Accession Number:

ADA415648

Title:

Fish Out of Water: Applying Counter Insurgency Doctrine in the War on Terrorism

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-02-03

Pagination or Media Count:

21.0

Abstract:

As the United States wages its global war on terrorism, it would be wise to apply lessons learned in earlier counterinsurgency operations. In common with many guerrilla forces, terrorist organizations require sanctuary to train, plan, and carry out attacks. A common goal of both counterinsurgency and counterterrorism is to break the link between the insurgentsterrorists and the local population so as to deny the enemy sanctuary. While there is a military component to any counterterrorist operation, a commander also must take advantage of diplomatic, information, and economic tools developed for a counterinsurgency context when planning operations in the war on terrorism. As a starting point, this paper looks at the basic outline of counterinsurgency operations developed by the United States over the past decades. It then considers how to apply lessons from counterinsurgency to the current war on terrorism, with a particular focus on how the United States should act toward friendly countries that have unwillingly provided or might provide sanctuary to terrorists. Finally, it seeks to examine the success of earlier counterinsurgency operations in the Philippines notably against the Huks in the early l95Os and evaluate whether these can be applied to the current operations against Abu Sayyaf and other Islamic terroristguerrilla organizations. Of particular note in the Huk counterinsurgency effort is the influential role played by the United States, in particular Col. Edward Lansdale. Fundamental to the victory were reforms instituted by Defense Secretary Ramon Magsaysay, including professionalizing the army, instituting land reform, and facilitating greater popular participation in government. This underscores the importance of local involvement, since success cannot only come from outside intervention. 26 refs.

Subject Categories:

  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE