Operations at the Border: Efforts to Disrupt Insurgent Safe-Havens
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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Disrupting an insurgents access to sanctuary and safe haven is a critical aspect of operational planning for counterinsurgent forces. By denying an insurgents access to safe havens early in the conflict, the counterinsurgent will gain a marked advantage over the initially weaker force. Only through a deep understanding of how the insurgent is using international, tribal, or cultural borders to evade the counterinsurgent force can the counterinsurgent disrupt the insurgents operations. To accomplish this, the counterinsurgent must understand the physical terrain and cultural demographics, nest border operations into the overarching strategy, and employ security forces to reinforce success. Through an examination of the British experience in the North-West Frontier of India from 1849 to 1947, and of the counterinsurgent efforts in the Dhofar Province in Oman from 1962 to 1975 Dhofar Rebellion, one can develop techniques for applying border control operations to disrupt insurgent safe havens. Border control efforts are not the decisive effort within a counterinsurgency, but they are critical to defeating the insurgent forces ability to conduct its operations.
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