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Counterinsurgency: The Role of Paramilitaries

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Master's thesis

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This thesis examines the role of paramilitary forces in the counterinsurgency operations being launched by the Armed Forces of the Philippines AFP against the Communist Party of the Philippines CPP and the New Peoples Army NPA. The Philippine government and the AFP firmly believe that the present Civilian Armed Force Geographical Unit Active Auxiliary CAA is an essential component of the AFPs Operational clear-hold-support methodology. Many scholars have argued that separating the Communist guerrillas from the populace is an important element in winning the counterinsurgency campaign. Isolating the Communist insurgents is done through the creation of local militia. However, some authors contend it would be dangerous for any government to train paramilitary forces because, in the long term, the governments are unsure of the future loyalties of these paramilitary forces. They may currently be working for the government, but as they work and gain skills, these paramilitary forces could use these same skills against the government in the future. Thus, it is quite dangerous to train paramilitary forces. The Philippine paramilitaries are good examples of paramilitary forces being used effectively for counterinsurgency. Their primary task of protecting the communities and the people from the coercive and abusive acts of the Communist insurgents are achieved. They are an effective counterinsurgency force because of proper training as well as command and control. This thesis concludes that the Philippine government and the AFP are headed in the right operational direction for utilizing paramilitary forces for village defense and as the protectors of the people. The paramilitary forces in the Philippines need the proper training as well as command and control in order to make these paramilitary forces effective counterinsurgency forces.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Unconventional Warfare

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