In today’s security scenario the war fare exhibited by the America in the 20th century with military forces engaged in counterinsurgency (COIN) operations. But in most evaluative measures there is much little success achieved in the operations. Therefore this dissertation would examine the counterinsurgent operations from the historical ones of Philippines to most recent ones like operations in Afghanistan and Iraq together with other number of other countries in world today. Therefore the paper will give the recommendations on the perhaps the effective ways to be employed in order to win the counterinsurgencies operations to secure victory.
The term insurgency invokes desire for political power which is achieved through means illegal under the rules of the existing state (Sarah, 2006). In the insurgency fi3ld it may necessitate the use of various tactics as hijackings, shooting bombs, kidnappings, hostage taking (Blaxland 2006) and other terrorist techniques but with little regard to civilian. But the concept is usually oversimplified from the perspective of the public statements made by politicians and media, and this is where major issues and tactics are lost in the whole concept (Jones, 2001).
In the warfare history the low intensity conflicts have existed till today, but the most shocking attribute is the way they are being executed and handled in the today’s warfare arena. Therefore it calls on the urgency of designing a winning strategy for waging counterinsurgency warfare which has arisen in the year 2003 as seen in the Afghanistan Iraq encounters and with the post September 11th initiated war on Terrorism and terrorists groups (Sarah, 2006). There is more revelation as a result of the approach of the US and their Western alliance toward limited counterinsurgency wars in the Iraq, Afghanistan and tin the Middle East has negative. However cannot be blamed on the circumstances but rather can be attributed to the U.S. Army experience in Vietnam and others Western withdrawals from Somalia in the year 1993 and Lebanon 1983 in the face of terrorist attacks (Sarah 2006).
Wining the counterinsurgent
However the term unwinnable war became increasingly associated with many counterinsurgency campaigns within the military operations involving US and the western allies. For instance Bush administration officials’ in 1992 (Jones 2001) pursued hands off policy on Bosnia describing it as unwinnable situation for the military and in addition some commanders after the terror attack to the US, described that US, Canada, Australia, Britain and their allies could become embroiled in an unwinnable guerrilla war in Afghanistan if decided to invoke the military operations. Theretofore these give and analyses the assumption that counterinsurgency campaigns necessarily most of the incidences turn into protracted conflicts (Blaxland 2006) that will inevitably lose political support in the long run. In addition the foreign affairs through a Rand analyst in 2005 stated that the Iraq War was unwinnable henceforth suggesting that the U.S and its western allies should possibly remove its military presence and rally Iran and the Europeans to help them to harness victory in the war on Al queda (Robert, 2006)
The contrast is not the term unwinable war but the revelation of the term as the counterinsurgent operations could not result into fruits desired, but rather produced the turn into protracted conflicts (Robert, 2006). This gives wakening call to revitalize and reinvigorate the policies, strategies and management of the global warfare in order to win counterinsurgents operations especially war on terror. For example the in the year 2007 month of October General David Petraeus a new commander in Iraq on counterinsurgency warfare operations managed to reduce the monthly U.S fatalities to a 1/3 of what was there in 2006. In addition to that, the prominent attacks in the Sunni dominated Anbar Province fell from 1,300 in October 2006 to 100 and even less in November 2007 through his efforts.
In this regard therefore the concern is whether the counterinsurgent operations are being handled in the most valid, reliable and efficient way. To this extend the key components that are employed in the warfare must be a hindrance factor that undermines the achievement of the victory. For instance the incidence of Gen. Petraeus in Anbar Province came about as a result of the decisions of local Sunni tribal leaders in western Iraq, (Blaxland 2006) which was about there discussion of how to best protect their security. That deviated from the focus of coalition political efforts previously to work out a more perfect Iraqi constitution in Baghdad, which logistically was inapplicable to conflict zones especially where the central government authorities are weak and lacks the capacity to substantially change the security situation on the ground within the country (Blaxland, 2006).
Therefore this gives a clear indicator that counterinsurgency strategies have a strong political dimension because it invokes the loyalties and well being of the civilian population where the war is conducted and the surrounding environs. The civilian population is primarily affected by the conditions on the ground where they live (Blaxland 2006) and not by political arrangements negotiated between diplomats in distant capitals where they conduct diplomatic meetings. In this respect therefore the citizens usually seek to ally with groups that can guarantee their safety and guarantee quality life style. Of which it can only be achieved if the political leadership segment in the insurgency area is willing to assume responsibility and at the same time stand up to the pressures of the terrorist organizations and even fight them without lineage to their respective sociological or religious dimension.
In this connection it reveals a conclusive summary to the insight of winning the counterinsurgency that the U.S and its allies military engagements in Afghanistan and in Iraq (Davis 2005) have no military option against worldwide insurgencies launched by international terrorist groups hence War on Terrorism will be lost even before it is fully waged which should not be the case in the global security scenario. It is in the interest of all stakeholders in the security sector to revisit the entire issue and make up the proper and realistic ways of winning the possible. To do this it requires the scrutiny of the strategies and the perception currently used. For instance the aspect of what type of victory is to be achieved in the counterinsurgency, (Collings Rafal 2006) which may focus on the total victory that focuses on the elimination of terrorist organizations, guerrilla groups and their demands from the geopolitical and global map completely. The second kind is Sufficient Victory that does not produce many years of tranquility but rather achieves only a repressed quiet, requiring the investment of continuous effort in order to preserve it in the security situations (Gompert, 2007)
. From those two claimed kind of victories it should be pointed out that terror can not be destroyed but can be contained at a minimal level that should be designed with constant efforts to prevent its eruption in the security environments.
Therefore it requires deep understanding of the linkage between the political, national, ethnic, economic, religious, ideological, or an amalgam of all these which facilitates the recruitment of people to the terror movements in addition to the military use (Davis 2005). Without this clear understanding the global security world must expect terror to continue or to be renewed in perhaps more complex form that will be hard to counter act in the globe today. In this regard therefore we must revisit the strategies used and the exit strategy is inappropriate because it implies that it is more important to leave than to succeed in the initiated counterinsurgency operations. This can only be achieved when the strategists draw a line of distinction between a counterinsurgency and a military battle. The successful counterinsurgency must rebuild the government and the economies at the same time meet the social, political and economic (Blaxland 2006) expectations of the Iraqis and other in a counterinsurgency operation. For example the success in Fallujah where it was essential to stabilization with key effort to reform and functionalize the government ministries such as trade, education and health (Gompert 2007).
The counterinsurgent currently in place in the Iraq enjoys massive support of the Australia artillery, Canadian armies, Britain and other western allies who participated in the invasion and intelligent activities. For instance Canadian aircraft were used in the military operation, 42,000 troops (Sarah ,2006) of the combined effort of the western allies, a bout 30 Canadian exchange officers participated in the invasion of Iraq that served with U.S and British units. In addition the Australian and Canadian warships in the Persian Gulf were escorting United States of America supply vessels carrying equipment and ammunition for war in Iraq. But this from the overall evaluation it is a Support if necessary rather than the necessary support in the operation (Collings Rafal, 2006).
With this insight in view it factors in a question of worth to be looked at, what should be done then to acquire victory in the counterinsurgency. From the history it does not hold much substance in the execution; therefore it makes the Counterinsurgency in American Strategies to be revisited. The key areas to be refurbished should include the change of perspective of winning such that winning, the US must achieve the objective of a stable peaceful and democratic Iraq (Davis 2005). In order to do this the US must refine the methodologies and approaches that are as effect of the culture. For instance problem is rooted in American political and military culture in its history of insurgencies (Collings Rafal, 2006) as they are frustrated with counterinsurgent wars which are highly political in nature and do not engage core U.S security interests. To be able to win the US should abstain from intervention small scale wars (Gareau 2004) except in those rare cases when military intervention is essential in protecting or advancing United States national security interests.
The experience attained from the Iraq and Afghanistan together with other counterinsurgents (Davis 2005) operations must be used as a lesson to the strategists in the planning of the future operations. For instance it is important to understand the enemy in order to be successful in the execution of an operation (Beckett 2001). Like the Iraq case the insurgency is made up of 90 percent Iraqi Sunnis who are driven by a concept of Gods resistance and the optimism of having yet been undefeated by a vastly superior US and the allies’ forces. While the other 10 percent of the insurgency is made of foreign fighters and criminal armies within Iraq (Gareau 2004). Therefore in this regard the scenario prevents full understanding of different elements, hinders the effectiveness of designed plans to change the social environment and eliminate the conditions that lead or fuel the insurgency in the security environment. In addition like the resistance in Iraq is attributed to Saddam Hussein’s patrimonial coercive rule that reshaped major aspects of the Iraqi state society providing structures and motivations that have fueled resistance in the wake of regime change in the country (Davis 2005).
There is a need to incorporate the indigenous security forces in order to win the counterinsurgencies. Good demonstration is from Colonel Gregory Wilson views on the successful COIN operations (Blaxland, 2006) from the historical insurgent conflict during the Malayan Emergency 1948 to 1960, Rebellion 1946 to1954 and Philippines Insurrection 1899 to1902 (Jones, 2001) and the Hukbalahap strongly shows that successful COIN operations rely heavily on indigenous security forces and therefore the US and its western allies should emphasize working either through or with or by or combination of both, whether directly or indirectly with the indigenous forces and building their capacity to conduct effective operations against common enemies in the counterinsurgencies operation (Gareau ,2004.
Then there is need for Unity of Effort to secure victory since there is lack of unity of effort which is the most impediments to operational level interagency action today in the counterinsurgencies executed. Therefore in order to achieve unity of effort firstly the MNF I (Multi Force Iraq) (Jones, 2001) and the nation should consider adopting a CORDS (Civil operations and Revolutionary Development Support) approach to ensure integrated action and victory in the coming future counterinsurgency operation. Special attribute should be paid to the coordination and message control. To be able to contain the vital information for security purposes during the operations (Blaxland, 2006).
In summary the concept of winning the counterinsurgencies in the coming operations must be constructed basing on the past mistakes that have occurred in the WOT strategies used. This is important because the perception that military effort can be expected to solve a problem of historical dimensions has hit a snag. Hence call for a more comprehensive structured strategy to readdress the encounter and management of the counterinsurgent operations, since its always changing thus need for a review of strategies. The most important aspect is to acknowledge the attempt s of the previous operations, but the change is evidently needed in defining, specifying and clarifying the objectives like from war on terror to war against a distinct terrorist group in the operation. Therefore it can only be successful when the stakeholders realize that war on terror can not be completely won but can be contained at minimal security threat levels.