Rule of Law and Detention Operations in the Counterinsurgency Campaign
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Rule of Law and Detention Operations in the Counterinsurgency Campaign. Counterinsurgency theory and doctrine both call for a host governments development of rule of law standards and institutions as a desired and necessary objective in a counterinsurgency campaign to reinforce the governments credibility with the population. However, analysis of rule of law with each of the generic logical lines of operation of a counterinsurgency campaign reveals a tension on when the counterinsurgent should transition from law of war to rule of law standards. Doctrine does not adequately address this tension, but further analysis reveals that ideally the counterinsurgent initially pursues security and support of the population by detaining and incarcerating a high number of suspected insurgents. To achieve the greatest effect with these initial security operations, the counterinsurgent should employ the lower legal thresholds allowed by law of war standards to detain and incarcerate. Only once the counterinsurgent achieves a certain level of popular support should he then transition to the higher legal thresholds associated with rule of law standards. The analysis concludes that the counterinsurgents timing of this transition is a key part of his campaign planning, recommends certain policies to pursue with respect to detention operations and further recommends additional analysis and assessment of the current counterinsurgency campaign effort in Afghanistan.
- Unconventional Warfare