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Great Powers and Irregular Challenges. T. X. Hammes 7 November 05. Enduring Characteristics of Insurgency. Political Political not military fight US critical vulnerability is will No military victory required Uses international boundaries Low technology side wins Protracted Decades.

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great powers and irregular challenges

Great Powers and Irregular Challenges

T. X. Hammes

7 November 05

enduring characteristics of insurgency
Enduring Characteristics of Insurgency
  • Political
    • Political not military fight
    • US critical vulnerability is will
    • No military victory required
    • Uses international boundaries
    • Low technology side wins
  • Protracted
    • Decades
emerging characteristics of insurgency
Emerging Characteristics of Insurgency
  • Human Network
    • Resilient, flexible, fast
    • “Coalitions of the Willing” - local, regional, global, cyberspace
    • External actors drawn to the conflict
  • Transnational
    • Actors a single nationality or in a single nation
emerging characteristics of insurgency1
Emerging Characteristics of Insurgency
  • Transdimensional
    • Real and cyber elements
    • Some elements exist only in cyber; others in both
  • Self supporting
    • Fund raising/charity organizations
    • Legitimate businesses
    • Criminal enterprises
  • Reflects today’s society
insurgent ideology
Insurgent Ideology
  • Themes vary by group
  • Growing impact of causes rather than nationalism
  • All address Friedman’s “Poverty of Dignity”
    • Lack of power to influence own future
    • All offer a way out – Islamic, Sunni, Pashtun, Tamil, Chechen ...
  • Not about poverty, lack of education, etc.
enduring characteristics of counterinsurgency
Enduring Characteristics of Counterinsurgency
  • Governance
    • Security first
      • Without security, people can’t help
    • Hope for a better future
      • Better according to people
      • Must address “Poverty of Dignity”
emerging characteristics of counterinsurgency
Emerging Characteristics of Counterinsurgency
  • International effort required
    • Insurgent is transnational/transdimensional
  • Must deal with multiple aspirations
    • “Coalition of Willing” can be broken up
  • External actors must be eliminated
    • “True believers” not subject to influence
    • Must be kept from returning to their homeland
why a model of human connections
Why a model of human connections?
  • Reflects insurgencies as they operate
    • Best visual model of reality – not an org chart
    • Reveals interaction between all nodes
    • Shows true impact of friendly personnel decisions
  • Networks allow for human elements
    • Will, decisions, insights, charisma
  • Networks actively seek to grow
    • Adapt rapidly – seek to secure niche – govern
  • Networks interact with environment and other nets
  • Can portray transdimensional aspects
  • Works at all levels from international to local
network analysis visualization and understanding
Network Analysis –Visualization and understanding
  • “A string of recent breathtaking discoveries has forced us to acknowledge that amazingly simple and far-reaching laws govern the structure and evolution of all the complex networks that surround us.” Albert-Laslzo BarabasiLinked: The New Science of Networks
use the laws
Use the Laws
  • Understand type of network
    • Scale free –
      • Very few huge hubs (Google, Yahoo, Amazon)
      • Huge number of tiny nodes (Personal web pages)
    • Small world – Very small, little outside contact -9/11 cells
  • Map nodes and links
    • Pre-existing social nets
    • Intelligence reports
      • Persons, events, organizations
    • Anti-gang/network analysis software
  • Look for blanks in maps
    • Templating for 21st Century

Already been done!

key outputs
Key Outputs
  • Intensely HUMAN activities to map
  • Know hubs
    • Understand how environment feeds hubs
    • Understand how changing environment impacts hubs
  • Know links between hubs
    • In real time
    • In cyber
    • Between cyber and real
what do human connections tell us
What do human connections tell us?
  • Hub relationships
    • Inside organizations
    • Between organizations
      • Is same person or organization a hub in more than one?
  • Your map versus theoretical map
    • Are there elements missing?
    • Scan the gaps
  • Mapping should reveal
    • Changes over time in nodes/hubs/links
    • Relationships
    • Anomalies
  • Only by understanding relationships can you determine actions to be taken
strategy it s about people
Strategy –It’s about PEOPLE
  • Integrated command/execution
  • Strengthen your key nodes
    • Central task remains governance
  • Weaken his key nodes
    • Change environment – population control is essential
    • Exploit tensions between groups
    • Create counter networks
  • Information operations
integrated execution
Integrated Execution
  • Get strategy right – resources to requirements
  • Delegate to in-theater leadership
  • Committee structure – networked leadership
    • Host nation and US personnel on SAME staff
    • Committee structure
  • Civil not military problem –
    • Must build civil capability
network attack plan
Network Attack Plan
  • Identify people hubs – real and cyber
    • OO trumps DA in OODA loop
  • Enemy leadership won’t look like a hub
    • 1. Exploit is better than attack
    • 2. Best attack is soft attack –
      • creates distrust in enemy network
    • 3. If hard attack, targeted, simultaneous attacks only – otherwise network repairs
  • Increase surveillance after attack
information campaign
Information Campaign
  • Integral to both strengthen and attack
  • Integrated Host Nation/US
    • US is junior partner
    • Strategic themes; local release
      • Mission orders for IO too
    • MUST not be controlled from DC or by US agency
      • Cultural understanding
      • Speed of response
      • Targeted message
        • Different for various audience
        • Messages do not conflict
  • Must be based on truth – learn to deal with mistakes
    • Abu Ghraib accountability
    • Anti-Islam sentiment in administration
new capabilities required
New Capabilities Required
  • Change personnel policies
    • Professional and educational development
    • Beyond Goldwater-Nichols for Interagency
    • Separation from parent agency upon deployment
  • Cultural and language expertise
  • Advisory capability – civil and security
  • Human network analysis
    • Trained Personnel – culture, language, networks
    • Software
  • Insurgency is a competition between human networks
  • Must understand those nets
    • Cultural, historical
    • Insurgent, HNG, People, Coalition, NGOs
  • Strategy should be based on network interaction
    • Strengthen our key nodes
    • Weaken his key nodes
    • Shift mass from connecting to him to connecting to us
  • Governance is the central function
    • Security for the people – NOT killing T’s
    • Hope for the future