Friday November 30 2007

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  • high concentration of people, more anonymity, less easier to identify insurgents
  • less likely for people to keep tabs on others
  • harder to defend - distance between targets is smaller
  • concentration of assets: political leaders, and power elites, cmmunication centres, media
  • media
  • insurgents target assets located in close proximity to each other
  • you shape the mind through eyes and ears acts and words
  • transportation - economic stranglehold
  • centers of trade
  • cosmos - everything - polis - city - the city is where everything is
  • porportionality of force/ weaponeering
  • urban is a discription of terrain
  • Gallula says terrain dictates how the `


  • the first thing police do when investigating a crime is see if any parking tickets were

Quote of the Week
there are no meter maids in saskatchewan and that is why Saskatchewan is as close to heaven as you'll ever get.


  • an asset that the government has is that the population is more dependent on the state in the city then rural populations with some capacity for self sufficiency

Extrodinary Escalation of Violence in France

  • in France Arabs in the of arab/african quartier of Villiers-le-Bel have started buying shot guns
  • this is a huge step up in violence
  • before when these areas rioted they set a few cars on fire, threw a few molatov cocktails, and tossed a few rocks
  • now they are using buckshot in big way

Night time

  • during night time freedom of movement remains more constant in urban areas relative to the rural areas
  • for example an insurgents ability to deliver a night letter is decreased in the city

night letters

  • at night insurgents visit farmers
  • they convince farmers to grow poppies instead of other crops
  • they threaten farmers who don’t switch to poppies
  • they threaten farmers who do not help convince others farmers to convert to growing poppies
  • insurgents want this not because they need more poppies
  • growing poppies detaches people from the legal economy
  • detachment from the local economy detaches them from the legally approved governance system
  • if farmers are detached from the governance system the central government is weakened
  • this makes farmers more willing to do other illegal things such as join the insurgency
  • insurgent send the message the government can neither help you nor hurt us
  • the insurgents suggest that we can hurt you, or protect you – the choice is yours
  • as long as you have people able to visit people at night that claim to represent insurgents and the occasional follow up with a public assassination this tactic will be successful

source: David Kilcullen

historical precedent

  • teleaviv - the british had supressed a series of uprisings by palestinian arabs against zionist settlements
  • Schitzophrenic attitude - tel aviv became out of control
  • occupy an urban area
  • split it into sectors
  • screen the population -
  • suspicious people were feed into a pipeline like system
  • sketchy people were held on for further questioning

operation motormen

  • belfast
  • 20, 000 british troops replicate the screening program
  • take back control of the city through marshall law and screening
  • the British never failed in any instances they employed this theory
  • even states with limited resources can usually do this in the capital
  • did not work as well as in other places

insurgents need cities

  • they feed off of the excess of resources
  • gallula/ trinquier - the first thing insurgents need to organize is a safe zone
  • The counter insurgents also need a safe area
  • the state has to be in the city
  • what one side needs the other side must also need


  • operation anvil
  • it was a large city 140. 000 people
  • the british cleared it in two weeks.

General Kitson

  • it will be very different when this theory is applied to white people
  • when screening is used in Europe things will change

semilance council?

Diagnosing Victory and Progress in COIN operations

you can not wage both a counter insurgency and a counter narcotic struggle simultaniously

what does a car bomb tell you?

  • indicates a weak capacity - why waste such a valuable resource
  • gun battles are rare
  • this indicates the insurgents are not strong in the city
  • if there is no fighting in the city the counter insurgency is successful
  • terrorism

analyzing news reports

  1. where were the bodies found
  2. what type of violence killed them
  • torture chambers indicate the insurgents control some space
  • torture chambers and mass graves are not mobile

the city is important for insurgent but vital for counter insurgents

  • what happened when the british locked down Nairobi
  • the British were expecting 20, 000 but wound up with 70, 000
  • the British lacked the infastructure to handle the detainees
  • they didn't have syynerton plan
  • agricultural labour - large agrocultural industrial farming plots
  • as opposed to traditional labour plots
  • you can not force people under involuntary detention to work
  • if you do then it is slave labour or endenchered servitude
  • a strategic necessity
  • this type of operation always involves a huge excess of detaineees
  • the dragnets are too liberal -
  • this creates a humanitarian crisis

strategies for dealing with the humanitarian crisis

  • convert the untrustworhty individuals into refugees
  • just push them over the border
  • make them a border security problem not a security problem
  • it is amazing how many NGO groups support counter insurgencies by excuse the state from supporting or dealing with the groups
  • feed back loop

issues of coin

  • can you fight it legally sham justice - no resources
  • can you fight it humainly - no resources

quote of the day

  • in Fallujia the marines didn't isolate squat

It was a battalian that patrolled a 6 foot dirt wall occasionally

  • you walk in you walk out you try to keep you ass in tact.

Gas and Iraq


  • mountainous belt in Kurdistan
  • nothing with wheels moves there
  • you fly or you walk
  • local knoweldge becomes essential
  • the ground is full of crevouses, crack and caves
  • the peshmirga - kurdish militias
  • they were impossible to route out

in turkey

  • the turks out gurillaed the gurillas
  • a big lumbering conscript army
  • gendarmarie - police force with military officers in command
  • they have small armes and are considered elite
  • special teams - elite team - " worst bad asses i have ever seen in my life"
  • they were given a broad array of perks, pay, education, and prestige
  • they thought of themselves of the peshmirga of the state
  • they lived how the insurgents lived

fire light induction cermonies

  • Airborne in south america
  • they crusify their prisoners
  • carpenter nails - 10 inch black spikes
  • army publicly crucified the rebels
  • dead or alive if they catch you they leave you there until you are for sure dead

special forces

  • they do everything the insurgents do but they do it better
  • gurillas for the state
  • it took turkey 3 years to clear out the PKK



  • the peasents farm
  • farming needs flat lands, with houses, and good soil
  • you can gas them easily

this isolates the gurilla

  • if they stay they starve
  • if they run they get swept up in the dragnet of the state

civilian executions

  • concentration
  • processed
  • execution
  • aurresuresss style

gas is a technical solution to a problem, not very deadly, a terror weapon, not used against the enemy

  • flushed the people out of the village
  • the insurgents have to run after their infastructure or starves
  • Iran was a patron to the PUK


  • a penetration as deep as Hallabja rasied the spector of defeat
  • motivation was not equal
  • would gas have been used in the absense of the iranian incursion
  • curve trjectory - howlizer - high angles - special unit
  • by the time the attack occured the Iranians had withdrawn
  • people from kirkuk were disporportionatly targeted for death as part of a plan to arabize the population of kirkuk
  • subsuquently the Kurds lost their majority in Kurkuk
  • the Kurds are now assasinating all the leaders of the minority communities
  • they are also kidnapping for economic reasons

real estate speculation

  • run out the arabs
  • buy up land at bargain prices
  • bribe the authorities for cosntruction contracts
  • charge rent
  • make huge profits

issues that are massively influenctial never surface in counter insurgency doctrines

  • money is one restriction
    • will is one advantage - at the end of the day will can solve alot of problems
  • it is a matter of who wants to win the most

Iraq was wealthy but fighting for its life

  • if the kurds never alligned with Iran, then would Gas have been used?
  • was the foreign involvement the straw that broke the camels back

**the biggest determinant of what kind of counter insurgency battle will be waged relies predominantly on money and will*

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