Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How Insurgencies End

From the lessons of the Vietnam War to the recent downfall of the Tamil Tigers in Southeast Asia, conflicts between insurgencies and governments tend to follow certain patterns as they arc toward their endings, according to a new RAND Corporation study, entitled "How Insurgencies End." The study provides a planning framework for both policymakers and strategists to help design counterinsurgency campaigns and mitigate the kind of false expectations that undermined the arc of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Counterinsurgency operations will continue to play a large role in today's military strategy, so it is critical to understand how and perhaps more importantly, why, insurgencies end," said Ben Connable, the study's lead author and an intelligence policy analyst with RAND, a nonprofit research organization. Researchers analyzed 89 insurgency cases and concluded it is possible to shape insurgency endings with sufficient forethought, strategic flexibility and sustained willpower.

However, because numerous variables help define insurgencies – local culture, terrain, economy, type of government – the study notes there is no one-size-fits-all template for dealing with insurgencies.

The RAND study found:

  • Modern insurgencies last approximately 10 years and the government's chances of winning increase slightly over time.
  • Withdrawal of state sponsorship cripples an insurgency and typically leads to its defeat, while inconsistent or impartial support to either side generally presages defeat.
  • Pseudo-democracies do not often succeed against insurgencies and are rarely successful in fully democratizing.



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Who am I?

I am a law enforcement professional with over 35 years experience in both sworn and civilian positions. I have service in 3 different countries in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

My principal areas of expertise are: (1) Intelligence, (2) Training and Development, (3) Knowledge Management, and (4) Administration/Supervision.

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