Accession Number:

ADA523203

Title:

Engaging the Insurgent in Negotiation: Lessons from Northern Ireland Applied to Afghanistan

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

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

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

91.0

Abstract:

Outreach, negotiation, and cooptation may be vital tools for counterinsurgencies as they transform conflict and facilitate Amnesty, Reconciliation, and Reintegration AR2 of belligerents within a war-torn society. But as the British experience of trying to negotiate with the Irish Republican Army IRA for 30 years suggests, however, conflict transformation is elusive. Underlying the success of the conflict transformation process is the ability of the government to recognize changes in the strategic and operational behavior of the insurgent group to determine the efficacy of outreach and negotiation. The IRA finally agreed to a cease-fire after internal reflection and realization that it could no longer achieve its political goals through military means. Within the current context of Afghanistan, determining the likelihood of success for any negotiation leading to AR2 processes and conflict resolution is predicated upon the Talibans internal reflection and realization of its ability to achieve its stated goals. This monograph examines the IRAs decision to negotiate to increase ones understanding of the circumstances that would surround successful negotiation with the Taliban. The British suggestion of adopting a Northern Ireland approach for cooptation with the Taliban is compelling due to the strategic similarities between the Taliban and the IRA. These similarities, however, also are the underlying reason why the Taliban will probably not be amenable to compromise within the short-term context compelled by current U.S. strategy. The Taliban in 2010, like their IRA counterparts in 1972, believe that they have a comparative advantage over the counterinsurgents and are not willing to compromise their ideological convictions because of this perceived advantage.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE