Analytic Support to Intelligence in Counterinsurgencies
RAND NATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH INST SANTA MONICA CA
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Insurgency is one of the oldest forms of conflict. Records of ancient regimes show how their rulers were frequently faced with revolts and insurrection. The reality that insurgency is a continual problem has persisted into the modern era. The United States Army spent decades conducting what was, essentially, a counterinsurgency in the American West during the period after the Civil War the British Army was faced with multiple insurgencies during the period of Empire in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and as the colonial era came to an end in the post World War II period, the Western militaries especially their armies continued to face this challenge. Today, the problem of combating insurgencies continues to loom large for the armed forces of several western nations. Yet despite this, the preference of most Western militaries has been to focus on conventional combat operations against the armed forces of another nation state. This is reflected in the spending patterns of the NATO nations today. Compared with the money devoted to new systems for high-intensity combat, the amount invested in the preparation for irregular warfare pales. Of course, quality does not equal quantity, and a strict resource metric does not necessarily gauge emphasis. However, when we couple the money spent with the relative ability of nations to conduct conventional and counterinsurgency operations, it is clear that the emphasis is on conventional forces. What is the reality that faces the Western militaries today Iraq provides a useful example. Whereas the major combat operations phase in Iraq lasted some 23 days from the time U.S. and UK forces crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq to the last major battle in Baghdad on April 10, 2003 the counterinsurgency period has lasted some 1,700 days as of this writing. This is consistent with the norm of post-World War II insurgencies.
- Unconventional Warfare