Home » The Law of Force or The Force of Law: Does Following the Rule of Law Assist Security Forces in Defeating an Armed Insurgency? by U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
The Law of Force or The Force of Law: Does Following the Rule of Law Assist Security Forces in Defeating an Armed Insurgency? U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

The Law of Force or The Force of Law: Does Following the Rule of Law Assist Security Forces in Defeating an Armed Insurgency?

U.S. Army Command and General Staff College

Published November 6th 2013
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
73 pages
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 About the Book 

Does following the rule of law assist security forces in defeating an armed insurgency? If so, what factors assist or prevent security forces from conducting operations in accordance with rule of law principles? Counterinsurgency literature and U.S.MoreDoes following the rule of law assist security forces in defeating an armed insurgency? If so, what factors assist or prevent security forces from conducting operations in accordance with rule of law principles? Counterinsurgency literature and U.S. Army doctrine favor a population-centric approach to counterinsurgency, of which the primary objective is controlling the population. Both insurgent and counterinsurgent have two instruments in the struggle for control and support of the populace: a credible power to coerce and popular perceptions of legitimacy. I examine the theoretical basis of counterinsurgency and the rule of law, and find that adherence to the rule of law is a major factor supporting these two instruments. Thus, I conclude that following the rule of law assists security forces in defeating an armed insurgency. Given this conclusion, it follows intuitively that foreign and host nation security forces conducting counterinsurgency operations would conduct operations in accordance with the rule of law. Yet, we know empirically that security forces often do not. I identify several hidden causal factors act that influence security forces to conduct operations that both support and conflict with rule of law principles. I describe these factors and categorize them by causal logic, e.g., institutional, structural, ideational, and psychological. My findings imply that security forces must follow the rule of law and that commanders must consider these complex causal influences during the planning and conduct of operations in order to better conduct counterinsurgency operations.