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Low Intensity Conflict: A War By Any Other Name

Low Intensity Conflict: A War By Any Other Name

 

CSC 1988

 

SUBJECT AREA National Military Strategy

 

 

 

 

LOW INTENSITY CONFLICT: A WAR BY ANY OTHER NAME

 

by

 

Major J. A. Robbs

Royal Australian Infantry Corps

 

 

 

Command and Staff College

Education Center

Marine Corps Combat Development Command

Quantico, Virginia 22134

 

 

9 May 1988


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

CHAPTER PAGE

 

1. Introduction

 

Philosophy and Theory of Conflict 1

 

Problem 2

 

2. Low Intensity Conflict in General

 

Defining Low Intensity Conflict 6

 

The Conflict Spectrum and Characteristics of LIC 11

 

Conclusion 15

 

3. The Significance of Low Intensity Conflict

 

An Example 17

 

Recent Military Focus and Development 20

 

Western Vulnerability 28

 

Future Conflict 37

 

4. An Overview of the Main Types of LIC

 

Insurgency 44

 

Counter-Insurgency 6O

 

5. An Overview of other LIC

 

Aid-to-the-Civil-Power 77

 

Foreign Internal Defence 79

Terrorism and Terrorism Counter-action 80

Peacekeeping and Peacemaking 84

 

Peace-Time Contigencies 90

 

6. Guiding Strategy and Tactics

 

National Philosophy 92

 

National Security Strategy 96

 

Military Doctrine 98


 

7. A Force That Caters for LIC

 

National and Strategic 102

 

Tactical 108

 

8. Preparation and Training for Conflict

 

Higher Command 112

 

Operational Art 114

Tactical 116

 

Individual 120

 

9. Conclusion 126

 

Endnotes 128

 

Bibliography 138

 

Appendices

 

A. Definitions

 

B. Conflict Spectrum


 

CHAPTER 1

 

INTRODUCTION

 

PHILOSOPHY AND THEORY OF CONFLICT

 

The following postulates, whether judged as empirical,

 

hypothetical, true or false, are a relevant starting point

 

for the examination of conflict.

 

* Harmony and disharmony are natural, inevitable, and

 

evolutionary characteristics of mankind.

 

* Disharmony is resolved by peaceful or violent

 

means, as reflected by a spectrum of conditions

 

from peaceful competition to violent conflict.

 

* The peaceful resolution of conflict is preferable

 

and common, but yet to preclude the option of

 

violence: models of intra-national and spiritual

 

harmony are neither analagous to, nor bind,

 

international relations at this point in time.

 

* Conflict and its resolution is multidimensional,

 

multi-level, and integrated.

 

* States, sub-national groups and trans-national

 

groups may come into conflict with each other and

 

prosecute this conflict with violence. Whatever the

 

origins of the conflict it is played out in the

 

environment of the "state system": often in an

 

attempt to alter the status quo of that system.

 

* Force may be employed by individuals in an

 

anarchical or irrational manner, but it is used by

 

the state and the interest group in the pursuit of

 

objectives.

 

* The use of force is limited by capacity, risk and

 

objectives.

 

* At a minimum, a state will seek a capacity of

 

force commensurate with the threat to its survival,

 

once security is achieved a state will seek the

 

ability to pursue interests.

 

* The status quo of the state, if not its survival,

 

can be threatened within all levels of conflict, but

 

the most decisive effect is achieved by unlimited

 

force.

 

* The state's ability to project violence is

 

institutionalized in armed forces, i.e., armies,

 

navies, and air forces.

 

PROBLEM

 

The objective of armed forces is to win wars: trite but

 

true. Armed forces may posture and project power by inference

 

if able to project violence by action. Military victory in

 

war is the reason d'etre for an army. This rationale may be

 

over-ridden by higher strategy, but a non-combatant or

 

incompetant army defies definition and justification in the

 

West. (1)

 

The role of the armed forces is supportive of the state

 

in the pursuit of national interests. Regardless of the level

 

of a conflict, military action must be integrated with action

 

in the political, social, economic, and psychological

 

dimensions of a problem. The military dimension is

 


predominate in the higher levels of conflict. Hitherto, the

 

West has considered the higher levels of conflict the

 

predominate threat, despite a continuing need to operate in

 

lower levels of conflict. (2) The rationale for this focus was

 

substantial, but now the concept is dated.

 

Success in present and future conflicts requires the

 

ability for integrated action in all dimensions and at all

 

levels in proportion to the threat or interest. This concept

 

is well expressed by the authors of "Integrated Strategy and

 

Discriminate Deterrence":

 

Because our problems in the real world are

connected and because budgets compel trade-offs,

we need to fit together strategies for a wide range

of conflicts: from the most confined, lowest

intensity and highest probability to the most

widespread, apocalyptic and least likely. We want

the worst conflicts to be less likely, but that

holds only if our weakness at some higher level..

..does not invite such raising of the ante. For

genuine stability, we need to assure our adversaries

that military aggression at any level of violence

against our important interests will be opposed by

military force. (3)

 

The logic of "Integrated Strategy and Discriminate

 

Deterrence" (4) is relevant to all Western nations,

 

irrespective of size. Even in a relatively benign strategic

 

environment such as Australia enjoys currently, defence

 

preparedness must address the maintenance of capabilities

 

applicable to other levels of conflict than the near term

 

threat. (5)

 

Within the combat environment of the future (6) the

 

objective of armed forces remains to win wars, regardless of

 

type or complexity. The question remains, "How?". There are

 


two extreme solutions: with unlimited resources a nation may

 

structure, equip, and train forces for each type and region

 

of conflict; or, with limited resources, have one force

 

attempt to do everything. The reality is a compromise

 

tailored to each nation's situation. Perhaps with the

 

exception of the United States, there are few Western nations

 

that can afford the maintenance of large "specialized

 

modules" within an army. Even the United States is limited in

 

this regard by the number and variety of contingencies it

 

must face; For example, the US Marine Corps, must retain a

 

diversity of war-fighting skills for employment world-wide.

 

These tasks range from the amphibious assault by conventional

 

forces to hostage rescue in a foreign country. (7) An example

 

of the flexible use of armed forces has been illustrated by

 

the United Kingdom of Great Britain. The same units of this

 

force have operated proficiently in counter-insurgency in

 

Northern Ireland, in mechanized operations with the British

 

Army on the Rhine, and fought in the Falklands War.

 

For reasons that will be examined later, most Western

 

states already possess significant professional armies for

 

fighting in the higher levels of conflict. However, the

 

recent wars in Vietnam and Afghanistan, the conflicts in

 

Northern Ireland and Latin America, and modern terrorism,

 

illustrates that such conventional armies may not win easily

 

in lower levels of conflict. Even if a conventional army is

 

not defeated in such a conflict, it is likely to be

 

debilitated.


 

The armed forces and the interests of the West have been

 

debilitated in the past by Low Intensity Conflict. For this

 

reason, and others discussed in Chapter Three, the West is to

 

continue to be engaged in Low Intensity Conflict. It is the

 

most likely combat environment in the near future. Western

 

democratic states possess inherent vulnerabilities in this

 

environment which are likely to make LIC an increasingly

 

attractive option for those unable to "win" by other means,

 

peaceful or violent.

 

The problem for a Western democratic nation is to

 

maintain and employ an appropriate strategy, force and

 

tactics for the conduct of Low Intensity Conflict while

 

meeting the other requirements of national strategy and

 

without denigrating the ability of the state to conduct a

 

higher level of war.


 

CHAPTER TWO

 

LOW INTENSITY CONFLICT IN GENERAL

 

DEFINING LOW INTENSITY CONFLICT

 

There is a plethora of terminology covering the subject

 

of Low Intensity Conflict. Many of the terms are abstract and

 

have a political and philosophical context as well as a

 

military definition. In addition, there are both subtle and

 

distinct differences among single service, joint service, and

 

international terminology in this field. For the purpose of

 

clarity, a table of comparative definitions is included as

 

Appendix A.

 

Colonel Richard H. Taylor, US Army, provided a useful

 

definition of Low Intensity Conflict in the Military Review

 

of January 1988 when he described it as an environment in

 

which:

 

Interests are contested; organized violence

is used to effect or influence outcomes; all

elements of national power are employed; the

military dimension is employed primarily for its

political, economic and informational effect;

military violence is employed indirectly or limited

by time and objective." (1)

 

 

It is an environment that spans a range of struggles of

 

varying nature and intensity. Figure 1 lists these struggles

 

by military definition. (2) These struggles, or operations,

 

are generally considered as above the environment of

 

"peaceful competition", but below the threshold of "war".(3)

 

The boundaries that differentiate LIC from peaceful

 

competition and higher conflict are blurred. Each conflict

 

must be analysed in detail to determine its precise nature

 

 

Figure 1

 

 

EXAMPLES OF LOW INTENSITY CONFLICT

 

Offensive Operations Defensive Operations

 

* Insurgency * Counter Insurgency

 

* Aid-to-the-Civil Power (4)

 

* Foreign Internal Defence

* Terrorism (5) * Terrorism Counter-Action

 

* Peacemaking Operations * Peacekeeping Operations

 

* Peacetime Contingency * Peacetime Contingency

Operations Operations

 

and the appropriate response. Conflict easily transitions

 

between levels and many of the strategies found in the LIC

 

environment concentrate on controlling the time and place of

 

transition. This is the case for the revolutionary strategies

 

of Leninism, Maoism, and the Cuban model.

 

The Vietnam War, for example, was played across three

 

levels of conflict: firstly, insurgency by the Viet Cong

 

against the South Vietnamese and their allies; secondly,

 

guerrilla war and limited war by the Viet Cong and North

 

Vietnamese Army against the South Vietnamese and their

 

allies; and, finally, general war between North and South

 

Vietnam. (6) The transition from one level of conflict to

 

another during the Vietnam War was indistinct, with different

 

levels of violence conducted simultaneously in different

 

regions or even within the same area but by different

 

forces. (7)

 

A fundamental lesson in preparing for LIC is to be wary

 

of templating a response in accordance with the academic or

 

political categorization of the conflict. Each conflict is

 

unique and unlikely to fit exactly within a military

 

definition. For example, the Multinational Force II in Beirut

 

in 1983 was committed with an implied mission of

 

"peacekeeping": world there have been a more appropriate

 

tactical emphasis by the commander of US Marines in MNF II if

 

the mission had stressed a role of Foreign Internal Defence

 

instead of "presence"? (8) Commanders at all levels,

 

including politicians, must remember that a classification of

 

a conflict is of little consequence to soldiers ambushed and

 

killed, whether by insurgents or by regular troops.

 

The further lesson to be derived from a comparison of

 

the definition and reality of Low Intensity Conflict is the

 

need to be prepared to fight above or below the initial level

 

of violence. Not only can the transition be swift, but what

 

constitutes Low Intensity Conflict and what is "war" is a

 

relative perception. There are aspects of Peacetime

 

Contingency or Peacemaking Operations that in a microcosm are

 

war, i.e., operations that are tactically and strategically

 

the same as those effected during a higher level of conflict.

 

In some cases, the difference is that the LIC is regionally

 

confined. If an environment of LIC has been established then

 

it normally requires more than police work. In order to be

 

successful in this environment armed forces may act as a

 

police force but they must be trained as if for war. An army

 

is capable of carrying out police work, but a police force

 

cannot be effective beyond the domestic state of peaceful

 

competition unless it becomes an army.

 

By the current definitions Low Intensity Conflict is not

 

war. However, many aspects of these types of conflict are

 

analogous to war and the conflict itself may be a campaign

 

within or complementary to a war. Future warfare is likely to

 

be less coherent, less compartmentalized, and conducted

 

without much regard to current definitions and perceptions of

 

what is, or what is not, war. (9) Already, there are few

 

constitutionally declared wars. The United States and the

 


Soviet Union possess the ability to oppose each other

 

directly, indirectly, or through a combination of both.

 

These states are able to wage conflict in any combination of

 

level, region, and time frame. The United States perception

 

of Low Intensity Conflict, for example, places such conflict

 

within the frame-work of contest between the Soviet Union and

 

the West:

 

While the Soviets cannot be branded as

instigators of all revolutionary movements, their

strategy clearly is to exploit domestic vulnerabilities

in foreign countries to promote the emergence of

regimes under Soviet influence control. All this is

accomplished under the rubric of "peaceful coexistance"

with the United States and the West, defined as a

continuing contest in which all forms of struggle

are permissible short of all-out war. (10)

 

 

Certainly there are other causes of international

 

conflict in the world apart from USA-USSR rivalry: there is a

 

larger ideological rivalry of East-West; the competition

 

between the developed and undeveloped nations; a potential

 

challange to other religions by Islam; and, the destability

 

offered by various combinations of sub-national groups and

 

states attempting to subvert the "state system". As more

 

states, and even sub-states, gain high-technology, wealth,

 

and international influence, the pursuit of interests by

 

armed conflict will be less constrained by region and method.

 

The advantage in this environment will be held by the state

 

or group able to orchestrate efforts across a spectrum of

 

conflicts. A Low Intensity Conflict may constitute only one

 

"battlefield" in a larger war.

 

Low Intensity Conflict may not be defined as "war", but


 

it is best approached by politicians and the military alike

 

with the same philosophy and determination that a higher

 

level of violence would command. Such an approach aids in

 

establishing the continuity of intention from the leader of

 

the state to the soldier in the "war", and across all the

 

dimensions of the conflict. Thinking of the conflict in terms

 

of a "Small War" (11) does not prejudice the conduct with

 

inappropriate tactics, but makes it easier to translate the

 

intention into understandable and achievable objectives in

 

the field. It should be noted that the revolutionary

 

strategies to be found in the LIC environment aim to destroy

 

this continuity. The first disconnection within the West is

 

that the struggle may not be perceived as "war", that it may

 

not command the same respect or effort as "war". The counter

 

is found in the education of the politicians, military, and

 

public on the nature of specific conflicts and conflict in

 

general:

 

Clearly, only well informed opinions can serve

our nations. This is one of the main reasons why it

is necessary to develop an appropriate policy

framework for open, declaratory statements that

educate the people of the free world on the reality,

nature, and long term impact of modern insurgency. (12)

 

 

THE CONFLICT SPECTRUM AND CHARACTERISTICS OF LOW INTENSITY

 

CONFLICT

 

The official definitions of Low Intensity Conflict

 

describe an environment in which a number of characteristics

 

are predominant and which must be addressed during

 

preparation for future conflict. However, a clearer

 


understanding of this environment and its relationship to

 

other levels of conflict is gained by viewing LIC in relation

 

to the conflict spectrum. A diagram of the spectrum is at

 

Appendix B.

 

From an understanding of the general nature of LIC it is

 

possible to deduce general characteristics of the environment

 

for which national strategy and its military component must

 

cater. In turn, this strategy drives the preparation and

 

conduct of the armed forces. This process must be completed

 

before a specific conflict arises or subsequent responses are

 

likely to be defensive and reactive, i.e., the initiative has

 

already been lost. The strategy should be based on pre-

 

empting LIC or utilizing it to advantage. Both these paths

 

require, as in other forms of warfare, the seizing of

 

initiative. This is most commonly by offensive action, but in

 

a conflict where the military dimension is less a factor,

 

then the military command must be attuned to seizing

 

psychological, political, social or economic initiative with

 

less combat force than unrestrained war. This restriction of

 

violence must not be translated into the tactical martyrdom

 

of troops. Nor should it be construed as at odds with the

 

principles of war. (13) The restriction on violence should be

 

appreciated in accordance with the principle of "economy of

 

force". In LIC it is the application of this principle that

 

is not always understood by soldiers or statesmen.

 

The general characteristics of the Low Intensity

 

Conflict environment may be described as follows:


 

* It is conducted within three theatres: intra-state,

 

inter-state, and a combination of intra- and inter-

 

state.

 

* The intra-state level of disharmony and violence is

 

above that resulting from routine domestic crime and the

 

ability of the state to resolve without resort to

 

military force, but below civil war or foreign invasion.

 

* The inter-state level of disharmony and violence is

 

above the posturing and threat of military force, and

 

the limited and indirect military violence that is

 

incidental to peaceful inter-state competition (14) but

 

below war.

 

* A combination of intra-and inter-state disharmony

 

and violence may be undertaken in an orchestrated manner

 

by both states and sub-national groups. Such campaigns

 

are normally played-out under the pervasive shadow of

 

the East-West competition. This bi-polar competition may

 

feed on the existing disharmony to be found in the Third

 

World and among disgruntled sub-national groups.

 

However, there is a potential for other rivalries, such

 

as the North-South competition, to be manifest by a

 

combination of intra and inter-state conflict. This

 

environment is increasingly open for exploitation by

 

players other than the USSR and the USA. (15)

 

* Military violence alone is not the decisive factor

 

of resolve. It is limited by constraints on the

 

weaponry, tactics, and quantity of force. (16)

 

* Military violence is employed in concert with

 

action in the political, social, economic, and

 

psychological dimensions of the conflict. This action

 

may be executed by military forces as well as other

 

agencies.

 

* The LIC environment focuses on maintaining or

 

changing the structure of a state and the pursuit of

 

state interests by "extra-legal" means short of war. It

 

also includes those groups, who are sub-national or

 

trans-national in nature, that attempt by actions such

 

as terrorism to change the status quo of international

 

relations. These groups are generally ineffective unless

 

supported, at least covertly, by a state.

 

* The maintenance or change of the state by means

 

short of war is primarily the environment of insurgency

 

and counter-insurgency. In particular, the change or

 

overthrow of the established state from within by

 

illegitimate means such as subversion, terrorism, and

 

revolution. Much of this environment is the world of

 

revolt against the status quo of society, politics,

 

economics and the balance of power.

 

* The pursuit of state interests short of war is the

 

projection of limited military power to effect limited

 

objectives, such as Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations,

 

the protection of sea lanes from piracy, and hostage

 

rescue.

 

* There will often be a dual nature to LIC operations

 

depending on whether the environment is at home or

 

abroad. One state may conduct counter-insurgency for

 

survival while it is assisted by another state in the

 

pursuit of national interest. This difference of

 

perception is another area of potential incoherence and

 

disunity of effort.

 

* The conflict may be over a protracted period of

 

time because of the inability to resolve it decisively

 

by force. In fact, the conflict may never be resolved

 

but move to a different level. If this level is within

 

the environment of "peaceful competition" then the West

 

is likely to consider that the democratic processes have

 

won and are at work. Other political philosophies are

 

likely to consider this situation a setback, but not a

 

loss. In this environment a winning strategy is not

 

only pre-emptive, but vigilant, protracted and

 

evolutionary.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The following features may be concluded as appropriate

 

to the general philosophy and strategy in preparing for,

 

and conducting, Low Intensity Conflict. They are deduced by

 

examination of the definition and genereral characteristics

 

of Low Intensity Conflict, and the environment in which it is

 

conducted.

 

* Low Intensity Conflict is analogous to war and requires

 

the same philosophical, strategical, and tactical approach as

 

war.


 

* Low Intensity Conflict can be waged in isolation or as

 

part of war. National and military strategy must integrate

 

the strategy to conduct Low Intensity Conflict into a

 

strategy that addresses a spectrum of threats that may arise

 

in a variety of combinations.

 

* The strategy, force structure and tactics of an army

 

should maximize the elements common to the conduct of all

 

conflict and cater for the differences.

 

* Strategy, tactics and force structure must be competent

 

in the higher levels of conflict and adapt to fight LIC

 

rather than visa-versa. An army must be at least capable of

 

fighting conventional warfare.

 

* The West's strategy for LIC is likely to be in pursuit

 

of national interest abroad, but its LIC strategy should also

 

cater for threats at home

 

* The conduct of LIC requires a coordinated effort across

 

the full range of political, social, economic, and military

 

dimensions that make up a state. Military violence is not

 

normally the decisive factor in LIC as a balance of power may

 

be achieved by an opposing combination of other factors.

 

However, the possession of a superior violence capability

 

confers the major advantage in LIC and all conflict. A

 

strategy may allow the employment of this capability in a

 

discriminating manner, but it must never surrender this

 

potential willingly. A strategy must at least aim to gain or

 

hold the balance of military power.


 

CHAPTER THREE

 

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LOW INTENSITY CONFLICT

 

AN EXAMPLE

 

 

On the 23rd October 1983, a truck laden with

the equivalent of over 12,000 pounds of TNT crashed

through the perimeter of the US contingent of the

Multinational Force (MNF II) at Beirut International

Airport, Beirut, Lebanon, penetrating the Battalion

Landing Team Headquarters building and detonated.

The force of the explosion destroyed the building

resulting in the deaths of 241 US military

personnel. (1)

 

 

Almost simultaneously with the attack on the US Marine

 

compound, a similar truck bomb exploded at the French MNF

 

headquarters. (2) These attacks were executed on behalf of a

 

revolutionary group by single "terrorists" and supported

 

directly or indirectly by other states. (3)

 

The bombing was a military and political success for

 

those groups who opposed the MNF II presence and mission in

 

Lebanon and were unable to eject it by direct combat. The

 

MNF II was withdrawn from Lebanon by April 1984 in the face

 

of a seemingly impossible task and a lack of international

 

public and political support. It had failed to aid the

 

Lebanese Armed Forces carry out its responsibilities as

 

directed by the force mission. (4)

 

The bombing was classified by the US as, "..tantamount

 

to an act of war using the medium of terrorism." (5) No doubt

 

the perpetrators would agree with the US that the bombing was

 

an act of war, but would debate the label of " unlawful use

 

of violence" (6) attached by the US definition of terrorism.

 

Whatever the semantics of the label, the Beirut bombing is a

 


good example of violent conflict below the threshhold of war,

 

and which the layman does not perceive to be the legitimate

 

face of war. This type of conflict is classified as Low

 

Intensity Conflict. (7)

 

The significance of the Beirut bombing is that two

 

nuclear superpowers suffered a tactical defeat at the hands

 

of a much lesser force, and that the political objectives of

 

four major powers working in concert were thwarted by the

 

same lesser force. There are valuable lessons to be learned

 

or relearned from the incident, and many of these have

 

already been absorbed by the West. Ironically, the increasing

 

threat of LIC to the USA was the subject of a report

 

completed in June 1983 by the Defence Technical Information

 

Center for the US Army Training and Doctrine Command. The

 

report was prophetic:

 

Hardly a day passes without a terrorist

incident occurring somewhere in the world. Although

the United States has not so far been a primary

target of attack, any optimism that this benign state

of affairs will continue is misplaced. Used as a

strategic weapon, the vectored terrorist threat

offers certain unique advantages in the pursuit of

foreign policy objectives... Too, the initial

uncertainty about the origin of attack often limits

the full range of diplomatic and military responses.

For the Soviet Union and its proxies-and certain

of the radical national and subnational groups on

the terrorist scene-terrorism may offer an

irresistibly low-cost, low-risk means of engaging

the West in low-intensity conflict.... The days in

which terrorism was confined to isolated instances

of social disruption may well be over. Contemporary

terrorism has become a tactic of strategic value

whether employed by neo-nihilistic subnational groups or

by nation states. (8)

 

 

The major lessons to be learnt from the Beirut bombing


 

by the Western states were: the utility of Low Intensity

 

Conflict and military might does not automatically assure

 

victory.

 

The latter maxim is acknowledged by the US military with

 

the popularization of "manoeuvre warfare theory" over

 

"attrition warfare theory", and the need to fight with brain

 

as well as brawn: a concept that is as old as combat and long

 

incorporated in the philosophy of armies with meagre

 

resources and facing quantitatively superior foes. This

 

should not denigrate the quantitative approach to warfare;

 

for sometimes it is the most expeditious way to win a

 

conflict. Despite the desirability of "minimal violence"

 

espoused in current LIC doctrine, (9) the option of massive

 

force must not be surrendered. The relative balance of force

 

is no less a consideration in LIC than any other conflict,

 

with the militarily weaker antagonist seeking to negate or

 

gain superiority of force as a precondition to achieving

 

subsequent objectives.

 

The philosophies of quantitative and qualitative warfare

 

are complementary, and the reality of battle requires the

 

co-ordinated application of both. The crux of tow Intensity

 

Warfare is to reduce the advantage of quantitative military

 

power in the resolution of conflict until that power or

 

objectives are obtained. If the former is achieved before

 

the latter, then increased options are available in the

 

pursuit of objectives.

 

Soldiers, politicians and the public must understand how


 

to employ and defeat the various types and strategies of LIC.

 

(10) It requires an integrated effort no less serious than

 

war.

 

RECENT MILITARY FOCUS AND DEVELOPMENT

 

LIC is not a new phenomena, (11) although it has

 

recently become a popular subject. To be successful in LIC,

 

it is necessary to understand not only the general nature of

 

the LIC environment, but the evolution of LIC. The evolution

 

points to not only why it is utilized but why it has been

 

successful against the West. Understanding these aspects

 

helps to formulate an appropriate strategy, tactics and

 

training for LIC. The evolution of LIC also points towards

 

some inherent vulnerabilities of the West in this environment

 

and how to avoid them in the future.

 

The lessons of the Beirut reiterate those of the Vietnam

 

War, the war in Afghanistan, the conflict in Northern

 

Ireland, modern terrorism, and numerous revolutionary

 

struggles of this century. However, Western democratic states

 

have tended to focus their attention on the upper end of the

 

conflict spectrum (12) as the greatest and most probable

 

threat requiring military action, rather than viewing

 

conflict as a continuum of escalation, diminution, and

 

integration of violence levels. There have been

 

understandable reasons for this focus and the relegation of

 

LIC behind conventional and nuclear warfare in importance.

 

Perceived Threat.

 

Firstly, nations have evolved armed forces for purposes


 

ranging from the projection of force by violence, to the

 

possession of force for defence. Nationhood requires at

 

least the ability to protect the state against the greatest

 

perceived threat, generally defined as foreign. In most cases

 

this threat has been seen a loss in the highest level of

 

conflict: general war. The perceived consequences of such a

 

loss range from apocalyptic destruction of the country, and

 

even life on earth, to the loss of statehood and the ability

 

to implement will. Whatever the real consequences, they are

 

equated with national survival and too serious to gamble away

 

with a lack of preparation based on a prediction of the

 

future level of conflict. The, validity of this proposition is

 

obvious in the case of the United States, whose principal

 

threat is seen as the "global challenge posed by the Soviet

 

Union" (13).

 

All states must be prepared for war, if only for

 

survival. Not only can the bi-polar nature of global conflict

 

enmesh a country without waring or preventive recourse, but

 

the environment can change unpredictably to pit one country

 

against another. The recent Falklands War is a case in

 

point. Such a conflict was constrained to a region, but still

 

a significant and unexpected war for the participants.

 

The military strategy of a nation must address high and

 

mid level conflict as a priority. Nuclear and global war has

 

been prevented since World War II by deterrence and the

 

prospect of Pyrrhic victory. Deterrence is a major factor in

 

the containment of violence and the maintenance of national

 


security for all countries, nuclear and non-nuclear. It is

 

essential that, "Our military capabilities and competence

 

must command respect." (14)

 

One consequence of the institutionalization of massive

 

force in support of the established nations, has been the

 

increased utility of Low Intensity Conflict for the "weak".

 

Intra-and inter-state antagonists, who wish to avoid the

 

potentially catastrophic consequences of a direct conflict,

 

must employ strategy and tactics to remove the advantage of

 

of military power held by the enemy,i.e., turn a weakness

 

into a strenghth and vice versa. Such an antagonist, whether

 

of domestic or international origin, may seek to change the

 

status quo by engaging the enemy state in an orchestration of

 

attack, which not only includes low level military conflict,

 

but political, social, economic and psychological dimensions.

 

The strategy and tactics of LIC, and in particular

 

revolution, have evolved in line with the evolution of

 

conventional military power and the "state system". The

 

stratagies of LIC are well developed by those groups who do

 

not possess the power of a state and by those who operate

 

outside of the state system.

 

The current utility of LIC has been hightened by the the

 

great number of world alliances and the bi-polar nature of

 

global politics. The use of maximum military force against a

 

weaker state, may be curtailed by the risk of bringing into

 

the conflict a stronger ally of the enemy or by other factors

 

which make the prosecution unprofitable at a higher level of

 


conflict.

 

Western Perception of War

 

A second reason for the Western pre-occupation with high

 

level conflict over LIC, is rooted in the Western perception

 

of war. By the turn of the 20th Century, Western democratic

 

countries were well evolved and progressing on a path of

 

stable and prosperous nationhood. In most cases the

 

revolutionary fires of change had been replaced by the

 

processes of democracy. The West attributed its dynamism and

 

prosperity to the superiority of its political system; it

 

still does. The two most catastrophic events that upset this

 

progress were World War I and World War II. The Western

 

perception of war points to the waste of resources and the

 

disruption of evolutionary and peaceful progress. The world

 

wars changed the status quo of global affairs to the current

 

bipolarity, reducing the pre-eminence of most Western powers,

 

such as The United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Perhaps the

 

only Western power to profit, in any way, from the wars was

 

the United States. And even then, it was thrust into the

 

demanding and unenviable role of Western leadership. After

 

World War II, the spectre of a dismembered Germany reminded

 

the West of the consequences of losing a war. In the Western

 

view, whatever good was gained out of the War was gained by

 

winners. The subsequent development of Japan is a

 

counterpoint to that view, but has remained over-shadowed by

 

the nuclear destruction of Japanese cities. This event has

 

continued to crystalized world attention on the possible fate

 


of losers in a future high level conflict.

 

World War II also acted as the catalyst of change and

 

revolution in the Third World. It accelerated the Third

 

World towards nationhood and dismembered empires. Eventhough

 

many of these colonies were no longer profitable to the

 

colonial powers, the war replaced the Western sense of

 

evolutionary and paternal change with the fait accompli of

 

revolution and a demand for self-determination. Consequently,

 

the West was involved in wars that did not conform to Western

 

perception, e.g. Algeria and Palestine., Moreover, these wars

 

could not be won by the tried and tested methods of previous

 

successes and showed little respect for the military might of

 

which the West was proud. These wars helped to perfect the

 

strategies of revolution employed in the LIC environment of

 

today.

 

Given this history, it is not surprising that war is

 

considered a very serious business in the West and generally

 

unprofitable, regardless of who wins. The Judaic-Christian-

 

Greco-Roman-Renaissance-Enlightenment-Scientific tradition,

 

supports this view of war. The West is unlikely to

 

undertaken war lightly and would rather avoid direct

 

involvement in LIC.(15). The West will fight for survival and

 

national interest, but generally only when all other avenues

 

of resolution have been exhausted, including the avenue of

 

compromise.

 

There are signigicant advantages in engaging a

 

militarily superior state that is reticent to go to war in a

 


level of conflict below that perceived as "war". This is

 

especially if the issues are not initially seen to threaten

 

state survival. Insurgent strategy aims to exploit this

 

characteristic by not only debilitating the military

 

opposition but the national will to fight. This attack was

 

used to good effect during the Vietnam war in the 1960's and

 

70's.

 

History of Mediocre Performance

 

A third reason for the post Vietnam reticence by some

 

Western nations to address the conduct of LIC was as a result

 

of the Western defeat in that war. Although the Western

 

Allies were not defeated militarily, they were never-the-less

 

defeated politically. The principal conflict of this type

 

that the West has been able to hold up as a success is the

 

Malaya Campaign of 1948 to 1959. (16) The relevance of that

 

campaign for future LIC is arguable. Even in other areas of

 

LIC, such as peacekeeping, the West has been thwarted more

 

often than not. (17) No-one willingly chooses a method of

 

combat in which they believe they are unable to win or in

 

which they have been hitherto unsuccessful. This is one

 

reason why TIC has proliferated and insurgency remains a

 

favoured strategy of potential enemies of the West. It is

 

also the soundest reason for the West to acquire competence

 

in LIC, and counter-insurgency in particular

 

Although formulated in the aftermath of the Vietnam

 

war, the Australian doctrine for counter-insurgency

 

operations addresses the danger of surrendering initiative in

 


the LIC environment and is relevent to the West:

 

Resolutions to avoid involvement in 'foreign'

or 'internal' wars irrespective of their origin or

motivation will only encourage insidious Communist

expansion. The time will eventually come when a

stand will again have to be taken to contain it

within acceptable limits, probably for reasons of

trade and economics, if not ideological ones.

Inevitably, such a stand will involve containment

of insurgencies. Thus examination of the subject

cannot be swept'aside. It is imperative that an

effective counter to Communist revolutionary

techniques be devised and perfected." (18)

 

 

Asia and Latin America contains numerous developing

 

democratic countries that are involved in counter-insurgency

 

and require aid from developed Western countries. While

 

countries such as the US term this aid as Foreign Internal

 

Defence Operations (19), the nature of the conflicts will

 

range from terrorism through insurgency to guerrilla warfare

 

and possibly to the extent of mid-intensity war, as

 

experienced in Vietnam (20). These conflicts are likely to

 

threaten the very survival of the state and the level,

 

quantity, duration, and spirit of the aid must be cognizant

 

of this fact. The survival of Western democratic states is

 

entwined with the promotion of stability and the self-

 

determination of allies, rather than an introspective and

 

isolationist policy (21). Foreign and defence policies that

 

are based on principles of "isolationism", "non-alignment",

 

and purely self-defence, surrender initiative and limit

 

options in a LIC environment.

 

Not a Matter of Survival.

 

Most western democratic countries have yet to experience


 

the threat of LIC within their own borders. That is, while

 

LIC may threaten national interest, it has yet to threaten

 

national survival. These conflicts have been played out

 

generally in the Third World, with the exception of

 

terrorism, which is a relatively small, although dramatic,

 

aspect of the conflict spectrum. However, the possible need

 

for the conduct of LIC within the democratic state, in the

 

form of Aid-to-the Civil-Power (22) or counter-insurgency,

 

should not be overlooked. The need for such a contingency

 

has been demonstrated in the USA by the call out of National

 

Guard units to quell civil disturbances, and in the United

 

Kingdom with the British Army commitment to Northern Ireland.

 

In Australia, in areas of low threat the most creditable near

 

term scenarios are those which hypothesise externally

 

sponsored insurgency and terrorism for limited diplomatic or

 

economic gains, and as an adjunct of more peaceful

 

strategies. (23) There are probably few democracies that

 

contain a society so harmonious that interest or ethnic

 

groups, desiring separation from the state or a change of

 

status quo by extra-legal means, do not exist. (24) In the

 

future such groups may grow in power and violence by

 

utilizing the international drug trade to an extent requiring

 

military aid to the police. The drug trade itself may import

 

the opportunity for foreign inspired insurgency within the

 

West Appropriate 'till Now!

 

The final rationale for the state of military

 

preparedness in Western democracies today, is

 


appropriateness. Nuclear and conventional global wars have

 

been prevented since World War II by "deterrence" and the

 

principle of a balance of power. Instead of seeking to

 

redress that balance with a quantitative gain, antagonists of

 

all kinds, have moved towards the other end of the conflict

 

spectrum to redress the balance with a qualitative

 

application of violence.

 

The military in the West moves by evolution rather than

 

revolution. It is responsive to change providing the change

 

is perceived or predicted. The West analyses the history of

 

conflict as a guide for the future. However, it is debateable

 

whether sufficient effort has been spent on analysing the

 

future face of conflict as it may be, and as we

 

intend to make it.

 

 

WESTERN VULNERABILITY

 

General

 

The Western democratic state possesses some inherent

 

vulnerabilities in the LIC environment. A significant segment

 

of the revolutionary strategies which operate in this

 

environment have either evolved or been initiated to exploit

 

these vulnerabilities. In other aspects of the LIC

 

environment the tenet of successful operation may be in

 

contrast to the Western perception of war-fighting and

 

therefore ignored. This is not to stress that the democratic

 

state must be forever besieged by insurgency and reactive in

 

the LIC arena. Many of these vulnerabilities are also found

 

in non-democratic states and many affect equally the

 


performance of the state in higher levels of conflict. It is

 

to stress that these vulnerabilities must be recognized and

 

taken into consideration in the preparation for, and conduct

 

of LIC.

 

The Individual Versus the State

 

A corners tone of Western democracy is the creation of an

 

environment in which individual freedom is balanced against

 

social responsibility. The competing needs of individuals and

 

the state are resolved by peaceful and institutionalized

 

means: The democratic state does not discourage dissension,

 

but recognizes its legitimacy within

 

the state and the "rules". This characteristic ceases to be a

 

strength when the means for resolving dissension are

 

undeveloped, or perceived as inadequate or unfair, i.e., when

 

the "rules" are considered illegitimate. Then, the inherent

 

belief in an individual's right to follow will and maximize

 

potential, coupled with a belief in the legitimacy of

 

dissension, creates the environment of revolution. The

 

quandary for the democratic state is that it not only

 

recognizes the legitimacy of dissent but creates an open and

 

free society in which dissent may be manipulated into

 

subversion.

 

While the democratic state recognizes the legitimate

 

right of individuals to revolt against an oppressive state,

 

it is sustained by a domestic commitment to peaceful change

 

and is respectful of sovereign integrity. It is difficult to

 

elicit public support for the promotion of violent revolution

 


in foreign countries unless exceptional circumstances exist.

 

The ability of the West to operate with initiative in the LIC

 

environment may be inhibited by public opinion and some

 

inherent belief that the "means do not justify the end".

 

This is particularly true when the nature of an operation

 

does not fit the Western perception of what is fair or when

 

the operation is not seen as essential to state survival.

 

Quite often public opinion will apply presonal or domestic

 

moral analogy as a guide to the conduct of international

 

affairs. Other political beliefs are not as constrained by

 

this juxtaposition, nor operate with the same morality. The

 

application of communist revolutionary theory can be

 

particularly pragmatic. (25)

 

The West must be sympathetic to democratic revolution in

 

developing countries stifled by corrupt and illegitimate

 

government and maintained by foreign power. However, rarely

 

can the West offer the dynamic "quick fix" that

 

revolutionaries hope to achieve. Many of the problems of the

 

Third World, unlike those of pre-revolutionary United States

 

and France, call for an evolutionary change. By definition,

 

the revolutionary wants dramatic and immediate change and

 

more often than not, the goal is not democracy. Violent

 

revolution alone cannot institute nor sustain democracy,

 

whereas the well-developed and cohesive strategies of

 

Leninism, Maoism, and the Cuban model, offer the

 

revolutionary fervour a seemingly easier avenue to goals.

 

Although it can be argued that revolution is as much a part

 


of democracy as any other political philosophy, the promotion

 

of democratic revolution has lagged behind the Communist use

 

of revolution. In this manner the West is seen as defensive

 

and reactive, conducting counter-insurgency rather than

 

insurgency. Efforts to promote such revolution have been

 

furtive and secretive in a way as to avoid public debate and

 

the likely debilitation of effort. This procedure in itself

 

reduces the options and the power that the democratic state

 

can employ in the conflict. Further-more, if the operation

 

is discovered then subsequent opposition may be intensified,

 

and any political embarrassment magnified. Centralized and

 

totalitarian states are unlikely to be so constrained by

 

public opinion.

 

Democratic Public Opinion

 

The responsiveness of the state to public opinion is the

 

central strength and appeal of democracy. It is also a

 

central weakness in the conduct of a sustained and protracted

 

strategy. Consensus by committee is not necessarily an

 

efficient way to win a conflict. In a climate of free speech

 

public opinion is accessible to foreign and internal foes

 

with their campaigns of disinformation. Uninformed public

 

opinion is particularly vulnerable to psychological

 

manipulation, which in turn can motivate a population to

 

rebel, reject or acquiesce, and can undermine the will of the

 

opposition and their supporters.

 

In the conduct of LIC abroad, a democratic population

 

may fail to identify the conflict as akin to a "war". It may

 


fail to appreciate the long term consequences of losing the

 

conflict and it may not believe it deserving of a total or

 

large commitment, especially over a protracted time. This is

 

because the modern Western perception of war does not embrace

 

war, or indeed conflict, as a natural condition of mankind.

 

Instead, democratic societies view war as an aberration in

 

which the expenditure of resources is rarely profitable

 

regardless of the outcome. Hence, war or anything resembling

 

it is under-taken with much public debate. And in a

 

democracy it requires the support of the people to divert

 

resources from constructive use to a substantial war effort.

 

Often public opinion dictates that the conduct of war be

 

geared towards achieving a favourable and efficient result as

 

quickly as possible. To this end, the short-term application

 

of superior force is considered a valid strategy. But if the

 

threat is not directly seen to immediately endanger the

 

democratic population itself, then it will be reticent to

 

support a protracted conflict which is perceived as another's

 

fight and appears unwinnable. If this perception includes a

 

doubt as to the moral and ethical right of the nation to

 

conduct the conflict then democratic support will be

 

difficult to attain or maintain.

 

The proliferation of the mass media and supporting

 

technology will increasingly bring the actions of government

 

and its agencies, such as the army, under public scrutiny.

 

This scrutiny is likely to be conducted without all the facts

 

of a situation and from an environment often far removed from

 


the action.

 

The Short Term Outlook

 

The philosophical outlook of a democratic society

 

contains a certain hedonism which has been acquired as an

 

extension of individualism and the relative material

 

prosperity gained following World War II. The hedonistic view

 

tends to shorten the outlook towards achievable and tangible

 

rewards within the short term. When this domestic short-

 

sightedness is coupled with the frequent election of state

 

officials, then it is even more difficult to maintain a long

 

term and cohesive stance in the LIC environment. Assuredly,

 

this process of change allows the redress of performance,

 

however this positive aspect must be balanced with the virtue

 

of "persistence" which is required in all endeavours.

 

Profit

 

The need for tangible reward is reflected in that aspect

 

of capitalism requiring a discernible and substantial profit

 

from every endeavour. In the extreme this motive limits state

 

foreign policy and the expenditure of resources in the

 

conduct of seemingly "unprofitable conflict". While this

 

concern balances adventurism and encourages state

 

accountability, it can prevent an effective counter to the

 

opposing strategies of protracted conflict. (26) It may

 

dictate the use of inappropriate and expedient measures that

 

exacerbate the root causes of the conflict, and indeed prove

 

the conflict to have been unprofitable. The provision of

 

security assistance funds tied to a design of short term

 


material profit is unlikely to assist a Third World country.

 

If the provision of foreign aid is in effect designed to

 

exploit the beleaguered country rather than build self-

 

sufficiency, then it is more likely to exacerbate the

 

conflict. After all, this is one of the practices that

 

created the present instability within the Third World.

 

Cultural Arrogance

 

Another inhabiting factor for Western democracies in

 

conducting LIC outside of their own immediate defence is

 

their "cultural arrogance". This arrogance is as a result of

 

their relative strength and prosperity in comparison to most

 

of the countries in which the LIC environment is likely to

 

arise, particularly the Third World. It may also be manifest

 

by a strong belief that it is the superiority of their

 

democratic system, over and above geographical and historic

 

luck, that has given rise to this strength and prosperity.

 

This is in part human nature, but it can lead to poor

 

performance in the LIC environment if this attitude is not

 

understanding of the root causes of the conflict and neither

 

sympathetic nor respectful of the local allies. It can lead

 

to a dictatorial and patronizing approach that fails to

 

recognize the need for self-determination and the development

 

of an internal solution. It can embroil the supporting

 

country in a protracted conflict and foreign occupation akin

 

to neo-colonialism.

 

It may also be argued that the Western attitude towards

 

the problems of the Third World is tinged with a "guilt

 


complex" because of the disparity in wealth and the past

 

and present exploitation of these countries by the West. Such

 

an attitude is vulnerable to manipulation and emotionalism

 

which inhibits a rational approach to LIC.

 

A further extension of "Western cultural arrogance" may

 

be the attempt to impose a Western solution as a template on

 

a problem that must be solved within a regional context of

 

culture and history. A templated solution may be proffered as

 

a condition of domestic support from within the Western

 

state. It may not be enough that the supporting forces and

 

statesmen be understanding of the local situation, but public

 

opinion from abroad must be supportive. This is difficult to

 

obtain if the beleaguered country is anything but a clone of

 

the supporting state's perception of democracy. It appears an

 

ironic quirk of democratic public opinion that it can respect

 

a "winner" as a logical validation of democracy's just reward

 

and secretly scorn a loser as unworthy, and still it can be

 

ernoted to sympathy for an underdog and disrespect for state

 

leadership. The need is for education and information to

 

remove the destabilizing effects of emotional public response

 

on the conduct of state and the prosecution of conflict.

 

Willingness to Compromise

 

As the peaceful resolution of conflict has been

 

institutionalized within the democratic state, so has the

 

process of compromise grown in favour. When this

 

characteristic is coupled with other factors, such as the

 

state's reticence to enter a war or engage in seemingly

 


unprofitable endeavours, then it is susceptible to the facade

 

of "reasonableness". This strategy forces confrontation to a

 

point below that of war and relents with an offer of

 

compromise that takes a very small objective. The process is

 

repeated until the state has been debilitated by degrees.

 

This is an ancient covert tactic. The defense is manoeuvre

 

and counter-nibble or dogmatism and escalation, or a

 

combination of both. If at some point in LIC the state and

 

the democratic population must be committed to offense, it is

 

best before the battle begins. The state's ultimate defense

 

is still its ability and willingness to wage war at so high a

 

level that the enemy risks defeat in combat.

 

A State for Peace

 

Perhaps the greatest inhibition that the democratic

 

state posses in the LIC environment, or any war environment,

 

is the fact that the democratic state is designed for peace

 

and not war. it respects and values life in this world and

 

aims to maximize the potential of that life. it has

 

difficulty in comprehending and therefore countering those

 

philosophies that preach destabilization in perpetuity, (27)

 

and that use it as a tactic to achieve goals. The West has

 

largely outgrown the need for martyrdom, outside of war.

 

Western democratic armies reflect their society and also

 

the strengths and weaknesses of those societies. it is beyond

 

the scope of this paper to enumerate those weaknesses but it

 

suffices that many of the characteristics of men and

 

organizations vital for success in war are not readily

 


fostered within a peacetime environment. As that peacetime

 

environment is prolonged the more difficult it is to maintain

 

the art of warfare and to focus on the skills for success in

 

battle. In short, an army may be debilitated by peace. With

 

only small wars to contest, the West may forget or ignore the

 

practice and lessons of high level conflict. Already, many of

 

the soldiers and officers have no real experience in war.

 

There is a danger that higher level conflict may be regarded

 

as an academic theory while the practice of lower level

 

conflict may debilitate forces and distort tactics and

 

strategy beyond usefulness in the next war.

 

FUTURE CONFLICT

 

The utility of LIC and the West's poor performance

 

hitherto in this level of conflict is justification for the

 

preparation of an army for future LIC. In order to balance

 

this preparation against other competing needs a realistic

 

assessment of the future face of conflict is required. It is

 

possible to derive from the extrapolation of history and

 

current trends some probable scenarios of the future. It must

 

be realized that the generic grouping of the "West" precludes

 

the examination of the minutia of each country and its

 

relationships which is necessary to gain a "truer" vision of

 

the future. However, the dynamism and multitude of variable

 

factors should dictate a general view of the future, rather

 

than one that ties the preparation for future conflict to a

 

specific scenario. This is not to prevent the formulation of

 

contingency planning but rather to maintain the inherent

 


flexibility necessary for responding to the constant review

 

of contingency planning that must take place. The state will

 

need to maintain in all departments those multitude of area

 

experts that play "what if? games".

 

Bearing this in mind, the following prediction on the

 

future of LIC is a useful start point:

 

The next twenty years will be a period of

small conflicts--wars of opposition dr liberation,

wars fuelled within or as proxies of larger powers,

conflicts below the level of war but with the power

to topple nations or cripple governments.

...The future does not offer the prospect of

less conflict than the past: in fact, the political

entropy we face suggests an increasing breakdown of

the established order and thus more, smaller

conflicts. (28)

 

 

While it is probable that in the near term LIC will

 

continue to be the most likely level of conflict, it is

 

unrealistic to view it in isolation. In some regions LIC will

 

occur in isolation, but it is also likely to spill over the

 

boundaries of its definition and equally likely to occur in

 

concert with a higher level of conflict. If LIC is viewed as

 

an entity in isolation, then the resultant response is to

 

seek a solution in specialization of forces, strategy, and

 

tactics, whether such a response is appropriate or not. If

 

recent history is indeed a trend, then LIC will continue in

 

concert with at least mid-intensity conflict. Since 1975

 

there have been twelve conflicts involving substantial

 

commitments of conventional forces. (29) The concept of a

 

general army should not be precluded so early. (30)

 

Perhaps a scenario that better expresses the concept of


 

multi-dimensional and inter-related conflict lies within this

 

passage:

 

The three components of armed conflict-

conventional war, guerrilla war, and terrorism-

will coexist in the future, with both governments

and subnational groups employing them individually,

interchangeably, sequentially, or simultaneously,

as well as being required to combat them...

Warfare in the future will be less

destructive than the first half of the twentieth

century, but less coherent.

Warfare will cease to be finite. The distinction

between war and peace will dissolve...

...Armed conflict will not be confined by

national frontiers. ...

With continuous, sporadic armed conflict,

blurred in time and space, waged on several levels

by a large array of national and subnational forces,

warfare in the last quarter of the twentieth century

will come to resemble warfare in the Italian

Renaissance or warfare in the early seventeenth

century, before the emergence of national armies. (31)

 

 

There is no doubt that man will posses the means of

 

technology to wage conflict in a truly multidimensional and

 

multi-level manner across the globe. (32) But states are only

 

likely to do so if it is to their advantage and they can

 

maintain control of the battle. It is debatable that a state

 

will embark on such a strategy if it is likely to lead to the

 

type of anarchy portrayed in the above prediction. Such

 

turmoil could easily bring about the uncontrolled use of

 

nuclear weapons. While sub-national groups may not be so

 

constrained by the fear of identification, reprisal and

 

anarchy, they must first obtain the resources necessary to

 

project significant violence and it must be possible to

 

fulfil their objectives by this action.

 

Herein lies a fundamental fact of future conflict: Until


 

such time as a method of sure nuclear defence renders nuclear

 

weapons obsolete then conflict will be conducted in their

 

shadow. The variable is whether the present system of

 

restraint emplaced by deterrence and the state system will

 

remain valid.

 

It is also true that the increasing inter-relationship

 

of states makes it highly unlikely that regional wars will

 

remain exclusively regional affairs. At least in the near

 

future the Soviet Union will continue to seek global

 

expansion and the United States will oppose it and promote

 

"The growth of freedom, democratic institutions, and free

 

market economies throughout the world." (33) This bipolarity

 

is likely to be challenged, if not eroded, by the economic

 

rise of such countries as Japan and China (34) in the twenty-

 

first century. The rise of these countries will introduce new

 

factors and further complicate the conduct of conflict.

 

This increased complication will also be as a result of

 

changes in technology that give the super-powers the ability

 

to control seemingly "incoherent warfare" with improved

 

sensors, communications and information processing. This

 

technology will flow to minor powers and subnational groups

 

and be coupled with a world-wide diffusion of advanced

 

weapons (35), including nuclear weapons. This development is

 

likely to reduce the stability of the current international

 

system and to remove some of the inhibitions currently

 

preventing the escalation of LIC. For example, an

 

antagonistic Third World country may see the utility in

 


employing one tactical nuclear bomb against an enemy instead

 

of a long and debilitating border conflict or an expensive

 

conventional war which it can not afford. Furthermore, it

 

may well reason that an ally of the enemy, such as the USA

 

or the USSR, will not risk "mutually assured destruction"

 

over a country not vital to their survival. The same logic

 

will apply to the future use of chemical and biological

 

weapons. The increased likelihood of terrorism and the

 

probability that high-technology weapons will be acquired or

 

provided to subnational groups will be a destabilizing and

 

complicating factor in future conflict. (36) A terrorist act

 

may well precipitate not LIC but general war.

 

It appears that as the world plays "catch up" the lesser

 

powers will increasingly gain the ability to wage a higher

 

level of warfare outside of the constraints which prevent

 

such conflict today. Countries will move towards the military

 

power once only the domain of the developed states.

 

Conversely, the super-powers will move into technology, such

 

as "stealth" aircraft, directed energy, and space systems,

 

that allows them the option of more discriminating violence

 

(37) by precision conventional weapons as opposed to the

 

bludgeon of nuclear force.

 

It is in front of this backdrop that deterrence based on

 

"mutually assured destruction" must be re-evaluated as it has

 

global implications for all countries, particularly those who

 

perceive their interests entwined with an effective strategic

 

balance (38). It also effects the preparation of an army for

 


LIC as it cannot be undertaken oblivious to other threats.

 

Particularly as these threats may lurk beneath the surface of

 

a LIC scenario. It is likely that the threat of massive

 

nuclear retaliation will not alone deter the use of nuclear

 

or conventional forces in the future unless such use was

 

directed against the very survival of the countries that

 

possesses them. (39) It is unlikely that such a threat can be

 

translated into action in the case where tactical nuclear

 

weapons are employed in gaining a limited objective or where

 

the enemy cannot be clearly identified and isolated. The

 

threat of mutually assured destruction is now less

 

credible. (40) It is based on an extreme contingency and is

 

not cognizant of the need for discriminating responses to

 

other contingencies. A strategy must comprehensively counter

 

all the enemy's options. No longer is nuclear or general war

 

confined to the monolithic nature of previous perception.

 

LIC is to continue in the Third World where an imbalance

 

of conditions are such that an acceptable status quo has yet

 

to be achieved. But there are likely to be scenarios of LIC

 

within developed countries(41) as the complexity of these

 

societies balance new needs and challenges. Challenges such

 

as overpopulation, the assimilation of large ethnic groups,

 

resource shortages, and the threat of pollution or diseases

 

like AIDS. LIC will continue to be a tool of interstate

 

competition in much the same way as economics and diplomacy

 

are tools. It will be employed by those groups without

 

the power of statehood and those who seek to establish trans-

 


national influence.

 

There will continue to be peacetime contingencies that

 

arise unexpectedly and the need to employ military forces in

 

peacekeeping functions. The preparation of an army for these

 

scenarios must be integrated into the preparation of the army

 

for both mid and high level conflict. Both remain a greater

 

threat and only by being prepared to conduct both are they

 

kept as a less likely threat than LIC. In the rationale of

 

Discriminate Deterrence:

 

Our strategy must also be integrated. We should

not decide in isolation questions about new technology,

force structure, mobility and bases, conventional

and nuclear arms, extreme threats and Third World

conflicts. We need to fit together our plans and

forces for a wide range of conflicts, from the lowest

intensity and highest probability to the most

apocalyptic and least likely. (42)


 

CHAPTER FOUR

 

AN OVERVIEW OF THE MAIN TYPES OF LIC

 

INSURGENCY

 

A Definition

 

Insurgency is ... a struggle between a

non-ruling group and the ruling authorities in which

the former consciously uses political resources and

violence to either destroy or regormulate the basis

of ligitimacy for aspects of politics that the non-

ruling group believes illigitimate under existing

conditions." (1)

Insurgency is a common basis for many of the LIC

 

Insurgency is a common basis for many of the LIC

 

scenarios in which the West will be involved. It requires a

 

qualitative fighting relevant to war in general which

 

warrants the study of all military professionals regardless

 

of background.

 

Insurgency is a revolt or rebellion against the

 

government of a state by elements of the state. It is

 

primarily conducted within a country, but it may also be

 

fought in dimensions outside of the state, such as in the

 

international media. While the root causes that give rise to

 

insurgency are nearly always domestic, they may be exploited

 

by an external state or inhibited by external force. Thus,

 

insurgency may have both interstate and intrastate factors.

 

The balance of power generally favours the government in the

 

intital stages of insurgency, thus forcing the insurgents to

 

utilize a strategy that reduces the advantage of the

 

government's superior military forces (2) and progressively

 

debilitates that advantage. The insurgent will undertake

 

concurrent and coordinated action in the dimensions of the

 

economic, political, psychological, and social fabric of a

 

society to redress the balance of power.

 

In a few cases, the active demonstration of insurgency

 

may be the catalyst to release pent-up oppression that

 

quickly redresses the balance of power. This is often the

 

vision and rhetoric of the idealist insurgent, who imbued

 

with a mixture of ideologies, sees a spontaneous uprising of

 

the masses under his leadership. It is generally harder to

 

overthrow an established status quo unless the "revolution"

 

springs from some major catasrophe to a society. A protracted

 

effort is normally required to effect a successful

 

insurgency.

 

Causes

 

The basis for the successful fostering or prevention of

 

insurgency lies in an understanding of the causes of revolt.

 

Some of the fundamental causes are: (3)

 

* social inequality;

 

* poverty;

 

* religious differences;

 

* ethnic, tribal and racial differences and rivalry;

 

* rapid change,e.g. from rural agricultural

 

* environment to the urbanization often associated

 

with industrialization;

 

* disruption of traditional customs and values;

 

* lack of progress and opportunity in economic,

 

* technological, educational and social aspects;

 

* overpopulation;


 

* a catastrophe;

 

* foreign threat or domination, and nationalism: and

 

* ideological beliefs, which can be ruled as secular,

 

* religious, ethnic, or cultural.

 

The presence of any or all of these conditions does not

 

necessarily precipitate revolt. There must be a belief that

 

a better condition is possible. This belief is a perception

 

of relative deprivation (4) or "rising expectations". If men

 

believe themselves deprived or want "more", then they will

 

look at the government or another society and decide whether

 

their condition is as a result of the government policies and

 

the social structure from which it comes. It is ironic that

 

men often fail to accept their condition as a result of their

 

own doing or that of fate/luck. It is not divine intervention

 

that some governments are so actively aligned with religion

 

stressing the inevitability of higher design in the state of

 

affairs.

 

For an insurgency to persist and grow there are normally

 

contributing weaknesses within the government, such as:

 

* corruption and discrimination,

 

* inertia or over-reaction,

 

* maladministration and incompetence,

 

* unstable political system, and

 

* foreign manipulation and exploitation.

 

If the country's problems are as a result of its former

 

history or paucity of resources, it may be beyond immediate

 

solution by even a well-meaning government. It is difficult

 


to redress problems that have built over centuries if the

 

state has nothing of material value. It is then reliant on

 

charity and foreign investment and in effect gives up

 

sovereign determination for survival. Any combination of

 

these causes may accelerate the swell of uprising, especially

 

if a precedent can be found to illustrate the successful

 

redress of similar problems by revolution.

 

Factors

 

Once a basis of insurgency exists then its success or

 

failure is dependent on the following factors;(5)

 

* organization and leadership,

 

* cohesion,

 

* environment,

 

* popular support,

 

* external support,

 

* government response, and

 

* time.

 

Organization and Leadership.

 

The basis for initiating and exploiting dissent is a

 

cohesive and adequate organization under the leadership of

 

politically and militarily astute leaders. Depending on the

 

ultimate goals and the environment, the organization may be

 

conspiratorial or mobilizational. Whatever the size it must

 

be adequate to conduct the battle and eventually capable of

 

running the state. Its size must be consistent with the need

 

to initially operate covertly and to maintain cohesion of

 

effort. It will undoubtedly grow with success and increasing

 


responsibility. It will need intelligence to retain

 

initiative and will need to infiltrate the government

 

infrastructure to gain both intelligence and fazmiliarity with

 

the running of government. Once within the governmental

 

organizations, it may act like a cancer. It may usurp the

 

functions of government from within or establish an

 

alternative and parallel government.

 

Cohesion

 

It will be a task for the insurgent leadership to

 

establish, maintain, and expand a unity of purpose within the

 

movement. The leadership will initially exploit the various

 

motives for revolt and weave them into a common goal and

 

strategy. The leadership will require flexibility in playing

 

up cohesive elements and playing down divisive ones. It will

 

be necessary to reconcile internal differences and in order

 

to attract wide popular support some dissimilar groups may

 

have to be courted. Of ten, membership may be conferred only

 

by a mutual hatred of the government. In the quest for group

 

unity the leadership will have to be careful not to

 

compromise the consistency of ideals, means, and goals.

 

Often the real goals of the leadership are camouflaged

 

beneath more palatable aims in order to win popular support

 

and to disguise the real threat the insurgency poses.

 

Environment

 

The insurgent needs both a favourable physical and

 

demographic environment in which to operate. It must be easy

 

for the insurgent to physically disappear into the terrain

 


to avoid decisive battle with the government. He must posses

 

and maintain an advantage of relative mobility over the

 

government. The environment must provide for the concealment

 

of bases and it must be suitable for guerrilla warfare. It

 

should provide an opportunity for progressive domination.

 

Jungle, mountains and cities provide such terrain, although

 

insurgency has also been effected in open and dessert

 

terrain.

 

Likewise the insurgent must blend in with the general

 

population so that the government will be forced to consider

 

all of its citizens as potential enemies. The government may

 

even be goaded into severe and draconian measures to control

 

the population which will exacerbate root causes and move the

 

popular support towards the insurgent. The insurgent will try

 

to exploit social cleavages within the society to break down

 

the existing homogeneity and cohesion of will to resist.

 

Popular Support.

 

The support of the people is the singular most important

 

factor in determining the success of the insurgency. This

 

support is either active or passive. (6) If the population is

 

actively in support of the cause then it will provide

 

material, intelligence, medical aid, shelter and recruits for

 

the cause. In this manner, the initial advantage the

 

government enjoyed by possessing the police, army and

 

institutionalized resources will be balanced. Passive

 

supporters are also important as they do not betray the

 

insurgents and aid the government. The means by which an

 


insurgency might gain popular support are: (7)

 

* charismatic attraction;

 

* ideological appeal;

 

* focus attention on real problems;

 

* terrorism for coercion, fragmentation of

 

social rifts, and alienation of impotent

 

government;

 

* provoking oppressive and indiscriminate government

 

responses; and

 

* demonstrating possession of the initiative by

 

providing for the peoples' needs and military

 

success.

 

External Support

 

External support to an insurgency is critical to help

 

offset the advantage of the government. This is usually in

 

the form of moral and political support, material,

 

sanctuaries, and in some cases the provision of covert

 

operations. The insurgent is particularly vulnerable to

 

manipulation by external forces through the provision of this

 

support.

 

Government Response

 

The correct government response will be the conduct of

 

counter-insurgency operations, which will be addressed in the

 

following section. It should be noted that despite the

 

ambiguity of the enemy, he does not automatically possess the

 

initiative within insurgency. After all, the government

 

possesses the balance of power and if it acts with a cohesive

 


and responsive strategy it may undermine or destroy the

 

revolt in its infancy. Quite often it is not the insurgents

 

that win power but the government that gives it up. A

 

government should not give up its option of coercive violence

 

to eliminate insurgency. Within democracies, this option

 

normally carries the restriction that the application of

 

force will be discriminating and surgical.

 

Insurgent intention is to develop power covertly until

 

it is capable of standing on its own. Then the use of that

 

power is to destroy the government in a time, place, and

 

manner favourable to the insurgent. Therefore, the government

 

must be kept in reactive and over-reactive modes. It must be

 

forced to defend everywhere and to undertake policies that

 

not only eat up vigor but magnify the root causes of the

 

conflict. It must be made to look inept and not deserving of

 

legitimacy. Wherever possible it must be alienated from

 

external support.

 

Time.

 

In most cases, insurgency is a strategy of protracted

 

effort. It requires time to insinuate an infrastructure and

 

to develop a cohesive and comprehensive strategy and

 

organization. It takes time to debilitate the government and

 

to change the balance of power unless the government is

 

already on the verge of collapse. It is during this time that

 

the government may seize the initiative or the very root

 

causes of the dissension may be resolved by evolutionary

 

change. Timing for the insurgent is critical. He cannot

 


afford to show his hand before he is able to move events in

 

the direction of his goals. It is debatable that rebellion is

 

spontaneous unless the root causes are already present and

 

smouldering, awaiting the fan of some traumatic event to

 

substantially remove the inbibiting factors. Rarely can an

 

insurgent bring to bear that traumatic event in the initial

 

phase of insurgency.

 

Types of Insurgency

 

An examination of the varying types of insurgency

 

reveals that western democracy need not always be defensive

 

in this area of conflict. There are opportunities for the

 

fostering of insurgency within an illegitimate regime. The

 

types of insurgency as defined by bard E. O'Neill in

 

"The Analysis of Insurgency", are:

 

* Secessionist - to withdraw from one state and

 

establish a new state.

 

* Democratic - to establish a democratic state.

 

* Revolutionary - to impose a new governmental and

 

social structure based on egalitarian values and

 

central control. It is designed to mobilize the

 

people.

 

* Restorational - to re-impose a recent traditional

 

order. e.g. often based on elitism and

 

oligarchies.

 

* Reactionary - to re-institute an historical order

 

from the distant past which is deemed responsible

 

[UNABLE TO READ ORGINAL TEXT]

 

* Conservative - to maintain the status quo in the

 

face of an impending change.

 

* Reformist - to change elements of the status quo

 

in order to remove discrimination.

 

* Anarchistic - to eliminate all institutionalized

 

government.

 

Insurgent Strategy.

 

Each insurgency is unique to the time, place and

 

circumstances and must be appreciated as such. However, there

 

are four broad strategic models (9) that insurgents generally

 

adopt and vary for their purposes, often combining;

 

* Leninist,

 

* Maoist,

 

* Foco (Cuban), and

 

* Urban.

 

Leninist.

 

In this strategy, a small and well-disciplined

 

conspiratorial group form a party to exploit grievances that

 

have largely alienated elements of the population from the

 

government. The insurgent purpose is normally revolutionary,

 

and it is not incompatible with other goals. The party will

 

seek support from discontented groups, such as the working

 

class or even the military itself. It does not seek to bring

 

the general population into the running of the government,

 

but it will mobilize segments for mass support in riots and

 

demonstrations. This strategy is normally effected in the

 

vicinity of the economic and political power bases in the

 


urban centres.

 

Leninist strategy assumes large scale disaffection from

 

a government which can no longer be assured of military and

 

police loyalty. It requires a government that will collapse

 

in the face of strong opposition, such as terrorism and mass

 

demonstrations, and no longer holds a balance of power. This

 

condition can occur as a result of the actions of the

 

movement or by other factors which it exploits. Most states

 

are not particularly susceptible to this strategy unless

 

inherently weak or at a debilitated stage. Debilitation may

 

follow a catastrophe or the prolonged application of another

 

insurgent strategy such as the Maoist strategy. It is not

 

surprising therefore that some revolutions are touted as

 

Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. This is an expression that an elite

 

leadership hope to overthrow the government by mobilizing the

 

populace but not to the extent that the general populace will

 

share in the governing process. That function is to be

 

effected on its behalf by a self-perpetuating elitist party,

 

which, by its own definition, knows what is best for society.

 

Maoist

 

Maoist strategy is by far the most practical and

 

developed insurgent strategy, and it has been the most

 

successful in application. China and Vietnam are the shining

 

examples of its success. It is the most likely and perhaps

 

dangerous strategy that the West will confront in the Third

 

World.

 

The Maoist strategy assumes that the government is in a


 

superior position of power and that it is well entrenched and

 

unlikely to fall without a protracted and significant effort.

 

It is a strategy to fight "out-numbered and win". It effects

 

this victory by a phased battle in which the government is

 

debilitated by degrees through conflict in areas and means

 

in which it is not strong. Each phase precipitates the next

 

as the battle is logically extended. The strategy may

 

escalate or diminish, the conflict depending on the

 

conditions. The strategy is heavily reliant on the factors of

 

organization and leadership, popular support, suitable

 

environment, and time.

 

The strategy is conducted in three main phases;

 

* Phase One-Passive Phase: (also referred to as

 

"political organization-terrorist" or "latent and incipient

 

insurgency" phase,) In this phase the insurgent organization

 

and infrastructure is emplaced. Within a democracy this phase

 

may go unnoticed, appearing as the normal friction that

 

occurs during peaceful competition. A communist regime

 

regularly purges itself of dissension. (10)) The phase is

 

characterized by Political and social action designed to

 

exploit the seeds of discontent and isolate the people from

 

the government The phase concludes with increased violence

 

in the form of sabotage, small scale raids and terrorism.

 

* Phase Two-Active Phase: ("guerrilla warfare"

 

phase.) In the active phase the utilization of violence is

 

increased to the extent of guerrilla warfare. The battle is

 

continued in all dimensions to make the government defend

 


everywhere (11) and disperse its efforts. The guerrilla stage

 

establishes the basis of a more substantial military

 

organization and effort. The establishment of this base is

 

dependent upon how much of the military resources belonging

 

to the government can be usurped and captured, or how much

 

can be provided by external support. In Third World countries

 

where neither government nor insurgent initially possesses

 

significant military resources, then the provision of

 

external support to one or the other may have a decisive

 

affect on the outcome of the conflict.

 

* Phase Three-Counter-Offensive Phase: ("mobile-

 

conventional warfare" or "war of movement" phase.) When it is

 

evident that the military balance has swung in favour of the

 

insurgent, the guerrilla warfare is supplemented with mobile

 

warfare. Towards the end of the insurgency the military

 

dimension may resemble limited war. The multi-dimensional

 

and multi-level strategy, as applied in the Vietnam war, will

 

be maintained throughout the struggle: "Not only does the

 

counter insurgent have to defend everywhere he must fight in

 

two types of conflict." (12) When the government is facing

 

conventional warfare then it is close to defeat. It is in

 

this condition of desperation that the government may seek

 

the intervention of substantial outside support, such as

 

combat forces, from the Western block. It is this situation

 

that the West needs to avoid by the earlier provision of

 

support commensurate with preventing the escalation of

 

conflict. The alternate strategy is to allow deterioration of

 


the situation and the formation of visible insurgent forces

 

against which the superior conventional force of the

 

government and the supporting Western country can be brought

 

to bear. This form of brinkmanship may have application

 

within the overall strategy of counter-insurgency, but it is

 

a risk. It will still require fighting the insurgency back

 

through the phases as it withdraws to a level of conflict in

 

which it can survive and recuperate for the next bout. It may

 

be an enforced strategy by a public opinion that requires

 

crisis motivation.

 

The three phases can be identified in most insurgent's

 

strategy, Maoist or otherwise. In many cases the insurgent's

 

strategy and appeal is such that it fails to move past the

 

first phase and remains a permanent aggravation within the

 

society, oscillating from peaceful competition to acts of

 

subversion and terrorism. In other cases, what commences as

 

insurgency escalates quickly to civil war, foreign

 

intervention and war. It should be noted that the concluding

 

stage of Maoist insurgency is not confined to LIC but more in

 

the realm of mid-intensity conflict.

 

Foco (Cuban)

 

A variation of the Maoist strategy is that provided by

 

the Cuban model and Che Guevara (13). Instead of relying on a

 

revolutionary condition to arise, this strategy is based on

 

accelerating the process by giving whatever grievances that

 

exist a catalyst. That catalyst is not a political party but

 

the existence of armed revolt by a core of guerrillas. The

 


party and leadership is to spring from this core, the

 

guerrilla foco. Like a rolling snowball the conduct of

 

guerrilla warfare is to stimulate the conditions and progress

 

of revolution.

 

The appeal of this strategy is that it is easier to

 

initiate and requires less organizational groundwork, time

 

and external support. The revolution can be highly visible

 

from the start, where the populace are disenchanted and the

 

government weak: such action may be enough to quickly force

 

capitulation or concessions. It is easy to start an

 

insurgency with this strategy in undeveloped countries, among

 

simple rural populations, in countries with difficult terrain

 

and where the population is susceptible to emotional appeal.

 

It is harder to bring it to a success against a government

 

that holds centralized control of the economy, military and

 

politics, unless the groups that hold that sway defect to the

 

insurgent cause. Equally, an insurgent would have difficulty

 

in establishing the organization and infrastructure of Maoist

 

strategy under these conditions. Insurgents that lack the

 

patience, sophistication and opportunity required for Maoist

 

strategy are likely to attempt the Cuban model with

 

significant external support. This strategy is unlikely to be

 

successful without this support.

 

Urban

 

The urban model is really the employment of terrorism

 

within the urban areas to destabilize society and government.

 

The object is to create crises in which the inactivity or

 


over-reaction of the government alienates the population. Due

 

to the complexity of cities and the freedom and anonymity

 

possible within Western democratic cities in particular, it

 

is relatively easy to create chaos. It is debatable whether

 

this action alone is sufficient to carry insurgency to

 

victory. It is more an adjunct to other strategy; tying

 

forces to urban protection and creating paranoia and fear

 

that inhibits the logical and cohesive response of the

 

government in other areas. Since it uses terror, a double

 

edged tactic, it is also subject to alienating the

 

population. It may focus attention on matters and indirectly

 

bring about change, but it is not a comprehensive strategy as

 

yet. If, however, urban insurgents were to acquire nuclear,

 

chemical or biological weapons then they might constitute the

 

most serious threat to both society and the government This

 

is true for any insurgent acquiring an NBC capability.

 

Conclusion

 

As in all areas of conflict, the methods by which an

 

insurgent may attempt to overthrow a government are only

 

limited by imagination and resources. Insurgency can be

 

defeated by the West, but more importantly prevented, both at

 

home and abroad as long as it is acknowledged as a potential

 

threat. Most insurgency that is serious enough to warrant

 

military action will be in one of the Maoist classic phases

 

when action is undertaken. But it should be noted that

 

insurgency can rapidly escalate or diminish depending on the

 

fortunes of the struggle. It can retreat to a state of

 


peaceful competition and is unlikely to be definitively

 

destroyed while the root causes exist.

 

It is not the intention of the West to expand its

 

interests by global of non-democratic states. But it must

 

look seriously at supporting revolt against illegitimate

 

governments imposed against the will of their people by

 

external forces. The conduct of insurgency in this case is a

 

matter of foreign policy and will include Unconventional

 

Warfare, which may be conducted as LIC or in conjunction with

 

a higher level of war. It is not the scope of this paper to

 

examine the specialized aspects of UW.

 

 

COUNTER-INSURGENCY

 

The doctrine of counter-insurgency is both well

 

developed and documented. (14) Now that insurgency is

 

recognized as a more creditable threat then the doctrine is

 

increasingly read and studied. Most nations have underway

 

serious programmes to translate this doctrine into

 

preparedness. The second half of this paper will largely deal

 

with the problem of appropriate preparedness and the

 

practical application of doctrine. Much of the doctrine of

 

counter-insurgency is only an adaptation of basic

 

war-fighting. It is therefore relevant to not only the whole

 

spectrum of LIC, but not dissimilar to war-fighting in

 

general. This point is not always understood or accepted by

 

those who lean towards specialization in all ventures.

 

For Western nations counter-insurgency is conducted

 

within two theatres: at home and abroad. The likelihood of

 


nation is minimal, although should not be discounted. For

 

example, a small scale foreign incursion, resembling

 

insurgency, has been for many years touted as the most likely

 

threat to Australia. (15) While the USA possesses the National

 

Guard as the basis of military aid to local government (16)

 

other nations utilize the army as Aid-to-the-Civil-Power.

 

The conduct of these operations is similar to counter-

 

insurgency in principle and doctrine. An indigenous force may

 

be aiding the police force in the conduct of limited

 

counter-insurgency and also receive economic aid to redress

 

the root causes of the problem. In an escalated situation

 

security forces may be assisted by forces from a neighbouring

 

country conducting counter-guerrilla warfare in a border

 

region. The problem is not one of semantics but of objective

 

The goal of all participants must be one and the same; defeat

 

the counter-insurgency and restore stability to the stage.

 

Along the way the interests of nation building and national

 

interest may be achieved.

 

Basis of Success.

 

The basis of success in counter-insurgency is found in

 

the follow principles; (17)

 

* Prevention of counter-insurgency is the ultimate

 

objective Prevention lies in monitoring all facets of the

 

state to address problejns before they emerge or being

 

responsive to them as they are identified. This objective is

 

achieved by balanced nation building and the institution of

 

responsive government


 

* Mobilization of the entire national resources must

 

be undertaken in a co-ordinated manner once insurgency is

 

identified to prevent the escalation of the conflict.

 

* The support of the population must be obtained.

 

* Control over all areas untouched by the insurgent

 

must be consolidated or established.

 

* The insurgent must be isolated, physically and

 

psychologically

 

* The insurgent must be destroyed or brought to

 

iustice in a systematic manner.

 

* The conduct of the operation must be in accordance

 

with the constitution, laws and culture of the country. In

 

most cases this will be in accordance with the primacy of

 

civil power, unless special legislation has been enacted.

 

If foreign assistance is to be required, then it

 

must be complementary to the local strategy and be aimed at

 

building self-sufficiency and not dependency. Such aid,

 

however, is better requested before the onset of crisis.

 

During and after the insurgency, efforts must be

 

undertaken to remove the root causes of the insurgency.

 

Strategic Principles

 

The following principles should guide the conduct of

 

military operations without inhibiting the application of

 

sound military tactics: (18)

 

* Unity of Effort. The strategy must encompass a

 

cohesive and well co-ordinated response across all dimensions

 

of the state and throughout the organizations responsible for

 


effecting it. The effort will be a joint military-civil

 

action and may include combined forces. Responsibilities must

 

be understood from the beginning and the appropriate

 

integration of commands and liaison established. The

 

military effort must always be seen to reflect the national

 

goals and be supportive of the government. All participants

 

must thoroughly understand the national, strategic and

 

tactical objectives to be achieved.

 

* Maximize Intelligence. The acquisition and timely

 

response to intelligence is vital in counter-insurgency. An

 

integrated and centrally controlled system must be

 

established, but it must be efficient and allow for tactical

 

initiative. Intelligence includes the thorough appreciation

 

of the enemy, the allied forces and the environment, both

 

geography and demography. This appreciation must pass to the

 

lowest level in the chain of command.

 

* Minimize Violence. This principle is probably the

 

least understood of not only counter-insurgency, but LIC in

 

general. It is best explained to the conventional military

 

mind as an extension of using an "economy of force". where

 

ever possible, only that amount of force necessary to achieve

 

the objective should be used. In some LIC doctrine this is

 

expressed a "minimal force". However, when translated to the

 

tactical level this often imposes a dangerous and inhibiting

 

perception. Both in war and LIC the military must understand

 

the advantages and disadvantages employing maximum force or

 

minimum force. Western armies must be imbued with the ethos

 


that the use and level of violence must be justified by the

 

circumstances. Both in LIC, and war in general, the object

 

must be the application of force in the appropriate quantity

 

against the target of choosing when and where decided. The

 

nature of the LIC environment normally dictates the surgical

 

application of force. The requirement to prevent escalation

 

and to protect non-combatants from injury must be stressed

 

and enforced throughout the organization. In some cases the

 

principle of "minimum force" may be incorporated in Rules of

 

Engagement, while in other cases it may be appropriate to

 

established a free fire zone.

 

* Security. All operations must be conducted in the

 

realization that the enemy may strike anywhere and anytime

 

and with considerable imagination. It is difficult for this

 

security consciousness not to be manifest by a paranoia. It

 

must be balanced with the circumstances of the threat and not

 

prevent the normal functioning of the state and life in

 

general. Security of information, personnel, and material is

 

vital to avoid attrition of resources and to seize initiative

 

from the enemy and in turn surprise him. Security must cover

 

both overt and covert enemy activity.

 

* Systematic Approach. The counter-insurgency must be

 

undertaken systematically. Unless the insurgent is inept or

 

over-confident, then the government is unlikely to be

 

presented with the opportunity for a coup de main or grace.

 

While the government must seize the initiate where ever

 

possible, this should be within the "framework" (19) of a

 


systematic plan of prevention, identification, isolation,

 

destruction, and consolidation. The insurgent will tempt the

 

government to over-react in a haphazard and uncoordinated

 

manner. The biggest problem for the government will be a

 

shortage of resources to effect a systematic programme

 

simultaneously throughout the state. The government will be

 

forced to consolidate positions of strength and expand from

 

this base while conducting operations in depth in other

 

areas. Operations in depth are designed to remove the

 

initiative from the enemy and prepare the area for the

 

introduction of a more systematic approach when increased

 

resources become available.

 

* Seize and Retain the Initiative. This principle is

 

a tenet of all conflict. Government action must contain

 

an effective offensive plan. Initiative is retained in this

 

level of conflict by well trained and mature soldiers in the

 

field who have a thorough understanding of their

 

responsibility and what is to be achieved. Centralized

 

control and co-ordination of effort must not inhibit the

 

initiative of those in the field. This point must be stressed

 

in the utilization of intelligence. The West has not always

 

been effective in the timely dissemination of appropriate

 

intelligence to the right level. Intelligence overload has

 

been a common problem. This can be addressed with data

 

processing systems and advanced communications that links the

 

man in the field with central banks of collated information

 

almost instantaneously. These systems are employed daily by

 


modern police forces.

 

* Quality of Force. The government forces must be

 

able to outlast, outfight and outmove the insurgents. The

 

forces must be trained and conditioned to beat the insurgents

 

man for man in the insurgents' environment and with the same

 

equipment if necessary. If a force can achieve this then it

 

will understand what is required to give it a true advantage.

 

For example, a helicopter may not give an advantage of

 

relative mobility in primary jungle where as a better boot

 

may. To this nature of force is added the necessary

 

equipment, weapons, mobility, administration, communications,

 

and command, and, if required, superior quantity. The

 

insurgent may then retain only one hope, a greater will to

 

fight. As in all conflict, the will to fight is a critical

 

variable. The indigenous and allied forces of the government

 

must possess at least a will to fight equal to the

 

insurgents. Wherever possible, indigenous forces should

 

engage the insurgents in combat as the fight is for the

 

survival of their state and they should have a better

 

understanding of the situation. This principle is reinforced

 

by other considerations such as external public support and

 

the laws of supporting states. The philosophy that "more is

 

better" should not be the maxim of counter-insurgency. The

 

state will win if it fields a superior quantity and quality

 

of forces in conjunction with an equal and co-ordinated

 

effort in the other areas of government.

 

* Surprise. Offensive action alone will not gain the


 

government initiative. The insurgent must be constantly

 

surprised to reduce his illusiveness and his options.

 

Strategic surprise may be difficult to achieve in a

 

systematic approach, but it should guide all tactical and

 

framework operations. Surprise is achieved by out-thinking

 

the insurgent. The mental activity of the military and police

 

will be equally as important, if not more so, than physical

 

activity in counter-insurgency

 

Considerations for Supporting States

 

The principles of strategy listed above are relevant to

 

the conduct of counter-insurgency at home and abroad.

 

However, there are additional considerations that are

 

applicable to Western states supporting counter-insurgency

 

abroad. These considerations should be appreciated in the

 

light of earlier observations made on LIC and the West's

 

vulnerabilities in this environment:

 

* The conduct of counter-insurgency at home is in the

 

defence of the state and related to national survival. The

 

conduct of counter-insurgency abroad is in the pursuit of

 

national interest and part of foreign policy.

 

* counter-insurgency at home is likely to be a goal

 

within itself, or at least an intermediate goal within nation

 

building. The goals of counter-insurgency and nation building

 

are likely to be intermediate goals for the supporting state

 

whose ultimate aim may be increased political or economic

 

power in the region.

 

* The supporting state has the choice to enter the


 

conflict or not, and may withdraw at will or in accordance

 

with other priorities. The besieged state must fight or

 

acquiesce.

 

* The insurgency may be entirely instigated and

 

controlled by an outside force and be in reality a foreign

 

incursion. The insurgency may in effect be a LIC between

 

external powers utilizing a third state as a battle ground.

 

* The local state may need external support to

 

survive but exacerbate the root causes of the conflict by

 

obtaining that support.

 

* The supporting state is accountable to a different

 

public perception and law than that applicable to the

 

conflict.

 

* By accepting support, the beleagured state is

 

vulnerable and in effect gives up sole measure of sovereignty

 

while the supporting state gains a right of leverage in

 

sovereign affairs. The troubled state may therefore request

 

support only when a crisis is reached and the condition

 

requires a large amount of support or is beyond help. Such a

 

condition may embroil a state in a protracted effort beyond

 

its capabilities.

 

* Unless it is the object to maintain a puppet state,

 

which is not the acknowledged aim of Western foreign policy,

 

then support must not create dependency.

 

* Unless the introduction of support is in the form of

 

foreign intervention and neo-colonialism, then the conflict

 

will be waged in accordance with the local environment and

 


determined largely by the local state. This may not be the

 

method acceptable to the supporting state.

 

* The insurgency may not only possess the ability to

 

escalate to a regionally limited war, but it may precipitate

 

a high intensity war world-wide.

 

Additional Guidelines for Supporting States.

 

The provision of Western support to counter-insurgency

 

abroad should be in accordance with those already listed and

 

these additional guidelines:

 

* The counter-insurgency will be conducted as part of

 

foreign policy and part of Foreign Internal Defence

 

Operations (20). Foreign policy, the Foreign Defence

 

Operations and the conduct of counter-insurgency must be

 

consistent in objective and method with national policy and

 

capabilities. The approach must be co-ordinated and cohesive

 

throughout the agencies of the supporting state.

 

* Despite what ever else the supporting power hopes

 

to achieve, it must be committed to a team effort with the

 

local country to defeat the insurgency.

 

* The commitment to win must be a commitment to a

 

protracted effort. There are few "quick fix" solutions to

 

insurgency. The commitment should not be broken easily by

 

whim, public emotionalism, battlefield setbacks or the change

 

of political parties unless the original rationale has been

 

largely invalidated. The West will certainly lose allies if

 

unable to keep foreign commitments.

 

* Both states must reach a treaty or agreement before


 

combined action is undertaken to reconcile fundamental

 

differences of interest, responsibility, laws and

 

operations. Ideally this should be achieved in time of peace

 

as a contingency plan and be subject to periodic review,

 

especially at the time of activation. The absence of such a

 

plan should not preclude the provision of emergency support

 

in time of crisis, but arrangements must be finalized soon

 

after a commitment. A team effort cannot be effected unless

 

all the players know and agree to the rules.

 

* The supporting state must recognize and respect the

 

sovereignty of the local state and be prepared to work within

 

rules that foster self-determination. That is, help the

 

legitimate government re-establish control, undertake

 

remedial action, and replace external support with domestic

 

resources, as soon as possible.

 

* Both the supporting and supported states must be

 

aware of the implications of "cultural arrogance" and ensure

 

that all elements of both their countries, especially the

 

public, are presented a balanced and factual appreciation of

 

the other's country, its situation, and the rationale for

 

support. This must especially include those who are

 

responsible for dispensing the Support.

 

* Western states must monitor their allies to

 

identify potential internal problems and provide advice and

 

support to prevent insurgency. This is a diplomatic mission.

 

An environment must be created in which aid, if it is likely

 

to be needed, will be sought in a timely manner rather than

 


in a crisis.

 

* A Western democratic state possesses many non-

 

violent resources that may be provided to an ally to prevent

 

insurgency or to defeat it in its infancy. These include:

 

political support, economic aid, high technology, and non-

 

combatant material and advisers. Often the beleaguered state

 

only requires military training and material to redress any

 

external support being provided to the insurgents. The

 

provision of combat forces to a foreign state should be as a

 

last resort, and then within the type of bounds expressed by

 

the former US Secretary of State, Weinberger:(21)

 

o The provision of foreign combat forces must be

 

vital to the interests of the supporting state or its allies.

 

o Combat forces are committed with a clear

 

intention of winning.

 

o There must be clearly defined political and

 

military objectives.

 

o The forces must be consistent with the

 

objectives ( In particular, the goals must be achievable by

 

combat forces.)

 

o The commitment must have the sustained support

 

of the public and the politicians.

 

Western democratic states must be committed to

 

resolving conflict at the lowest level and understand the

 

danger of allowing insurgency to escalate. Supporting states

 

must expose the role of external states, if any, in the

 

insurgency. Western states that are subjected to insurgency

 


at home or supporting counter-insurgency abroad must retain

 

the option of waging a higher level of conflict on other

 

states that support insurgency against legitimate

 

governments. The West must be prepared to wage war on those

 

states or sub-national groups that interpret a commitment to

 

peace as a lack of resolve to defend national interest by war

 

where necessary.

 

Military Operations Peculiar to Counter-Insurgency

 

There are few military operations that are peculiar to

 

the conduct of counter-insurgency. Rather, it requires the

 

employment of basic military skills and tactics to a high

 

level of proficiency so as to avoid the necessity of the

 

bludgeon approach to war-fighting by attrition or mass of

 

force. It is often qualitative fighting rather than

 

quantitative. However, it generally involves a significant

 

size force in relation to the number of enemy and combat

 

engagements. The philosophy of manoeuvre warfare is

 

applicable to the conduct of counter-insurgency. There may

 

be the necessity to utilize mass force. This will be

 

difficult to avoid in the later stages of a Maoist-type

 

insurgency as it escalates from guerrilla war to mobile war.

 

There is a need for those responsible for translating the

 

strategy into achievable tactics to be proficient in

 

operational art and appreciating a complex and inter-related

 

array of factors and resources. This same skill is required

 

on the modern battle field where ever increasingly a

 

multitude of complex factors will impact on the conduct of

 


war.

 

There will be less need for the means of mass

 

destruction in the initial phases of insurgency. The

 

employment of air and naval forces are more likely to be

 

service support functions rather than direct combat. The

 

the early stages of the "war" will be conducted on the

 

ground. However, counter-insurgency is both a joint servive

 

and combined arms task. While the emphasis is on infantry

 

work, all the elements of a conventional force may be called

 

upon. Some corps may be used in secondary or different

 

roles, such as the use of static armour and the use of

 

engineers in civil affairs construction. Indirect fire

 

weapons must be available, but direct fire weapons, such as

 

helicopter gunships, will often provide a more flexible and

 

surgical option of fire. The increased precision of modern

 

weapon systems will allow more fire power options. Those

 

weapon systems not initially required must be available at

 

short notice to be integrated into the effort in the event of

 

escalation. In some cases where a supporting force comes to

 

the rescue of a nation facing defeat, then a conventional

 

army, complete with armour and air, may be introduced and

 

then gradually withdrawn as the conflict regresses to LIC.

 

Some LIC operations that incorporate basic tactics but are

 

more commonly used in war by security forces, or rear area

 

security, are:

 

* cordon and search,

 

* cordon and clear,


 

* key point and installation security,

 

* personnel security operations,

 

* border protection, and

 

* route and movement protection.

 

Operations in Death. (22) These operations are conducted

 

in areas not yet under the control of the government. They

 

are designed to disrupt and destroy insurgents, to remove

 

their initiative until a more comprehensive and systematic

 

effort can be made in the area. They do not aim to capture or

 

hold territory, and employ similar tactics to operations in

 

enemy or neutral territory during a war. A force is inserted

 

and may or may not establish a base. A search, based on prior

 

intelligence, is conducted to locate objectives or the force

 

may be inserted near a known objective. The objective is

 

destroyed or the enemy are captured, and the force withdrawn

 

to a secure base or government controlled area. The most

 

common operation within this type is the search and clear

 

operation.

 

Special and Supporting Operations.

 

The following operations have particular relevance to

 

counter-insurgency but are employed in all warfare. All

 

armies must maintain a module of specialists in these fields

 

for integration into a task force as required:

 

* psychological operations;

 

* civil affairs;

 

* explosive ordinance disposal;

 

* public relations operations;


 

* water-borne operations;

 

* special action force operations:

 

o reconnaissance and surveillance,

 

o ambush and harassing of insurgents,

 

o sabotage and demolition,

 

o training indigenous forces and Unconventional

 

Warfare,

 

o covert operations, and

 

o counter-terrorist operations;

 

* specialized communications, electronic warfare,

 

and intelligence support;

 

* liaison and language support; and

 

* country and area specialists.

 

Summary

 

The overview of counter-insurgency points to the conduct

 

of a conflict in a manner not dissimilar to that required for

 

war. The complexity and demands of national strategy, foreign

 

policy, military strategy and operational art are the same

 

even though the level of violence may be less overall. The

 

requirement far tactical and individual military proficiency

 

is a high standard. A standard that befits an army in any

 

war. The tactics of offense and defence are required, with

 

particular emphasis on the type of operations undertaken for

 

rear area security or to dominate a "no-man's land" beyond

 

the FEBA. Not all of the equipment and weapons maintained by

 

a conventional force will be needed unless the conflict

 

escalates. The conflict is a land conflict although there is

 


a large requirement for air support, and in some cases naval

 

support. The basic force for the conduct of counter-

 

insurgency is an infantry force, in this age of

 

specialization and equipment overloading, it is often called

 

a light infantry force. This force requires the add on

 

modules of specialization as in any other type of task force.

 

The training of a force suitable for the conduct of

 

counter-insurgency will be addressed as part of a later

 

chapter on the training of forces for LIC in general. It is

 

worth reflecting that the allied forces in Vietnam were not

 

militarily defeated in the field in either LIC, guerrilla

 

warfare or limited war. (23) Whatever military setbacks were

 

suffered were not due to the nature of the war but due to the

 

same factors and level of competence that would have affected

 

performance in a higher level of war, perhaps more so and

 

with worse consequences.


 

CHAPTER FIVE

 

AN OVERVIEW OF OTHER LIC

 

AID-TO-THE-CIVIL-POWER

 

Aid-to-the-Civil-Power (1) are those operations that an

 

army performs to assist the civil police maintain law and

 

order. It is an operation by the state's defence force and

 

normally precedes a declaration of defence emergency in which

 

increased power may be given to the military. Aid-to-the-

 

Civil-Power is normally conducted under the auspices of

 

domestic law. However, the extent of the military power and

 

responsibility will also be determined by any special laws or

 

legislation pertaining to the particular situation at hand.

 

These operations are conducted in accordance with the

 

principle of "primacy of the civil power", and support police

 

operations. They include such support as:

 

* the provision of equipment and logistics,

 

* explosive ordinance disposal,

 

* crowd and riot control, and

 

* counter-terrorism operations. (2)

 

The laws and constitution of the state govern how a

 

problem of internal security is classified and handled. It is

 

necessary for allies in support of the internal security of a

 

foreign state to understand, before a crisis, that state's

 

laws and their impact on operations, before a crisis.

 

In some countries, Aid-to-the-Civil-Power operations may

 

be termed "Security Force Operations" and effected by

 

paramilitary forces. It should be noted that not all

 


countries that may require Western aid in LIC contain a

 

separate military and police force. Where the police force is

 

a sub-entity of the military then security force operations

 

may be considered the normal role of the military. In this

 

case it will be difficult to achieve responsive actions to

 

the government unless the military has instituted some

 

decentralized responsibility to each level of civil

 

government,i.e. the military functions more like a civil

 

police force than an army. However, in some of the Third

 

World states likely to require foreign assistance, not only

 

is the police controlled by the military but the government

 

may be controlled directly or indirectly by the military.

 

This is generally a root cause or aggravation of the problem

 

within itself. The close inter-relationship of the civil

 

police and military in domestic security may cause

 

complications for a supporting power such as the USA, where

 

the military is removed from this function by law. (3)

 

It is not inconceivable that a government may choose to

 

defeat an insurgency in its infancy with an Aid-to-the-

 

Civil-Power operation rather than a declaration of defence

 

emergency and the publicizing of counter-insurgency

 

operations. Aid-to-the-Civil-Power plays down the threat and

 

stresses that the military is acting in support of the

 

police, under the control of the civil government, and in

 

accordance with the normal laws of the land. In democratic

 

states all war is conducted under the primacy of civil power.

 

In a crisis situation more of that civil power may be

 


passed temporarily to War Councils or regional military

 

commanders so that all resources, both civil and military,

 

can be mobilized in a co-ordinated plan. In the extremes of

 

counter-insurgency or security force operations, martial law

 

may be declared in various regions. A state facing the final

 

phase of insurgency may be forced to declare martial law as a

 

condition to all out war. The laws and constitution of

 

democratic states generally cater for a "state of emergency"

 

rather than martial rule. When faced with insurgency, the

 

imposition of martial rule implies that the government is

 

unable to govern and that the political status quo is no

 

longer legitimate.

 

FOREIGN INTERNAL DEFENCE

 

Foreign Internal Defence is a US term (4) that covers

 

those assistance programmes that are designed to strengthen

 

the defence of a friendly foreign country by enhancing

 

defence capabilities to meet likely threats. It is an

 

extension of foreign policy in the pursuit of national

 

interests and is integrated with other programmes, such as

 

those that provide developmental and economic assistance to

 

promote stable nation building. All Western states possess

 

such programmes. They are based on a belief that the

 

interest of the West is entwined with the need for world

 

stability and peace, national self determination, freedom and

 

democracy, free trade, and the defeat of those who would

 

enforce opposing ideals. (5) The programmes of Foreign

 

Internal Defence are generally executed during peace but may

 


include elements conducted to prevent or conduct LIC: (6)

 

Security assistance is through the provision of military:

 

o training,

 

o equipment funding,

 

o equipment,

 

o advisers,

 

o intelligence,

 

o combat forces,

 

o non-combat support,

 

o special operations forces,

 

o peacekeeping forces, and

 

o econoinic aid to redress social and economic

 

problems

 

The conduct of LIC within this category of foreign

 

policy is as for the type of conflict, e.g.

 

counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, or peacekeeping.

 

TERRORISM AND TERRORISM COUNTER-ACTION

 

Terrorism.

 

Terrorism is a tactic of employing or threatening

 

violence to achieve goals and is utilized within all levels

 

of conflict from a state of peaceful competition to general

 

war. It may achieve a goal directly, such as gaining the

 

release of political prisoners, or support the achievement of

 

goals indirectly, such as creating an environment of fear in

 

which the release of political prisoners can be negotiated.

 

It has more impact in an environment that is relatively

 

peaceful and so it is an important feature of the LIC

 


environment. It may be employed by states and sub-national

 

groups that do not have the resources or opportunity to

 

pursue political, social or economic goals by other means.

 

It may be employed as a low cost, low risk weapon in support

 

of either specific or general goals. (7) Terrorism alone

 

cannot effect change or overthrow the status quo unless the

 

state which is the focus of the terrorism is prepared to

 

react as the terrorist proposes. However, it is a two-sided

 

weapon that may be detrimental to a cause. The motives for

 

terrorism are many and varied, and at times it may be

 

difficult to determine both the perpetrator and the motive.

 

However, terrorist objectives fall into five categories: (8)

 

* recognition,

 

* coercion,

 

* provocation,

 

* intimidation, and

 

* insurgency support.

 

The terrorist techniques are well known and only limited

 

by imagination and resources. A new dimension will be given

 

to terrorism if high-technology and nuclear and biological

 

weapons are added to the stock techniques. At present these

 

techniques include:

 

* bombings,

 

* assassination,

 

* kidnapping,

 

* hijacking or hostage barricades,

 

* covert operations concealed as the normal pattern


 

of domestic crime or unreported operations.

 

Terrorism is normally treated as a criminal activity (9)

 

by subject states, despite its origin and motive. The

 

complication to this perspective is that terrorism is

 

increasingly a tool of individuals, sub-national groups and

 

external states that sponsor both individuals and sub-

 

national groups in terrorism. How to deal with those who

 

carry out terrorism is straight forward in theory but

 

difficult to in practice. But how to deal with those behind

 

terrorism is a problem of appropriate response and delivery,

 

which may range from diplomatic and economic sanctions to

 

covert operations abroad or a declaration of war.

 

The West is particularly vulnerable to terrorism due to

 

the internal freedom of action afforded by its society and

 

the complexity of that society. There is freedom of movement

 

between such countries and often the ability to legally

 

acquire the tools of terrorism. The profile of the terrorist

 

organization is that of a secret society in which unity of

 

purpose and the maintenance of security is paramount.

 

External support is generally filtered to avoid a direct link

 

to the source and a compromise of security. It is a covert

 

organization much like a spy ring.

 

The West does not doctrinally sponsor terrorism although

 

its enemies may argue otherwise. What is considered terrorism

 

and what is considered a legitimate tactic is a matter of

 

perception. The adage "one man's terrorist is another man's

 

hero" is especially true.


 

Terrorism Counter-Action.

 

Terrorism is fought with the same approach as

 

insurgency: with a cohesive and co-ordinated policy that

 

mobilizes a spectrum of resources with the following

 

intention:

 

* prevent an environment conducive to terrorism

 

* prevention by early identification and pre-emptive

 

action;

 

* possession of effective defence and security

 

against terrorism; and

 

* possession of a competent and appropriate response

 

to terrorism.

 

The sustained acquisition of timely intelligence is

 

vital in both counter-insurgency and terrorism counter-

 

action. Specialist military action will be undertaken in

 

conjunction with, or in support of, other government agencies

 

to implement these measures. The role of the military, in

 

general, will be to appreciate the threat and undertake

 

appropriate security measures. An appropriate and competent

 

response requires that the military be able to undertake the

 

normal range of tactical operations with equal

 

professionalism as that required in war. Such responses could

 

range from the provision of a cordon, to a pre-emptive raid

 

on foreign soil, to an attack on a fortified building. Quite

 

often the military or police response will require the

 

surgical application of violence in close proximity to non-

 

combatants. In order to reduce casualties to the non-

 


combatants, this type of counter-terrorist operation requires

 

the highly developed natural abilities and skills fostered in

 

a specialized organization. However, there is only a

 

requirement for a small such organization. It is a tendency

 

of armies to develope elite units at the expense of raising

 

the average proficiency of conventional forces as this

 

appears to be an easier solution to needs. Such elitism can

 

be divisive and destroy the cohesion of the team effort, not

 

to mention removing the flexibility of the force as a whole.

 

PEACEKEEPING AND PEACEMAKING.

 

Peacekeeing.

 

Peacekeeping is a misnomer for that collection of

 

operations undertaken to promote peace as an extension of a

 

state of truce. It provides a catalyst for the continuation

 

of such "peace" in the hope that the conflict can be resolved

 

during this time by peaceful means. It is a prelude to a

 

permanent peace or the resumption of hostilities. The

 

operation of peacekeeping is dependent upon the creation of a

 

situation in which the resumption of hostilities would

 

involve a diplomatic or political loss for the combatants.

 

It is either a self-imposed condition or a result of the

 

external influence of other states, particularly the super-

 

powers. Peacekeeping does not enforce peace, for it relies

 

on moral suasion and mutually perceived interest. It is not

 

analogous to a police operation, and the imposition of peace

 

by force is peacemaking.

 

Peacekeeping is a militarily unsound operation in that


 

force is circumscribed to self-defence and the peacekeeping

 

force is normally out-gunned by the antagonists. Peacekeeping

 

should not be undertaken lightly. Western armies are not

 

founded on the ideal of martyrdom. Gaining a proficiency in

 

peacekeeping may debilitate the war fighting ethos and skills

 

of the participants unless they are frequently engaged in

 

skirmishes, in which case the operation is hardly successful.

 

The combat virtues of aggression, offensive action,

 

initiative, and maximizing violence are discouraged in a

 

peacekeeping force. Yet while it is a risky operation it is

 

certainly less so than an involvement in any war that might

 

occur for want of a peacekeeping effort.

 

There should be at least four preconditions t6 the

 

implementation of a peacekeeping mission: (10)

 

* The parties in conflict must consent to the

 

operation, the presence and composition of the force, and

 

the terms of the mandate. They must support the operation

 

and give it unqualified cooperation.

 

* The operation must have substantial support of the

 

international community, and in particular the two super-

 

powers. It is preferable that the United Nations support the

 

operation, but at a minimum the US must it.

 

* The operation must have a clear, defined and

 

realistic mandate.

 

* The force must be allowed the freedom of movement

 

to execute the mandate and supervise the conditions of the

 

peace agreement.


 

A further expression of these principles is contained in

 

the US doctrine for involvement in peacekeeping, which

 

requires: (11)

 

* consent * neutrality

 

* balance * single chain of command

 

* concurrent action * unqualified sponsor support

 

* force integrity * freedom of movement

 

* self-defence

 

The US doctrine is somewhat idealistic and reflects

 

experiences gained in Multinational Force I (August to

 

September 1982, Beirut) and Multinational Force II (September

 

1982 to February 1984, Beirut). (12) Unfortunately, often

 

peacekeeping is formulated in a crisis situation in which all

 

these preconditions will not exist. One could argue that if

 

the antagonists could agree to the creation of such a farce

 

then the ideal conditions of peacekeeping might arise;

 

however, real world politics and issues do not support such

 

an idealistic view. Even the United Nations Interim Force In

 

Lebanon (UNIFIL), with its poor conception and record of

 

achievement, has helped in reducing the violence in Southern

 

Lebanon to a lower level than if it had not been instituted.

 

(13)

 

Despite the problems of U.N. sponsored peacekeeping

 

operations, (14) given the equal precondition of the four

 

factors they are preferable to non-U.N. sponsored operations.

 

It is arguable that the principle of neutrality and balance

 

should dictate that organizations such as the United Nations

 


Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), (15) consist of

 

integrated teams of both US and USSR members rather than the

 

current segregation. Under these conditions, less problems

 

and a speedier resolution might have been possible in areas

 

such as South Lebanon and Beirut.

 

It is important to realize that the failure of the

 

MNF II was in the posturing of that operation as peacekeeping

 

without the necessary pre-conditions. Certainly the force

 

could not be viewed as neutral by all of the combatants in

 

the theatre as it was directed to support one of the

 

antagonists, the Lebanese Armed Forces. Despite the best of

 

intentions, the mandate was akin to foreign internal defence

 

assistance rather than peacekeeping. The Lebanonese problem

 

was, and still is, complex,and required more than a "show of

 

gunboats".

 

Operational Methods.

 

The operational methods of peacekeeping are limited.

 

They are similar to those applicable to border defence,

 

but generally do not allow any offensive action. It is

 

unacceptable, however, for a peacekeeping force to be placed

 

in a position where its soldiers are unable to adequately

 

protect themselves from kidnap and murder. Like all

 

soldiering, peacekeeping requires a high standard of

 

individual training in the military fundamentals, a

 

proficiency in small unit tactics, and self-discipline. It

 

requires responsive management in the form of operational

 


art. Examples of basic methods are:

 

* key point defence,

 

* patrolling,

 

* observation, reconnaissance, and surveillance,

 

* information gathering,

 

* mine clearing,

 

* movement control, and

 

* police, humanitarian and mediator duties.

 

Training. (16)

 

Peacekeeping tasks can be executed by conventionally

 

trained and mature soldiers after supplementary instruction

 

on the mission and peculiarities of the theatre. In the

 

absence of war, peacekeeping duties may provide the stimulus

 

and experiences associated with proximity to combat. It can

 

reinforce basic lessons of soldiering but it can be a

 

debilitating experience over a prolonged period of

 

inactivity as it does not require the full range of offensive

 

skills and tactics. It reduces the aggressive spirit, the

 

initiative, and consequently the morale of troops.

 

Headquarters and leaders are concerned more with the

 

management of their units rather than the command and

 

manoevre of tactical forces. It may impart & sense of

 

invincibility and lethargy as personnel come to view the

 

threat with detachment. All these factors prove lethal in

 

combat.

 

Peacemaking.

 

Peacemaking is an operation in which law and order


 

within a state, or peace between waring states, is enforced

 

largely by military force or the threat of military force. It

 

can be either the prelude to peacekeeping operations or a

 

consequence of failed peacekeeping operations. It may be

 

undertaken as a result of insurgency or civil war and is

 

generally formulated and implanted in the environment of a

 

crisis. As the objective of peacemaking is to enforce a state

 

of peace, then it may require a significant force and level

 

of violence to disengage the antagonists or to disarm the

 

lawless. It is unlikely that a peacemaking force will be

 

perceived as neutral, as one or more of the antagonists are

 

likely to receive an advantage or benefit from the operation

 

over other antagonists who will perceive this advantage. A

 

peacemaking operation should avoid aggravating the causes of

 

the conflict if possible.

 

Peacemaking is most commonly imposed when the

 

continuation of the conflict threatens international

 

stability or for humanitarian reasons. Peacemaking should

 

not be confused with foreign intervention in an environment

 

of insurgency or civil war, in which the intervening power is

 

aiding or opposing a government. A peacemaking operation is

 

theoretically neutral.

 

It will be difficult for a peacekeeping force to evolve

 

from a peacemaking role since the use of force in the latter

 

function involves it as a player or antagonist in the

 

conflict. It is equally difficult for a peacekeeping force

 

to be employed as a peacemaking force if it has been

 


structured for peacekeeping, as it will normally be without

 

sufficient combat power.

 

Peacemaking is undertaken in conjunction with actions in

 

other dimensions, such as diplomatic pressure and economic

 

sanctions. However, despite the desirability of using minimal

 

violence, the peacemaking force must have sufficient combat

 

power available to achieve its mission. It is better to

 

coerce the antagonists with the threat of force rather than

 

action, but the threat must be creditable and backed by will

 

Peacemaking enforced with minimal violence generally has a

 

better prospect of developing into a lasting peace.

 

Training.

 

There is nothing peculiar to peacemaking that is not

 

peculiar to war in general and counter-insurgency, security

 

force, or peacekeeping, in particular. It is a difficult and

 

delicate operation requiring considerable maturity and a

 

sound appreciation of the environment.

 

PEACETIME CONTINGENCIES

 

General.

 

The US Army definition of these operations is:

 

Peacetime contingency operations are

politically sensitive military operations normally

characterized by the short term rapid projection or

employment of forces in conditions short of

conventional war." (17)

 

Contingency operations consist of:

 

* strike and raid,

 

* rescue,

 

* demonstrations and show of force,


 

* peacemaking,

 

* unconventional warfare,

 

* intelligence operations.

 

Such operations may be effected during higher levels of

 

conflict and may precipitate war unless some other inhibiting

 

factor is present, such as diplomacy or the inability of the

 

target state or group to adequately respond. As such these

 

operations must be accompanied by initiatives in other

 

dimensions. Clearly, the military power that is relatively

 

more powerful possesses a greater number of contingency

 

options, although some of these may be circumscribed by other

 

factors, such as the risk of escalating the conflict.

 

Generally these operations are implemented in a

 

situation when the time is short and the objective valuable.

 

The exact circumstances of the threat may not have been

 

foreseen, but a general contingency plan for such a situation

 

should have been formulated during peace. For this reason,

 

most Western armies maintain forces for rapid deployment,

 

consisting of air and seaborne forces, including special

 

action forces or commandoes. By virtue of the variety of

 

tasks and the need for precision these forces must be well

 

trained and flexible.

 

Insurgency and counter-insurgency have hitherto

 

dominated the West's interest at the low end of the conflict

 

spectrum. The proliferation of terrorism, peacekeeping

 

missions and international skirmihes illustrates the

 

likelihood of Western forces being involved with little

 

warning and the need for proficiency in these types of LIC.

 


 

CHAPTER SIX

 

GUIDING PHILOSOPHY AND STRATEGY

 

NATIONAL PHILOSOPHY

 

The first necessity for the successful prosecution of

 

LIC is an appropriate national philosophy on the prosecution

 

of conflict as a whole. Such a philosophy should reflect the

 

values of the state and the Western community in general and

 

provide a common understanding by which a unity of purpose

 

may be engendered within a state and among states. The nature

 

of democracy and of state sovereignty make this a difficult

 

task, but one that must be addressed by each nation of the

 

Western alliance individually and collectively. The USSR, and

 

other totalitarian states and ideologically based movements

 

outside the state system, likely to challenge the West, are

 

less impeded in formulating a cohesive approach to conflict.

 

The West lives in the hope that mankind can achieve a

 

state of natural peace and harmony. Western democracy

 

fosters that hope and generally now tries to adhere to peace.

 

Such idealism is enunciated in our constitutions and national

 

strategies. However, an idealistic hope should not blind us

 

to reality. Reality is that men and states have competing

 

interests which they have been hitherto reluctant to

 

surrender for a state of peace. Conflict is likely to be a

 

permanent feature of relationships among men and between

 

states. The democratic state and its citizens are cognizant

 

of this reality in everyday life, and the competing interests

 

of men are institutionalized to as low a level of conflict as

 


possible. What the democratic population does not

 

universally understand is that conflict is a continuum

 

entwined with all facets of life and that it requires a

 

cohesive management along its entire length and breadth. The

 

democratic population does not understand that the penalty of

 

democracy is that the citizen has a role in that management

 

over and above his responsibility to his immediate neighbour.

 

Democratic states face a danger as they become increasingly

 

complex and attempt to be democratically responsive: the

 

people will get exactly what they want. And in a complex

 

society, what they want may be based on ignorance and hope

 

rather than reality. If a state were to become truly

 

democratic, then each citizen might try to influence

 

influence each decision of state. It is arguable whether the

 

majority has the wisdom to govern in such circumstances.

 

It is the role of the government, no matter what the

 

party, to try and educate the citizenry with the same

 

realization that every Politician, diplomat and professional

 

soldier should already Possess regarding the prosecution of

 

conflict:

 

* A level of conflict, not harmony, is at present the

 

natural state of affairs.

 

* Conflict does not disappear by its own accord, but

 

is managed by men.

 

* Conflict is not Just a state of war but a pervasive

 

continuum of violence levels that is also waged during

 

relative peace.

 

* The inter-relationship of sovereign states is not

 

analogous with domestic conditions or personal morality.

 

* A vital deduction from the hope of peace and the

 

reality of conflict is the need to keep conflict at the

 

lowest possible level. This is only possible by an effective

 

counter that negates the viability of violence in the pursuit

 

of survival and interest, and replaces it with an

 

alternative. In the international sense, the perfect

 

alternative has yet to be found, but the viability of

 

violence is reduced, if not removed, by a balance of power.

 

* The dimensions of politics, society, and economics

 

etc. have always been entwined with conflict and force. The

 

increasing complexity of the world and inter-relationships,

 

coupled with an access to infinite force, makes it almost

 

impossible to isolate and deal with aspects of life in a

 

microcosm. This is true of LIC.

 

* The West possesses some inherent vulnerabilities to

 

LIC and in the management of conflict in general.

 

* The management of conflict in the future must be

 

total in approach to be successful. It must address all

 

conflict levels, their inter-relationship, and their

 

development throughout time.

 

* A total management-approach requires the type of

 

stability and consistency of government achieved by some

 

totalitarian states or by responsible democracy. It is

 

unlikely to be achieved by those who advocate laissez-faire

 

or anarchy.


 

* Responsible democracy requires governmental

 

leadership and institutions that ensure the public are

 

educated with fact rather than manipulated. It requires a

 

competent government with a mandate to govern.

 

* Every element of a democratic society-has a role in

 

the management of conflict, not just the politicians, the

 

military or police. This is a vital understanding for the

 

prosecution of LIC.

 

* The maintenance of security requires a will and

 

commitment to fight and sacrifice.

 

The purpose and need for a philosophy in conflict

 

management is well articulated by the following US statement

 

on the conduct of LIC:

 

The foundation for a successful US effort

in LIC lies in the simple principle of unity of

effort. The cardinal lesson of counter-insurgency

and insurgency is that the disparate elements that

compose the effort must contribute to a common

purpose, and there must be a clear, consistent

guidance and focus on the ultimate objective. This

requires an articulated philosophy or set of

principles: a policy that turns principles into

operational goals, and a set of means available to

translate intentions into effort. Moreover,

a system is required to continually review the

effort in relation to goals. A capacity to adjust

to changing circumstances, a commitment to

understanding the true nature of the effort and a

sustained approach to the problem are also necessary.(1)

 

 

The final reality that national Philosophy and the

 

public must recognize, is the inability of a state to

 

construct a risk free security strategy within finite

 

resources. The difference between the optimum security

 

strategy and the strategy that the state can afford or is

 


prepared to finance, is the level of risk. Many Western

 

countries are living beyond the means of their productivity,

 

and increasingly, defence expenditure is under scrutiny to

 

reduce costs. This is an attractive logic in a "seemingly"

 

benign and peaceful environment. It is attractive if the

 

Soviet Union proffers a a peaceful hand. It is attractive, if

 

in the foreseeable future, conflicts are likely to be less

 

devastating and threatening and conducted in a LIC

 

environment. It is attractive to over-cater for the low end

 

of the-conflict spectrum in the belief that time and

 

motivation will allow a rapid and adequate defence expansion

 

when and if a "real", war emerges. This is a fundamental flaw

 

of logic; to over-cater for the LIC environment results in a

 

"police force", not an army, and does not provide military

 

competence in any level of conflict, including LIC. The

 

initiation and escalation of future conflict is likely to

 

preclude adequate warning.

 

Beware the West!

 

NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY

 

If the proposition of this paper, and that of more

 

distinguished men such as the US commission on Discriminate

 

Deterrence, (2) is accepted then the national approach to

 

LIC should not be in isolation but integrated into the

 

national strategy for conflict management as a whole.

 

National security requires an effective counter to a spectrum

 

of threats that may be employed "individually,

 

interchangeably, sequentially, or simultaneously." (3) A

 


balance of power must be maintained along the entire conflict

 

spectrum.

 

Contingency planning should look at each possible

 

scenario of LIC, each region in which LIC may embroil the

 

nation, and the relationship of these scenarios to other

 

conflict levels and type. Hopefully, this process is already

 

undertaken within Western state and defence departments for

 

all possible conflict scenarios. What must be ensured is that

 

the planning and conduct of LIC, like war itself, is not just

 

a function of the military or state department. It requires a

 

strategy that has access to all state resources. Where the

 

military has a role in LIC within the state, then the

 

strategy should cover the co-operative efforts of all

 

internal agencies, especially the police. This is important

 

where criminal activities such as terrorism and drug

 

trafficking pose a significant threat to law and order. An

 

integrated and comprehensive strategy will require a lateral

 

co-ordination of these resources at each level of initiative

 

to ensure cohesion from theory to practice and all elements

 

working in concert.

 

An integrated strategy means correctly identifying

 

commonalities and differences within the threat scenarios and

 

adjusting forces and training accordingly. This adjustment is

 

the simple answer to ensuring that a Western state can

 

conduct LIC without denigrating its defence capabilities

 

elsewhere. Like all good strategies it should have the

 

following characteristics:


 

* Consistent-with national philosophy and goals.

 

* Comprehensive-includes all aspects and resources.

 

* Integrated-with other strategies such as foreign

 

policy and economic strategy, and can be

 

co-ordinated in effect. It promotes commonality of

 

efforts and caters for differences.

 

* Enduring-it caters for the long term as well

 

as tomorrow. It is based on vision.

 

* Flexible-review is inherent and initiative is

 

allowed to achieve goals, which themselves may be

 

reviewed.

 

* Cohesive-logically formulated.

 

* Realistic-it is achievable.

 

The main areas of disconnect in Western nations in the

 

chain of translating philosophy to strategy to action are;

 

* a fundamental national disunity of philosophy,

 

* government and people;

 

* a lack of capacity within government agencies

 

to formulate or execute an integrated strategy; and

 

* incompetence and corruption.

 

MILITARY DOCTRINE

 

Strategy.

 

The military strategy is a continuation of security

 

strategy and complementary to other state strategies such as

 

economic policy. The principle difference between the

 

military strategy for tic and that for higher level conflict

 

is that the resolution by force is not normally the decisive

 


element. The military must be cognizant of the other aspects

 

of the conflict to a greater degree than would be the case in

 

modern conventional wars. The current perception of separate

 

civil and military functions within a state of warfare has

 

not always been the norm. In 1940 the USMC Small Wars Manual

 

contained as much guidance on the running of a state as on

 

military strategy and tactics.(4) The US Marines had learnt

 

from bitter experience in the Carribean that success in

 

"small wars" required tee co-ordination of both civil and

 

military affairs under one leadership and strategy. In LIC

 

today, the military is used as much for its organizational

 

aspects and its efficiency in action as for its ability to

 

deliver violence. (5) However, the military's ability to

 

deliver violence is the very factor that may inhibit the

 

violence of the conflict. This ability should never be

 

surrendered or taken for granted.

 

LIC is conducted primarily on land, but it generally

 

requires a significant amount of strategic and tactical, air

 

and naval support. In the case of strike missions this

 

support may be akin to the air and sea battle to be found in

 

conventional war. However, the maintenance of sea and air

 

Power must be based on a higher threat level than LIC, as

 

well as supporting LIC. The maintenance of sea and air power

 

inhibits the lines of communication by which LIC could other

 

wise be freely exported and Supported throughout the world.

 

The LIC spectrum is a range of conflicts that each

 

contains situations to be found in war. The doctrine and


 

strategy for the conduct of LIC was reviewed in Chapters Four

 

and Five. The doctrine is well developed and theoretically

 

sound. The basic military skills and tactics for LIC are the

 

same as those for any conflict, and its commonality with the

 

tactics for war-fighting has been stressed and its

 

differences highlighted. This is not a revelation to the

 

experienced soldier, but it may not be so self-evident in a

 

"peacetime army".(6) If the doctrine of LIC has a weakness,

 

then it may be, that one could be lead to believe from the

 

detailed analysis in some writings that LIC is a "special"

 

form of warfare. A warfare that can only be waged by special

 

troops, tactics and organizations.

 

It is emphasized that LIC is a manoeuvre warfare

 

philosophy rather than attrition philosophy. If the

 

philosophy of an army is tied to a quantitative approach,

 

then the LIC environment may be seen as particularly special.

 

The second weakness of the current LIC doctrine is that

 

it may template by over-analysis the strategy and tactics to

 

be employed in a given situation. This is a condition equally

 

disastrous in preparing for war, when to reduce reaction time

 

a situation is fitted into one of our contingency plans and

 

as a consequence the vital differences are missed. This is a

 

difficult problem to overcome in prolonged peace. As

 

battlefield experience declines we try to preserve it in

 

detailed writings. It must be remembered that the experience

 

is now historical and can only provide a guide for the next

 

conflict. Experienced is an advantage but not a guarantee of

 


future performance, particularly in war.

 

One of the greatest advantages a strategy or doctrine

 

can posses is its implementation by competent thinkers. It is

 

currently fashionable to term this ability as operational

 

art, but it is the matrix by which a goal is carried from

 

strategy to bayonet. It is called the military appreciation,

 

the estimate of the situation, or problem solving. It is in

 

this process of logical thinking that all who make decisions

 

must be competent. It is not stressed in the LIC doctrine,

 

but vital in all conflict and especially so in LIC, where the

 

situation is likely to be less stereotyped and often complex.

 

Specialization and drills may increase efficiency but often

 

at the expense of flexibility.

 

Military doctrine in general must ensure that the

 

commonality of force structure, strategy and tactics across

 

the conflict spectrum is stressed and maximizes the advantage

 

that this commonality provides. The doctrine should address

 

LIC problems where ever possible within the framework of

 

fundamental organizations and tactics. The doctrine must also

 

cater for areas of the conflict that are fundamentally

 

different in techniques and must address the application of

 

new technology.

 

The West cannot afford a LIC army or a "peacetime army".

 

The philosophy, forces, strategy and tactics of a Western

 

army should be applicable across the conflict spectrum, from

 

"peaceful competition" to war.


 

CHAPTER SEVEN

 

FORCE STRUCTURE

 

GENERAL

 

Each nation must structure a force in accordance with

 

its circumstances. It is therefore difficult to provide a

 

universal model of a force for LIC. Therefore, the force

 

models in Figures 2 and 3 represent an over-all conceptual

 

basis in which forces suitable for the conduct of LIC are

 

integrated into a larger army in accordance with the deduced

 

strategy. The models have been designed to accommodate the

 

strategic needs of a nation across a spectrum of conflicts

 

and regions. They have been constructed within the framework

 

of tactics utilized in both LIC and higher conflict. The

 

tactical needs of LIC have been compared in Figure 4 with the

 

basic requirements of higher level conflict to illustrate

 

commonalities and differences.

 

NATIONAL AND STRATEGIC

 

The force structure has been modelled on strategic needs

 

by region, including a home region as the most important. It

 

is appreciated that not all Western powers have the need or

 

ability to project power beyond their region unless working

 

in concert with an ally. Therefore, the extent of the threat

 

and the extent of regional forces may be considerably less

 

for some countries than the model portrays.

 

Each region is considered to consist of three mediums in

 

which conflict may occur or threaten to occur throughout the

 

conflict spectrum.

 

Click here to view images

 

The force is task organized by threat in each medium and

 

region. In a region of high level threat then the force will

 

be conventional and possibly nuclear based on the likely

 

enemy and the nature of the environment. If a LIC is likely

 

then the task force will be an infantry oriented group rather

 

than a mechanized force. A mix of capabilities can be

 

structured to counter a mix of likely threats in the one

 

region. A force Postured for a higher level is capable of

 

conducting LIC. However, the heavier fire power assets will

 

be of less use than personnel acting as infantry. On the

 

other hand, an infantry force employed in LIC will need

 

additional fire power if the conflict escalates to

 

conventional war.

 

The conduct of the air and sea battle should be

 

considered on a global basis as well as region by region.

 

A defence department must also contain the organization

 

capable of conducting a multi-regional or global conflict.

 

Due to the many state resources required to prosecute LIC

 

outside the legislation of "war", a LIC/Special Operations

 

Command may have to be established within the defence

 

department, as in the USA (1), and a like office within the

 

department of foreign affairs and state. A war or security

 

council commands both and should dictate who is in command of

 

an operation, but until the military effort over-rides all

 

other considerations then the department of foreign affairs

 

should command. In the latter case, all other departments,

 

including the defence department, are in direct support of

 


the department of foreign affairs. In most cases the military

 

aspects of LIC operations in support of countries within a

 

region will be commanded by the regional commander and not

 

directly by the LIC/SO Command or anyone else. The principle

 

of a single chain-of-command is still relevant at this level.

 

The LIC/SO Command responsibilities should include the

 

following: to co-ordinate LIC/SO missions on command for SAF

 

actions with global rather than regional significance, to

 

provide Special Operations and Special Action Forces in

 

support of regional and contingency forces, to be responsible

 

for SAF training and doctrine, and to liaise with other

 

forces involved in LIC duties.

 

Contingency forces and reserves form the basis of adding

 

or subtracting to the regional task force and are constructed

 

on a basis of two overlapping forces: one predominantly

 

mechanized and the other predominantly infantry. A module of

 

heavy support that could be required by either is maintained

 

as an add-on element and consists of additional armour,

 

vehicles, aircraft, and artillery, etc. The contingency force

 

must contain sufficient aircraft to allow a component of each

 

type of task force to be airmobile, with a follow on

 

contingency force by air or sea lift. In the event of a

 

contingency required to force an entry into a region, then

 

the overall force should also contain an amphibious

 

capability.

 

The basis of the land army is infantry. To this may be

 

added of nuclear forces, tanks, and mechanized forces, if the

 


predominant and global needs dictate a larger core force.

 

Even so, the first commonality is infantry training. The air

 

and naval forces are based predominantly on a high level

 

threat and the need win any air or sea battle in order to

 

support the land forces. This basis does not preclude the

 

vital need to concurrently support the core land force in all

 

levels of conflict, nor the need to deploy and support

 

contingency forces to the battlefield.

 

The overall force consists of a regular component and a

 

reserve component which may be partially activated for

 

operational service at the onset of LIC, if required The

 

reserve should concentrate on maintaining high technical

 

skills in areas in which an expertise can be better

 

maintained in peacetime, e.g. engineering, medicine, etc.

 

Some of these personnel should be available to undertake

 

their commitments during LIC without the necessity of large

 

scale mobilization, e.g. CA and medical personnel.

 

The internal security function of the military should

 

acknowledge the possibility of conflict being conducted on

 

home soil and provide for the integration of police forces,

 

civil emergency agencies and the defence force in time of

 

Aid-to-the-Civil-Power or defence emergency. Reserve forces

 

should contain the substantial outline of a "home guard" with

 

peacetime operational duties. The meaningful employment of

 

the citizen-soldier is a healthy practice within a democracy.

 

TACTICAL

 

As Previously stated, LIC is primarily conducted on the


 

medium of land, although the current provision of US and

 

Western naval escorts in the Persian Gulf illustrates a sea

 

and air LIC. The tactical model for LIC is simply a task

 

force made up of otherwise conventional forces. On land the

 

basis is an infantry unit of an appropriate size, with its

 

integrated organization and reinforced within the principle

 

of task grouping. In most cases this grouping consists of an

 

all arms and combined service representation. The table at

 

Figure 4 provides a comparison of tactical requirements

 

for a LIC force with those for a conventional force.

 

The infantry basis need not be referred to as light

 

infantry, or conventional infantry as that term has come to

 

mean infantry with or without other forms of mobility and

 

firepower. Mechanized infantry may conduct LIC tasks with its

 

vehicles, such as convoy escort and key point security, or

 

alight and act as what they are first and foremost, infantry.

 

The basic tactical principles of land fighting are

 

represented in all armies by infantry. All soldiers must

 

acquire these basic war-fighting skills as infantry before

 

branching into additional weaponry and methods of fighting.

 

Training for conventional war is the basis for LIC. (2) The

 

organization, skills and tactics may be adapted as required.

 

As a principle, all forces must be logistically

 

supportable to achieve their mission in an economic fashion.

 

While forces must be capable of operating with a minimal of

 

logistic support in many of the LIC scenarios, this is not to

 

say that forces for LIC must eschew anything but that which


 

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they can carry on their back. Soldiers must fight in any

 

conflict as physically unimpaired a possible, i.e. equipped

 

as lightly as required to be effective and survive on the

 

battlefield. The logistical problem is to help this happen by

 

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provide him with the equipment and supplies he needs without

 

denigrating his tactical ability. In some cases LIC forces

 

must be self-sufficient and in others they will require as

 

sighnificant logistical support as a conventional force.

 

The forces that must be structured, trained and

 

maintained in addition to those elements common to LIC are

 

listed in Figure 4. They include mechanized formations,

 

nuclear forces, forces for air and sea battles, and

 

associated groupings of combat support, such as heavy

 

artillery and air defence, and logistics support. These

 

forces are maintained according to the threat and may be

 

brigaded in some cases or placed as an add-on module to a

 

basic infantry force or kept in the reserves for activation

 

in time of escalation. Whatever, all troops must rotate

 

through combined arms training in at least mid-intesity

 

conflict with the full inventory of weapons, corps, and

 

service. Especially those involved in LIC. Such rotation can

 

be interspersed with primary missions but adds flixibility and

 

experience to the army.

 

Forces should be structured as complete tactical

 

entities with a full complement of men and material rather

 

than skeleton units designed to be fleshed out at the time of

 

requirement. This is true for LIC and conventional forces.

 

Only complete forces can train as such and develope all their

 

capabilities to maximize usefulness. Skeleton forces are a

 

means of maintaining equipment and facilities but not

 

expertise. It is better to clone two new units by the

 

division of one healthy unit, than to build up two

 

mediocre units. A nation that elects the concept of

 

maintaining a cadre army for wartime expansion requires units

 

for immediate fighting and units for cloning.

 

A very important element of the LIC task force is the

 

Special Action Forces attachments as outlined in Chapters 4

 

and 5. These units contain the reservoir of additional

 

capabilities required in LIC and other warfare in which it is

 

impractical to train all units. However, the danger of over-

 

specialization and empire-building must be avoided. Where

 

ever possible the existing organizations and capabilities of

 

state and defence should be employed for simplicity. At least

 

the defence organization should be inherently flexible while

 

retaining professionalism.

 

Whatever the force structure, it must flow from a

 

consideration of national philosophy and strategy, resources,

 

the enemy and threat, and a thorough knowledge of what is

 

militarily sound and achieveable. Once established, the

 

structure should be allowed to develop efficiency without the

 

turmoil of continual re-organization. The organization's aim

 

is to dispense controlled violence when and where necessary.

 


CHAPTER EIGHT

 

PREPARATION AND TRAINING

 

GENERAL

 

Even with the appropriate strategy and force structure,

 

the West may not win in LIC, or at any other level of

 

conflict unless it can translate the strategy and forces

 

into competent action. The translation is achieved by

 

preparaticn and training of all players, military and

 

civilian alike, before, during and after the actual conflict.

 

It is a never ending process. The preparation and training

 

for war is the basis for the preparation and training for

 

LIC, and so this chapter does not address every aspect of

 

military training. It focuses on critical areas which the

 

West must address. Some of these areas have been neglected or

 

forgotten in war preparation, while others need

 

reinterpretation in a changing world.

 

HIGHER COMMAND

 

It should be a valid assumption that those personnel who

 

have reached the upper echelons of command possess the

 

professional ability, experience, personal character and

 

philosophy necessary to formulate the type of military

 

strategy depicted in Chapter 6. The personnel and

 

organization of the higher command must be trained as the

 

nexus between the civilian leadership and the military

 

strategy. If the military command is unable to bridge this

 

gap, or unable to appreciate the non-military factors of a

 

conflict, then the military strategy is likely to be flawed

 


from the start. The higher command must realistically know