Insurgency in Urban areas: implications for SOF
Franco, George H.
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Many of the "small wars" that have occurred in the aftermath of the Cold War fit the profile of insurgent conflicts: they pit a constituted state vs. a counter-state, the counter-state relies on a support structure within the population, and the center-of-mass of these conflicts is political and psychological rather than military in nature. The urbanization boom in many underdeveloped countries has stretched the social services and infrastructure of the cities beyond the breaking point, and this dynamic may contribute to the occurrence of insurgency. Increasingly, political entrepreneurs have operated within urban areas to enlist disaffected individuals in campaigns of political conflict. This study argues that the most effective way to counter an insurgency is through a strategy of indirect approach that seeks to dismantle the insurgent support structures. The United States can support friendly governments that are combating insurgent violence through a "vertically integrated" advisory effort spearheaded by Special Operations Forces (SOF). These forces can assist a supported nation to develop a "counter-mobilization" framework that targets the opportunity, means and motives that allow an insurgency to exist. To attain success, the US should exploit the insurgents' vulnerabilities, defeat their strategy and allow SOF to advise on intelligence collection activities
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