'Each man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world'
-- Arthur Schopenhauer, Essays and Aphorisms

'Artists are tricky fellows sir, forever shaping the world according to some design of their own'
-- Jonathan Strange, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Monday, 18 February 2013

The Future of Insurgency?

Seth G. Jones Patrick B. Johnston (2013) 'The Future of Insurgency', Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 36(1), pp. 1-25

Comprehensive overview of the likely trajectory of insurgencies from RAND (Jones and Johnston) and hence, having characterised the nature of such conflict, the scholarly stage is set for further writing on how best to orientate Western forces to combat such threats.

Interesting for

(1) The quantitative assessment of the Afghan insurgency/counterinsurgency forces:

"In early 2012, there were approximately 432,000 counterinsurgent forces in Afghanistan—90,000 U.S. soldiers, 30,000 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) soldiers, 300,000 Afghan National Security Forces, and 12,000 Afghan Local Police.1 In addition, the United States spent over $100 billion per year and deployed a range of sophisticated platforms and systems to support efforts against the Taliban and its allies. The Taliban, on the other hand, deployed between 20,000 and 40,000 forces (a ratio of nearly 11 to 1 in favor of counterinsurgents) and had revenues of roughly $100–$200 million per year (a ratio of
500 to 1 in favor of counterinsurgents)"


(2) For the spectre of a threat of news wars - synonymous with those envisaged in the 1960s after the failure of the Paris summit and Kruschev's support for wars of national liberations - in peripheral regions sponsored by China (instead of Russia) in order to safeguard interests (supporting "proxies, p. 14, see also Christopher Sims, 'Fighting the Insurgents' War in Afghanistan', Small Wars Journal, 2012). The Chinese involvement in Africa has largely been viewed in the Western media as part of a resource grab which will pit it eventually against the West because of a clash of interests. Yet certain deep investigations have revealed a synergic  partnership between African workers and the Chinese investors, which is slowly spurring developments in the region. In parallel, there has been significant funding from Chinese entities on improving Africa infrastructure, which whilst primarily to ease Chinese work in the region, also spurs domestic industry and transport.

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