NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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One of the primary goals of the counterinsurgent is to reestablish security and rule of law. An effective arrest and internment system is an essential part of a successful counterinsurgency effort, providing a nonlethal means of separating insurgents from the general populace and thereby securing the populace. The capture of insurgents and their equipment provides valuable intelligence to counterinsurgents and allows the option of rehabilitating insurgents and later releasing them back into society. Mistakes made by counterinsurgents in arresting or holding detainees may reinforce insurgent propaganda and otherwise undermine the overall counterinsurgency effort. Simply stated, a well-run system for arresting insurgents will greatly aid a counterinsurgency effort while a poorly run system will retard it. Policies governing the arrest and internment of insurgents should contribute to ending the insurgency while minimizing or eliminating the potential for political damage to the authorities involved. They should be developed and enacted with an eye toward the responses of local nationals, international observers, and the U.S. populace. Achieving a balance between the need to provide security and the need to maintain legitimacy is difficult. When confronted with difficult security situations, authorities will often feel a strong impetus to use illiberal arrest and internment techniques or to ignore political or cultural expectations. Security forces and governments often make mistakes in the use of arrests and internment. Historically, there are five common errors arresting innocent individuals, releasing insurgents who are still a danger to the counterinsurgency effort, mistreating arrested individuals, failing to anticipate the effects of arrests and internment on the information campaign, and allowing prisons to serve as training areas for insurgents.
- Unconventional Warfare