Keeping COIN Simple: The Outhouse Strategy for Security Development
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEFENSE ANALYSIS DEPT
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As U.S. Armed Forces execute the Global War on Terrorism, varying strategies are required to facilitate victory within those sovereign states that are hesitant to permit a significant number of U.S. personnel on their soil. The Philippines is an excellent example of how the U.S. military can still achieve victory while under severe operational constraints imposed by a host government. U.S. Army advisors working with the Armed Forces of the Philippines AFP are developing creative and unconventional counterinsurgency COIN strategies to win the support of the local population and to sever their links to the indigenous Abu Sayyaf Group. The outhouse strategy discussed herein is indicative of the peculiarities of unconventional warfare. While a project to build modern schools in densely populated areas on the island of Jolo did nothing to bind the U.S. advisors and AFP to the local population, building outhouses in rural villages fostered civilian-military relations and was successful in destroying the links between the local population and the insurgents Abu Sayyaf Group and Jemaah Islamiah. The outhouse was a simple tool that was appropriate for the jungle villages of Jolo where the insurgents thrived. The outhouse is not the answer to every insurgency, nor will it win the fight on Jolo by itself, but it demonstrates the theory that hearts and minds can be won with small projects and at a very minimal cost. Ironically, the reality of highly constrained resources encouraged ingenuity on the part of AFPU.S. personnel to develop a project which opened doors for continued military engagement. As the civil-military bonds strengthened, insurgent support diminished in a zero sum relationship -- as the government got stronger, the insurgency got weaker.
- Sociology and Law
- Structural Engineering and Building Technology
- Unconventional Warfare