understand the relationships of key insurgency personnel and methods of operation to predict likely insurgent operations and pinpoint critical nodes of insurgent operations (personnel, intelligence, training, and logistics).


General Activities

  • Identification of agitators, insurgents, militias or criminal organizations, their supporters, and msympathizers who suddenly appear, in, or move out of, an area.
  • Emergence of new leaders among the population.
  • New faces in a rural community.
  • Unusual gatherings among the population.
  • Disruption of normal social patterns.
  • Mass urban rural migration or vice versa.
  • Massing of combatants of competing power groups.
  • Increase in the size of embassy or consulate staffs from a country or countries that support mindigenous disaffected groups, particularly those hostile to the United States or the current mintervention.
  • Increase in neighboring countries of staff and activities at embassies or consulates of countries massociated with supporting indigenous disaffected groups.
  • Increased travel by suspected subversives or leaders of competing power bases to countries hostile to the United States or opposed to the current intervention.
  • Influx of opposition resident and expatriate leaders into the AO.
  • Reports of opposition or disaffected indigenous population receiving military training in foreign mcountries.
  • Increase of visitors (for example, tourists, technicians, businessmen, religious leaders, officials) from groups or countries hostile to the United States or opposed to the current intervention.
  • Close connections between diplomatic personnel of hostile countries and local opposition groups.
  • Communications between opposition groups and external supporters.
  • Increase of disaffected youth gatherings.
  • Establishment of organizations of unexplained origin and with unclear or nebulous aims.
  • Establishment of a new organization to replace an existing organizational structure with identical aims.
  • Appearance of many new members in existing organizations such as labor unions.
  • Infiltration of student organizations by known agitators.
  • Appearance of new organizations stressing grievances or interests of repressed or minority mgroups.
  • Reports of large donations to new or revamped organizations.
  • Reports of payment to locals for engaging in subversive or hostile activities.
  • Reports of formation of opposition paramilitary or militia organizations.
  • Reports of lists of targets for planned opposition attacks.
  • Appearance of “professional” agitators in gatherings or demonstrations that result in violence.
  • Evidence of paid and armed demonstrators’ participation in riots.
  • Significant increase in thefts, armed robberies, and violent crime in rural areas; increase in bank mrobberies in urban areas.


Opposition-Directed Activities

  • Refusal of population to pay or unusual difficulty to collect rent, taxes, or loan payments.
  • Trends of demonstrated hostility toward government forces or mission force.
  • Unexplained population disappearance from or avoidance of certain areas.
  • Unexplained disappearance or dislocation of young people.
  • Reported incidents of attempted recruitment to join new movements or underground organizations.
  • Criminals and disaffected youth who appear to be acting with and for the opposition.
  • Reports of extortion and other coercion by opposition elements to obtain financial support from the population.
  • Use of fear tactics to coerce, control, or influence the local population.
  • Reports of HN government or mission force facilities and personnel surveillance.


Activities Directed Against the Government/Mission Force

  • Failure of police and informer nets to report accurate information, which may indicate sources are actively supporting opposition elements or are intimidated.
  • Decreasing success of government law enforcement or military infiltration of opposition or disaffected organizations.
  • Assassination or disappearance of government sources.
  • Reports of attempts to bribe or blackmail government officials, law enforcement employees, or mission personnel.
  • Reports of attempts to obtain classified information from government officials, government offices, or mission personnel.
  • Classified information leaked to the media.
  • Sudden affluence of certain government and law enforcement personnel.
  • Recurring failure of government or mission force raids on suspected opposition organizations or illegal activities apparently due to forewarning.
  • Increased hostile or illegal activity against the HN government, its law enforcement and military organizations, foreigners, minority groups, or competing political, ethnic, linguistic, or religious groups.
  • Demonstrations against government forces, minority groups, or foreigners designed to instigate violent confrontations with government or mission forces.
  • Increased antigovernment or mission force rhetoric in local media.
  • Occurrence of strikes in critical areas intended to cast doubt on the HN government’s ability to maintain order and provide for the people.
  • Unexplained loss, destruction, or forgery of government identification cards and passports.
  • Recurring unexplained disruption of public utilities.
  • Reports of terrorist acts or extortion attempts against local government leaders and businessmen.
  • Murder of kidnapping of government, military, and law enforcement officials or mission force personnel.
  • Closing of schools.


General Propaganda Activities

  • Dissident propaganda from unidentified sources.
  • Increase in the number of entertainers with a political message.
  • Increase of political themes in religious services.
  • Increase in appeals directed at intensifying general ethnic or religious unrest in countries where ethnic or religious competition exists.
  • Increase of agitation on issues for which there is no identified movement or organization.
  • Renewed activity by dissident or opposition organizations thought to be defunct or dormant.
  • Circulation of petitions advocating opposition or dissident demands.
  • Appearance of opposition slogans and pronouncements by word-of-mouth, graffiti, posters, leaflets, and other methods.
  • Propaganda linking local ethnic groups with those in neighboring countries or regions.
  • Clandestine radio broadcasts intended to appeal to those with special grievances or to underprivileged ethnic groups.
  • Use of bullhorns, truck-mounted loudspeakers, and other public address equipment in“spontaneous” demonstrations.
  • Presence of nonmedia photographers among demonstrators.
  • Rallies to honor “martyred” opposition personnel. Mass demonstrations honoring local dissident heroes or dates significant to the opposition.
  • Nationwide strikes called to demonstrate the strength of the opposition movements.

Propaganda Activities Directed Against the Established Government

  • Attempts to discredit or ridicule national or public officials.
  • Attempts to discredit the judicial and law enforcement system.
  • Characterization of government leaders as puppets and tools of foreign intervention forces.
  • Agitation against government projects and plans.
  • Radio propaganda from foreign countries that is aimed at the target country’s population and accuses the target country’s government of failure to meet the people’s needs.

Propaganda Activities Directed Against the Mission Force and HN Military and Law Enforcement

  • Spreading accusations that the HN military and police are corrupt and out of touch with the people.
  • Spreading accusations that mission force personnel will introduce customs or attitudes that are in opposition to local cultural or religious beliefs.
  • Character assassinations of mission, military, and law enforcement officials.
  • Demands to remove strong anti-opposition or anticrime military and law enforcement leaders from office.
  • Calls for the population to cease cooperating with the mission force and/or HN military and law enforcement.
  • Deliberate incidents to provoke mission, military, or police reprisals during demonstrations or strikes.
  • Widespread hostile media coverage of even minor criminal violations or incidents involving mission force personnel.
  • Accusations of brutality or ineffectiveness or claims that mission or government forces initiated violence following confrontations.
  • Publication of photographs portraying repressive and violent acts by mission force or government forces.
  • Refusal of businessmen and shop owners to conduct business with mission force personnel.


Propaganda Activities Directed Against the Education System

  • Appearance of questionable doctrine and teachings in the educational system.
  • Creation of ethnic, tribal, religious, or other interest group schools outside the government educational system, which propagate opposition themes and teachings.
  • Charges that the educational system is only training youth to do the government’s bidding.
  • Student unrest manifested by new organizations, proclamations, demonstrations, and strikes against authority.


Food-Related Activities

  • Diversion of crops or meat from markets.
  • Unexplained shortages of food supplies when there are no reports of natural causes.
  • Increased reports of pilfering of foodstuffs.
  • Sudden increase in food prices, possibly indicating an opposition-levied tax.
  • Unwillingness of farmers to transport food to population centers, indicating a fear of traveling highways.
  • Spot shortages of foodstuffs in regions or neighborhoods associated with a minority group or weaker competing interest groups, while food supplies are generally plentiful in other areas.

Conversely, sudden local shortages of foodstuffs in rural areas may indicate the existence of an armed opposition group operating in that region.

  • Sudden increase of meat in markets, possibly indicating slaughtered livestock because of a lack of fodder to sustain them.
  • Appearance of emergency relief supplies for sale in black markets, possibly indicating diversion mfrom starving populations.
  • Appearance of relief supplies for sale in normal markets in a country or region recently suffering from large-scale hunger, which may indicate the severity of the food crisis, is diminishing.

Arms and Ammunition-Related Activities

  • Increased loss or theft of weapons from police and military forces.
  • Discovery of arms, ammunition, and explosives being clandestinely manufactured, transported, or cached.
  • Attacks on patrols resulting in the loss of weapons and ammunition.
  • Increased purchase of surplus military goods.
  • Sudden increase in prices for arms and ammunition to the open market.
  • Reports of large arms shipments destined for neighboring countries, but not intended for that government.
  • Reports of known arms traffickers establishing contacts with opposition elements.
  • Increase in armed robberies.
  • Reports of thefts or sudden shortages of chemicals that could be used in the clandestine manufacture of explosives.
  • Reports of large open-market purchases of explosive-related chemicals without an identifiable industrial user.
  • Appearance of manufactured or smuggled arms from noncontiguous foreign countries.

Clothing-Related Activities

  • Unusual, systematic purchase or theft of clothing materials that could be used for the manufacture of uniforms or footwear.
  • Unusual scarcity of clothing or material used in the manufacture of clothing or footwear.
  • Distribution of clothing to underprivileged or minority classes by organizations of recent or suspect origin.

Intelligence Indicators

  • Discovery of caches of uniforms and footwear or the materials that could be used to manufacture uniforms and footwear.
  • Increase of males in the streets wearing military style clothing or distinctive markings.

Medicine-Related Activities

  • Large-scale purchasing or theft of drugs and medicines or the herbs used to manufacture local remedies.
  • Scarcity of drugs and medical supplies on the open or black markets.
  • Diversion of medical aid donations.
  • Discovery of caches of medical supplies.

Communications-Related Activities

  • Increase in the purchase and use of radios.
  • Discovery of caches of communications equipment.
  • Unusual increase in amateur radio or cellular telephone communications traffic.

Environment-Related Indicators

Rural Activities

  • Evidence of increased foot traffic in the area.
  • Increased travel within and into remote or isolated areas.
  • Unexplained trails and cold campsites.
  • Establishment of new, unexplained agricultural areas, or recently cleared fields.
  • Unusual smoke, possibly indicating the presence of a campsite or a form of communication.
  • Concentration of dead foliage in an area, possibly indicating use of camouflage.
  • Presence of foot traps, spikes, booby traps, or improved mines along routes and trails.

Urban Activities

  • Apartments, houses, or buildings being rented, but not lived in as homes.
  • Slogans written on walls, bridges, and streets.
  • Defacement of government or mission force information signs.
  • Sabotage of electrical power network; pollution of urban areas’ water supply.
  • Terrorist acts against physical targets, such as bridges, dams, airfields, or buildings.
  • Change of residence of suspected agitators or opposition leaders.
  • Discovery of message dead-drops.
  • Increased smuggling of currency, gold, gems, narcotics, medical supplies, and arms into urban mcenters.
  • Appearance of abnormal amounts of counterfeit currency.
  • Increase in bank robberies.
  • Work stoppages or slowdowns in essential industries.
  • Marked decline in product quality in essential industries.
  • Marked increase in equipment failures in essential industries.
  • Unexplained explosions in essential utilities and industries.
  • Establishment of roadblocks or barricades around neighborhoods associated with opposition elements.
  • Attempts to disrupt public transport through sabotage.
  • Malicious damage of industrial products or factory machinery.


Planning for Detainee Operations and Field Processing of Detainees


The purpose of this appendix is to provide some planning considerations for conducting detainee operations and to provide information to assist the capturing unit in the field processing of detainees.


While local government officials will detain certain individuals because of suspected criminal activity or for security purposes, there will be times, when U.S, forces will capture and detain individuals who may pose a threat to US personnel and interests. The act of capturing a detainee is only the first step in a lengthy and highly sensitive process.

Detainee is a term used to refer to any person captured or otherwise detained by an armed force (JP 1-02). AR 190-8, FM 3-19.40, and, international law (including the law of war and the Geneva Conventions) address policy, procedures, and responsibilities for the administration, treatment, protection, security, and transfer of custody of detainees. These publications provide other planning factors and the regulatory and legal requirements concerning detainees.

Detaining personnel carries with it the responsibility to guard, protect, and account for them. All persons captured, detained, interned, or otherwise held in US armed forces custody are given humane care and treatment from the moment they fall into the hands of US forces until final release or repatriation. The inhumane treatment of detainees is prohibited and is not justified by the stress of combat or by deep provocation. Inhumane treatment is a serious and punishable violation under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and international law.

The two Geneva Conventions most likely to be employed in detainee operations are the

Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoner of War, 12 August 1949 (GPW), and Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Person in Time of War, 12 August 1949 (GC). Most detainees will usually be civilians, and a very few will qualify as EPW.


Detainee operations are resource intensive and highly sensitive. Holding detaineeslonger than a few hours requires detailed planning to address the extensive requirements of the Geneva Conventions for proper administration, treatment, protection, security, and transfer of custody of detainees. If commanders anticipate holding detainees at the division level or lower (as opposed to expeditiously evacuating them to a detention facility), they should consider—

Including internment/resettlement military police units in their task organization.

Internment/resettlement units are specifically trained and resourced to conduct detainee operations for extended periods.

Ensuring clear delineation of the interdependent and independent roles of those

Soldiers responsible for custody of the detainees and those responsible for  any interrogation mission.

Additional resources necessary to provide detainees the extensive logistic and medical support required by regulation and law.



Processing begins when US forces capture or detain an individual. Field processing is accomplished in the combat zone and aids in security, control, initial information collection, and in providing for the welfare of detainees.

The unit detaining an individual is responsible for guarding and safeguarding a detainee until relieved. Capturing units field process detainees using the STRESS method out-lined in Table I-1.


Action Description

Search Search each captive for weapons and ammunition, items of intelligence value, and other inappropriate items that would make escape easier or compromise US security interests.

Confiscate these items. Prepare a receipt when taking property from a detainee. Ensure that both the detainee and the receiving Soldier sign the receipt (such as DA Form 4137).

Consider bundling a detainee’s property or placing it in bags to keep each detainee’s property intact and separate. Maintain a strict chain of custody for all items taken from the detainee. Ensure that a receipt is obtained for any items you release to anyone.

Note: When possible, conduct same gender searches; however, this may not always be possible due to speed and security considerations. Therefore, perform mixed gender searches in a respectful manner using all possible measures to prevent any action that could be interpreted as sexual molestation or assault. The on-site supervisor must carefully control Soldiers doing mixed gender searches to prevent allegations of sexual misconduct.

Captives may keep the following items found in a search:

  • Protective clothing and equipment (such as helmets, protective masks and clothing) for use during evacuation from the combat zone.
  • Retained property, such as identification cards or tags, personal property having no intelligence value, clothing, mess equipment (except knives and forks), badges of rank and nationality, decorations, religious literature, jewelry, and articles that have sentimental value.
  • Private rations of the detainee.

Personal items, such as diaries, letters from home, and family pictures may be taken by MI teams for review, but are later returned to the proper owner.

Confiscate currency only on the order of a commissioned officer (AR 190-8) and this must be receipted using DA Form 4137.


Use DD Form 2745 or a field expedient alternative and include at a minimum the following information:

  • Date and time of the capture.
  • Location of the capture (grid coordinates).
  • Capturing unit.
  • Special circumstances of capture (for example, how the detainee was captured, did he resist, was he armed, and so forth).
  • List all documents and items of significance found on the detainee at time of capture.

DD Form 2745 is a perforated, three-part form containing an individual serial number. It is constructed of durable, waterproof, tear-resistant material with reinforced eyeholes at the top of Parts A and C. Attach Part A to the captive with wire, string, or another type of durable material. Instruct the captive not to remove or alter the tag. Maintain Part B and attach Part C to the confiscated property so the owner may be identified later.

Report Report number and category of detainees to higher headquarters and initiate coordination for transportation of detainees to a collection point.

Evacuate Evacuate captives from the battlefield as quickly as possible. Evacuate detainees normally to a collection point where military police take custody of the detainees. Deliver to the collection point all documents and other property captured with the detainees. Seriously wounded or ill detainees must be taken to the nearest medical-aid station for treatment and evacuation through medical channels.

Segregate Segregate detainees based on perceived status and positions of authority. Segregate leaders from the remainder of the population. For their protection, normally segregate minor and female detainees from adult male detainees.

Safeguard Safeguard the captives according to the Geneva Conventions and US policy. Ensure detainees are provided adequate food, potable water, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Ensure detainees are not exposed to unnecessary danger and are protected (afforded the same protective measures as the capturing force) while awaiting evacuation.

Do not use coercion to obtain information from the captives. Report acts or allegations of abuse through command channels and to the supporting judge advocate and to the US Army Criminal Investigation Command. Detainees should be afforded the same measure of protection as the detaining power. The Geneva Conventions, international law, and US policy expressly prohibit acts of violence or intimidation, including physical or mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to inhumane treatment. Physical or mental torture and coercion revolve around eliminating the source’s free will and are expressly prohibited.

Torture is defined as the infliction of intense pain to body or mind to extract a confession or information, or for sadistic pleasure, and is prohibited Coercion is defined as actions designed to unlawfully induce another to compel an act against one’s will.

. HUMINT collectors may arrange with the military police leadership or leadership of other Soldiers maintaining custody of the detainees to debrief these Soldiers, since they are in regular contact with the detainees. The Soldiers should be debriefed so as not to interfere with the interrogation process. These Soldiers are there only to maintain security. Military police or other Soldiers responsible for custody of detainees will not in any circumstances prepare detainees for interrogation by any physical or mental means (such as beatings or humiliating techniques). If military police or other Soldiers are approached by any military, civilian, or contract personnel to assist in preparing detainees for interrogation they will inform their chain of command immediately.

. Units should also consider that embedded media, combat camera, public affairs, CA, and PSYOP personnel might accompany them on a mission. Leaders must strictly enforce policies on photography of detainees, public release of information, and international law.

Photographing, filming, and videotaping of detainees for purposes other than internal internment facility administration or intelligence/counterintelligence are strictly prohibited.


Clearly documenting the details surrounding the initial detention and preserving evidence are critical and aid in determining if further detention is warranted, in classifying the detainee, in developing intelligence, and in prosecuting detainees suspected of committing criminal acts. Documentation should be detailed and answer the six Ws—who, what, when, where, why, and witnesses. Record these details on the DD Form 2745, DA Form 2823, DA Form 4137, and locally developed forms if necessary. As a minimum document the following information—

Full name, rank, and unit of the Soldier or other person who affected the detention.

Location and circumstances surrounding the initial detention. Include 8- to 10-digit grid coordinates and any further descriptive information, such as a road intersection or street address. Explain why the person was detained. In describing circumstances include any possible criminal violations or a description of hostile acts.

State what force was required to detain the person.

Provide a thorough description of the detainee. Include name and full description (height, weight, eye color, hair color, race or ethnicity, gender, date of birth, phone number, residence address, identification type and number, and any identifying marks, such as scars or tattoos). Indicate and describe injuries. Explain how injuries occurred. Indicate how the person being detained was traveling.

Provide a thorough description of victims and witnesses. Record the same descriptive information as recorded for the detainee for anyone who witnessed the detention or the reason for detention. Indicate if the individuals are witnesses or victims.

Take statements from these individuals to document their observations and knowledge of the incident. Indicate if any of these individuals were traveling with or in any way associated with the detainee.

Record descriptive information for all vehicles or other equipment related to the detention.

For motor vehicles, include make, model, year, color, type, license plate number, owner, and the number and thorough description of occupants. Indicate if contraband was found in the vehicle.

Thorough description of any contraband, including weapons. Include serial numbers, brand names, types, calibers, quantity, color, size, where found, and owners name and complete description. Record where the contraband was located (for example, rocket propelled grenade optical sight found in a plastic bag under the driver’s seat of vehicle #1). Ensure all seized items are recorded on a DA Form 4137 and that a chain of custody is maintained as property is transferred. Note the disposition of contraband (for example, IED was destroyed on location by explosive ordnance detachment Soldiers; or rocket propelled grenade optical sight was released to SGT John Smith, 123d Military Intelligence Detachment).

Full name, rank, unit or organization, phone number, and any other contact informationfor any interpreter or other person, such as civil authority, present during the detention.

Any information the detainee volunteers.


. Army military police Soldiers train on all aspects of detainee operations. Soldiers holding MOS 31E, Internment/Resettlement Specialist, specialize in detainee operations. Consider including 31E Soldiers in the task organization for a mission likely to result in detaining personnel. Commanders should consider including interpreters or linguists to support the operation.


The following items may be helpful in searching and securing detainees, safeguarding their property, and ensuring the safety of Soldiers:

Plastic bags of various sizes may be used to segregate, store, and protect a detainee’s property, including property of potential evidentiary or intelligence value.

Permanent markers may be used to annotate identifying information on containers of detainee property.

Sandbags may be used to segregate, store, and protect a detainee’s property, including property of potential intelligence value.

Duct tape or 550 cord may be used to restrain detainees and to secure bags containing property.

Planning for Detainee Operations and Field Processing of Detainees

Socks may be used to segregate, store, and protect a detainee’s property, including property of potential intelligence value.

Latex or rubber gloves should be provided to Soldiers to protect them while searching and processing detainees and their property.

Flexi-cuffs may be used to restrain detainees.

Flexi-cuff cutters should be used to cut flexi-cuffs. Do not use knives, scissors, or other cutting devices. Flexi-cuff cutters are specifically designed to prevent injury to the detainee and the Soldier removing the flexi-cuffs.

Bandanas, bandages, or other cloth may be used to blindfold or gag detainees when necessary. Uncooperative captives may require a gag in certain situations; however, gags should be used for only as long as needed and should not harm the indi-vidual.

Goggles with lenses blackened are the preferred means of blindfolding a detainee.


A few basic references and forms are necessary in ensuring maintenance of required information about the detainees, accountability of their property, and compliance with requirements for proper treatment of detainees. The most important of these items are DD



Field expedient restraints include flexi-cuffs, duct tape, parachute cord, and other items necessary to temporarily restrain detainees for force protection, custody and control, and movement. When possible, place detainees into restraints prior to searching or moving them. The following considerations are provided:

Employ field expedient restraints on detainees in a manner that is safe, secure, humane, and professional. With all restraint types, use the following guidance:

Exercise caution in cases where detainees are gagged and/or hooded. Field expedient measures, when required, may impair a detainee’s ability to breathe. Sandbags used as hoods restrict airflow, use them only as a last resort. In some areas of the world, using the detainees’ own headgear as a hood device is ideal, for example, turbans or burqas. A hooded detainee may experience difficulty in maintaining balance while walking.

Ensure blood flow is not restricted by restraints. Monitor detainees after restraintsare applied. Check for discoloration of skin, which is one indication that the restraints are too tight.

Employment of restraints.

Flexi-cuffs (national stock number 8465-0007-2673) are a plastic band with a self-locking mechanism. When threaded, the restraint band extends around the wrists or ankles to secure the individual. Use two flexi-cuffs to secure the arms of each detainee, if enough are available. If supply is limited, one flexi-cuff may be used.

Wrap 550 cord around the wrists or ankles several times and then wrap thecord between the wrists or ankles to help prevent loosening. Tie the ends of the cord using a knot such as the square knot. Ensure blood flow is not restricted.

Use duct tape in a manner similar to the flexi-cuffs or 550 cord. Exercise caution not to restrict blood flow. Use good judgment as to the number of times towrap the tape based on the detainee’s strength and size and the width of thetape.

The preferred method of restraint is arms behind the back with palms facing away from each other. If injury prevents this technique, bind the detainee’s wrists in the front with palms together. Injuries such as upper body wounds or broken arms may make this the best option.

Do not use restraints to inflict punishment, injury, or unnecessary physical discomfort.

When detainees must be secured to a fixed object, do so only for the minimum time necessary and in a manner that does not risk injuring the detainee.


Legal Considerations in Counterinsurgency


Leaders should remember counterinsurgency operations must conform to the law and the application of the law varies depending on the overall counterinsurgency mission. Leaders maintain constant awareness of their ability to lawfully use certain tactics, weapons, or procedures, and understand that there are various agreement or treaty obligations that have counterinsurgency operational implications. Judge advocates assist leaders in tackling the complexities of the law and in integrating legal considerations into the overall pattern of counterinsurgency operations.


Leaders should know and understand the legal basis of their operations. By doing so, leaders promote the legitimacy of their operations and are able to better plan their missions, structure public statements, and conform their conduct to policy. Further, since the very goal of counterinsurgency operations is to help maintain law and order, those conducting counter-insurgency operations must know and respect the legal parameters within which they operate.

Those who conduct counterinsurgency operations while intentionally or negligently breaking the law defeat their own purpose and lose the confidence and respect of the community in which they operateThe legal basis of counterinsurgency operations derives from many international, US, and local/HN legal sources. These sources may be UN Security Council resolutions, regional and international agreements, and decisions, regulations, and orders from US, multinational, or local/HN authorities. While legal sources differ depending on the specific mission (counterinsurgency in an international or internal armed conflict) and military role in mind (lead or in support), counterinsurgency mission statements drafted with these sources in mind demonstrate and encourage adherence to law and order.


All counterinsurgency operations comply with law of war principles to the extent practicable and feasible. Some of the basic law of war principles to which counterinsurgency operations must conform include the following.


Regardless of the legal status of those persons captured, detained, or otherwise held in custody by US Soldiers, they receive humane treatment until properly released. They are provided with the minimum protections delineated in the Geneva Conventions.


Weapons, munitions, and techniques calculated to cause unnecessary pain and suffering are forbidden.


Orders to commit law of war and human rights violations are illegal. Soldiers must disobey them and report all known or suspected law of war and human rights violations. Those who violate law of war and human rights will be held responsible for their actions.


. The nature of the conflict (internal or international armed conflict, stability operations, support operations, peace operations) dictate the legal status of forces. When US forces conduct counterinsurgency operations in another nation without that nation’s prior consent, the

US law applies. However, if US forces conduct counterinsurgency operations in another nation’s territory with that nation’s prior consent or invitation, in the absence of some type of grant of immunity Soldiers must comply with that nation’s law. As a result, leaders conducting counterinsurgency operations in this environment should understand in detail the extent and effect of any relevant HN criminal, civil, and administrative jurisdiction. A status of forces agreement or similar understanding between the United States and the HN may resolve many of these matters and prevent them from adversely affecting counterinsurgency operations.


Injuries, death, and property damage are an unavoidable reality of military operations.

The leader’s ability to promptly and thoroughly redress meritorious claims against the

United States will pay considerable dividends in maintaining a community’s confidence and respect. Several statutes and agreements determine whether and how claims against the United States may be adjudicated. In some situations, claims against the United States may not be adjudicated, but payments in sympathy or in recognition of a loss (solatia) may be made. Multinational partners may be able to adjudicate claims that US law does not recognize.

In all circumstances, leaders planning counterinsurgency operations should consider that the prompt and effective handling of resultant claims fosters good will and positive civil-military relations.


US legal principles on the proper expenditure of public funds apply to US forces, even when they are part of a multinational force or supporting multinational operations. Fiscal law affects training, humanitarian and civic assistance, construction, medical care, transportation, maintenance, the logistics civilian augmentation program, and other activities. Requests for support may come from the HN, US agencies, multinational partners, local civilians, international military headquarters, higher headquarters, and other sources. Leaders in counterinsurgency operations must be prepared to find the correct funding authority and appropriation for the mission and specified tasks to be performed, articulate the rationale for proposed expenditures, and seek approval from higher headquarters when necessary.


Leaders may have to acquire goods and services and carry out construction projects while conducting counterinsurgency operations. The significant legal issues involved in battlefield acquisition, contingency contracting, or acquisition and cross-servicing agreements present challenges that demand creative analysis. Lawfully conducted, confiscation, seizure, and requisition of property, and use of the local populace as a source of services may be valuable means to support the needs implicit in counterinsurgency operations. However, even when lawfully done, there are practical considerations in acquiring supplies and services from the local populace that may negatively affect counterinsurgency operations. The key to successful contracting and acquisition is the proper training and appointment of personnel who are authorized to carry out pertinent actions and know the legal and practical limitations on their authority.


Besides the practical and political considerations involved in receiving and accepting foreign gifts, leaders should remember the legal implications. As a general rule, Soldiers are prohibited from soliciting gifts from foreign governments. Depending on the circumstances,

Soldiers may be prevented from accepting gifts from foreign governments altogether. There are several statutory limitations on the type of gift and the gift’s value that leaders should consider prior to accepting any foreign gift.


Leaders conducting counterinsurgency operations probably consider their ability to conduct intelligence gathering as critical to their success. Counterinsurgency intelligence collection, information gathering, and counterintelligence operations involve substantial contact with sources from nongovernmental organizations, the local populace, and multinational partners. There are many legal implications in collecting intelligence or gathering information from these sources. There are also legal restrictions on intelligence collection against US persons, on disseminating intelligence to other agencies and in using special collection techniques, such as electronic surveillance. The complexities of intelligence law require leaders to obtain legal review of all proposed intelligence activities.


Maintaining law and order throughout the HN is part of the desired end state of counterinsurgency operations. The following contain essential enforcement and detention operations information:

Policy on treatment of detained persons.


Military tribunals/commissions.

MEJA (jurisdiction over contractors and private security firms).

HN authorities (Article 98 agreements).

Evidence collection and war crimes.


In recent years it has become necessary for Soldiers to be aware of the possibility of incidents that could constitute war crimes. The development of international judicial agencies to deal with allegations of war crimes makes the issue of providing evidence an increasingly difficult and complicated process. Expert policing, pathological, and forensic skills are essential in gaining evidence that could lead to successful prosecution.

Military police forces are the most appropriate Army agents for dealing with such incidents that could have important international significance. Military police resources should be called upon immediately when such incidents or disclosures are discovered. Where a Soldier or civilian working with Army forces is suspected of committing a war crime (and indeed any crime) military police carry out the formal investigation.Theater-specific procedures should be clearly understood prior to deployment, with advice being sought from Army legal services if need be.

The guidance below provides a few basic procedures likely to be common good practice in circumstances where involvement by non-military-police Soldiers is necessary.


In general, two kinds of suspected crime scenes occur. There are sites where bodies are present, and there are sites where destruction of property has occurred. Certain basic common procedures are recommended for both categories of sites. More specific actions with regard to each kind of site can be recommended after these have been dealt with.


At whatever kind of site actions are taken for recording or preserving evidence, the ultimate goal is to collect evidence admissible in a court of law. To a large extent, the basic principle is that whatever actions are taken should be clearly documented. The precise conduct of the investigative actions should be noted and recorded. If the history of the investigationis not clear, it opens the way for challenging the reliability of evidence.

In dealing with physical pieces of evidence, it is imperative to create an evidentiary chain that starts at the site of the investigation and will ultimately end in court upon production of the evidence. The chain consists of clearly documenting the collection, handling, processing, and storage of potential evidence at all stages. Upon submission of a piece of evidence in court, the precise trail of that evidence must be traceable directly back to the site of the investigation. Any break in that chain may result in that piece of evidence being ruled inadmissible at trial.


The following actions are recommended for the recording and preservation of evidence at all categories of sites:

Make a photographic/video record of the site.

Make a detailed report of all observations at the site.

Make sketches and diagrams if possible.

Record measurements and distances where appropriate.

Record the details of any witnesses to the events before they disappear.

Record details of any surviving victims.

Record any details or information on the identity of the alleged perpetrators (names, descriptions, and insignia or uniforms worn).

Be prepared to make your own witness statement describing in detail your involvement, be it as a witness to an incident or upon attending the aftermath.

The particulars of those persons undertaking the above activities should be clearlydocumented. It should be clear who these persons are, in what capacity they were acting, and where they can be traced. It is important to safely preserve all evidence and material collected until the arrival of an investigative or prosecuting authority. This entails keeping the evidence and material in such a manner that it cannot be tampered with or contaminated. The evidence and material should be essentially kept under seal until it can be handed over to the appropriate investigative or prosecuting authority.

Legal Considerations in Counterinsurgency


It is important to establish the cause of death and to identify the deceased if possible for the investigation of a scene where dead bodies are present. Undertake the basic common procedures described in the previous paragraph with this in mind. Important, therefore, are matters such as:

The number and position of bodies.

Are the bodies manacled or blindfolded? Are there bruises or swelling around the wrists or ankles indicating a person might have been bound prior to their death?

Are there any indications of a battle? For example: are the bodies uniformed? Are they armed?

Is there battlefield debris—such as equipment, munitions, boxes, or binoculars—in the area near the body? Are there any blunt objects or tools with blood debris on them?

Can any injuries be identified? Was the person shot, stabbed, strangled, or crushed? Is blunt trauma evident anywhere on the body?

The clothing on the bodies (often identification can be done on the basis of the clothing). Civilian casual, work, business, or formal wear? Necktie, dress, or scarf present?

Documentation found on bodies (or at the site). Identification tags?

Jewelry or other items found on the body (or at the site). Earrings?

Is any physical evidence present that could indicate the cause of death? Bullet casings or weapons?

Are there any bloodstains or splattering visible on furniture/walls? Any stains should be protected because they provide information to forensic experts.

If possible, a pathologist should conduct a postmortem, with a view to determining the cause of death and the identity of the deceased.

In some instances, the next of kin of persons killed in the conflict may want to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones for burial or cremation. Once a site has been found, it is likely that very little time will be available to record evidence at that site. Especially where a formal investigation has not yet been sanctioned, it may be very difficult to delay handing over the bodies to next of kin. As it may not be possible to seal off a site with a view to proper examination at a later stage, it is important that as much information and evidence as possible be collected at such sites. Frequently, however, it will be appropriate for the troops first on the scene to set up a cordon so that potential evidence is not interfered with prior to the arrival of the investigative authorities.


The main object of investigating sites of destruction is to determine the cause of the destruction and identify the perpetrators. The cause of destruction is often a matter of observation.

(For example, was the cause burning, artillery fire, or bombing?) The data the observation is based on must be thoroughly documented, along with any additional evidence that may be found that could substantiate the observation.


During the process of identifying and recording potentially valuable evidence for use later in a criminal prosecution, a two-phase approach can be adopted.

Undertake a wide screening of potential witnesses initially. The purpose of this is to identify persons who can give direct, first-hand, evidence with regard to events that may fall within the jurisdiction of the tribunal. Investigators should take detailed statements from those witnesses who have been identified during the first phase as being able to give direct and relevant evidence pertaining to events relating to the investigations.


. This phase is undertaken at the outset of the investigation. It serves to provide the investigators with some idea of the amount of information potentially available, and its quality and consistency. It helps the investigators focus their attention on the events they are investigating, and identify direct witnesses to relevant events. Apart from identifying witnesses who can give direct evidence, detailed biographical information concerning those being interviewed (with a view to tracing persons in the future) must be collected during this phase as well. It should be borne in mind that it might not always be immediately apparent during this phase whether information being provided will be relevant to investigations of subsequent rial proceedings. Good biographical information will therefore facilitate the locating of persons who are immediately identified as eyewitnesses, as well as those who are only identified as relevant witnesses at a later stage.

Biographical Information

. Obtain as much biographical information as possible from the witness. This includes the following:

Comprehensive personal details.

Full details of relatives.

Full details regarding where the person lived during the conflict.

Full details of where the witness intends to go in the future.

Any other contact details such as phone numbers or email addresses.

Identifying Witnesses

. During this first phase it is worth the effort to establish whether the individual to be interviewed is able to relate events that fall within his or her own direct knowledge or is simply relaying events that he or she has been told about by others (hearsay). It should be borne in mind that persons being interviewed are likely to be traumatized by recent events that they have personally experienced, but which may not necessarily be relevant to investigations. In the desire to speak out about what has been experienced or vent outrage and frustrations, interviewees are prone to rely heavily on information obtained second- or third-hand. Such information is generally not reliable with a view to ultimate prosecution of criminal cases before a court. Such people may still be of use, however, as they may be able to provide the details of a previously unknown persons who are able to provide direct evidence. The time spent on clearly establishing whether a person is indeed a direct witness to relevant events (or potentially relevant events) is, therefore, an investment in the future of the investigation and may ultimately save considerable time and resources at a later stage.


Once a potential witness who possesses direct information has been identified, a com-prehensive statement should be obtained from that person. The statement should include the following information in as much detail as possible: Full particulars of the incident or event (in terms of what the witness saw, felt, heard, or experienced). Full particulars of the time and place of the event.

Legal Considerations in Counterinsurgency

Particulars of the weather and lighting conditions, and distances or measurements if relevant. (Diagrams or drawings by witnesses may prove useful.)

Details of other witnesses.

Details with a view to identification of alleged perpetrators: name, uniform, unit, and description.

Details about which a witness is likely to be questioned in court, such as whether he or she had been drinking alcohol prior to the incident or whether he or she has any loyalties to, or grudges against, any of those about whom he or she is giving evidence.

Formats for Statements

The format of the statement depends to a large extent on the evidentiary requirements of the tribunal ultimately responsible for trying any cases emerging from any investigation.

Where the tribunal has not been determined, the format is at the discretion of the head of the investigation.

Whichever situation pertains, careful consideration should be given as to whether it isnecessary to require witnesses to sign or attest their statements. While the immediate advantage is the perception that the witness personally agrees with what is contained in thestatement, there is also a disadvantage. The problem is that, should the witness make laterstatements that appear to contradict or conflict with that earlier statement, this could compromise his or her credibility. An alternative approach would be to not require the witness to sign the statement, but simply to rely on the investigator’s notes of the interview. The drawback with such a procedure is that it is less likely to be admissible as evidence of the witness’sversion of events if he or she dies or cannot be located.

Continuity of Evidence

One of the primary roles of overt surveillance is to provide detailed information, in the form of sightings, for local police and other agencies to use in their attempts to cause attrition to the insurgent organizations. This information could potentially be used as evidence in a court of law to secure convictions. Soldiers on surveillance duty must therefore be evidence-aware to ensure that opportunities from which convictions could arise are not missed because of errors in evidence continuity or information handling by the observation post (OP) team.

Types of Evidence

Information gathered by OPs can be recorded in a variety of formats, such as—

Written. Photographic. Video.

Written Evidence

There is a number of types of written evidence that could be produced by an OP, the main ones being:

Log sheet.

Patrol notebook.

Photographic Evidence

It is important that the film number and frames used be correlated with the sightings entered in the log if it is believed photographic evidence has been captured of an event or incident. The film should be left complete inside the camera body and the whole package handled as evidence.

Video Evidence

. Video evidence can be extremely useful, provided that the tape has been correctly accounted for. There are a number of considerations that should be taken into account.

. The date-time group display on the camera must be correctly set and visible on any tape recording. The time on the video monitor is the time to be used on all log entries. The VCR tape position counter should be zeroed at this time and also used as a reference in the log. These procedures ensure that any video evidence is coordinated with written evidence.

For full continuity of evidence, any sequence of video footage should be supported by complete coverage of that day, up to and including the event. This is possible to achieve using 24-hour time lapse VCRs, so that a complete 24-hour period is recorded onto one tape.

This then provides continuity. OPs should ensure the VCR is switched to 3-hour mode to improve the quality of the recording when recording an event of interest.

These continuity tapes should be continuously recording while the OP is operational.

They should be changed over at midnight, logged, and stored. The formation headquarters directs the time period of storage and method of handling.

If an OP captures some vital evidence on film or video, then it must deal with it in the correct manner in order for it to have any value in a court of law. This involves the use of an evidence-handling kit and procedures.

Evidence Handling Kit

A suggested evidence handling kit to be kept in OPs is—

A sturdy, opaque bag or envelope.

Self-adhesive labels.

Cellophane tape.

Handling Procedure

. Record all markings on the film/tape, whether operational serial numbers or the manufacturer’s.

These should be written on the DA Form 4002. Place the tape or film into a bag or envelope and seal all edges with tape. Tape the DA Form 4002 onto the evidence package and only sign the statement section on the form when the evidence is handed over to the police or other agencies as authorized by the formation headquarters.




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