TBR News May 29, 2020

May 29 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. May 29, 2020: Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the plac e to discuss it.”
Comment for May 29, 2020:”Trump has a problem with his mouth:he can’t keep it shut. After threatening dispised blacks and black supporters with police/Army shootings, no doubt he will be ordering all cats and dogs in America executed or pictures of Hitler put up in schools across the country. People like Trump don’t know how to go away peacefully but with a little help, they can be forced out. Voting is the best but he has stated that regardless of the vote, he will not leave the White House. We shall see.”

The Table of Contents
• Trump move could scrap or weaken law that protects social media companies
• Trump threatens to unleash gunfire on Minnesota protesters
• George Floyd: Protesters set Minneapolis police station ablaze
• Shots fired at Denver protest over George Floyd as protesters block freeway
• Twitter Restricts Access to Trump’s Threat to Shoot Minneapolis Protesters
• Police against black Americans
• Trump and the Numbers Game
• US to Supply Border Military units with Deadly Laser Weapons: “Zap…You’re Blind Buddy.”
• DoD Domestic Military Order-Counterinsurgency Overview

Trump move could scrap or weaken law that protects social media companies
May 28, 2020
by Nandita Bose and Jeff Mason
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said he will introduce legislation that may scrap or weaken a law that has protected internet companies, including Twitter and Facebook, in an extraordinary attempt to intervene in the media.
Trump signed an executive order on Thursday afternoon after attacking Twitter for tagging his tweets for the first time about unsubstantiated claims of fraud about mail-in voting with a warning prompting readers to fact-check the posts.
In addition, Trump said his administration may “remove or change” a provision of a law known as section 230 that shields social media companies from liability for content posted by their users.
Trump said U.S. Attorney General William Barr will begin drafting legislation “immediately” to regulate social media companies.
On Wednesday, Reuters reported the White House’s plan to modify Section 230 based on a copy of a draft executive order that experts said was unlikely to survive legal scrutiny.
“What I think we can say is we’re going to regulate it,” Trump said at the signing of the order.
“I’ve been called by Democrats that want to do this, so I think you could possibly have a bipartisan situation,” said Republican Trump, who is running for re-election in the Nov. 3 vote.
Facebook and Twitter did not comment on the executive order.
Trump’s remarks and the draft order, as written, attempts to circumvent Congress and the courts in directing changes to long-established interpretations of Section 230. It represents his latest attempt to use the tools of the presidency to force private companies to change policies that he believes are not favorable to him.
“In terms of presidential efforts to limit critical commentary about themselves, I think one would have to go back to the Sedition Act of 1798 – which made it illegal to say false things about the president and certain other public officials – to find an attack supposedly rooted in law by a president on any entity which comments or prints comments about public issues and public people,” said First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams.
Others like Jack Balkin, a Yale University constitutional law professor said “The president is trying to frighten, coerce, scare, cajole social media companies to leave him alone and not do what Twitter has just done to him.”
Twitter’s shares were down 4.4% on Thursday. Facebook was down 1.7 percent and Google parent Alphabet Inc was up slightly.
Trump, who uses Twitter virtually every day to promote his policies and insult his opponents, has long claimed without evidence that the site is biased in favor of Democrats. He and his supporters have leveled the same unsubstantiated charges against Facebook, which Trump’s presidential campaign uses heavily as an advertising vehicle.
On Thursday, Trump said there is nothing he would rather do than get rid of his Twitter account but he had to keep it in order to circumvent the press and get his version of events to millions of followers.
The protections of Section 230 have often been under fire for different reasons from lawmakers including Big Tech critic Senator Josh Hawley. Critics argue that they give internet companies a free pass on things like hate speech and content that supports terror organizations.
Social media companies have been under pressure from many quarters, both in the United States and other countries, to better control misinformation and harmful content on their services.
Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said on the company’s website late Wednesday that the president’s tweets “may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot. Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves.”
On Wednesday evening, Twitter continued to add fact-checking labels and ‘manipulated media’ labels on hundreds of tweets.
Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice, a trade group that counts Twitter, Facebook and Google among its members, said the proposed executive order “is trampling the First Amendment by threatening the fundamental free speech rights of social media platforms.”
Reporting by Nandita Bose, David Shepardson, Alexandra Alper and Jeff Mason in Washington, Additional reporting by Elizabeth Culliford in Birmingham, England; Susan Cornwell and Susan Heavey in Washington and Karen Freifeld in New York ; Edited by Nick Zieminski and Grant McCool

Trump threatens to unleash gunfire on Minnesota protesters
The president’s tweet earned a warning label from Twitter for violating its policies on “glorifying violence.”
May 29, 2020
by Quint Forgey
President Donald Trump on Friday appeared to urge the shooting of looters in Minnesota, bursting into a volatile national debate over the death of an African-American man in police custody and issuing an online provocation against U.S. citizens so extraordinary it was partially obscured by Twitter.
“I can’t stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis. A total lack of leadership. Either the very weak Radical Left Mayor, Jacob Frey, get his act together and bring the City under control, or I will send in the National Guard & get the job done right,” Trump tweeted minutes before 1 a.m.
In the second part of his message, Trump tweeted: “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
The president’s early morning post, which came at the end of the third day of raging protests in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, earned a warning label from Twitter for violating its policies on “glorifying violence.” But the popular social media platform “determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible,” and allowed users to view Trump’s tweet if they chose. Twitter’s communications team also tweeted it had “placed a public interest notice” on the post in part due to the “risk it could inspire similar actions today.”
The arrest Monday and death hours later of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, sparked national outrage and demonstrations across the country after a bystander’s video of his encounter with Minneapolis police showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he repeatedly pleads for air, eventually becomes motionless and is put onto a gurney by paramedics.
Dozens of businesses across the Twin Cities boarded up their storefronts Thursday to prevent looting, while Minneapolis-based Target announced it was temporarily closing two dozen area stores and the city shut down nearly its entire light-rail system and all bus service through Sunday. By nightfall, protesters had set fire to the 3rd Precinct Minneapolis police station — which covers the portion of south Minneapolis where Floyd was arrested — forcing the department to abandon the building.
Frey, the Minneapolis mayor, announced Tuesday the firings of the four officers involved in the arrest, and called Wednesday for criminal charges to be brought against Derek Chauvin, the officer who immobilized Floyd.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Friday he had “every expectation” charges will be filed by the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office and defended the caution with which he said local prosecutors were approaching the case.
“They want to make sure they have a case that sticks, and unfortunately that is taking more time than anyone of us want,” he told CNN, adding: “We are pushing to get those charges filed as soon as we can.”
Walz, the Minnesota governor, activated the National Guard at Frey’s request Thursday, but no Guard members could be seen during protests in the Twin Cities. It is unclear whether Trump knew of Walz’s decision to call in the Guard at the time he posted his tweet Friday morning, but the president nevertheless is empowered to bring the military reserve force under federal command at any time by formally placing its members on active duty.
The president’s latest comments on the events in Minneapolis are a stark reversal from his previous tone on the matter: He weighed in Wednesday on the “very sad and tragic death in Minnesota of George Floyd,” tweeting that he had requested an FBI and Justice Department investigation into the matter “to be expedited” and vowing: “Justice will be served!”
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters at a news briefing Thursday that the president was being briefed on the situation by Attorney General William Barr and the deputy director of the FBI, and went on to describe Trump’s reaction to the viral video of Floyd’s arrest. “He was very upset by it. It was egregious, appalling, tragic,” she said.
Floyd’s death came just weeks after a video of the fatal February shooting of a black man in Georgia, 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, began circulating widely on social media. That footage provoked a similar uproar among Americans, and the president described it earlier this month as “very, very disturbing” to watch. He added that “law enforcement is going to look at” the incident and predicted Gov. Brian Kemp was “going to do what’s right.”
Despite his recent comments and public calls for further investigation of the pair of high-profile cases, Trump’s incendiary tweets Friday could chip away at whatever gains his reelection campaign has sought to make with the African-American voters ahead of November. The president has often promoted his administration’s backing of a criminal justice bill he signed in 2018 as evidence of his commitment to the black community, and argued that Democrats take support from African-Americans for granted. “What the hell do you have to lose?” he controversially asked in 2016, imploring African Americans to abandon Democrats and support his first White House bid.
However, Trump’s warning Friday that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” echoed a more infamous historical predicate: Miami Police Chief Walter Headley reportedly uttered the same phrase at a December 1967 news conference. A federal task force concluded his words contributed to the escalated local tensions that resulted in a deadly, three-day riot the following summer coinciding with the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach — where former Vice President Richard Nixon was nominated as the party’s candidate for president.
Twitter has now altered in some form three of Trump’s tweets in recent days, flagging with fact-check warnings two posts Tuesday that falsely claimed mail-in ballots are likely to be “substantially fraudulent.” The company’s first-of-its-kind intervention on the president’s preferred social media feed elicited days of fury from the White House, culminating in an executive order Thursday seeking to limit the scope of a 1996 law that shields tech companies from many lawsuits.
On Friday morning, Trump again attacked Twitter after it labeled his tweet regarding the Minnesota protests, writing that the platform “is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party. They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States. Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!” The federal statute Trump referenced provides legal protections that safeguard online companies from libel suits and other litigation.
Dan Scavino, one of Trump’s longest-serving aides and the White House’s deputy chief of staff for communications, also defended his boss online. “Twitter is targeting the President of the United States 24/7, while turning their heads to protest organizers who are planning, plotting, and communicating their next moves daily on this very platform. Twitter is full of shit – more and more people are beginning to get it,” he tweeted.
The White House Twitter feed, run by Scavino, also reposted the original Trump tweet that was shielded from users.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

George Floyd: Protesters set Minneapolis police station ablaze
May 29, 2020
BBC News
A police station in Minneapolis has been set alight during a third night of protests over the death of an unarmed black man in custody on Monday.
A police officer was filmed kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, 46, despite him saying he could not breathe.
President Donald Trump said “thugs” were dishonouring his memory and called on the National Guard to restore order.
The incident has added to anger over police killings of black Americans, including Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.
Mr Floyd’s family have demanded that the four police officers implicated in his death face murder charges. Prosecutors have said they are still gathering evidence
A CNN journalist, Omar Jimenez, and his camera crew were arrested live on air by Minnesota state police officers on Friday morning, apparently because they did not move on when instructed.
The team was released an hour later, after the governor apologised for the arrest.
There have also been demonstrations in other US cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix and Memphis.
Twitter accused Mr Trump of glorifying violence in a post that said: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
What is the latest in Minneapolis?
In the last few days, buildings have been burned to the ground or looted.
On Thursday, protesters gathered outside the police department’s 3rd Precinct, the epicentre of the unrest.
Officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the crowd. But the cordon around the police station, which is near where Mr Floyd died, was breached by protesters, who set fire to it and two other nearby buildings as the officers withdrew.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said there had been no choice but to evacuate the police station, adding: “The symbolism of a building cannot outweigh the importance of life, of our officers or the public.”
He called the unrest “unacceptable”, but added that he and everyone else recognised there was “a lot of pain and anger”.
He spoke after a tweet from President Donald Trump blamed Thursday’s violence on a “lack of leadership” in Minneapolis and warned that he would send in the National Guard and “get the job done right” if Mr Frey failed to restore order.
National Guard personnel are normally under state control, although they can be put under federal control in emergencies.
Mr Trump also tweeted: “Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
Twitter placed a “public interest notice” on the message, saying it “violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions”.
The historical context arises from riots in Miami in 1968. A federal task force found that the use of the phrase about looting by the Miami police chief at the time was a prime factor in the discontent that triggered the unrest.
On Friday, the White House Twitter account also quoted the president’s tweet on looting and shooting.
Twitter flagged two of the president’s posts as potentially misleading earlier this week, prompting him to issue an executive order seeking to limit the legal immunity of social media firms.
Before the police station was set ablaze, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz had activated the state’s National Guard troops at the request of the mayors of Minneapolis and the neighbouring city of St Paul, declaring the situation a “peacetime emergency”.
He said the looting, vandalism and arson of Wednesday night had resulted in damage to many businesses, including ones owned by minorities.
“George Floyd’s death should lead to justice and systemic change, not more death and destruction,” he said in a statement, calling on all protests to remain peaceful.
What has been the reaction?
Mayor Frey called on Wednesday for criminal charges against the policeman who was filmed pinning down Mr Floyd. The officer and three others involved in the arrest have already been fired.
Mr Floyd’s brother, Philonise, told CNN on Thursday: “I’m never gonna get my brother back.”
Speaking through tears, he said the officers who “executed my brother in broad daylight” must be arrested and that he was “tired of seeing black men die”.
United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has also condemned Mr Floyd’s death, saying the role of “entrenched and pervasive racial discrimination” must be recognised and dealt with.
President Donald Trump “was very upset” when he saw the footage of Mr Floyd’s death, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Thursday. “He wants justice to be served,” she added.
A number of celebrities and athletes, including John Boyega, LeBron James, Beyonce, and Justin Bieber, have also expressed outrage over the incident.
The incident echoes the case of Eric Garner, who was placed in a police chokehold in New York in 2014. His death became a rallying cry against police brutality and a catalyst in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Where else have there been protests?
People also took to the streets in Minneapolis’ twin city, St Paul, on Thursday, where police said multiple fires had been reported.
There were also chaotic scenes during rallies in Denver, Colorado and in Columbus, Ohio.
The statehouse in Denver was put under lockdown after gunfire was heard, while in Columbus demonstrators reportedly broke some of the statehouse’s windows before being dispersed by police.
Seven people were also shot in Louisville, Kentucky, at a protest over the death of Breonna Taylor, who was shot by three white police officers in March.
What happened to George Floyd?
Officers responding to reports of the use of counterfeit money approached Mr Floyd in his vehicle on Monday.
According to police, he was told to step away from the car, physically resisted officers and was handcuffed. The police statement noted his apparent “medical distress”.
Video of the incident does not show how the confrontation started.
A white officer can be seen using his knee to pin Mr Floyd to the ground by the neck as Mr Floyd groans “please, I can’t breathe” and “don’t kill me”.
The city has identified the four officers involved as Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J Alexander Kueng.
Local media have named Mr Chauvin as the officer seen with his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck.
The Minneapolis Police Officers’ Federation said the officers were co-operating with the investigation. “We must review all video. We must wait for the medical examiner’s report,” it said in a statement.

Shots fired at Denver protest over George Floyd as protesters block freeway
Shooting reported near capitol but no immediate injuries as mayor calls on demonstrators to ‘leave weapons at home’
May 28, 2020
Shots were fired and protesters blocked traffic and smashed car windows during a demonstration in downtown Denver to protest the death of a George Floyd. There were no immediate reports of injuries.
Gary Cutler, a spokesman for the Colorado state patrol, said the shooting happened in a park across the street from the capitol. Most of the protesters already had left the area and were marching downtown.
Cutler said the capitol building was locked down, and everyone inside was safe.
State representative Leslie Herod, who was at the capitol, tweeted, “We just got shot at.” Police said they did not know if the protesters were being targeted.
“We do believe that the shots were towards the capitol, but we do not at this point have any correlation to the protest or the protesters,” the police spokesman, Kurt Barnes, told the Denver Post.
He said about six or seven shots were fired, and no one had been arrested.
“I want to plead to everyone, let’s demonstrate but let’s demonstrate peacefully,” Michael Hancock, Denver’s mayor, said in a video posted on Twitter. “Leave the weapons at home.”
Several hundred protesters had gathered to call for justice following the death of Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis on Monday after an officer knelt on his neck for almost eight minutes. In footage recorded by a bystander, Floyd pleaded that he couldn’t breathe.
Some among the Denver protesters carried signs reading “Black Lives Matter” and chanted, “Hey, hey. Ho, ho. Racist police got to go.”
They marched through downtown Denver, snarling traffic. Aerial footage showed protesters briefly blocking traffic from moving on Interstate 25 in both directions before swarming back through the downtown streets outside the Capitol. Police fired teargas to get them to move off of the interstate, the Denver Post reported.
Aerial footage showed several protesters smashing the windows out of at least two vehicles parked outside the capitol, and others spray-painted graffiti on the capitol steps.
As the protest started, the Denver police department tweeted a message from Chief Paul Pazen sending condolences to Floyd’s family and saying the city’s officers do not use the tactics employed by the Minneapolis officers. He called that type of force “inexcusable”.
Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired, and the mayor has called for the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck to be criminally charged.
The death has led to protests in Minneapolis and demonstrations in other cities, including Los Angeles.

Twitter Restricts Access to Trump’s Threat to Shoot Minneapolis Protesters
May 29, 2020
by Robert Mackey
The Intercept
Donald Trump’s bloodthirsty threat to have protesters in Minneapolis shot by the military, issued in a tweet early Friday morning, prompted Twitter to restrict access to the president’s message, ruling that it violated the social network’s policy against “glorifying violence.”
In the tweet, posted just before 1 a.m. Eastern Time, Trump first wrote that “THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd,” the black man whose killing on Monday by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his throat as he gasped for air has prompted protests and rage. The president then threatened to have soldiers open fire unless local authorities in Minneapolis regain control, adding, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
The tweet was soon covered by an initial warning message, which said the president’s comments violated the platform’s rules, but had not been removed because “it may be in the public’s interest” to be able to read them.
As Twitter noted in its explanation of why it had added “a public interest notice” to the tweet, that last phrase was even uglier to older Americans who might remember where they first heard it. The words were spoken in 1967 by Walter Headley, a racist Miami police chief, who told reporters that his officers would open fire if looting broke out in the city’s predominantly black Liberty City neighborhood.
Headley repeated the phrase the following year when protests in Liberty City devolved into riots during that summer’s Republican National Convention in Miami, which nominated Richard Nixon for the presidency. The protests were prompted, in part, by anger over Headley’s “stop and frisk” policy targeting black citizens and his preference for “shotguns and dogs” in the policing of a community demanding civil rights.
Trump’s reference to Headley’s comments was unlikely to have been accidental. In 2016, Trump told a New York Times reporter that his own acceptance speech was inspired by Nixon’s in 1968. “I think what Nixon understood is that when the world is falling apart, people want a strong leader whose highest priority is protecting America first,” Trump said. “The 60s were bad, really bad. And it’s really bad now. Americans feel like it’s chaos again.”
“This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today,” the company said in a thread explaining its decision. “We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance.”
In line with Twitter’s policy on tweets that it would have removed from the platform but for the public interest exception, the company added that “engagements with the Tweet will be limited. People will be able to Retweet with Comment, but will not be able to Like, Reply or Retweet it.”
The mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, was asked to respond to the president’s tweet, and an earlier one calling him “very weak,” at a news conference early on Friday.
Frey shook his head in disbelief as the tweets were read to him.
“Well, let me say this,” Frey responded. “Weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions. Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell. Is this a difficult time period? Yes. But you better be damn sure that we’re going to get through this.”
Twitter’s decision to draw a line for Trump came just hours after he issued an executive order threatening to make it easier for users to file lawsuits against the company for perceived political bias. The order was a transparent act of retaliation against the company for having appended a fact-checking note to a tweet in which Trump made a range of false claims about plans for California to make it easier for registered voters to vote by mail during the ongoing pandemic.
Jameel Jaffer, the executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, told Adweek that the executive order itself violated the First Amendment because it was an act of government retaliation. “The order was born unconstitutional because it was issued in retaliation for Twitter’s fact-checking of President Trump’s tweets,” Jaffer said.
Jaffer’s colleague Katie Fallow, a senior attorney at the First Amendment Institute, noted that unusual language that appeared to have been added to the order without much review, “make the retaliatory motive even clearer.”
“Twitter now selectively decides to place a warning label on certain tweets in a manner that clearly reflects political bias,” one part of the order reads. “As has been reported, Twitter seems never to have placed such a label on another politician’s tweet.”
What’s odd, as Fallow notes, is that the order references “another politician” without saying that the first politician it is concerned with here is Trump, although that is quite clear from the context. Another less than subtle hint is that the order throws in a gratuitous attack on the company’s failure to label tweets by Rep. Adam Schiff, who led the impeachment of Trump, in which he supposedly “mislead his followers by peddling the long-disproved Russian Collusion Hoax, and Twitter did not flag those tweets.”

Police against black Americans
A database collected by The Guardian concluded that 1093 people in 2016 were killed by the police.
The rate of fatal police shootings per million was 10.13 for Native Americans, 6.6 for Black people, 3.23 for Hispanics; 2.9 for White people and 1.17 for Asians.
The database showed by total that white people, who make up 62% of the US population, were less frequently killed by police than any other race or ethnicity. According to the Washington Post database of police shootings, African Americans are 2.5 times as likely to be killed by a police officer than white people
A 2015 study found that unarmed blacks were 3.49 times more likely to be shot by police than were unarmed whites
Another study published in 2016 concluded that the mortality rate of legal interventions among Black and Hispanic people was 2.8 and 1.7 times higher than that among White people.
Another 2015 study concluded that black people were 2.8 times more likely to be killed by police than whites. They also concluded that black people were more likely to be unarmed than white people who were in turn more likely to be unarmed than Hispanic people shot by the police.

Trump and the Numbers Game
There were 56.5 million Hispanics in the United States in 2015, accounting for 17.6% of the total U.S. population.
The Hispanic Mexican population of the United States is projected to grow to 107 million by 2065.
The share of the U.S. population that is Hispanic has been steadily rising over the past half century. In 2015, Hispanics made up 17.6% of the total U.S. population, up from 3.5% in 1960, the origins of the nation’s Hispanic population have diversified as growing numbers of immigrants from other Latin American nations and Puerto Rico settled in the U.S.
For example, between 1930 and 1980, Hispanics from places other than Mexico nearly doubled their representation among U.S. Hispanics, from 22.4% to 40.6%. But with the arrival of large numbers of Mexican immigrants in the 1980s and 1990s, the Mexican share among Hispanics grew, rising to a recent peak of 65.7%.
California has the largest legal poplation of Mexicans, 14,013,719. And California is also home to almost 25% of the country’s undocumented population. California is followed by Texas where 31.14%,(8,500,000) are Mexican, Florida has 4,223,806 Mexicans, Illinois 2,153,000, Arizona,1,895,149, Colorado, 1,136,000 Georgia, 923,000, North Carolina, 890,000, and Washington, 858,000 Mexicans.
Given the fact that President Trump has strong personal dislikes for both Blacks and Latinos, manifest in his recent vicious treatment of Mexican immigrants in their legal attempts to immigrate to the United States, the sheer number of Mexicans now resident in the United States ought to give him, and his far-right Republican Congressional supporters serious pause in their denial of entrance for legal immigrant attempts and the subsequent brutal maltreatment of small children of these immigrants.
If the Mexican voting population of the United States were to organize, like the recent organizing of the black voting population of Alabma in opposition to the fanatical Judge Moore, the results in the November elections could well prove to be a stunning disaster for both Trump and the Republicans.
Numbers certainly count but Trump is obviously unaware of their potential danger, both to him and his right-wing radical supporters.
Trump should also note that there are 37,144,530 blacks resident in the United States, which comprise 12.1% of the population. This number increased to 42 million according to the 2010 United States Census, when including Multiracial African Americans, making up 14% of the total U.S. population.
It is not necessary to impeach Trump because the numbers are present that, with organization, can easily eject him from office in November.

US to Supply Border Military units with Deadly Laser Weapons: “Zap…You’re Blind Buddy.”
by Robert Ogilvy
Sources inside the Pentagon have confirmed that LDS or Laser Dazzle Sight weapons, now under manufacture in New Hampshire and Florida, have been shipped to a military base in southern Arizona for use against what the Pentagon claims are “armies of illegal aliens.”
These weapons are designed solely to permanently blind opponents by destroying their optic nerves. First developed by the British in 1990 by the British Ministry of Defense, Royal Signals and Radar Establishment (RSRE) in conjunction with the Admiralty Research Establishment, these weapons were initially installed on ships of the Royal Navy.
They are called ‘Low energy laser weapons with an anti-eye capability,’
The United States military worked on a similar program in 1982 identified in military reports as a “battlefield antisensor close-combat laser assault weapon” called C-CLAW. This was a combination of two lasers which could operate together at three different wavelengths.One of the lasers was a 1-kilowatt pulsed CO2 device using a high pulse repetition frequency and a wavelength of 10,600 nanometers. The other was a Nd:YAG laser that could be used either at 1,060 nanometers or frequency doubled at 530 nanometers.
This program was officially cancelled in 1983 because of the high costs and excessive weight of the weapon. Information on this project had leaked to the media and the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army officially dropped the project as a result of public objections.
This project was restarted under the title STINGRAY which is an optical and electro-optical LEL weapon designed to blind the enemy forces facing it and was designed for mounting on the Bradley MW Infantry Fighting Vehicle but also was intended for mounting on attack helicopters.
The STINGRAY program is sponsored by the U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command (CECOM) and is contracted by Martin Marietta Electronics Systems in Orlando, Florida.
An evaluation by the Department of Defense in 2019 states that “when the power level is increased and beam is narrowed to concentrate its energy on an enemy soldier it can do tremendous damage, and has the potential to damage, permanently, the eyes of enemy soldiers, both temporarily and permanently. It is estimated that many, if not all, of the targets can be injured in such a way that will render them legally blind for the rest of their lives.”
The U.S. Army also has another STINGRAY-related LEL designed for attack helicopters called the CAMEO BLUEJAY. This is a lighter version of STINGRAY and is designed to be mounted on an Apache attack helicopter.
Another U.S. Army laser weapon is called DAZER and is a frequency-agile LEL portable anti-eye laser weapon that uses an alexandrite laser designed as “a man-portable laser device for use by infantry to provide a soft kill against personnel.” This system is under the control of U.S. Army’s Missile Command (MICOM) and is built by the Allied Corporation’s Military Laser Products Division of Westlake, California.
Because of public knowledge, albeit highly restricted in scope, of these laser-blinding weapons, serious questions of violations of international law have arisen and the Clinton Administration officially banned their use.
The weapons continued to be clandestinely built and the present Administration has permitted their release for use against what are now termed “massive and dangerous armed mobs of Islamic fanatics” in Iran and “an army of illegals at the Mexican border.
Because of potential international objections to the use of these weapons and probable legal objections, it has been determined, according to Pentagon sources, that these weapons would be issued, or “loaned pending return” to U.S. Army custody and control.
The phrase ‘plausible deniability’ is now being used by Pentagon sources concerning the use by mercenary units of these weapons. Members of these units who might be identified as participating in these “off-the-books” actions can be officially distanced and returned to the United States and not identified.
Tests of these weapons by elements of the US military against human targets is currently being planned for use along the US southern border against what Trump calls “criminals, rapists and drug dealers.”
Department of Defense

NUMBER 2905.17
June 13, 2020 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 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 m 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 /
• Economy
− Means of income and distribution? Key industries and markets? Central market areas? Popular shops and cafes? Forms of commerce and trade? Key industrial leaders and merchants?
− Standard of living? Divisions between wealthy, middle, and low income? Effect of current hostilities on the economy?
• Civil Infrastructure. Water? Food? Sewer? Health care? Electric? Fire department? Police department?
• Terrain
− Key terrain? Buildings and infrastructure? Lines of communication: roads and railways; waterways; trails; tunnels and bridges?
− Insurgent occupied / dominated areas?
− Obstacles?
− 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?
• Enemy
− Popular mobilization? Single narrative? Civil projects? Connection to the populace? Connection to the narrative?
− Key leaders?
Decision makers? Operations leaders? Connecting files? Daily routine?
− Networking? Family relationships: immediate and extended? Friendships? Business relationships? Income, interests, industry and alignments? (Internal and external sources of income; connections to other industries; interests in political offices and other power bases; alignments with nongovernmental organizations, transnational extremists organizations, academic organizations, religious groups or political parties?)
− Activity? Recent actions such as assaults, raids, ambushes, etc.? (Locations; times; specific actions; goals; success?) Recent arrests? Counter actions? Recent civil / humanitarian actions?
− Composition, disposition, and strength? Weapons? Size of operational elements? General strength of the force? Most probable course of action?
• Other Elements
− Nongovernmental organizations in the area?
− Other government agencies in the area?
− Special operations forces in the area?
Remember, the overall purpose is to mobilize the population behind your message. Use the information gathered in your Intelligence Preparation of the Operations Area (IPOA) to dissect the problem; the key questions you should look for are:
• What is the insurgency’s main objective?
• What is their single narrative—their mobilizing message?
• What are the weak points in their message and how can you exploit them?
• What are the needs of the local populace and how can you gain their support?
• What is your message to the populace?
• How will you involve yourself with the local populace, and how will you pass and portray that message to the populace in your operations?
• What assets and contacts will you already have when you arrive?
• What will you need to request, build and develop to gain access to the locals and break down the insurgency?
Intent—What is the underlying purpose behind all of your operations? What are you trying to achieve? What is the one statement that will guide all of your junior leaders?
Concept of Operations—Make the plan simple and flexible and leave room for setbacks and changes. Unlike a conventional operation, there is no ground or single objective to advance on and measure forward progress. Remember the overriding objective is the support of the
populace in order to marginalize the insurgents. There will be a constant ebb and flow of advances and setbacks of your goals as well as constant adaptations to your plan, tactics and techniques. Prepare for them now; do not allow your enemy to gain initiative due to a rigid plan and inflexibility.
The Message—Next, get the message that you need to send to the populace to mobilize them to your cause. Like commander’s intent, this should feed from higher, and your message or single narrative should reflect the message sent from higher, aiding in the overall strategic objective. The wording and highlighted point must be specific to your area depending on the size and demographics of that area. Yours may be the exact same message as the division, regiment and battalion or it might be specific to the company; if your message does differ it should be approved and supported by your higher command. Utilize the minds of your junior leaders and, if available, an interpreter to ensure that the message translates properly and clearly.
Scheme of Maneuver—Again, the scheme of maneuver must be simple and flexible. Highlight by phase and be prepared to both move back and forth between phases as required and to have different units in different phases at one time. Also, no one phase or element can be a single approach; for example, security and dominance must be achieved immediately, however, that effort does not end once the goal is attained, nor should you try to gain security and dominance without simultaneously conducting civil, information or intelligence operations.
Wargaming the Plan—Bring in your subordinate leaders to try to predict setbacks and enemy weaknesses and to work out contingency courses of action (COA). Think through problems from the enemy’s point of view and predict how they will react to your actions. Use a cunning and experienced individual to play the enemy against your plans. Then adapt your plan to stay a step ahead. Prepare to be wrong and adapt a step ahead of your enemy.
Task Organization
As you organize your unit take into account the key functions that have to be performed. Intelligence, information operations and civil operations are but a few of the issues that you may have to deal with on your own. Success in this fight comes at the small unit level, many of these tasks will have to be done together and many units will be doing similar tasks concurrently. Do not expect extra manning or aid from higher; prepare with what you have and expect minimal aid from your higher command. Give your most trusted leaders the billets that require the least supervision and give developing leaders the positions that can be closely watched. Listed below are some suggestions for task organization. Ultimately the decision is up to you; do not follow a single template; adapt your unit to best fight your area.
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.
The populace in support of their objectives.
To succeed in countering the insurgency, security forces must also mobilize the populace so as to marginalize the insurgents, create a less permissive operating environment for their activities, and win popular support. Therefore the essence of COIN is a competition to mobilize the populace. This is not a new or “soft” approach, 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 Operations—In 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.

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