Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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State support or sponsorship of an insurgency as an instrument of foreign policy was common during the Cold War. The United States, the Soviet Union, and a host of regional powers backed their favored proxies, often transforming local quarrels into international contests. The end of the Cold War did not end the use of insurgents, but the dimensions and nature of outside aid and the identity of the providers have changed significantly. Hundreds of millions of dollars no longer regularly flow from Washingtons and Moscows coffers. Leading state sponsors today such as Iran, Rwanda, Angola, and Pakistan, for example, devote far smaller amounts of money and resources to their proxies. Indeed, state support is no longer the only, or necessarily the most important, game in town. Diasporas have played a particularly important role in sustaining several strong insurgencies. More rarely, refugees, guerrilla groups, or other types of non-state supporters play a significant role in creating or sustaining an insurgency, offering fighters, training, or other important forms of support. This report analyzes these changes in the nature of outside support for insurgencies starting with the end of the Cold War. It describes the nature and motivations of state backers and examines the role of diasporas, refugees, and other non-state supporters of insurgencies. The report concludes by assessing which forms of outside support are most important and also offers implications for the analysis of insurgency today.
- Government and Political Science