Accession Number:

ADA523115

Title:

Unconventional Counterinsurgency: Leveraging Traditional Social Networks and Irregular Forces in Remote and Ungoverned Areas

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-05-13

Pagination or Media Count:

77.0

Abstract:

The Sunni tribal uprising against Al Qaeda in Iraq, known as the Anbar Awakening, was the decisive event in the counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq. To capitalize on discontent between the Sunni population and Al Qaeda, U.S. commanders on the ground in Anbar Province applied more creativity and opportunism than deliberate application of U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine, which at that time did not fully grasp the importance of traditional social networks and irregular forces. The U.S. military is now attempting to capture the lessons of the tribal uprising in Iraq and incorporate those lessons into theory, doctrine and practice. More immediately, the U.S. must determine the applicability of those lessons to ongoing counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan and counterterrorism efforts across the region. The paper argues that traditional social networks and irregular security forces represent a critical source of intelligence, political support and security for governments attempting to increase state control and legitimacy during an insurgency. Moreover, U.S. Army Special Forces are uniquely qualified to leverage traditional social networks and irregular security forces due to their unique training regiment, organization and experience in their capstone mission of Unconventional Warfare UW. Ultimately these two claims provide the background for a central argument the United States Special Operations Command USSOCOM should refocus the counterinsurgency role of Army Special Forces on leveraging traditional social networks and employing irregular security forces to expand host nation control and security in contested, ungoverned or insurgent controlled spaces. This monograph explains that tribes and traditional social networks continue to provide a degree of social order in some of the worlds least governed and most volatile areas. Capitalizing on that underly

Subject Categories:

  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE