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Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) is one of the most confusing and ignored areas of modern military thought. The current doctrine is not well distributed to the field or understood throughout the Army. Commanders have requested a document which covers the emerging doctrine in a concise, readable manner and begins to disseminate the valuable points of ongoing operations in LIC.

This bulletin reviews the emerging doctrine as an introduction to the overall context of LIC, and forms the basis for a future series of bulletins (Just Cause, Nimrod Dancer, etc.) which will focus more specifically on tactical lessons learned. This publication is not an attempt to repeat doctrine. Rather it relates emerging doctrine to current operations and lessons learned. It is written for leaders and staff at all levels who may find themselves involved in a LIC.

We are entering a dynamic period for the Armed Forces and particularly for the U.S. Army. The sweeping changes in the high-intensity battlefield of Europe and the ever increasing problems in the Third World are making contingency operations the subject of a new shift in emphasis. These changes will affect every soldier in the Army, and require that we pay close attention to the developing doctrine and lessons learned. This is a start point in providing LIC information Armywide.

This bulletin will:

  • Outline a framework for placing LIC into its proper global and national security perspective.
  • Discuss the imperatives of LIC in relation to historical examples.
  • Examine the four operational categories of LIC with historical examples.
  • Highlight general lessons learned in LIC.

Compiled in this bulletin are the major points of FM 100-20, Military Operations in Low Intensity Conflict, several briefings, and many articles addressing the subject. It provides a concise, conceptual framework for reference and further study of LIC.

James M. Lyle
Brigadier General, USA Commanding

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