Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements

Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements

Daniel Byman
Peter Chalk
Bruce Hoffman
William Rosenau
David Brannan
Copyright Date: 2001
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 164
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1405oti
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  • Book Info
    Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements
    Book Description:

    The most useful forms of outside support for an insurgent movement include safe havens, financial support, political backing, and direct military assistance. Because states are able to provide all of these types of assistance, their support has had a profound impact on the effectiveness of many rebel movements since the end of the Cold War. However, state support is no longer the only, or indeed necessarily the most important, game in town. Diasporas have played a particularly important role in sustaining several strong insurgencies. More rarely, refugees, guerrilla groups, or other types of non-state supporters play a significant role in creating or sustaining an insurgency, offering fighters, training, or other forms of assistance. This report assesses post-Cold War trends in external support for insurgent movements. It describes the frequency that states, diasporas, refugees, and other non-state actors back guerrilla movements. It also assesses the motivations of these actors and which types of support matter most. This book concludes by assessing the implications for analysts of insurgent movements.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3232-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. FIGURE
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. TABLES
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. SUMMARY
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xxi-xxii)
  8. ACRONYMS
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  9. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-8)

    State support or sponsorship of an insurgency as an instrument of foreign policy was common during the Cold War. The United States used the Nicaraguan contras, the Afghan mujahedin, Tibetan Buddhist fighters, and other insurgent movements as part of its policy to contain (and occasionally roll back) communism. Washington was not alone: The Soviet Union and China backed communist guerrillas in Angola, Greece, South Africa, Vietnam, and other parts of the world to further their influence.¹ Regional powers also recognized the utility of insurgencies. Countries as diverse as Israel, Iran, South Africa, Pakistan, Sudan, and Ethiopia were among those that...

  10. Chapter Two STATE SUPPORT FOR INSURGENCIES
    (pp. 9-40)

    States remain among the most important, and most active, supporters of insurgent groups. Although diaspora communities, refugees, and other non-state actors regularly provide assistance to rebel groups in their home countries, the scale and range of backing that is given is considerably less than that of states in most cases. This chapter presents an overview of recent trends in state assistance to insurgent movements. It reviews a wide range of guerrilla conflicts active during the 1990s, noting both the frequency of state support and qualitative judgments of its impact. Recent experiences of the insurgencies in the Congo are then used...

  11. Chapter Three DIASPORA SUPPORT FOR INSURGENCIES
    (pp. 41-60)

    States are neither the only nor necessarily the most important sponsors of insurgent movements. Diasporas—immigrant communities established in other countries—frequently support insurgencies in their homelands.¹ Despite being separated by thousands of miles, homeland struggles are often keenly felt among immigrant communities. Indeed, insurgents in Algeria, Azerbaijan, Egypt, India (Punjab and Kashmir), Indonesia (Aceh), Ireland, Israel, Lebanon, Russia, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Northern Ireland, and Kosovo have all received various and important forms of support from their respective migrant communities.

    Significant diaspora support has occurred in every region of the globe, except Latin America.² Migrant communities have sent money,...

  12. Chapter Four REFUGEE SUPPORT FOR INSURGENCIES
    (pp. 61-70)

    Refugee flows and insurgencies often feed one another: The discrimination, violence, and misery that typically accompany civil wars often displace populations that in turn contribute to and sustain the original conflict.¹ This phenomenon was common during the Cold War. For example, Soviet brutality in Afghanistan led to the exodus of millions of Afghans, who subsequently became a major impetus behind the anti-Soviet resistance. The problem of refugee flows has recently become even more acute. Table 4.1 compares the total number of refugees in various years over the last two decades. As the totals in the table suggest, the refugee burden...

  13. Chapter Five OTHER NON-STATE SUPPORTERS OF INSURGENCIES
    (pp. 71-82)

    States, diasporas, and refugees are not the only sources of external support. In many of the conflicts in the 1990s, additional categories of non-state actors have helped insurgents—including other revolutionary groups, religious leaders and organizations, wealthy individuals, and human rights organizations. In general, these sources of support have strengthened and sustained insurgencies, particularly in their early days, but they have seldom had influence comparable to states, diasporas, or refugees.

    Table 5.1 presents a partial listing of these various types of support. Although this breakdown should not be viewed as definitive (because data on many of these non-state actors are...

  14. Chapter Six ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF EXTERNAL SUPPORT
    (pp. 83-102)

    Insurgents may receive many forms of support, but the impact of this assistance varies. Some forms of support allow insurgencies to survive ferocious government onslaught or to weather a decrease in popular support. Other types, while useful, contribute far less to the overall success of the movement.

    Although the impact of external support must be measured against the particular needs of and conditions facing the insurgency in question, broader generalizations can be drawn about which forms of assistance are usually the most important to insurgent movements. Chapter Six provides a brief overview of guerrilla movement requirements and notes how outside...

  15. Chapter Seven IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ANALYSIS OF INSURGENCY
    (pp. 103-108)

    This final chapter reviews several of the most important findings of this report and discusses their implications for intelligence analysts and policymakers. It begins by briefly reviewing the obvious lesson from the previous analysis: Outside support for insurgency today differs fundamentally from the Cold War period. It then attempts to distinguish which types of external assistance have the most impact. This chapter concludes by arguing that passive support is an important but often ignored form of backing that allows many movements to flourish.

    The indomitable Viet Cong guerrilla, adhering to a tight discipline while he plays his part in a...

  16. Appendix A OUTSIDE SUPPORT FOR INSURGENCIES (1991–2000)
    (pp. 109-116)
  17. Appendix B THE LTTE’s MILITARY-RELATED PROCUREMENT
    (pp. 117-122)
  18. REFERENCES
    (pp. 123-138)