Headline.com editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes: As a matter of public concern, especially where it relates to continuing belligerent United States of America interference in Venezuela’s domestic political affairs and its not-so-covert support for anti-democratic forces within Venezuela weeking to overthrow the legitimate government of President Hugo Chavez Frias, VHeadline.com Venezuela today responsibly publishes (without permission) a top secret US Army document distributed to top Washington D.C. officials only last month in which United States’ Counterinsurgency Operations are described in the form of a manual.

Distribution Restriction: Distribution authorized to the DOD and DOD contractors only to maintain operations security. This determination was made on 1 April 2004. Other requests for this document must be referred to Commander, US Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, ATTN: ATZL-CD (FMI 3-07.22), 1 Reynolds Avenue (Building 111), Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-1352. Destruction Notice: Destroy by any method that will prevent disclosure of contents or reconstruction of the document.

In an introduction, the document, which is available here in its 182-page entirety as a PDF file, informs its readers that “The American way of war includes mass, power, and the use of sophisticated smart weapons. However, large main force engagements that characterized conflict in World War II, Korea, and Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom in the Middle East have become the exceptions in American warfare. Since the American Revolution, the Army has conducted stability operations, which have included counter-insurgency operations. Over the past half-century alone, the Army gained considerable experience in fighting insurgents in Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Philippines), Latin America (Colombia, Peru, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua), Africa (Somalia), Southwest Asia (Afghanistan), and now the Middle East (Iraq).

Dealing with counterinsurgency since the Vietnam War has fallen largely on SOF; however, conventional forces have frequently come into contact with insurgent forces that seek to neutralize the inherent advantages of size, weaponry, and conventional force TTP.

Insurgents use a combination of actions that include terror, assassination, kidnapping, murder, guerrilla tactics such as ambushes, booby traps, and improvised explosive devices aimed at US and multinational forces, the host country’s leaders, and ordinary citizens.

The stunning victory over Saddam Hussein’s army in 2003 validated US conventional force TTP, but the ensuing aftermath of instability has caused review of lessons from the Army’s historical experience and those of the other services and multinational partners. One of the key recurring lessons is that the United States cannot win other countries’ wars for them, but can certainly help legitimate foreign governments overcome attempts to overthrow them. US forces can assist a country confronted by an insurgency by providing a safe and secure environment at the local level and continuously building on the incremental success.

The impetus for this FMI came from the Iraq insurgency and the realization that engagements in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) would likely use counterinsurgency TTPs. Consequently this FMI reviews what we know about counterinsurgency and explains the fundamentals of military operations in a counterinsurgency environment.

DEFINITION OF INSURGENCY

1-1. An insurgency is organized movement aimed at the overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion and armed conflict (JP 1-02). It is a protracted politicomilitary struggle designed to weaken government control and legitimacy while increasing insurgent control. Political power is the central issue in an insurgency.

1-2. Each insurgency has its own unique characteristics based on its strategic objectives, its operational environment, available resources, operational method, and tactics (For example, an insurgency may be based on mass mobilization through political action or the FOCO theory. Insurgencies frequently seek to overthrow the existing social order and reallocate power within the country.

1-3. The goal of an insurgency is to mobilize human and material resources in order to form an alternative to the state. This alternative is called the counterstate. The counterstate may have much of the infrastructure possessed by the state itself, but this must normally be hidden, since it is illegal. Thus the counterstate is often referred to by the term “clandestine infrastructure.” As the insurgents gain confidence and power, the clandestine infrastructure may become more open, as observed historically in communist regions during the Chinese Revolution, in South Vietnam after the North Vietnamese 1972 Easter Offensive, and in Colombia in the summer of 1998.

1-4. Successful mobilization provides active and passive support for the insurgency’s programs, operations, and goals. At the national level, mobilization grows out of dissatisfaction by some elite members with existing political, economic, or social conditions. At the regional level, members of an elite have become marginalized (that is, they have become psychologically alienated from the system), and have established links with followers by bringing them into the counterstate. At the local, district and province-levels, local movement representatives called the cadre address local grievances and do recruiting. The cadre gives credit to the insurgent movement for all local solutions. Loyalty to the insurgent movement is normally won through deeds but may occur through appeal to abstract principles. Promises to end hunger or eliminate poverty may appeal to a segment of the population, while appeals to eliminate a foreign presence or establish a government based on religious or political ideology may appeal to others. Nonetheless, these promises and appeals are associated with tangible solutions and deeds.

The complete document is available as PDF at:
https://www.vheadline.com/USA-counterinsurgency-operations.pdf