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Chapter 2
Command and Control in a Counterinsurgency Environment


2-54. Information sharing across US government and national boundaries is important in counterinsurgency. There are likely to be several governmental agencies operating in a HN, and all are exposed daily to information valuable to counterinsurgency operations. This situation requires a strong focus on lateral coordination and the development of an effective program of interagency information exchange. In addition, the very nature of counterinsurgency denotes the sharing of information between the HN and the US joint force headquarters controlling counterinsurgency operations. This information exchange may be further complicated by a friendly third nation participating in counterinsurgency operations. The US government can complicate information exchange by restricting third nations access to information.



2-55. There are many organizations and extensive resources available to aid developing nations. Commanders should not overlook the aid these organizations may provide. All forces assigned an AO or function should determine which departments and agencies are assisting in that AO and coordinate actions so that there is no duplication of effort. Such departments, councils and agencies include--

  • National Security Council.
  • Department of Defense.
  • Department of State.
  • Department of Justice.
  • Department of the Treasury.
  • Department of Homeland Security.
  • Department of Agriculture.
  • Department of Commerce.
  • Central Intelligence Agency.
  • Department of Transportation.

2-56. Various governmental departments directly administer or support other governmental agencies. Examples of these US agencies are--

  • US Agency for International Development.
  • The US Coast Guard (under Department of Homeland Security).
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (under Department of Justice).
  • Immigration Customs Enforcement (under Department of Homeland Security).
  • Federal Communications Commission.
  • Peace Corps.


2-57. Nongovernmental organizations are transnational organizations of private citizens that maintain a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN. Non-governmental organizations may be professional associations, foundations, multinational businesses, or simply groups with a common interest in humanitarian assistance activities (development and relief). "Nongovernmental organizations" is a term normally used by nonUnited States organizations (JP 1-02). There are several thousand NGOs. Many of these organizations focus on relief or short-term support and development, on long-term support, or a combination of the two. Some NGOs do not want to be seen as cooperating or associating with US military forces. Gaining their support and coordinating operations can be a difficult and frustrating task. Some examples of NGOs are--

  • World Vision.
  • Medecin Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).
  • Catholic Relief Society.
  • CARE (Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere).
  • OXFAM (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief).
  • International Committee for the Red Cross and Red Crescent.


2-58. The most notable of international organization is the UN. Regional organizations, such as the Organization of American States, may also be involved. Depending on the level of relief or development needed in the country involved, any one of several of their organizations may be present such as--

  • World Food Program.
  • UN Refugee Agency (known by the acronym for its director, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
  • UN Development Program.
  • Regional programs, such as Alliance for Progress (oriented on Latin America).


2-59. US and other multinational businesses--such as petroleum companies, manufacturing corporations, and import-export companies--often engage in reconstruction and development activities through community relations programs. At a minimum, commanders must know which companies are present in the AO and where those companies are conducting business. Such information can prevent fratricide or destruction of private property.


2-60. Sovereignty issues are among the most difficult for commanders conducting counterinsurgency operations, both in regard to forces contributed by nations and by the HN. Often, commanders are required to accomplish the mission through coordination, communication, and consensus, in addition to traditional command practices. Political sensitivities must be acknowledged, and often commanders and subordinates act as diplomats as well as warriors. Commanders address all sovereignty issues in advance through the chain of command to the US ambassador and the country team to ensure that operations are not adversely affected. Examples include the following:

  • Collecting and sharing information.
  • Basing.
  • Overflight rights.
  • Aerial ports of debarkation.
  • Seaports of debarkation.
  • Location and access.
  • Railheads.
  • Border crossings.
  • Force protection.
  • Jurisdiction over members of the US and multinational forces.
  • Operations in the territorial sea and internal waters.

2-61. Commanders may create structures, such as committees, to address sovereignty issues. To facilitate cooperation and build trust, military or nonmilitary representatives of the HN may co-chair these committees. These organizations facilitate operations by reducing sensitivities and misunderstandings and removing impediments. However, such issues are formally resolved with HNs through the development of appropriate technical agreements to augment existing or recently developed status of forces agreements. In many cases, security assistance organizations, NGOs, and international organizations resident in the HN, having detailed knowledge and the potential to establish good will in these areas, may be called upon to assist in the conduct of operations or the establishment of a positive and constructive relationship in the HN.

2-62. This coordination and support can exist all the way down to the community and village levels. Soldiers should be aware of both the political and societal structures in the AOs they are assigned. Political structures usually have designated leaders within the community who are responsible to the government and people. However, the societal structure may have other leaders who operate outside of the political structure. These leaders may be economic (such as businessmen), theological (such as clerics and lay leaders), informational (such as newspaper publishers or journalists), or family-based (such as elders or patriarchs). Some societal leaders may emerge due to charisma or other intangible influences. Commanders and the country team determine the key leaders, assess their level of support for US objectives, and influence and co-opt them as appropriate.


2-63. At the HN national level, the US country team is the primary coordinating structure for counterinsurgency. (See Figure 2-1.) Where multinational partners join the US, a na-

Figure 2-1. The Country Team Concept
tional-level coordinating structure is formed, where the US country team participates in or leads the multinational effort. At each subordinate political level of the HN government, a coordinating structure, the civil military coordination center, is established, including representative of the HN and HN forces, and US and multinational forces. This coordination center facilitates the integration of all military and political actions. Below the lowest political level, additional structures may be established, comparable to Neighborhood Watch, where lower-level commanders and leaders can meet directly with local populace leaders to discuss issues. Where possible, international organizations and NGOs should also take part in coordination meetings to ensure their actions are integrated and deconflicted with military and HN plans. The essential US goal is a single, controlling agency to direct all efforts with one person in charge of all military and US agency operations. The purpose of this agency is to produce a unified goal and direction.


2-64. One mechanism for bringing all of the above elements together for coordination is the CMOC. CMOCs can be established at all levels of command. The CMOC coordinates the interaction of US and multinational forces with governmental organizations, international organizations, NGOs, and third-nation agencies and authorities. The CMOC is not designed as, nor should it be used as, a C2 element. It is a coordination cell between nonmilitary agencies and military forces. It is an extension of the commander's guidance. 2-65. Overall management of a CMOC may be assigned to a multinational force commander, shared by a US and a multinational commander, or shared by a US commander and a civilian agency head. The CMOC provides both access and CMO-related data and information from and to nonmilitary agencies operating away from the military headquarters. The CMOC has no set composition. It is mission-oriented and staffed appropriately. In an Army-managed CMOC, the plans officer or civil affairs coordinator is normally responsible for management of, or participation in, the CMOC. It may be composed of, or augmented by, military and civilian representatives from many different agencies. However, it normally consists of a director, deputy director, and representatives from the operations, logistic, and medical sections of the supported headquarters. It may include other elements, the personnel of which may come from the military, NGOs, international organizations, and third nations, based on the situation. Senior CA officers normally serve as the director and deputy director of the CMOC.

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