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Defeating an Insurgency: Balancing the Battlefield for a Counterinsurgency

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Technical Report

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United States Army Sergeants Major Academy Fort Bliss United States

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Counterinsurgency operations have been conducted all over the world throughout history and in many ways. Insurgencies can be very difficult to defeat if not planned in the appropriate and professional manner. A great plan of action, an iron fist, along with a mix of patience is required to defeat an insurgency. Conducting an effective Counterinsurgency Campaign is one of the most difficult military missions that any military force can endure as a force and as a nation. The ability to balance and conduct Policies of Attraction and Policies of Chastisement properly and effectively are essential to accomplish the strategic goal and mission. The effects of Policies of Attraction and Policies of Chastisement play a major role in any successful counterinsurgency operation. There must be a fine balance between the two tactics although one will need to be more prominent in most cases. Depending on the situation and environment, one will or can be used more effectively than the other. The ability to have a tactical balance of the two will enhance and speed the ability to defeat an effective insurgency. In order to win a counterinsurgency, you must crush the enemy with the required force but at the same time you have to win over the hearts and minds of the people. If you cant win over their hearts and minds, then the force could be in for a long and brutal war. Comparing the counterinsurgencies in Vera Cruz, Mexico of 1914 and during the Philippine War in the early 1900s, you will see various similarities but many differences in the tactics used to defeat the insurgency. It is tactically sound to balance the importance of Policies of Attraction and Policies of Chastisement versus primarily using only one or the other policy. The importance of Policies of Attraction during a counterinsurgency, play a critical role in the overall success of the military campaign. Gathering the needed support from the local populace will assist in defeating the insurgency in a timely manner.

Subject Categories:

  • Unconventional Warfare

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