Irregular Warfare

  • Armed Non-State Actors: Current Trends & Future Challenges

    Armed Non-State Actors Working PaperBy Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of the Armed Forces and Geneva Call, 2012. Armed nonstate actors, be they insurgents, vigilantes, or criminal groups, are a common challenge in many African countries. Despite being illegal and clandestine, such groups often develop a mutual dependency with communities and civilians for security or economic relations. This has broadened strategies to manage these threats. Inclusive approaches spearheaded by non-military actors to instill respect for basic norms of combat and human rights within state and nonstate forces alike are valuable parts of comprehensive efforts to mitigate irregular conflict and improve prospects for demobilization. Download the Article: [PDF]
  • Victory Has a Thousand Fathers: Evidence of Effective Approaches to Counterinsurgency, 1978-2008

    By Christopher Paul, Colin P. Clarke, and Beth Grill, Small Wars Journal, January 2011 RebellionWhen a country becomes host to an insurgency, a prospect many African states face, what counterinsurgency approaches offer the best chance of prevailing? There are roughly 20 approaches that are commonly employed, including amnesties, strategic communication, or rigorous suppressive operations. An analysis of 30 insurgencies finds that successful strategies tend to employ multiple approaches and favor those that enhance the legitimacy of the government and security forces. Reliance on repressive measures more often led to failure.

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  • Optimizing Africa's Security Force Structures

    By Helmoed Heitman, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, May 2011 asb 13Combating irregular forces has become a common feature of the contemporary African security landscape. However, the security sector in most African countries is ill-prepared to conduct effective counter-insurgency operations. Realigning force structures to address these threats while building security sector professionalism to gain the trust of local populations is needed to do so.

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  • Militias, Rebels, and Islamist Militants: Human Security and State Crises in Africa

    Al_ShabaabEdited by Wafula Okumu and Augustine Ikelegbe. Institute for Security Studies, 2010.

    Armed nonstate groups able to cultivate disillusionment with existing regimes and successfully evade defense forces increasingly dominate the threat landscape across Africa. Such groups in Nigeria, Sudan, Angola, and elsewhere indicate a need for better policies to reverse emergent violent youth cultures, monitor transborder areas, and population-centric security and governance strategies.

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  • Are Africa's Wars Part of a Fourth Generation of Warfare?

    Kiwanja_refugee_camp By Paul Jackson. Contemporary Security Policy, 2007. Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) – models of asymmetric warfare that emphasize culture, politics, economics, non-state actors, and targeting of civilians – has a growing applicability for understanding Africa’s complex conflicts. In particular, 4GW frameworks underscore the need for comprehensive, as opposed to purely military, solutions to conflict on the continent.  Download the Article: [PDF]

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