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Training Host Nation Forces for Population-centric Counterinsurgency


The initial, 2006, publication of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency (COIN) Field Manual, FM 3-24, received extensive attention. It inspired ample discussion among both practitioners and academics, was the topic of myriad symposia, and was even republished by a major university press in 2007. Interest in the manual was not limited to the U.S. Numerous developed countries, including France, Spain, and the UK produced their own versions of FM 3-24 in short order. Developing country forces similarly became aware of and often adopted the manual’s dictates. During extensive field research in Peru for example, I observed that both senior military officers responsible for developing Peruvian COIN strategy as well as more junior officers and NCOs tasked with carrying out COIN at the operational and tactical levels were familiar with the core tenants of population-centric COIN as elucidated by FM 3-24. Peru, in particular is an interesting case as Peruvian forces adopted a U.S.-inspired doctrine with minimal input from U.S. forces. As such, examining this case helps to illustrate where developing country forces are readily able to adapt to the demands of population-centric COIN on their own and what persistent barriers remain. This enhanced understanding of developing country forces’ abilities to adjust to the requirements of population-centric COIN will enable U.S. train and equip mission to better target their scares resources to areas where host nation forces need the most assistance and where they are most likely to have a positive impact.

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Full Citation:

Koven, Barnett S. 2016. "Training Host Nation Forces for Population-centric Counterinsurgency." Small Wars Journal (July). http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/training-host-nation-forces-for-population-centric-counterinsurgency

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