From the Editor

From Parameters,  Winter 2006-07, pp. 2-3.

In This Issue . . .

“Inside an Insurgency” is a thematic presentation incorporating three articles that analyze the impact of human, network, and systems behavior during an insurgency. The authors provide imaginative insight into the world of the insurgent and recommend strategies for successfully countering asymmetric threats in the era of the Long War. In our first article Raymond Millen takes time out from his duties in Afghanistan to remind readers that human nature is not the only variable in an insurgency, but it is one of the more important. “The Hobbesian Notion of Self-Preservation Concerning Human Behavior during an Insurgency” examines Hobbes’s contention that extraordinary circumstances must exist for a government to lose its authority and permit an insurgency to take root. The author supports Hobbes’s conclusion that “the promise of security” is the critical factor in gaining control over a population, a fact that is as true today as it was in the 1600s. The second presentation is Martin J. Muckian’s “Structural Vulnerabilities of Network Insurgencies: Adapting to the New Adversary.” The article provides a new perspective for understanding the twenty-first century insurgent. The author warns that today’s insurgent is not the Maoist of previous generations. Muckian contrasts the Maoist with his modern equivalent in an attempt to determine how best to defeat future insurgencies. Our final article in this feature is Jim Baker’s application of systems thinking models in the development of counterinsurgency strategies. “Systems Thinking and Counterinsurgencies” is the author’s attempt to utilize the dynamics of systems thinking; complex actors, non-liner relationships, difficulty of measurement, and impatience with results, to name but a few, in the context of a counterinsurgency strategy. Baker provides the reader with a series of systems thinking models that might have applicability in a successful counterinsurgency. He concludes that utilization of this analytical framework is paramount if strategists are to comprehend how to alleviate or neutralize the conditions that spawn insurgencies.

“Storming the Ivory Tower: The Military’s Return to American Campuses” is Marc Lindemann’s assessment of the relationship between the military and the country’s premier academic institutions resultant Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc. (FAIR). The author examines the causes for the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (ROTC) exile from prominent academic institutions in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He provides a brief exposition of Rumsfeld v. FAIR and then analyzes one school’s antipathy toward the military. Lindemann closes with a discussion of strategies that might ensure the military’s access to these “premier” campuses in the future. This author is more than qualified to comment on this thesis. Although, currently serving as an infantry platoon leader in Iraq, he holds under-graduate and master degrees from Yale University and a J. D. from Harvard Law School.

Christopher Spearin provides an enlightening analysis of the rise of special operations forces (SOF) within the American military and the corresponding demand for their skills by private security companies (PSCs). “Special Operations Forces a Strategic Resource: Public and Private Divides” recounts the history of the competi-


tion, real and perceived, between the conventional and unconventional military communities. The author then examines why special operations personnel are in such demand by PSCs. Of special interest is the author’s assessment of the incentives, within and outside the military, designed to attract and retain military personnel with these special skills. Lindemann concludes with the warning that although some countries, the United States included, have implemented general regulatory policies regarding the licensing and contracting of PSCs, there is nothing to stop these companies from raiding the ranks of the military. He goes on to caution that while SOF may be the ideal strategic resource for the contemporary challenges facing the United States something needs to be done to establish the appropriate balance between public and private sector’s control of this “strategic” resource.

Gary Felicetti alerts readers to the possibility that the United States may need to re-think its strategy for training Iraqi police, army, and civil defense forces if they are to assume the security missions presently performed by American forces. “The Limits of Training in Iraqi Force Development” attempts to answer the question as to why the training of more than 277,000 Iraqi security forces by some of the world’s best instructors has not resulted in a more stable security environment. The author’s analysis reveals that although training is an excellent tool to resolve many human performance issues, it is rarely the entire solution. Felicetti uses the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq as a baseline to evaluate training and mentoring programs. He concludes that even though “training,” or something akin to it, is the dominant label used to describe the means by which US forces are to accomplish the missions outlined in the strategy; a more appropriate descriptor might be “nation-building.” Whatever the correct term, Felicetti cautions that we are not “going to train our way out of Iraq.”

Brigadier General Tariq Gilani of the Pakistani Army presents our final article in this issue, “US-Pakistan Relations: The Way Forward.” The article is the result of General Gilani’s Strategy Research Project while a student at the US Army War College during 2006. Gilani provides an insightful, unemotional analysis of the relationship between the two nations. Beginning with a historical review of the major factors influencing the 58-year relationship the author explores several alternatives for strengthening future US-Pakistan cooperation. Of special interest is Gilani’s analysis of the influence that the war on terrorism and the personality of President Pervez Musharraf have on the relationship.

The Review Essays feature of this issue is especially rich. It is lead by Joseph C. Myers’s provocative review of a 1979 book authored by Brigadier General S. K. Malik, The Quranic Concept of War. The book is the authors attempt to instruct his fellow Muslims in the doctrinal aspects of Quranic warfare. Although known in the Islamic world the book has not been widely circulated in American military circles. George H. Quester continues our review essays with his examination of two new works in “Asia’s Nuclear Dilemma.” The final review essay in this issue is Larry M. Wortzel’s sterling analysis of two books related to issues impacting the Taiwan Strait. “Resolving China and Taiwan’s Differences” is the reviewer’s attempt to examine the historical, political, and security issues dictating the relationship between the two nations. — RHT

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Reviewed 28 December 2006. Please send comments or corrections to