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The Political Dynamics of Insurgency: The Importance of Government Legitimacy
Strategy research project
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
Pagination or Media Count:
This paper examines the sociopolitical connection between the government and the population and how the relative strength of this link, derived from the publics perception of their governments legitimacy, may determine the success or failure of an insurgency. To analyze the government-population link, three aspects of legitimate and effective governance are examined the governments ability to provide adequate security the ability of the government to support and enforce the rule of law and the ability of the government to provide basic services. The study methodology utilizes a case study-based approach, looking at the Huk Rebellion in the Philippines 1946-1954. Three main points can be derived from this study first, that the actual center of gravity in counterinsurgency is not the population per se, but is instead the populations link with their government second, that counterinsurgency strategies should be modeled on a legitimacy-centric approach rather than on a population-centric approach and finally, that in COIN, a well-conceived and executed political strategy is essential for success.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE