April 14, 2008

Conventional armies can indeed defeat terrorist insurgencies

Received by email from JCPA. The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has issued an important new JCPA publication by Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror: http://jcpa.org/text/Amidror-perspectives-2.pdf.

Contrary to popular belief, conventional armies can indeed defeat terrorist insurgencies. This study will detail the six basic conditions which, if met, enable an army to fight and win the war against terrorism, among which are control of the ground where the insurgency is being waged, acquiring relevant intelligence for operations against the terrorists themselves, and isolating the insurgency from cross-border reinforcement with manpower or material.

It will also examine the factors that can help drive a wedge between the local population and the insurgent forces seeking its support. The principles of war will also be analyzed in terms of their applicability to asymmetric warfare to show how they still serve as a vital guide for armies in vanquishing terror.

Finally, the study warns that if the U.S., Israel, or their Western allies incorrectly conclude that they have no real military option against terrorist insurgencies - out of a fear that these conflicts inevitably result in an unwinnable quagmire - then the war on terrorism will be lost even before it is fully waged.