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From Insurgency to Stability

From Insurgency to Stability: Volume II: Insights from Selected Case Studies

Angel Rabasa
John Gordon
Peter Chalk
Audra K. Grant
K. Scott McMahon
Stephanie Pezard
Caroline Reilly
David Ucko
S. Rebecca Zimmerman
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    From Insurgency to Stability
    Book Description:

    This book examines six case studies of insurgencies from around the world to determine the key factors necessary for a successful transition from counterinsurgency to a more stable situation. The authors review the causes of each insurgency and the key players involved, and examine what the government did right--or wrong--to bring the insurgency to an end and to transition to greater stability.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5317-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-x)
  4. Figures and Maps
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xv-xxviii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxix-xxx)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxxi-xxxvi)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-8)

    The Office of the Secretary of Defense asked RAND to examine how conflicts transition from intensive counterinsurgency (where the level of violence might be very high) toward stability. The ultimate goal of the research was to identify good—and bad—practices that the U.S. military, in particular, and the U.S. government, in general, can implement in the insurgencies that it faces today as well as possible future interventions.

    The research was divided into two phases. The first phase, from March to September 2009, was a series of case studies of past and still-ongoing insurgencies to identify key policy decisions, techniques,...

  10. CHAPTER TWO The Philippines
    (pp. 9-40)

    This chapter examines the main parameters of the Philippine counterinsurgency against the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA). After briefly describing the background to the conflict, we discuss the strategy pursued by both protagonists and examine the strengths and weaknesses of the approach adopted by the incumbent state. The chapter argues that while some significant gains have been made against the CPP/NPA, Manila has yet to reach a decisive transition point in its campaign against the rebel communist movement, reflecting some key weaknesses in overall Filipino COIN capabilities and policies. These...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Counterinsurgency Transition Case Study: Colombia
    (pp. 41-74)

    The origins of the current Colombian insurgency go back to the period of extreme violence between adherents of the Liberal and Conservative parties in the late 1940s and early 1950s that is known asLa Violencia, during which an estimated 200,000 persons lost their lives. The Cuban revolution and the beginning of Soviet support for national liberation movements in Latin America encouraged the advocates of revolutionary change in Colombia to challenge the government through armed struggle. Colombia’s two main guerrilla organizations, the Havana-line National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Moscow-line Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), as well as other...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Counterinsurgency Transition Case Study: El Salvador
    (pp. 75-116)

    When war broke out in El Salvador in 1981, it was readily interpreted as another front in the global confrontation between capitalism and communism. Sponsored by the Soviet Union and Cuba, the leftist rhetoric of the Farabundi Marti National Liberation Front raised the specter of a communist takeover in Central America. To the U.S. administration, this outcome was unacceptable: Having lost Nicaragua to the Sandinistas in 1979, President Ronald Reagan feared that without U.S. intervention, “new Cubas will arise from the ruins of today’s conflicts.”¹ The language was of “drawing a line” over El Salvador by helping the government counter...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE The Tuareg Insurgency in Mali, 2006–2009
    (pp. 117-156)

    One of the largest countries in Africa, Mali is also one of the poorest, ranking 173rd out of 177 in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) human development index.¹ Geographically, eth- nically, linguistically, and even economically, Mali is broadly divided in two. The south of the country, where the capital city, Bamako, is located, has a subtropical climate, most of the country’s farming and economic activities, and 80 percent of the population (mostly of Mande ethnicity). The north, which comprises the regions of Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal, belongs to the Sahelian belt and, further north, to the Sahara.

    The four...

  14. CHAPTER SIX The Transition in Al-Anbar, Iraq
    (pp. 157-204)

    Insurgent activity was widely reported throughout Iraq in the period of interest to this case study, 2003 to 2008. However, there was no single “insurgency” in the country. Instead, following the invasion by the U.S. led coalition forces (CF), various groups sought to repulse the coalition and reject the governing institutions it supported. These groups had different agendas—from restoring Saddam Hussein’s regime to estab- lishing an Islamic caliphate. Some of them more resembled criminal gangs than insurgents but nonetheless posed a threat to CF objectives.

    The insurgent environment varied from place to place in Iraq, depending on the groups...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Afghanistan
    (pp. 205-240)

    The inclusion of Afghanistan in a study of transition from successful counterinsurgency to stability operations may be unconventional. Certainly, counterinsurgency in Afghanistan has yet to succeed, much less transition successfully to stabilization. This chapter provides back ground for the current situation and examines the reasons that there has not yet been a successful transition from COIN to stability.

    Following the Taliban’s refusal to turn over Osama bin Laden for his role in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) with the intention of destroying al Qaeda and its Taliban shield and support structure and preventing...

  16. CHAPTER EIGHT Conclusion
    (pp. 241-258)

    This volume has examined a number of different insurgencies to determine what was required to end them and to transition to more stable conditions. In some of the cases included in this study, there was considerable American involvement (Iraq, Afghanistan); in others, U.S. participation was limited (Colombia, El Salvador). In the Philippines, the United States has assisted the government, but not specifically in suppressing the NPA, while in the case of Mali there was no American involvement of consequence.

    In some of the examples we studied, the government conducting the counterinsurgency campaign developed effective and appropriate policies and techniques to...

  17. APPENDIX Indicators of Transition
    (pp. 259-260)
  18. References
    (pp. 261-283)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 284-284)