The Phoenix Program and Contemporary Counterinsurgency
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
Pagination or Media Count:
One of the principal requirements of counterinsurgency is the ability to disrupt or destroy not just the insurgencys military capabilities but also the infrastructure that supports the insurgent forces. This infrastructure provides, among other things, the critical intelligence, recruiting, and logistics functions that enable insurgents to contend with counterinsurgent forces that are often much more capable in a purely military sense. During the Vietnam War, one of the main efforts to attack the insurgent infrastructure was known as the Phoenix Program. Phoenix has subsequently become highly controversial, and its lessons for contemporary counterinsurgency can be overdrawn. However, a careful assessment of Phoenix does provide some suggestions for improving current efforts against insurgent infrastructure.
- Unconventional Warfare