TBR News July 9, 2013

Jul 09 2013







Department of Defense



NUMBER 2905.17

June 13, 2013 USD(I)

SUBJECT: DoD Domestic Military Order-Counterinsurgency Overview : See Enclosure 1


Domestic Military Order – Counterinsurgency Overview

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 situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 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.

Some of the motivating factors in the current politico/sociological situation are:

Massive and continuing unemployment in all levels of American business and industry. Only those who are technically proficient, i.e. in fields of computer science, are employable. Another point of contention is the huge influx of illegal foreign immigrants and the perception that these prevent Americans from obtaining work and also are perceived as draining the national welfare rolls. Also, a growing functional illiteracy in the American public, which has sharply diminished the reading of newspapers and increased the popularity of the Internet with its brief “sound bites.”A growing public perception of both disinterest and corruption on the part of National and State legislators has caused massive disillusionment on the part of the people. The recent revelations that the American (and foreign) public is closely watched and spied upon by governmental organs at the behest of the President has created a very volatile and very negative attitude towards any and all official programs.

            An insurgency is defined as an 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 into 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. Nonetheless, these promises and appeals are associated with tangible solutions and deeds.

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, excessivly large number of illegal immigrants, especially those from  Central America who clog national welfare rolls and are perceived to take jobs from entry-level Americans,or an unassimilitable religious and ethnic minority such as the Muslims who are seen to harbor domestic terrorists. 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 capabilities to defeat any domestic insurgencies through a variety of means. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) use special 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.



            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 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 military or local law enforcement..


            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. 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, create 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 this desire. Generally, popular grievances become insurgent causes when interpreted and shaped by the insurgent leadership. The insurgency grows if the cadre that is local insurgent leaders and representatives can establish a link between the insurgent movement and the desire for solutions to grievances sought by the local 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 tool. Consequently, specific insurgent tactical actions are often planned to frequently elicit overreaction from security force individuals and units.


             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 will 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.

            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 ties between 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 a 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.


.           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 sitting government because of pressures from their own people at home.


            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 strategic and operational directives coming from above. Emphasizing mass mobilization results in a hierarchical, tightly controlled, coordinated movement. The insurgent movement that results will resemble a pyramid in its manpower distribution, with 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, although some efforts to mobilize have been reported.


            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 accomplishment 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 accom-plished 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 in the 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 foreign insurgents have recognized that the indigenous regimes cannot continue in the short term without US backing and assistance. Neither will 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.


            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 thepolitical 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, a domestic 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 environments. These planning considerations affect structure, and TTP directly.


            The need for access to external resources and sanctuaries has been a constant throughout the 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 battle 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. I.e. churches mosques or synagogues There may be large cities where neither local law enforcement  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 its main 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”).


            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 not be an option. Reform may be necessary, but reform is a matter for the state, using all of its human and material resources. Security forces are only one such resource. The response must be multifaceted and coordinated, yet states typically charge their security forces with “waging counterinsurgency.”     

            This the security forces cannot do alone.

            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 pro sitting government local officials and civilians can defeat the insurgents’ attempt to undermine the national American political system.

            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 are constantly described as those who will provide the populace the protection necessary for the restoration of legitimate 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, ends and means, and operational and tactical concerns.

            When supporting a counterinsurgency, the US and its multinational partners assist the local law enforcment in implementing a sustainable approach. To the extent the local law enforcement  has its basic institutions and security forces intact, the burden upon US and multinational forces and resources is lessened. To the extent the local law enforcement is lacking basic institutions and functions, the burden upon the US forces is increased. In the extreme, rather than building upon what is, the US will find themselves creating elements (such as local forces and government institutions) of the society they have been sent to assist. Military forces thus become involved in nation building while simultaneously attempting to defeat an insurgency. US forces often lead because the US military) can quickly project and sustain a force. This involves them in a host of current activities regarded as nonstandard, from supervising elections to restoring power and facilitating and conducting schooling.

            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—

             Political and military leaders realistically evaluate troop requirements in a counterinsurgency environment. In addition to those tasks inherent in any military situation—such as base security and offensive operations—some tasks occur with greater frequency in counterinsurgency and deserve special attention. Among these are—

Urban operations.

Protection of government facilities.

Protection of infrastructure.

Protection of commercial enterprises vital to the HN economy.

Protection of cultural facilities.

Prevention of looting.

Military police functions.

Close interaction with civilians.

Assistance with reconstruction projects.

Securing the HN borders.

Training or retraining HN military forces.

Establishing and maintaining local government credibility.

             Faced with these additional tasks, the joint force may be required to provide more units, and a different mix of units, than would be required for operations against a conventional force the same approximate size as the insurgent force. The preponderance of many ofthese units may only be available in the Reserve Components. All planning considers the long-term implications and second- and-third order effects of counterinsurgency missions.

            Counterinsurgency is a long-term approach and effort requiring support from political and military leaders. Additionally, leaders must recognize counterinsurgency operations may involve nation building. Counterinsurgency often involves nation building, but not all nation  building involves counterinsurgency.

At all levels, the conduct (planning, preparing, execution, and assessment) of counterinsurgency operations involves coordination among local law enforcement forces and agencies, US organizations, and NGOs that may influence the mission.


            What is the role of the military? While military forces may be the most visible sign of U.S. military 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 sitting  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.




 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 special forces operational detachment-B and is augmented with a special communications 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.


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? Lines of communictions? 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, supplies, 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 the 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 resident 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. military 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, aid 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 sitting 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 sitting government’s inability to secure critical facilities or national symbols such as the Statue of Liberty or the various public monuments in Washington, D.C.

• 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 understand more 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.


Religion(s)? Types? Beliefs? Traditions? / 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 /


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?


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

Insurgent occupied / dominated areas?


Religious and cultural areas? Where are they and what do they mean?

Military / Para-military

Host nation military in the area? Units? Composition, disposition and strength? Effectiveness? (Morale, training, experience, advisors, liaisons, means of communication?)

Government sponsored militia in the area?

Non-government sponsored militia in the area?


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.

Intelligence—The 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 intelligence 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 State Department Field

Officer that speaks the native language, knows the people and understands the 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.

lace 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, 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 units 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 district or area team, 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 Soldier 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 high 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. 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 the killing of a non-combatant i.e. the young, or apparently “peaceful demonstrators”). 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 urban area , 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 populace. The mere passage of time or absence of additional “unfortunate incidents” will not suffice.

            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 military occupation team, 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.  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.

            • 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 rectify 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 soldier 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 you are helping, “No  Fear”

− Never grieve in public for a lost comrade.

Considerations for Information OperationsIn counterinsurgency, IO is marketing; your operation is just like a new product that uses advertisements to make people aware of it. For people to buy it, it still needs to be a quality product. You are marketing your unit, your actions

and your message to the local populace and, very likely, to the world.

Informational Objective (What message are you sending in conducting a particular mission?)

− Establish dominance

− Create security

− Establish rule of law

− Achieve a tactical advantage

− Provide a civil service

− Remove a portion of the insurgency

Minimizing Collateral Damage

− What steps are you taking?

− How are you ensuring this?

− What are you doing to advertise this?

Control and Care of Civilians

− What control measures are in place to control onlookers?

− How are you caring for civilians affected by your actions?

Control and Care of Enemy Captured and Wounded

Means of Advertising

Women—Women play an important role in counterinsurgency operations. There is a perception in many cultures that women are unapproachable and should not be spoken to by men, especially soldiers.  You should recognize both the cultural protocol and the place women hold in the society. In many areas they are trusted and respected members of the household and the population, therefore, women have a great deal of influence on the opinions of the family, and civic area.  Find out their needs and wants, which are often times based around their families’ well being. Work to get them on your side and do not dismiss their opinion/ influence.

Intelligence Operations

Just as with information operations, intelligence gathering will span across all of your missions. This goes beyond Commander’s Critical Information Requirements (CCIR) and Priority Intelligence Requirements (PIR). Gathering information on local movements, businesses, networks, cells, local disputes and business practices is  essential to acquiring and maintaining your understanding of the situation and the area. You must continuously update your IPOA and cell and network diagrams. Each patrol you send out, regardless of their main purpose, must know what information is needed and must have specific information requirements to fill intelligence gaps. Every individual is an intelligence collector when trained and motivated properly. Intelligence gathering is a continuous process and is accomplished through four primary means: reconnaissance patrolling, surveillance, human source intelligence and signals intelligence. Each form is effective and is complementary to each other. The following paragraphs present guidelines for using these tactics/ procedures.

Reconnaissance—Reconnaissance is the active search for raw information and is normally focused on search for specific information requirements. Some cases will require a clandestine team to conduct reconnaissance, but this is not always the case—overt patrols can, in some cases, perform the necessary tasks. In either case, units require a high degree of proficiency in communications, recording, reporting, patrolling, observation, photography and field sketching. Trained reconnaissance units are not always available so ensure that squads are prepared to perform these tasks. It is always possible to train a squad to perform such tasks. Reconnaissance patrols fall into two basic categories:

Area. An area reconnaissance is a directed effort to obtain detailed information concerning the terrain or enemy activity within a prescribed area such as a town, ridgeline, woods or other features critical to operations. An area reconnaissance could also be made of a single point, such as a bridge or installation. An area reconnaissance is useful in acquiring details on a specific objective. A recon of an objective, a route recon and an HLZ recon, are all examples of area reconnaissance. Place importance on the required, detailed information; limit the scope but not the depth of raw information you require.

Zone. A zone reconnaissance is a directed effort to obtain detailed information concerning all routes, obstacles (to include chemical or radiological contamination), terrain, and enemy forces within a zone defined by boundaries. A zone reconnaissance is normally used  when the enemy situation is vague or when information concerning cross-country traffic ability is desired. The commander specifies routes or areas of interest within the zone. The zone to be reconnoitered is usually defined by a line of departure, lateral boundaries and a limit of advance.

Surveillance—Surveillance is a passive form of gathering information and is most effective when it is done in a clandestine nature. The range of tasks for a surveillance team can vary from observing a specific objective or individual to recording and reporting information about a street, neighborhood or area of interest. As with reconnaissance teams, those performing this task should be well versed in the disciplines of communications, recording, reporting, patrolling, observation, photography and field sketching. The teams should be small in order to remain undetectable with “guardian angels” maintaining over watch of their mission. Snipers are the ideal personnel for this task, however, it is advantageous to train personnel in your unit to perform this task as well.  The methods of surveillance range from observation posts and hides to the use of personnel either mixed with the civilian populace or from the civilian populace to track and follow individuals, if the situation allows.

Human Source Intelligence—Gathering information from human sources, either from indigenous personnel, captured insurgents or third party witnesses can be the most effective form of generating intelligence. On the other hand, it can prove to be unreliable and incorrect. Both the Army and the Marine Corps have human intelligence personnel that are trained to develop sources and extract and analyze information from the population. Such personnel are valuable attachments even though every Marine or Soldier is a potential human source gatherer. Train your unit to talk with indigenous personnel and to record and report their findings.



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.

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.

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.


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.


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.

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 local law enforcement with the people.

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.




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.

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.

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.

            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.


            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 special operations task force commander to accomplish this integration, but works for the joint 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 in the repression of counter government actionists.All forces assigned an AO or function should determine which departments and agencies are assisting in that AO and coordinate actions so that there is no duplication of effort. Such departments, councils and agencies include—

National Security Council.

Department of Defense.

Department of State.

Department of Justice.

Department of the Treasury.

Department of Homeland Security.

Department of Agriculture.

Department of Commerce.

Central Intelligence Agency.

Department of Transportation.


            Various governmental departments directly administer or support other governmental

agencies. Examples of these US agencies are—


The US Coast Guard (under Department of Homeland Security).

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (under Department of Justice).

Immigration Customs Enforcement (under Department of Homeland Security).

Federal Communications Commission.




            The proper application of force is a critical component to any successful counterinsurgency operation. In a counterinsurgency, the center of gravity is public support. In order to defeat an insurgent force, US forces must be able to separate insurgents from the population. At the same time, US forces must conduct themselves in a manner that enables them to maintain popular domestic support. Excessive or indiscriminant use of force is likely to alienate the local populace, thereby increasing support for insurgent forces. Insufficient use of force results in increased risks to US and multinational forces and perceived weaknesses that can jeopardize the mission by emboldening insurgents and undermining domestic popular support. Achieving the appropriate balance requires a thorough understanding of the nature and causes of the insurgency, the end state, and the military’s role in a counterinsurgency operation. Nevertheless, US forces always retain the right to use necessary and proportional force for individual and unit self-defense in response to a hostile act or demonstrated hostile intent.

            In planning counterinsurgency operations, it is imperative that leaders and soldiers understand that military force is not an end in itself, but is just one of the instruments of national power employed by the political leadership to achieve its broader objectives. A military commander is never given the absolute authority to act without ultimate accountability. Military action and the application of force are limited by a variety of political and practical considerations, some of which may not seem sensible at the tactical level. Leaders and soldiers at all levels need to understand the nature of such limitations and the rationale behind them in order to make sound decisions regarding the application of or restraint in the use of force.

            Determining the appropriate level of military force is one of the most difficult issues confronting leaders and soldiers. Tactical decisions regarding the application of force can often have strategic implications. Typically, US forces look to the ROE as the primary method to determine the appropriate application of force. Rules of engagement are directives issued by competent military authority that delineate the circumstances and limitations under which United States forces will initiate and/or continue combat engagement with other forces encountered

ROE impose political, operational, practical, and legal restrictions on the otherwise permissible use of military force. The nature and extent of restrictions contained in the ROE vary dramatically based on the justification for the initial involvement of US forces, the tactical situation, the presence of civilians, and the type of terrain in which forces are operating (urban or rural). Leaders conducting counterinsurgency operations are likely to find themselves operating with a much more constrained set of ROE. Soldiers may find it difficult and frustrating to conduct offensive operations because of the restrictive ROE. For example, defense of designated non-US Forces or designated foreign persons and their property requires approval from the President or Secretary of Defense.

Care must be taken to ensure that the mission drives the ROE and not vice-versa. The ROE may exercise a significant influence on a unit’s ability to accomplish its mission. Therefore, it is imperative for commanders and staffs to critically evaluate the ROE in light of their mission. The impact of the ROE must be fully developed and addressed in staff estimates. ROE should be used to assist in course of action development, analysis (war-gaming), and selection. The commander should aggressively seek modifications to the ROE if the ROE are inadequate in light of the mission and anticipated threat level. The development, modification, distribution, and training of ROE must be timely and responsive to changing threats. Changes must be distributed immediately.

Leaders remember that the ROE are applicable in all situations. While ROE govern the use of force in all situations, they do not dictate a certain amount of force to be used in all situations. ROE often identify specific circumstances where the use of force is required. However, ROE do not identify every possible situation soldiers may encounter in a counterinsurgency environment. Instead, leaders and soldiers rely on their knowledge and understanding of ROE, and apply sound judgment, a thorough understanding of the mission, commander’s intent, and operational environment, situational understanding, and sound procedures and practices to determine the level of appropriate force permitted by the ROE. Finally, leaders must balance the safety of their soldiers with the safety of civilians.

Knowledge of the ROE itself is not sufficient to help Soldiers make informed decisions regarding the appropriate application of force. Consistent and effective application of the ROE requires extensive training and discipline to develop the judgment, depth of knowledge, skills, and procedures necessary to apply force in a counterinsurgency environment. Leaders stress basic troop leading procedures and situational-based training, comprehensive planning and rehearsals, effective precombat checks and mission-related patrol briefs, back-briefs, and debriefs. Effective communication is equally essential. Leaders must ensure that every soldier completely understands the mission and commander’s intent, and has comprehensive situational understanding at all times. The appropriate level of situational understanding, realistic training, and disciplined adherence to basic troop leading procedures equips soldiers with the tools necessary to make informed decisions regarding the decision to use or refrain from the use of force. ROE are most effective when they are simple, clear, and able to be condensed onto a small card.



 Counterinsurgency is a war of ideas and is punctuated by moves and counters based on flexible and agile thinking and calculation. Yet, if counterinsurgency is predicated on ideas and thinking, then influence over the medium that most easily and effectively gains access to and influences ideas, thinking, and those related processes would seem to be essential. This medium is the information network, the media—print and broadcast. The media is a source of a large portion of the information a population receives and can greatly influence their collective thinking. The media have access to government leaders, decision makers, the public in most nations, and our own Soldiers to influence and shape opinions. The media is neither friend nor enemy. It is a tool to create effects and conditions in which counterinsurgency operations are successful. However, adversaries may use it directly and indirectly against those same operations. Planning for all exigencies must include the media.

The media, print and broadcast (radio, television and the Internet), play a vital role in societies involved in a counterinsurgency. Members of the media have a significant influence and shaping impact on political direction, national security objectives, and policy and national will. The media is a factor in military operations. It is their right and obligation to report to their respective audiences on the use of military force. They demand logistic support and access to military operations while refusing to be controlled. Their desire for immediate footage and on-the-spot coverage of events, and the increasing contact with units and soldiers (for example, with embedded reporters) require commanders and public affairs officers to provide guidance to leaders and soldiers on media relations. However, military planners must provide and enforce ground rules to the media to ensure operations security. Public affairs offices plan for daily briefings and a special briefing after each significant event because the media affect and influence each potential target audience external and internal to the AO. Speaking with the media in a forward-deployed area is an opportunity to explain what our organizations and efforts have accomplished.



            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 populace 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 provide 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 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.

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.

•Stay in your lane. Confine your discussions to areas in which you have firsthand knowledge or where you have personal experience

•Deal in facts–avoid speculation and hypothetical questions

•Label your opinions as opinions. Don’t get into political discussions.

•Stay on the record. If you say it, they’ll print it.

•Don’t discuss classified information.

•Don’t argue with the reporter. Be firm, and be polite.

•Speak plainly. Don’t use military slang or jargon.

•Protect the record. Correct the “facts” if they are wrong.

•Do not threaten the media representative.

•Politely move the media to an area out of harm’s way where they do not interfere with the performance of the mission.

•Notify the senior person present so he/she can determine what the media wants.

•Cooperate with the reporter within the limits of OPSEC and safety.

•If there are OPSEC or safety concerns that make the interviewing or filming impossible at this time, let the reporter know up front.

•At no time should a media representative’s equipment be confiscated. If you feel a security violation has occurred, notify your chain of command.

•If you have problems with the media, don’t get emotional. Report the incident through the chain of command to the area public affairs officer.



Counterinsurgency Operations



Military operations in support of counterinsurgency fall into three broad categories:

CMO, combat operations, and IO. CMO are primarily oriented towards the indigenous population in villages, cities, and regions. Combat operations are oriented against insurgent leaders and cadre, smaller units, and insurgent main force organizations (battalion-, brigade-, and division-sized units) depending on the phase of the insurgency. The operations should deny the insurgents freedom of movement, access to the population, and access to safe havens. IO potentially assure a common operational picture appropriate to every level of an organization, down to the individual soldier. Commanders also use IO to shape the information environment to reinforce CMO and combat efforts. The overall mission of all military operations in support of counterinsurgency is to provide a safe and secure environment within which governmental institutions can address the concerns of the people.

Commanders consider the following when conducting (planning, preparing, executing, and assessing) counterinsurgency operations:

            Military operations for countering insurgency must all be completely integrated with the US country team or established governing authority throughout planning, preparation, execution, and assessment.

            Counterinsurgency must be initiated as early as possible. An escalating insurgency becomes increasingly difficult to defeat. Intelligence, civil affairs, and PSYOP are vital parts of all programs.   Effective local government is vital to carrying counterinsurgency programs to the local populations.



            Local political authorities bridge the gap between the remote and sometimes impersonal national government and the people. To the extent that these authorities are able to satisfy the aspirations of the people and create the image of a responsive and capable government, the openings for subversion will diminish. The military works with the local civil authorities, the populace, and NGOs through CMO. Military participation is accomplished through military civic action and populace and resource control. The leader must be ready to propose civic action projects based on the capabilities of the unit advised and must be prepared to give guidance on the techniques of applying these capabilities in accordance with an overall counterinsurgency plan. To perform these functions, the leader must be aware of the objectives and principles of CMO

Objectives of CMO in counterinsurgency operations are to—

            Make substantial contributions to national development.

Gain the support, loyalty, and respect of the people for their government.

Principles of CMO include—

Conserving resources and developing an integrated economy. As such, all projects must proceed within the framework of a coordinated plan.

Conformance to guidance issued through command channels.


. 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 operations.

            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 to improvise unauthorized measures).

Be tailored to fit the situation (apply the minimum force required to achieve the desired


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.


 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 elements.

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 recorder.

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 agency. 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.


 There are two types of offensive operations employed against insurgent forces. The first is at the local level where US forces (SOF or trainers) work with local authorities to find, fix, and destroy local insurgents who seek to exert control in the communities, cities, and regions. These forces are normally small but well armed. Examples of this type insurgent force include the Viet Cong in South Vietnam, the FMLN in El Salvador, and al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Chechnya. They move freely within the population and use raids, ambushes, and small hit-and-run attacks intended to drive out occupation forces or destabilize established authorities. The second type of offensive operation is conducted by regular army formations against main force insurgent units. An example of this type of insurgent force is the NVA that infiltrated into South Vietnam.

.Counterinsurgency Operations

•Concentrate on elimination of the insurgents, not on terrain objectives.

•Maintain the offensive in all kinds of weather (for example, do not bog down during a rainy season—limited offensive operations are preferable to passive measures).

•Provide guidelines for allocation of counterinsurgency forces.

•Get counterinsurgency forces out of garrisons, cities, and towns; off the roads and trails into the environment of the insurgents.

•Plan for and use all resources (both regular and special units).

•Avoid establishment of semipermanent patrol bases laden with artillery and supplies that tend to tie down the force. (Pay special attention to prevent mobile units from becoming fixed.)

•Emphasize secrecy and surprise.

•Plans should provide for—

•Effective and secure communications.

•Constant indoctrination of the individual Soldier.

•Variation of methods and the use of unorthodox tactics and techniques to avoid establishing patterns.

•Emphasize that command and staff action should include—

•Centralized planning of small-scale decentralized tactical operations.

• Emphasis on unity of command.

•Training programs that stress developing the offensive spirit, physical stamina, and a desire to seek out the insurgents and destroy them.

•Extensive contingency planning for employment of reserve forces.

•Detailed coordination of the intelligence collection effort accomplished by—

•Coordination with civil and paramilitary intelligence nets.

•Creating informer nets with the local population.

•Interrogation of prisoners and suspects.

•Detailed planning and coordination of activities with civilian officials in any AO where the civilian population is concerned.

            •Incorporation and monitoring of military civic action into the operational plan by—

•Planning for and augmenting a plan of military civic action, propaganda, and population control to recover population under insurgent influence.

•Requesting and distributing supplies for resettlement of population.

•Training paramilitary forces for security operations and ensuring continuous support for these forces.

            •Detailed integration of combat support and combat service support functions (especially aerial supply) into all tactical planning.

•Judicious application of the minimum destruction concept in view of the overriding requirements to minimize alienating the population. (For example, bringing artillery or air power to bear on a area from which sniper fire was received may neutralize insurgent action but will alienate the civilian population as a result of casualties among noncombatants.)

 •Consideration of the use of all means of mobility, to include aircraft, tracked and wheeled vehicles, boats, animals, and porters.

 •Providing for the rapid collection and dissemination of all available information and intelligence so that counterinsurgency forces can take immediate action to destroy fast moving insurgents.

Leaders Checklist for Counterinsurgency Operations

Small units handle local counterinsurgency operations most effectively. These small units are usually company sized, operating within a community or group of communities to find, fix, and destroy the insurgents. When these companies are habitually associated with a particular community, they can develop the intelligence necessary to identify and destroy the insurgents. Harassment operations may assist in locating and fixing insurgents. Operations of this type will prevent insurgents from resting and reorganizing, will inflict casualties, aid in gaining detailed knowledge of the AO, and cause insurgents to expend their limited resources. When an insurgent force has been located, every attempt to encircle the force should be made, even if piecemeal deployment is required. Normally, such operations require that the counterinsurgency force be much larger than the insurgent force Company commanders can call on support from their next higher headquarters that also maintains a company reserve element. Platoons are assigned AOs, with one platoon in reserve. Platoons teach locals how to protect their communities. Squads run training programs.

The American way of war has been to sub stitute firepower for manpower. As a result, US forces have frequently resorted to firepower in the form of artillery or air any time they make contact. This creates two negatives in acounterinsurgency. First, massive firepower causes collateral damage, thereby frequently driving the locals into the arms of the insurgents. Second, it allows insurgents to break contact after having inflicted casualties on friendly forces. A more effective method is to attack with ground forces to gain and maintain contact, with the goal of completely destroying the insurgent force. This tactic dictates that military forces become skilled in pursuits. The unit that makes the initial contact with the insurgent force requires rapid augmentation to maintain pressure against the fleeing force, envelop it, and destroy it. These augmentation (reaction) forces should be given the highest priority for use of available transport.


The pursuit force is organized into two elements, the direct pressure force and the encircling forces (includes blocking forces). The direct pressure force pursues and maintains constant offensive pressure on the enemy force as it withdraws. The encircling forces, employing superior mobility (preferably by using airmobile or airborne forces), conduct local envelopments (single or double) to cut off insurgent forces and destroy them


Area ambush is an effective offensive counterinsurgency technique. The area ambush consists of a primary ambush element that triggers the ambush and smaller supporting ambush groups that cover all likely routes of withdrawal. Once the ambush is triggered, the smaller ambush groups open fire as the insurgent force attempts to withdraw


            Defense is oriented on the location of the community or installation rather than upon the most favorable terrain. Since defense of the specific community or installation is paramount, plans for withdrawal to rearward positions are focused on retaining control of the community or installation.

Security and surveillance measures are coordinated for 24-hour operations. The provisions for perimeter defense are particularly applicable in defense of communities or installations against insurgent attack when regular counterinsurgency forces are conducting the defense.

            When using local paramilitary forces, training must instill the necessary confidence and ability to provide an effective defense for a community under attack until supporting forces are delivered or until reinforcements arrive.

By prearranged SOPs—to include communications, forces, and fire support—larger communities and the surrounding smaller ones mutually assist in the defense of one another until other support or reinforcements arrive. In areas where offensive operations have been conducted to eliminate insurgent control of the population, regular military forces are required to temporarily assume responsibility for security/defense of a liberated community until adequate local defenders can be trained and equipped.


All air and ground fire support elements within range of the route of the mounted col-umn take measures to ensure close and continuous fire support. Fire planning, to include registration, must be as complete as time allows. Continuous communications are essential to establish positive control in order to clear airspace and apply effects.

 Individual and unit SOPs for maneuver as responsive action and counterambush reaction include the following:

Pre-positioning of security elements along the route.

Possible use of airmobile hunter-killer teams.

      Assistance available from friendly units occupying positions along or adjacent to the route.


            Security for movement when dismounted presents several considerations that are different from security for mounted columns. These include the following:

Secrecy that may preclude air cover.

Restrictions on registration of artillery and the inability to plan targets when the route cannot be determined in advance.

Flank security is easier for dismounted movement, particularly if ground or air transportation can be used to position security elements.

Silent movement of dismounted columns, particularly at night, can allow security elements to locate ambush forces.

Extended formations that allow part of the column to be in position to maneuver against an ambush force that strikes a different part of the column.



The successful conduct of counterinsurgency operations relies on the willing support and cooperation of the populations directly involved. Greater priority and awareness is needed to understand the motivations of the parties involved in the conflict and the population as a whole. The understanding of the background and development of the conflict into which US forces are intervening is of particular significance. This requires a detailed understanding of the cultural environment and the human terrain in which the US forces will be operating and thereby places a heavy reliance on the use of HUMINT.

The commander requires intelligence about the enemy and the AO prior to engaging in operations. Intelligence assists commanders in visualizing their battlespace, knowing the enemy, organizing their forces, and controlling operations to achieve the desired tactical objectives or end state. Intelligence supports force protection by alerting the commander to emerging threats and assisting in security operations. Intelligence to support counterinsurgency

operations focuses on three areas:

Factors motivating the insurgency.

Appeal the insurgency holds for insurgents.

Organization, leadership, and key functionaries of the insurgency.

“Open-source intelligence” refers to the practice of drawing information from the news media and processing it into intelligence. It is an increasingly common practice among world intelligence organizations. The six categories of media and news sources providing open-source intelligence are—

Newspapers. Periodicals.

Military and other professional journals.

Internet web logs (commonly called “blogs.”

Visual media (primarily television).


Units engaged in counterinsurgency operations may face multiple threats. The commander must understand how enemies organize, equip, train, employ, and control their forces. Intelligence provides an understanding of the enemy, which assists in planning, preparing, and executing operations. Commanders must also understand their operational envi-ronment and its effects on both their own and enemy operations. The commander receives mission-oriented intelligence on enemy forces and the AO from the G-2/S-2. The G-2/S-2 depends upon the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) effort to collect and provide information on the enemy and AO.

One of the most significant contributions that intelligence can accomplish is to accurately predict future enemy events. Although a difficult task, predictive intelligence enables the commander and staff to anticipate key enemy events or actions and develop corresponding plans or counteractions. The most important purpose of intelligence is to enable decision making. Commanders receive the intelligence, understand it (because it is tailored to th commander’s requirements), and act on it. Through this doctrinal concept, intelligence drives operations.

The AO during counterinsurgency operations includes three primary components:

physical terrain and weather, society (socio-cultural, often referred to as the human terrain), and infrastructure. These components provide a structure for intelligence personnel to focus and organize to provide support to counterinsurgency operations. These entities are interdependent, not separate. These components enable the commanders to gain an in-depth understanding of their AO during counterinsurgency operations and provide a focus for the intelligence analyst.


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 operations.


Identify and depict those segments of the population that are friendly or unfriendly toward US 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 insurgents 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 perform 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 one combatant 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 when 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 aims 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 literature 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, a PSYOP 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 Qaeda 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 variety of collection methods, both passively and actively, to gather information to satisfy the commander’s intelligence requirements and cross-cue other intelligence disciplines

            During counterinsurgency operations, the most important information and intelligence will come from the population and those in direct contact with them—HUMINT. The quantity and 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 coordinates 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 elements of information that may be available.


            Imagery intelligence is intelligence derived from the exploitation of imagery collected by visual 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 cannot distinguish between insurgents masquerading as civilians and the general population. Additionally, imaging systems cannot see through buildings in built-up areas, so low-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 that 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 imagery 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 such 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 engine of 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, which can be useful when trying to determine if the enemy is shifting forces into or out of a specific 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 to obtain prior to deployment and are often critical to the initial planning stages of an operation.


Signals intelligence is a category of intelligence comprising either individually or in combination 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 routes within 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 flow along routes (especially foot trails that may be used to infiltrate and exfiltrate personnel and equipment 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 investigations and operations may cross-cue the other intelligence 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 threat vulnerability assessments that provide commanders and leaders with a comprehensive force 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 include 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



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



Surveillance. Reconnaissance.

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 in-tegrating HUMINT collectors and surveillance assets with the capabilities and tasks of limited ISR-assigned assets as well as integrating with interagency resources. Techniques must be 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 ISR 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.

Psychological Operations and Military Police Support

            Leaders must incorporate PSYOP and military police support into planning for counterinsurgency operations. PSYOP has an integral role in influencing behaviors and attitudes of friendly, neutral, and hostile target audiences. Tactical PSYOP teams often will accompany combat units that have close contact with indigenous personnel. Leaders must know how to use the PSYOP units effectively to enhance success of the mission. Military police assist commanders with area security, criminal investigations, maintaining law and order, and detaining prisoners or other personnel. Military police can also provide support to establish or enhance integrated police and penal systems, consistent with US law..


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 nonlethal 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.


Insurgents. To create dissension, disorganization, low morale, subversion, and defection

within insurgent forces. No single way exists to influence foreign targets deliberately.Planning stems from the viewpoint of those affected by a conflict. The sitting 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 sitting

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 groups inside and outside the country. 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 sitting government.

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

Projecting a favorable image of the sitting government of the United States.

Supporting defector programs.

Providing close and continuous PSYOP support to CMO.

Establishing local law enforcement command support of positive populace control and protection from insurgent activities.

Informing the international community of US military units intent and goodwill.

Passing instructions to the general populace.

Developing local law enforcement  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 powerful capability 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.


Military police forces provide a robust and dynamic combat capability during a counterinsurgency.Military police Soldiers possess the diverse mobility capabilities, lethality in weapons mix, and trained communications skills to operate in any environment. The actions of the 18th Military Police Brigade supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom demonstrate the diversity and flexibility of military police functions. These soldiers conducted over 24,000 combat patrols; processed over 3,600 enemy prisoners of war, detainees, and insurgents; confiscated over 7,500 weapons; and trained over 10,000 Iraqi police officers. Military police patrols came under direct or indirect attack over 300 times throughout the operation.

The five military police functions—maneuver and mobility support operations, area security, police intelligence operations, law and order, and internment/resettlement operations—

all apply to counterinsurgency operations.


Military police support counterinsurgency operations through maneuver and mobility

support operations in a variety of ways, to include—

Supporting straggler and displaced person operations.

Conducting route reconnaissance and surveillance missions.

Conducting main supply route regulation and enforcement operations (to include

checkpoints and roadblocks).


Military police operations within the area security function to support counterinsurgency may include—

Reconnaissance operations.

Conducting critical site, asset, and high-risk personnel security operations, to include security of high-value convoys (Class III or V).

Conducting combat patrols throughout the AO (to include cordon and search operations). The military police firepower, mobility and communications ability provide critical reconnaissance, information-collection, and response-force capabilities to the command.

            Military Police established the police intelligence collection and analsis council (PICAC) in support of TF Falcon 3B’s peacekeeping operations in Multinational Brigade (East), Kosovo. PICAC was a joint law enforcement forum with an exclusive membership of key leaders and decision makers that spanned across national and international law enforcement, security, and intelligence agencies, to include the UN Civilian Police, UN Border Police and UN Security; TF Falcon ACE chief, analyst, and targeter; CID commander and investigators; military police S-3 and S-2; and joint law enforcement intelligence and operations officers. The PICAC came together weekly for a fusion and targeting forum. The PICAC was responsible for the detention of over a dozen wanted felons, to include subjects of war crimes investigations. In fact, during one PICAC meeting, a civilian police investigator from the Kacanik municipality mentioned a criminal’s name in association with a known gang. The criminal had been convicted for attempted murder, had not served his term, and remained at large with no means to identify him. The TF Falcon ACE chief imme-diately phoned his office to crosscheck the criminal’s name in the ACE data-bases. TF Falcon ACE was able to provide a picture of the criminal during thatsame forum, enabling UN Civilian Police to identify and arrest the man the next day.


Police intelligence operations are a military police function that supports, enhances, and contributes to the commander’s force protection program, common operational picture, and situational understanding. The police intelligence operations function ensures that information collected during the conduct of other military police functions is provided as input to the intelligence collection effort and turned into action or reports. Military police gather information regarding threat, insurgent, and criminal groups for evaluation, assessment, targeting, and interdiction. Working closely with military intelligence personnel and turning the information into actionable intelligence products, military police conduct police intelligence operations through integrated patrols (both mounted and dismounted) and coordination with joint, interagency, and multinational assets. Military police patrols greatly assist in confirming or denying the commander’s critical information requirements.


            Military police perform a variety of functions in support of counterinsurgency:

Psychological Operations and Military Police Support

Law enforcement patrols throughout the AO, maintaining and assisting in stability and security operations.

The conduct of criminal investigations through coordination and synchronization of Criminal Investigation Division assets.

Military police are the ideal force for conducting crowd and riot control operations, including the extraction of leaders. Military police control antagonistic crowds engaged in rioting, looting, and demonstrating.

Military police are trained and equipped to assist in the training and mentoring of local police forces.


            Military police conduct internment and resettlement operations to maintain stability and security throughout the AO. Critical assets to the proper conduct and success of internment

and resettlement operations in a counterinsurgency environment are—

Staff judge advocate representatives.

Civil affairs.


Military intelligence.

Medical and dental.

Liaison with International Committee of the Red Cross.

Public affairs.

Religious representation.


Because of their contact with the local populace in counterinsurgency, military police must be aware of how they are perceived by the local culture. Military police must be trained to be cognizant of cultural differences that can have a negative impact on the PSYOP campaign.

There also must be clear lines of authority and responsibility established for military police guarding prisoners or detainees. Negative propaganda from mistreatment of prisoners or detainees can undermine US and local law enforement  credibility.


The Criminal Investigation Division Command investigates offenses committed against US forces or property, offenses committed by military personnel or civilians serving with US forces, or where there is a military interest. Its agents investigate violations of international agreements and the law of war. The command’s missions include—

Investigating and deterring serious crimes.

Conducting sensitive/serious investigations.

Collecting, analyzing, processing, and disseminating criminal intelligence.

Conducting protective-service operations for designated personnel.

Providing forensic-laboratory support.

Maintaining Army criminal records.

Enhancing the commander’s crime-prevention and force-protection programs.

Performing logistic security operations.


Military working dogs are a largely untapped resource. Dogs are trained in many skills, some of which can make a difference between success and failure of many combat missions. Dogs are trained for patrolling, searching buildings, scouting, or explosive detection. All of these skills compliment performing the five military police functions. The ability of dogs to detect an ambush and to find an explosive device planted by insurgents can be critical to the overall success of the mission. The use of military working dog teams to increase combat potential and enhance response shortages is limited only by a lack of training on how to employ dogs. Dogs cannot be used as a security measure against detainees. They can be used to reinforce security measures against penetration and attack by enemy forces. Some examples of employment techniques are—

Perimeter patrolling.

Main supply route patrolling.

Security of designated personnel, units, or facilities.

Use during checkpoints and roadblocks.

Enemy prisoner of war, detainee, and insurgent control.

Mine and tunnel detection.

Area reconnaissance operations.


            This section addresses convoy operations in a counterinsurgency environment. Convoys are planned and organized to control and protect vehicle movements. They are used for the tactical movement (personnel, supplies, and equipment) of combat forces and logistic units. Movements made during a counterinsurgency operation face a variety of potential threats, including local individuals, IEDs, and insurgents. Leaders continually assess the insurgents’ tactics and implement measures to counter them. Soldiers conducting movement security operations remain vigilant at all times.


Active patrolling and interaction with the local populace can alert US, and local law enforcement 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 local law enforcement 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 local law enforcement  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 local law enforcement 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 and 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 can 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 mobs 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


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.


TPTs using loudspeakers can help control crowds and defuse potentially hostile situations.

TPT members may be assigned as members of a planned quick reaction force or take part on the spur of the moment. In any case, proper planning, and a clear situational understanding are important to properly using TPTs.

The TPT leader assesses the situation by gathering as much information about the situation as quickly as possible. The clearer the leader’s situational understanding, the more effectively the plan can be developed, prepared for, and executed. Use the supported unit and intelligence assets to find out what friendly units are in the area and use them to gather specific information. These assets may be ODAs, or military police. The following are examples of the type of information that should be gathered during planning:

Location of the crowd.

Size of crowd.

Known potential key communicators.


Are weapons present? If so, what types?

Apparent grievance.

Stated goals of the crowd.

During the initial stages of the disturbance the team monitors and attempts to identify facts and validate assumptions about the crowd. The TPT uses the following questions as a guide to gain as complete an understanding as possible of the disturbance:

Identify the key communicators or lead agitator. What is his or her message?

What is the general attitude or behavior of the group?

How many people are present in the group?

What are the demographics of the group (age and gender)?

What is the cultural composition of the group?

Health Considerations, Movement Security, and Civil Disturbances

            How are they moving (mounted or dismounted)?

            Are signs or banners present and, if so, what is the message?

            Is there any media on site? If so, whom do they represent?

            Are there any weapons present?

            Who else is present at the location (police, elected public officials, nongovernmental organizations, civil affairs elements, or other organizations)? Do you have the officials’

cell phone numbers?

            Is the crowd from that community or have they come from another locale? If from another locale, where, why and how?

            How did the people know or hear about the gathering, rally, or demonstration?

            What are their stated objectives or underlying grievances for the event?

            When the commander directs the TPT to broadcast in this environment, the team ad-heres

to the following guidelines:

            Give simple directions that are clear and concise.

            Always maintain composure.

            When constructing messages, avoid using the word “please” so the team does not display a passive appearance.

            Do not issue ultimatums that are not approved by the commander.

            If the commander does approve an ultimatum, ensure that the crowd has time to conform to its conditions.

            Ensure the supported commander is prepared to act upon the ultimatum, should the crowd fail to respond favorably.

            Use approved lines of persuasion when possible. Conduct impromptu broadcasting only as a last resort.

            Always rehearse with the translator prior to going “live” unless the situation makes this absolutely impossible.

            Ensure the gender and other social aspects of the translator are credible in the eyes of the crowd.

            Always attempt to pick a broadcast position that communicates effectively with the crowd and does not compromise the security of the team.

            Direct the broadcast toward the primary agitators.

            Limit the volume of the broadcast so as not to be overbearing, and do not harass the crowd as this may only exacerbate the situation.

            The team maintains communication with the supported commander or his or her representative on the ground throughout the situation. The team leader also ensures PSYOP-relevant, HUMINT, and priority intelligence requirement information are forwarded through appropriate channels.


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 formations, 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 situation 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 have 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 property.

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


Dispersal may result in a crowd breaking into multiple groups, causing greater problems 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:

Health Considerations, Movement Security, and Civil Disturbances

            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.

            Establish command relationships and the authority to fire nonlethal weapons munitions.

            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-lethal munitions. 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 and will be maintained. Disperse peaceably and leave this area. To avoid possible injury, leave at once. 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 tolerated. 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 further 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.


            There 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 insurgents) 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 to possible crowd reactions to their use.

Nonlethal weapons should not be deployed without political-military consideration for instructions that may be given.

Civil-Military Operations Assessment Checklist


Obtain a map of the area or the community. If no map is available, draw one to scale.

Indicate road networks (include main and secondary roads).

Show location of such important places as religious institutions, schools, community halls, and marketplaces.

Indicate distances to adjacent communities.

Describe what determines the center of the community and what factors are most important in giving the community its identification.

Describe the relation of the community as to the political, trade, school, and religious areas with that of the adjoining communities.

Describe the weather and terrain features directly affecting the location or life of the community.


Identify important people and events in the community’s history. Consider the following:

Natural crises in the history of the community.

First settlement.

Incidents giving rise to conflicts or cooperation in the community.

Immigration and emigration.

Outstanding leaders and famous citizens in the community.

Prior interaction with foreign militaries.


Obtain the following information:


Common occupations of inhabitants.

Ethnic groups present, if applicable.


Determine how inhabitants, groups, organizations, and governmental entities communicate  within the community and with other communities. Consider the following:

Transportation (roads, water, rail, air).

Electronic (telephones, television, radio, internet, telegraph).

Printed material (newspaper, posters, magazines).

Mail facilities.

Connections with other communities.

Degree of self-sufficiency or isolation.


Determine the groups or individuals that are independent of the local government; for example, groups or individuals directly responsible to an outside or higher government. Determine the effects they have on the community. Determine the attitude of the local citizens toward these individuals.


Consider the following factors when assessing the economic situation:

Natural resources.

Industries. Agriculture.

Crops and products, markets, ownership, and tenancy.

Who are the landlords?

Are they in the community or absentees?

Are there any local merchants? What is their influence on the community?

Professional (teachers, doctors, ministers).

Credit associations and their relations to the community.

Relative economic status of the people (debt, savings, taxes).


Consider the following factors when assessing the economic situation:

Number, make-up, attitude, and membership of each religion/sect.

Buildings and equipment.

Schools run by religious institutions.

Relationship of each religion/sect with the others. Do they clash or cooperate?


Consider the following factors when assessing the influence of educational organizations:

Schools (number, size, territory served, buildings, equipment, libraries, and administrative structure).

History (how and by whom were the schools constructed?)

School activities and relation to the community.


Consider the following factors when assessing the influence of voluntary organizations:

Number, types, composition of membership, equipment, activities, and relation to

other phases of community life.

Farmers’ co-ops (4-H-type organizations, home economic organizations).

Other occupational groups.


Consider the following factors when assessing the influence of recreational facilities:

Civil-Military Operations Assessment Checklist

Organizations for recreation (community buildings, athletic clubs, soccer teams, ball fields and courts).

            Traditional forms of and local attitudes toward recreation needs.


Consider the following factors when assessing the health and health care situation:

Physicians, health workers, nurses.

Public and private health organizations, national and international (hospitals, dispensaries, clinics, school health program).

Health status of the people.

Prevalence, incidence, and types of diseases.


Consider the following factors when assessing the political situation:

Political structure and government (solidarity or strife and causes).

Dominant personalities.


Consider the following factors when assessing the influence of community activities,

customs, and ideals:

Community events other than religious observances.

Community customs or traditions (taboos or social disapprovals)?

Activity characteristics and pastimes.

Community attitudes on all types of progress?


Consider the following factors when assessing the leadership situation:

Dominant leaders. Family control.

Is leadership representative, democratic, or autocratic?

What is being done by whom to develop new leaders?

Attitude of people toward old and new leaders.

Motivation—politics, religion, economic power, prestige, or a combination of these?


Consider the following factors when assessing the community organization:

What is being done to integrate the community?

What are the needs for community organizations?


Consider the following factors when assessing the status of law and order:

Organization and capabilities of law enforcement agencies.

Police techniques.

Crime rate and trends.



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 economic intelligence. Principles that apply to a population and resources control operation


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 with special attention given to around-the-clock security, intelligence collection, PSYOP and civil affairs.Include local law enforcement 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 planning 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.


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 with crew-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, and local law enforcement 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 purposes.

            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 teachers) must 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 buys 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 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 block and 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 visitors in the block? Where are they from, and whom 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.


            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.

•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 and carried at all times

•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.

   •It shall be strictly forbidden to make or fly any kind of radio controlled aircraft, under penalty of law.

•The possession or wearing of any garment or covering designed to deflect infrared observation shall be prohibited by law.

Population and Resources Control

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

Coordinate use of police and military units as backups.

Increase intelligence and PSYOP activities.


Military police support the commander and civil affairs personnel in conducting population and resources control operations during counterinsurgency missions. These operations

may consist of—

Enforcing movement restrictions and curfews.

Resettling dislocated refugees.

MSR regulation and enforcement.

Amnesty programs.

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 law enforcement agencies during this process.

Military police training, firepower, and mobility, coupled with their interface with and 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, vehicles, and materiel, and prevent actions that aid the enemy. During counterinsurgency operations, checkpoints and roadblocks assist the commander in maintaining the initiative against the insurgents by disrupting, interfering with, and deterring insurgent operations, and disrupting the insurgents’ decision making cycle. It is important to conduct checkpoints and roadblocks with locl law enforcement, or other security forces.

            When conducting checkpoint operations, soldiers need the following support:

Engineers to build obstacles and barriers to channel traffic.

Local law enforcement units

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 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 insurgents.

            Lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom indicate checkpoints lasting over 72 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).

            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 the 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 knowingly carried 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 in 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 duration.

            One technique is the maximum use of organic vehicles to serve as additional security and 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 conducting 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 the site is attacked.

Soldiers establish hasty checkpoints where they cannot be seen by approaching traffic until 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. 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 maintain 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 search area should provide blast protection for the surrounding area.

Personnel Searches

            Personnel searches are only conducted when proper authorization has been obtained

per the ROE, HN agreements, or status of forces agreement. Planning considerations are—

            Plan for same-gender searches.

Local police, whenever possible, should conduct or at least observe searches of local residents.

Preserve the respect and dignity of the individual.

            Consider local customs.

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,

other 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.

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 local police 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 for no apparent reason or media representatives waiting for an event are all indicators that something may happen.

Use artificial illumination for night operations.

If local law enforcement 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 to avoid 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.


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 roadblock 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 covering 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 intelligence and tactical indications and warning). You will notice a different slant from the news at home (observed in Bosnia and Haiti).

            Identify and listen to what influential local leaders say in public and compare it to their actions in private. These people are leaders in political, government, criminal, ethnic, religious, and family realms. It is important to live with the local people and listen to what they are also saying.

            Infrastructure protection and repair/rehabilitation (for example, electrical power and water, electrical pole repair teams) are critical both for improving the populations’ physical well-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 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 and money thefts, and International Red Cross representatives observed in the area when they are not otherwise present (Bosnia and Haiti).

            In urban areas, monitor electric power usage and telephone records. Deviations from normal usage may indicate terrorist activity (United Kingdom Royal Marine observation in Northern Ireland).

Order of Battle Factors

 During counterinsurgency operations, the nature of the threat requires order of battle intelligence be produced in greater detail than is found in conventional operations. All larger organizations must be analyzed, mapped-out, and understood. Often the focus starts with individuals or cells. However, order of battle development should not be linear. An insurgency’s “foot soldiers” are often easily identified and analyzed due to their more public exposure. However, it is paramount to identify the leaders and their relationships at all levels to accurately establish an initial order of battle. In counterinsurgency operations, the categories of personalities, culture, and internal organizational processes are added to the usual list of order of battle factors that are studied from the same perspective as in conventional warfare and include—

Composition. Disposition. Strength.

Tactics and operations.


Logistics support.

Combat effectiveness.

Electronic technical data.


Miscellaneous data.


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 sitting  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.



Personality is a critical factor when conducting counterinsurgency operations. Attention must be focused on individuals and leaders. Insurgent organizational diagrams can be built through multidimensional link analysis (determining relationships between critical personalities and then their group associations). This applies to virtually any threat representedin counterinsurgency operations. Once relationships and the level of contact or knowledge the personalities have are known, many of their activities can be determined. Personality files include, but are not limited to—

Leaders (political, ideological, religious, military).

Staff members.

Organization’s spokesperson.

Family members (immediate and extended).

Previous experience and skill training in professional disciplines, trades, and specialties.

Media manipulation personnel and PSYOP campaign personnel.

Trainers.Code names and nicknames.

      Leaders on the ground must understand the political and physical strengths and weaknesses of the insurgent leadership and how best to exploit those weaknesses. Considerations include—

Who are the leaders? Is there a single, dominant, charismatic leader?

Is the leadership highly dedicated to an ideology?

Are the leaders committed to a specific organizational and operational pattern?

Are there differences of opinion among leaders as to purpose and methods? Will a schism or other event occur as a result?

What is the relationship between the leadership and the operational and support elements? Are decisions made centralized or decentralized?

What is the decision making process of the insurgent leadership? Are decisions made centralized or decentralized?

General Activities

•Identification of agitators, insurgents, militias or criminal organizations, their supporters, and sympathizers who suddenly appear, in, or move out of, an area.

•Emergence of new leaders among the population.

•New faces in a 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 indigenous disaffected groups, particularly those hostile to the United States or the current intervention.

            •Increase in neighboring countries of staff and activities at embassies or consulates of countries associated 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 countries.

            •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 groups.

•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 robberies 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


•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 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 sitting 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 sitting 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 Law Enforcement

            •Spreading accusations that the 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 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 from 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, such as ammonium nitrate fertilizer, 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 centers.

•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.


Detainee operations are resource intensive and highly sensitive. Holding detainees longer 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.

            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),  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


•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


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 confrontation areas 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.


.           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


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 information for other person, such as civil authority, present during the detention.

            Any information the detainee volunteers.



 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 restraints are 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 the cord 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 to wrap the tape based on the detainee’s strength and size and the width of the tape.

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.




1. References

2. Responsibilities

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