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Appendix C
Population and Resources Control


C-1. Population and resources control provides a broad base of security in which counterinsurgency operations and national and community development programs, including civic action, can be executed. Population and resources control is a mechanism to collect social and economic intelligence. Principles that apply to a population and resources control operation are--

  • Deny insurgents access to the population and resources. Deny the enemy the ability to live. Cut them off from food, water, clothing--everything.
  • Identify and prioritize population sectors and resources to be secured and protected. Unify and coordinate all civil and security forces and assets within the community with special attention given to around-the-clock security, intelligence collection, PSYOP and civil affairs.
  • Include HN forces in security-related plans and operations to the maximum extent possible. Mobilize, arm, and train the local population to provide their own local community security.
  • Structure security force activity and actions to lead to the populace overtly picking a side. However, these activities and actions must not be abusive.
  • Establish leverage. Use advice, equipment, and money to attempt to change people's attitudes and behavior positively.
  • US and multinational personnel are trainers for HN personnel, but not advisors.


C-2. Typical objectives for a population and resources control operation include the following:

  • Sever any relationship between the population and insurgents:
    • Identify and destroy insurgent support activities within the community.
    • Identify and destroy insurgent organizational infrastructure.
    • Identify and eliminate the insurgent political apparatus (communications).
  • Institute harsh penalties for those caught supporting the insurgents.
  • Create a secure physical and psychological environment for the population, one in which people are free to go about their business and prosper without worrying about insurgents taking their freedom and prosperity from them.
  • Counteract enemy propaganda. Conduct a national IO campaign strategy with interagency planning and resources that distributes its message and is responsive to current events to ensure relevancy. Execute it in the districts and locales.
  • Provide a discreet means for citizens to provide information about insurgents. People tend to submit reports based on rumors or grudge reports. However, some of these are true. Be alert for them.


C-3. A population and resources control operation has four phases:

  • Preparation.
  • Task and Organization.
  • Control.
  • Relinquishment.


C-4. In coordination with the country team and other governmental agencies, the initial conditions to create tactical success are established at the theater- and operational-levels. Commanders establish AOs based on political geography and demographics. They take into account the levels of concern, resistance, and violence. Staffs identify and recommend higher-priority facilities, elements, and routes. Commanders assign program responsibilities at the province, district, and local levels. Consider the following when planning and preparing a population and resources control operation:

  • Do not hurt the people, but kill the insurgents. Where US forces violate this dictum, US policies may fail.
  • Obtain legal authority to train and arrest or attack insurgents where necessary. A local judiciary representative or tribal leader/official's support is crucial here. Remember, police arrest and bring criminals to trial; Soldiers kill and capture insurgents.
  • Establish unity of command and representation on the US side. Indigenous leadership would optimally report to only one US person. Do not confuse HN forces with a convoluted US chain of command.
  • Coordinate operations of the HN police, civil guard, and military through the US, multinational, and HN command and control systems.
  • Strongly recommend the HN local security forces unify their leadership--the police, civil guard, and military that secure and control the populace, where possible.
  • Secure the town, area, and then the district around the clock. Live among the people to develop local relationships and gain walk-in intelligence. Patrolling should be active and avoid static positions. Plan to establish hasty roadblocks and checkpoints for no more than a few hours each to decrease the possibility of insurgent attacks on them.
  • Study the local security force and police training plan. Develop a plan to augment and enhance the training to enable the locals to secure and police their villages. Plan for recruiting, vetting, training, and equipping the local security people to begin as soon as possible.
  • Plan to request to integrate a HN local unit into an equivalent-sized US unit. Then, integrate a US organization into a HN local unit as trainers and liaison personnel. Stay alert.
  • Research and plan to gain the information from a recent census or conduct a census of each village, community, district, and region. If you do not have access to a current census or do not conduct a thorough census, you will not know who is supposed to live in the area as compared to who is actually there. Recognizing any discrepancy may help identify insurgents.
    • Within each town draw a diagram (or use satellite imagery) and number the buildings in each square block.
    • Within each building establish who and how many people are living in each apartment or room.
    • Record the names, gender, age, and relationship to the other occupants. Take pictures of each where possible (there may be cultural sensitivities in this area). Then, build a card/digital file with this information categorized.
    • Use GPS devices to establish exact locations and to locate huts, houses, or neighborhoods.
    • Two to three weeks later, cordon-and-search a block during the evening or night to verify the data. Avoid establishing a target sequence/pattern.
  • Plan and contract for the upgrade and re-equipping of local security forces as required so these forces have a superior level of arms as compared to the insurgents, for example, with weapons such as technicals. Technicals are field expedient vehicles used as weapons platforms. Purchase pick-up trucks and equip them with crew-served, pintle-mounted weapons, such as .50 caliber machine guns or MK19 automatic grenade launchers. Be prepared for increased interest in these weapons by all sides.
  • Use IO planners to develop a PSYOP program designed to win the confidence and support of the population and establish a base of political allegiance. Ensure the US, multinational and HN forces are making the populace's life better on a daily basis. Ensure the townspeople all know what you are doing. Start with clean water, sewage disposal, health care, dental checks, and schools.
  • Plan for and coordinate local intelligence development, gathering, and analysis operations. Develop sources among the populace, while recognizing underlying purposes. Children are nondescript collectors of information for you as well as about you. They are very effective as lookouts and in surveillance. They will divulge incredible information as a reward for kindness. Verify and vet the information.
  • Plan for development and issue of an identification card to each resident. Use this card to track personnel movement and as identification for elections. Checkpoints should have mobile card reader technology that feeds movement data into a computer chip/database to track and enable identification of personnel movements and patterns.
  • Where no card reader exists, track movement by assigning a color and stamp to the community or district (close group of villages or towns). Ensure all citizens have the appropriate color. Anyone from outside the community/district will have a different color, or no color. Record the five Ws (who, what, where, when, and why) at all checkpoints. Pass this to intelligence personnel for analysis.
  • Plan to establish civil-military coordination committees. Find out the populace's priorities and fears. Find out what you and the security forces are doing that works, and what does not work. Listen to your Soldiers, who are listening to the people. Beware of local leaders who might be working for their own interests. Publicize and inform the people of what you are doing for them.
  • Plan and coordinate civil programs.


C-5. Assign subordinates responsibility for each of the above and below-noted tasks. All brief their initial concept and the commander deconflicts and prioritizes; then, rebrief.

  • The populace of each town (and officials such as the mayor, police and teachers) must be secure around the clock. The security force families must be protected to prevent indirect threats and intimidation.
  • Establish general surveillance measures and movement control on the roads leading into the town as well as those inside the town.
  • Organize, combine, and carry out training for the security forces. The graduation exercise is an actual patrol against the insurgents, to include scheduled surveillance.
  • The local village/community must be trained to secure and police their village. Start recruiting, vetting, training, equipping the local security people as soon as possible.
  • Establish covert surveillance of the marketplace and stores. Record discreetly who buys what, how much and how often (frequency). Look for unusual amounts of food, clothing, equipment, fertilizers such as urea, ammonium nitrate and phosphates (not purchased by farmers), and abnormal frequency. Recruit/draft locals to do this work, but crosscheck them to determine who can be trusted. Reward the trusted ones.
  • Perform a daily comparison of the supplies purchase and movements information against the census card file information. Answer questions such as: Why is someone buying a 50-lb bag of rice and 8 pairs of boots and ten pairs of pants or rolls of cotton cloth when they have only a wife and four children to feed and clothe? If they are underemployed, where did they get the money to buy the food and clothes? Look for breaks in patterns such as a farmer traveling to a nearby village at midday when he is usually working in the fields.
  • Select and organize civil guards. Draft those with a stake who will benefit from the security. Train and arm them. You must help the populace choose a side. If they are in some type of civil defense force where they are exposed to insurgent attacks but they have the weapons and training to defeat such attacks, they are far less likely to help the insurgents.
  • Establish security coordination centers. All intelligence-related information comes here, is recorded and analyzed, and goes out to the security forces. Establish separate facilities for prisoner detention and interrogation. Use psychological profiling to set the conditions for gaining information. If prisoners are mistreated or tortured, the populace will find out and the flow of insurgents turning themselves in will dry up. Mistreatment can seriously damage US, multinational, and HN objectives and motives.
  • Establish, exercise, and refine security and alert systems.
  • Intensify intelligence collection and analysis to identify the insurgent political and support apparatus.
  • Establish a system of block wardens with reporting procedures as well as incentives. Hold the wardens accountable for knowing what is going on in their block and environs. For example, do any residents go out surreptitiously in the evening and return late (but are not regulars at a coffee house or bar)? Are there any visitors in the block? Where are they from, and whom are they visiting? Are they suspicious, and in what way?
  • Establish systems of coordination with security and military forces in the area.
  • Intensify PSYOP to win the political allegiance of the people.


C-6. Need a sentence describing the point of the phase.

  • The decisive operation is preventing any population support for the insurgents.
  • Supporting operations focus on preventing any popular support for the insurgents.
  • Secure vital infrastructure using local personnel as the security force.
  • Establish restrictions and controls (curfews, pass systems, surveillance, road blocks).
  • Transition to using HN local and civil security organizations in ambushes, area sweeps, and raids.
  • Coordinate use of police and military units as backups. Establish and develop amnesty and rehabilitation programs.
  • Protect the families of those who choose to cooperate with the HN.
  • Increase intelligence and PSYOP activities.


C-7. During phase IV, US forces hand responsibility for the population and resources control operation to HN forces. Relinquishment has two stages.

Stage A

C-8. Do the following during stage A:

  • Reduce intensity of controls from Phase III level, although patrols, surveillance, and periodic hasty checkpoints throughout the district area continue.
  • Reduce major operations (for example, ambushes and raids).
  • Gradually phase out military forces with primary responsibility for population and resources control, passing to HN police and paramilitary units. Withdraw US forces to bases that are removed from the population.
  • Continue intelligence activities at a high level and increase PSYOP programs to the maximum level to prevent regeneration of a hard-core apparatus.

Stage B

C-9. Do the following during stage B:

  • Continue checks on the movement of personnel and goods.
  • Reduce controls and individual restrictions to a minimum and review block warden system.
  • Reward the population for cooperation and progress. Assess success by regions and areas in order to gradually ease population and resource control measures as districts and provinces demonstrate cooperation and stability. Enable areas to earn less restrictive measures. As districts, provinces, and regions gain a vested interest in assisting the HN government, they can compete against each other to gain better treatment and fewer restrictions.
  • Continue intelligence and PSYOP with an emphasis on programs designed to assist in providing a solid base of political allegiance to the HN.
  • Reduce civil guard/local militia units to a stand-by basis (although organization and training should continue).


C-10. Military police support the commander and civil affairs personnel in conducting population and resources control operations during counterinsurgency missions. These operations may consist of--

  • Enforcing movement restrictions and curfews.
  • Resettling dislocated refugees.
  • MSR regulation and enforcement.
  • Amnesty programs.
  • Inspecting facilities.
  • Guarding humanitarian assistance distribution sites.

Military police also direct dislocated civilians and refugees to resettlement areas and work closely with local and district HN government agencies during this process.

C-11. Military police training, firepower, and mobility, coupled with their interface with and acceptability to the local populace, make them an asset in certain security-related population and resources control tasks.


C-12. Checkpoints and roadblocks are set up to check and control the movement of personnel, vehicles, and materiel, and prevent actions that aid the enemy. During counterinsurgency operations, checkpoints and roadblocks assist the commander in maintaining the initiative against the insurgents by disrupting, interfering with, and deterring insurgent operations, and disrupting the insurgents' decision making cycle. It is important to conduct checkpoints and roadblocks with interpreters, HN police, or other HN security forces.

C-13. When conducting checkpoint operations, Soldiers need the following support:

  • Engineers to build obstacles and barriers to channel traffic.
  • Linguists that are familiar with the local language and understand your language.
  • HN police or a civil affairs officer.
  • Trained interrogators.
  • Barrier equipment.
  • Signs and lighting.
  • Communications equipment.


C-14. Attitude and mindset. Think of a checkpoint as an ambush position with a friendly attitude. Trust no one outside of your checkpoint team members while on duty. To reduce misunderstandings and confusion on the part of the local populace, recommend posting instructions in the indigenous languages on signs at the entrances to checkpoints.

C-15. Checkpoints site selection should be based on a leader reconnaissance. The site must allow for a vehicle escape route and include plans to destroy a hostile element that uses such a route. If the checkpoint is completely sealed off, insurgents may only penetrate it by attempting to run over or bypass emplaced barricades.

C-16. Duration of the checkpoint may vary from 1 to 72 hours depending on the purpose of the operation. Checkpoints that are established early, operate for several hours during periods of peak traffic flow, and then reposition to a different location may lessen the risk of insurgent attack and increase the probability of detecting and attacking or capturing insurgents. Lessons learned from Operation Iraqi Freedom indicate checkpoints lasting over 72 hours were less effective for reasons related to predictability and fatigue.

C-17. Checkpoints are deliberate and hasty, but always must consist of the following:

  • Obstacles or barriers emplaced in a serpentine design to slow or stop speeding vehicles.
  • Search areas for personnel and vehicles.
  • Security overwatch and fighting positions.
  • Holding areas.
  • Lighting for night operations.
  • Designated assault/reaction forces to attack or pursue individual, groups, or vehicles that attempt to maneuver through, or turn around and attempt to avoid the checkpoint.

Deliberate Checkpoint

C-18. A fixed position set up on a main road in a rural or built-up area that can be classified as either a heavy or light traffic checkpoint. A heavy-traffic deliberate checkpoint normally requires a platoon for manning. Squads can only operate a light traffic checkpoint for a short duration (12 hours or less). (See Figure C-1.)

C-19. To operate a heavy traffic checkpoint, task organize the platoon into--

  • Headquarters element responsible for C2 and maintaining communications.
  • Search element, normally a squad that--
    • Halts vehicles at the checkpoint.
    • Guides vehicles to the designated search point.
    • Performs personnel and vehicle searches.
    • Directs cleared vehicles through the checkpoint.
  • Security element that provides early warning to the search and assault element, observes and reports suspicious activity, and monitors traffic flow up to and through the checkpoint. It should have an antiarmor capability to protect the site from an armored vehicle threat.
  • Assault element, an additional squad responsible for destroying any insurgent element that forces its way past the search team. Soldiers are positioned beyond the search point and emplaced obstacles/barriers.

Figure C-1. Organization of a Deliberate Checkpoint

C-20. Due to possibility of a suicide bomber attack, place the search area outside the unit's perimeter.

C-21. Placing the search area to the side of the road permits two-way traffic. If a vehicle is rejected, it is turned back. If vehicle is accepted for transit, it is permitted to travel through the position. If the vehicle is enemy, the checkpoint leader determines whether to attack or apprehend.

  • Everyone at the checkpoint must know the mission and commander's intent. Be methodical, detail-oriented, and focus on security.
  • Be friendly and professional to all. Nonetheless, don't trust anyone! Young women have been very effective suicide bombers. Children have unknowingly and knowingly carried bombs into and through checkpoints.
  • Soldiers prepare and occupy fortified fighting positions. Stop all vehicles for an initial search outside the obstacle areas. When confronted by a potentially threatening vehicle--
    • The search element alerts the checkpoint leader, moves to a safe/fortified position, and may engage or allow the vehicle to pass based on leader instructions and ROE.
    • If the vehicle passes through the escape lane, the checkpoint leader may direct the assault element to engage and attack the vehicle based on ROE.
    • If a vehicle turns around and attempts to avoid the checkpoint, a designated element pursues and engages them. Shoot the tires first. Approach carefully, and assume the worst. However, the occupants may simply be tired of waiting in line.
  • Overall don't hurt people unnecessarily. Some people simply don't understand what you are directing them to do.

Hasty Checkpoint

C-22. Hasty checkpoints should be set up to last from 5 minutes to up to 30 minutes in duration. One technique is the maximum use of organic vehicles to serve as additional security and to assist in funneling traffic through the checkpoint in addition to concertina wire and, if available, tire spikes.

C-23. The short duration (5 to 30 minutes) reduces the risk of an insurgent organizing and conducting a mortar or car bomb attack against the checkpoint. Additionally, this may disrupt the timing of another planned insurgent action.

C-24. Characteristics of a hasty checkpoint are--

  • Located along likely avenues of approach.
  • Achieves surprise.
  • Temporary and moved often.
  • The platoon is able to carry the construction materials.
  • Uses vehicles as an obstacle between the vehicles and personnel, and reinforces them with concertina wire.
  • Soldiers are positioned at each end of the checkpoint.
  • Soldiers are covered by mounted or dismounted automatic weapons.
  • Reaction force (at least one squad) is concealed nearby to attack or assault in case the site is attacked.

C-25. Soldiers establish hasty checkpoints where they cannot be seen by approaching traffic until it is too late for approaching traffic to unobtrusively withdraw. Effective locations on which to set up hasty checkpoints include--

  • Bridges (near either or both ends, but not in the middle).
  • Defiles (either end is better than in the middle).
  • Highway intersections. These must be well organized to reduce the inherent danger.
  • The reverse slope of a hill (hidden from the direction of the main flow of traffic).
  • Just beyond a sharp curve.

Vehicle Search

C-26. The following is a vehicle search checklist:

  • Stop the vehicle at the search area.
  • Direct the occupants to exit the vehicle and escort them away to a nearby search area.
  • Direct the male occupants to lift all clothing to ensure explosive devices are not attached to their body (females must check female occupants). When female inspectors are not present, an effective method is to search women by having them pull their garments tight to their bodies so that any contour formed by an explosive device or material will stand out. Use explosive detection devices, if available.
  • Soldiers remain behind a secure and fortified position while this process is being conducted. (See Figure C-5, page C-13 for prescribed standoff distances against explosives).
  • Direct the occupants to open all doors, the trunk, the hood of the vehicles and the gas cap (to include inside enclosures such as glove compartments).
  • Conduct a visual inspection while the occupants of the vehicles lift any and all obstructions from the Soldiers' field of view while remaining behind the fortified positions. Such obstructions could include blankets or clothing on seats.
  • The driver removes any loose items that are not attached to the vehicle for inspection.
  • Once the leader determines it is safe to approach the vehicle, two members of the search team position themselves at both rear flanks of the vehicle. These Soldiers maintain eye contact with the occupants once they exit the vehicle.
  • Two Soldiers armed only with pistols conduct the search.
  • One Soldier conducts interior searches and the other performs exterior searches. Use mirrors and metal detectors to thoroughly search each vehicle for weapons, explosives, ammunition, and other contraband. Depending on the threat level, the vehicle search area should provide blast protection for the surrounding area.

C-27. See Figures C-2, C-3, and C-4 (pages C-11 and C-12) for search areas for different vehicle types.

Personnel Searches

C-28. Personnel searches are only conducted when proper authorization has been obtained per the ROE, HN agreements, or status of forces agreement. Planning considerations are--

  • Plan for same-gender searches.
  • HN authorities, whenever possible, should conduct or at least observe searches of local nationals.
  • Preserve the respect and dignity of the individual.
  • Consider local customs and national cultural differences. In many cultures it is offensive for men to touch or even talk to women in public.
  • Be polite, considerate, patient, and tactful.
  • Make every effort not to unnecessarily offend the local population.
  • Search for weapons and ammunition, items of intelligence value, currency, drugs, other inappropriate items, and anything that seems out of the ordinary.

C-29. Soldiers conduct individual searches in search teams that consist of the following:

  • Searcher. Actually conducts the search. This is the highest-risk position.
  • Security. Maintains eye contact with the individual being searched.
  • Observer. The observer is a leader who has supervisory control. He provides early warning.

C-30. The two most common methods used to conduct individual searches are frisk and wall searches.

  • Frisk search. Quick and adequate to detect weapons, evidence, or contraband. A frisk search is more dangerous because the searcher has less control of the individual being searched.
  • Wall search. Affords more safety for the searcher. Any upright surface may be used, such as a wall, vehicle, tree, or fence.

The search team places the subject in the kneeling or prone position if more control is needed to search an uncooperative individual.

C-31. Strip searches should only be considered when the individual is suspected of carrying documents or other contraband on his or her person. This extreme search method should be conducted in an enclosed area and by qualified medical personnel when available.

Additional Checkpoint Considerations

C-32. The following should be considered when operating a checkpoint:

  • Team duties and reactions must be well-defined, backbriefed by all, and rehearsed.
  • Standardize the following three mandatory minimum signals at every checkpoint:
    • Stop.
    • Get out of the car.
    • Lift your shirt.
  • Prepare and emplace signs in the local language instructing indigenous personnel what to expect and do at the checkpoint.
  • Determine if it is necessary to apprehend or detain those who see the checkpoint ahead and attempt to turn around.
  • Use HN police and military when available.
  • Position a response force close to the approach route to block or detain vehicles that try to avoid the checkpoint.
  • Clear and maintain control of all buildings and terrain that dominate the checkpoint.
  • Stay alert for any change of scenery around the checkpoint. Crowds gathering for no apparent reason or media representatives waiting for an event are all indicators that something may happen.
  • Use artificial illumination for night operations.
  • If HN personnel are used to assist, ensure they do not represent a national, ethnic, or religious group or faction that is feared or hated by the majority of the local population.
  • Move the checkpoint location and change the method of operation at random to avoid setting patterns. The longer your position remains static, the greater the risk you will be attacked.

C-33.Record the following information:

  • The number and type of vehicles stopped. Report identifying markings, license plate numbers, vehicle identification numbers (where present), and any signs displayed on the vehicle.
  • The point of origination and destination of the vehicle.
  • The number of passengers in the vehicle. Report the nationality, ages, and gender of passengers.
  • The condition of passengers (general health, dress, attitude).
  • The stated reason for travel by passengers.
  • The type and quantity of cargo.
  • Possible or actual sightings of weapons.
  • Explosives or threatening action by the passengers.
  • A description of arms, ammunition, explosives, and sensitive items found and confiscated from the vehicle.
  • Anything unusual reported by the passengers.
  • The illustrations shown below suggest areas for security personnel to search for explosives or prohibited items.

Figure C-2. Search Areas for Family Cars

Figure C-3. Search Areas for Commercial Vehicles

Figure C-4. Search Areas for Buses

Figure C-5. Standoff Distance for Explosive Devices


C-34. A roadblock is defined as a barrier or obstacle (usually covered by fire) used to block or limit the movement of vehicles along a route. (See Figure C-6, page C-14.) Position the roadblock so obstacles like cliffs, swamps, or rivers channel vehicles toward the roadblock. Select a defendable site for the roadblock. Ensure that defensive positions--

  • Include a fighting position for crew-served weapons to provide overwatch and covering fire for the roadblock.
  • Establish fields of fire that cover avenues of approach that lead to the roadblock to prevent breach.

Figure C-6. Roadblock


C-35. Monitor local media (radio, newspaper) both for rumor control/counterpropaganda purposes (essential in population control) as well as intelligence tip-offs (for both current intelligence and tactical indications and warning). You will notice a different slant from the news at home (observed in Bosnia and Haiti).

C-36. Identify and listen to what influential local leaders say in public and compare it to their actions in private. These people are leaders in political, government, criminal, ethnic, religious, and family realms. It is important to live with the local people and listen to what they are also saying.

C-37. Infrastructure protection and repair/rehabilitation (for example, electrical power and water, electrical pole repair teams) are critical both for improving the populations' physical well-being as well as for the positive psychological effect it creates. The electrical grid is a good confidence target (very visible), and there is no effect equivalent to the lights going out. "Turning on the lights" in Port-au-Prince contributed to reducing criminal activity (as measured by the murder rate) by about 40 percent in a two-month period (observed in Haiti).

C-38. Intelligence screening and selected debriefing of migrants/refugees can yield tactically useful intelligence, especially when coupled with humanitarian relief/civic action activities. Asking the individuals who have turned themselves in to identify any of the people working for you is a very effective way to catch planted agents. Expect them to be there.

C-39. Indicators of pending insurgent offensive actions are the theft of medical supplies, car and money thefts, and International Red Cross representatives observed in the area when they are not otherwise present (Bosnia and Haiti).

C-40. In urban areas, monitor electric power usage and telephone records. Deviations from normal usage may indicate terrorist activity (United Kingdom Royal Marine observation in Northern Ireland).

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