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Chapter 2
Command and Control in a Counterinsurgency Environment


2-15. The role of the Army in counterinsurgency operations is to administer, train for, and successfully conduct full spectrum operations, with great emphasis on stability operations. Counterinsurgency is a type of stability operation. (See FM 3-07, chapter 3.) Each regional combatant commander advises the Department of State in developing peacetime military engagement packages appropriate for the situation. Each combatant command provides military forces under the program as well as military advice, tactical and technical training, and intelligence and logistic support. Army forces help HN police, paramilitary, and military forces perform counterinsurgency, area security, or local security operations. They advise and assist in finding, dispersing, capturing, and destroying the insurgent force. Army forces emphasize the training of HN national, state, and local forces to perform essential defense functions. They aim to provide a secure environment in which developmental programs can take effect while respecting the rights and dignity of the people.

2-16. US policymakers determine the scope of military participation based on US interests and the desires of the HN. The US military aims to improve the effectiveness of the HN security forces and to assist in preventing support for the insurgents. To prevent the overthrow of a government friendly to the US or to provide security while a new government is established, US forces may be required to engage in combat, either unilaterally or with multinational or HN forces. As quickly as possible, though, HN military and police must assume the primary combat role. A long-term US combat role may undermine the legitimacy of the HN government and risks converting the conflict into a US-only war. That combat role can also further alienate cultures that are hostile to the US. On the occasion when the threat to US interests is great and indirect means have proven insufficient, preemptive US combat operations may be required. Direct use of US combat forces in counterinsurgency operations remains a policy option for the President, and Army forces provide it when required. HN forces should conduct stability operations when necessary, employing concepts such as population and resource control (see Appendix C). When US forces are involved, the HN must provide representatives to assist US forces in their contacts with local populations.

2-17. US forces may conduct offensive operations to disrupt and destroy insurgent combat formations. These operations prevent the insurgents from attacking government-controlled areas. They also disrupt insurgent efforts to consolidate and expand areas already under their control. US combat forces may conduct stability operations in support of HN stability operations or to assist the HN to expand its mobilization base. US forces may also be required to secure HN borders to prevent third-nation elements from supporting or joining the insurgency. Success in stability operations enables the HN to resume the military aspects of its counterinsurgency campaign and creates conditions in which US combat forces may withdraw.

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