“Killing To Control”


Bloody L!

Congrats to W. F. Owen – long time British Army Theorist, Little Satan fan and GsGf’s  asymmetrical warfare counselor – scored a significant coup with publication in the latest issue of British Army Review (PDF available here and at Small Wars Journal with the delightfully crunk deadly ditty:

“Killing Your Way To Control”

Hotter than a firecracker – WilF – as he’s affectionately known in the ancient arcane Dark Arts of Counter Insurgency community – takes on and out sev holy cows of ‘Surgin’

“Effective counterinsurgency provides human security to the population,where they live, 24 hours a day. This, not destroying the enemy, is the central task.”

“…This article will assert that this and other similar statements are categorically wrong, false and misleading. These types of statement have been constantly reinforced with another common assertion, that in “counter-insurgency” you “cannot kill and capture your way to success”

“…Using lethal force to break an insurgency’s collective will to endure in combat defeats any type of armed opponent in any environment. Lethal force is the most effective and efficient method of breaking collective will. As Clausewitz made clear, killing does not set forth or resist the policy, but rather removes the violent armed objectors that seek to counter it.

Essentially – Wilf notes it’s not COIN’s gig to influence ppl to forsake insurgents – it’s the military’s gig to ensure lottie dottie evrybody knows that ‘picking’ the wrong side – the insurgency side – will result in a swift, nasty death -

“… The population should not be asked to pick sides. They should merely be informed that the Army will win, and that should be demonstrated to them, as forcefully and unequivocally as possible. No one should be confused that if you fight the Army/Security Forces, you will die or be captured. Evidence should be literally laid before them. There should be no more complicated message than that. 

“…If some of the armed members of the population pick the wrong side, then so be it. Another common issue raised in defence of a seeking a greater cultural understanding is that of the risk of “blood feuds.” This is nearly always mooted in terms that unnecessary lethal force creates unnecessary enemies, as in killing one insurgent somehow creates more. This idea rests on a great many unexamined assumptions, and almost no actual evidence.

“…It may have happened. So what? Tribal peoples who are familiar with the blood feud idea do not use its existence as an objection to violence 

Pic – “Sometimes you bring them the love. Sometimes you bring them the hate.”with British Army’s ‘Combat Barbie – 2009 Miss England Lance Corporal Katrina Hodge

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Courtney Messerschmidt

Courtney Messerschmidt

A junior studying journalism, military history and political science, Courtney was named one of 2010's "20 Hottest Women in New Media." She also created the infamous diplomatic, military and intelligence analysis site Great Satan's Girlfriend. Her expertise includes interventions, COIN, strategic uses of American power, global democracy promotion, authoritarian marginalization, gender apartheid, international relations theory and terrorism.


Tags assigned to this article:
British Army ReviewCOINCounter Insurgency

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