Taking Guns to a Knife Fight: Effective Military Support to COIN
Civilian research paper
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
The qualities and structures of a states internal security forces have a significant impact on reducing the risks and overall casualties from insurgent violence. To test this argument, I introduce a new micro-conflict dataset on counterinsurgency operations in the Philippines between 2001 and 2008 and measure the relationship between conflict deaths and the capacities of small military units tasked with suppressing rebel threats at local levels. My empirical tests isolate qualities of security forces not directly tied to aggregate state resources. I find that small units possessing superior leadership, training, and access to local information are more likely to conduct effective and discriminate counterinsurgency. Deploying locally recruited soldiers with specially trained elite forces is particularly effective at achieving this potent combination of capabilities. These findings demonstrate that variation in the qualities of the military forces tasked with combating insurgent threats affect important conflict outcomes. Significantly, they indicate this variation is not fully determined by factors such as state wealth and level of development and that there is thus a major role for professional training of militaries in reducing the damage from, and possible prospects for, protracted insurgencies and civil wars.
- Unconventional Warfare