With Friends Like These:
Grievance, Governance, and
Capacity-Building in COIN



2008 Robert M. Chamberlain

From Parameters,  Summer 2008, pp. 79-90.

A consensus is emerging in the Army about the standard template for counterinsurgency: first clear an area of insurgent fighters; then implement population control measures to ensure the insurgents do not come back; and finally focus efforts on building governmental capacity so the population embraces the state and rejects the insurgents. This template makes a critical assumption about the government being restored—namely, that enhancing the power of the state will make the population less likely to support insurgents. This article questions that assumption by applying the doctrine outlined in Field Manual (FM) 3-24, Counterinsurgency, to the 1980-91 insurgency in El Salvador. While the Salvadoran insurgency ended 17 years ago, its lessons are a valuable guide for leaders attempting to make sense of the contradictions inherent in fighting the Long War.

El Salvador’s Insurgency

To understand the war in El Salvador, it is necessary to explore the structure of Salvadoran society. The interwoven structures of economic, political, and military power and their human consequences are critical to understanding the motivations of the insurgents of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), the government response, and the overall progression of the war.

FM 3-24 identifies a wide variety of grievances that may be exploited by insurgents in their attempt to mobilize the population.1 At least three of these conditions—lack of popular participation, class exploitation and repression,


and economic inequality—existed in El Salvador in the 1970s and 1980s. The Salvadoran economy was built around agricultural exports, with land and wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. Within this insular community, the largest 36 landlords controlled 66 percent of the capital of the 1,429 largest firms.2 At the other end of the spectrum, the percentage of rural workers who were temporary day laborers grew from 28 to 38 percent during the 1960s.3 These trends continued, and by 1980, three-quarters of campesinos (peasants) lived in poverty, and more than half were so poor that they couldn’t consistently afford food.4

The Salvadoran campesinos were kept in line by a robust state security apparatus and the historical precedent of the matanza (massacre). The matanza is indicative of class relationships in El Salvador; in January 1932, Communist peasants, primarily from indigenous communities, rose up and seized several small towns in the western part of the country, killing about 35 civilians and local police. Their rebellion was short-lived, as the Salvadoran Army crushed the movement in a mere three days. Over the next several weeks, the state killed between 8,000 and 25,000 individuals, roughly two percent of El Salvador’s population. The violence was especially concentrated in the rebellious communities, where up to two-thirds of the population died. This uprising and subsequent atrocity permanently marked Salvadoran politics with a violent anticommunism and suspicion of social reform as well as an expectation that the military could and should brutally suppress peasant insurrections.5

Completing the trifecta of grievances was the fact that, in the aftermath of the matanza, the Salvadoran military determined that as long as it was going to be responsible for protecting the country, it might as well run it too. Beginning with General Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez in 1932 and continuing until the early 1990s, the military was politically preeminent—either supplying the President directly or heavily influencing the legislative process through threatened and actual coups.6

These horrific conditions eventually led to public outcry, and the 1970s saw the formation of a wide variety of protest groups, both violent and nonviolent. Unfortunately for the nonviolent activists, the government responded to their concerns with “blatant fraud and violent repression.”7 As the protests increased, the government passed the “Law of the Defense and Guar-


antee of Public Order,” which gave security forces “arbitrary arrest and detention powers against demonstrators, labor activists, and others suspected of ‘subversive’ speech.” Actual insurgents were much more difficult to find than nonviolent protestors, however, so “[r]ather than focusing on the guerrilla organizations, the security forces arrested and in many cases contributed to the disappearance of an increasingly broad range of labor, student, neighborhood, church, and Christian Democratic activists.”8 A particularly flagrant incident took place in November 1980, when the leadership of the nonviolent leftist reform parties held a press conference. Once the reformers were gathered, they were kidnapped in front of the assembled reporters, not to be seen again until their dismembered bodies were found scattered around San Salvador.9 As a consequence, dissent was militarized and driven underground, and El Salvador’s guerrilla organizations united under the banner of the FMLN.10

As guerrilla activity increased, the security forces and associated right-wing death squads responded by murdering tens of thousands of people.11 Operating on a scale eerily reminiscent of the matanza, the security forces killed more than 40,000 people between 1978 and 1983, close to one percent of the population.12 This was a truly cataclysmic level of violence, magnified by the fact that these killings were concentrated within the country’s young male population.

American counterinsurgency doctrine predicts that arbitrary, widespread, and indiscriminate violence such as practiced in El Salvador is likely to backfire.

Though firmness by security forces is often necessary to establish a secure government, a government that exceeds accepted local norms and abuses its people or is tyrannical generates resistance to its rule. People who have been maltreated or have had close friends or relatives killed by the government, particularly by the security forces, may strike back at their attackers. Security force abuses and the social upheaval caused by collateral damage from combat can be major escalating factors for insurgencies.13

As one would expect, such widespread brutality did little to quell the insurgency, and “[b]y the end of 1983, the FMLN’s military capacity was sufficient to control almost a fifth of the national territory . . . [insurgents] generally moved at will during the day as well as the night . . . [and] had eliminated fixed government positions.”14 Fearing the collapse of the Salvadoran government, the United States dramatically increased foreign aid and bolstered the Salvadoran military by providing advisers and supplying helicopters and attack aircraft.15

After the integration of aircraft into Salvadoran counterguerrilla operations the FMLN was forced to adapt. Since the Salvadoran Army could


employ spotter aircraft to find large insurgent formations and then strike them with attack aircraft and newly created rapid-deployment battalions, the FMLN “broke its battalion-sized forces into smaller units and dispersed them throughout the countryside.”16 This was deeply demoralizing to the organization, which had anticipated a culminating victory in 1983, and the number of active insurgents dropped from between 10,000 and 12,000 in 1984 to about half that by 1987.17 As the organization demonstrated its resilience, however, morale improved, and the FMLN gained enough strength that in 1989 it was able to launch a general campaign seizing neighborhoods in the capital and several other cities.18 This campaign was quickly suppressed, albeit with significant violence and collateral damage, demonstrating the government’s inability to stop the insurgency and the FMLN’s incapacity to put together a coalition broad enough to topple the government.

Soon thereafter, negotiations began to end El Salvador’s civil war. Begun under United Nations auspices in 1990, they culminated in a 1992 agreement wherein the government agreed to disband its internal security forces, reconstitute a police department that included former FMLN fighters, restrict the military to external defense, and strengthen the judicial and electoral systems.19 The FMLN agreed to disarm and demobilize its forces and enter the arena of electoral politics as an organized political party, as well as to set aside its demands for comprehensive land reform in favor of a more limited redistribution.20

Good Intentions and Death Squads

The United States contributed significantly to combating the insurgency in El Salvador, the reorientation of the counterinsurgency, and the eventual outcome of the war. It did so not merely through the contribution of money and equipment, but also through use of the counterinsurgency doctrine and expertise learned during Vietnam. Many of the principles employed in El Salvador remain in use today: enhance intelligence gathering capabilities, create local militias to work with security forces, build the capacity of host nation security forces, and develop a full-spectrum counterinsurgency plan. Yet the consistent application of these principles had wildly different outcomes at various times depending on the political context in which the aid was given; two examples are illustrative.

The National Democratic Republican Order, or ORDEN (the acronym itself means “order”), was founded in the 1960s under the auspices of President John F. Kennedy’s Alliance for Progress. The program itself was designed to thwart emerging revolutionary trends in Latin America through a combination of development aid and security assistance. ORDEN fell in the latter category. American counterinsurgency specialists identified weaknesses in the Salvadoran intelligence system and began working with Salvadoran offi-


cers, most notably General Jose Alberto Medrano, on “the development of a countersubversion intelligence network, based on local informants and integrated at the national level.”21

Medrano first founded a small cadre of intelligence specialists that became known as the Salvadoran National Special Services Agency (ANSESAL), which in turn formed “the nationwide, grass-roots network of informants known as ORDEN.”22 Members of this group worked closely with local landowners and Salvadoran Army units to identify potential subversives, and were rewarded with preferential access to public agricultural, educational, and health programs. In principle this method is entirely in keeping with counterinsurgency best practices; it empowers the host nation, develops a robust human intelligence network, and rewards cooperation with the government.

In practice, however, ORDEN was something quite different. At the behest of economic elites and conservative elements within the Salvadoran military, ORDEN became progressively more public and militant, working first to violently disperse workers’ strikes before forming an integral component of the death squad infrastructure. In conjunction with elements under the leadership of Major Roberto D’Aubuisson, a founding member of ANSESAL, ORDEN provided the intelligence and occasionally the labor to identify campesinos who would be captured, tortured, and killed before their bodies were dumped in highly trafficked areas. In an effort to stop the ongoing atrocities, a junta of young officers that seized power in a 1979 coup outlawed the organization, but by then the damage was done. “Although ORDEN was formally abolished, its networks and militants remained in place, the legal ‘cover’ for repression was steadily expanded throughout 1980, and the military continued to control key state institutions.”23 Ironically, the increase in counterinsurgency capacity during the 1960s created a robust system of repression controlled by oligarchs and conservative military officers who repeatedly thwarted political reforms that might have prevented the insurgency in the first place.24

By contrast, US aid in the mid- to late 1980s was instrumental in limiting the activities of the death squads. It is not coincidental that the bulk of the extrajudicial killings occurred between 1979 and 1983, while the vast majority of American assistance was delivered from 1984 onward. In fact, US aid was conditioned on the cessation of death squad activity, and both then-Vice President George H. W. Bush and Central Intelligence Agency Director William Casey personally conveyed that message to the Salvadoran government.

In addition, the United States slowly convinced the Salvadoran security forces to plan a counterinsurgency based on restoring governmental legitimacy and not the violent repression inherent in the rural communities. This plan included the combat operations mentioned earlier, as well as a classic civil-military campaign providing health and education services to underserved vil-


lages and gradually opening the political system to broader participation. The United States underscored this effort with “programs ranging from support for centrist labor organizations allied with the PDC [the Christian Democratic Party, a civilian political organization], financial contribution to the PDC’s electoral campaigns, military training, and economic assistance designed to underwrite the country’s faltering economy.”25 Unlike the development of ORDEN, which enhanced the repressive power of the elite, American aid was contingent upon significant changes in El Salvador’s political and military affairs; thus “[i]n the reluctant view of the military, the ongoing insurgency made US assistance necessary, and as a result, political liberalization as well.”26

Finally, the United States was instrumental in bringing the conflict to a close. When President Alfredo Cristiani, backed by a coalition of emerging financiers and industrialists who lacked ties to rural agricultural businesses, began negotiations with the FMLN in 1990, he threatened the interests of both the agro-elite and right-wing elements within the military. Historical precedent in El Salvador suggested that Cristiani would quickly find himself replaced by a more pliant politician, and, indeed, there were rumblings about a possible coup. The United States, Mexico, and Venezuela, however, all made clear that any new military regime would find its oil supply cut off, and thus would almost certainly collapse. The rumblings came to nothing, the war was brought to a close, and civilian authorities were able to dismantle the repressive security apparatus that had defined Salvadoran politics for the past 30 years.27

The differences between these two examples should give any counterinsurgent pause: How is it that the same theory of counterinsurgency could both contribute to the creation of a human catastrophe and its eventual resolution? The answer lies in a flaw in the doctrine itself.

The Paradox of Security and Governance in COIN

Counterinsurgency writing is riddled with Zen-like proverbs and paradoxes—in fact, FM 3-24 lists nine of them.28 Perhaps it is time to add a tenth: to achieve victory, you must be prepared to accept instability. To put it differently, to achieve the operational and strategic aims of a counterinsurgency, the counterinsurgent is obligated to accept the possibility that those aims are not attainable through support of the host nation government in its current form. The counterinsurgent should be willing to permit host nation political leaders to be significantly imperiled, or perhaps even to fail, in an effort to motivate them to make the changes required to quell the insurgency.

While this seems like an extremely controversial assertion, it is rooted in two observations inherent in FM 3-24. First, “The primary objective of any COIN operation is to foster development of effective governance by a legitimate government.”29 The manual goes on to clarify: “All governments rule


through a combination of consent and coercion. Governments described as ‘legitimate’ rule primarily with the consent of the governed; those described as ‘illegitimate’ tend to rely mainly or entirely on coercion.”30 Second, “the behavior of HN [host nation] security force personnel is often a primary cause of public dissatisfaction . . . In more ideological struggles, discrimination may be against members of other political parties, whether in a minority cultural group or not; they may even be a cause of the insurgency.”31 Doctrinally, then, “a comprehensive security force development plan identifies and addresses biases as well as improper or corrupt practices.”32 These two points are critical, because they explain the mechanism that focuses the broad grievances previously listed onto the state: namely, inequitable social, economic, and political structures that are violently supported by a coercive state and a discriminatory security force capable of armed protest against the government itself.

This claim is broadly supported by the sociological literature on counterinsurgency; the countries most likely to face and succumb to an insurgency are regimes with elites that exploit their control over the state security forces to enforce unfair economic systems, enriching their friends while consigning most of the population to unending misery. These states create no room for peaceful protests, making insurgency the only viable form of dissent. This mode was the case in Cuba under Batista, Nicaragua under Somoza, Uganda under Obote, Rhodesia under Smith, and El Salvador under the military. The fundamental problems facing a counterinsurgent are governance and social structure; they are the lenses that both focus popular dissent and refract well-intentioned security assistance measures.

The truth of this concept is readily apparent in the El Salvador experience. The state was structured to preserve the privileges of a few at the expense of the many. The massive inequality, repression, and lack of representation were all intertwined; rich oligarchs provided patronage and economic support for the military and political leaders, who in turn used force to ensure an abundance of cheap, available, and quiescent labor. Any outside security assistance provided to that arrangement that was not tied to massive reforms only served to make the military better at repressing the citizenry. In effect, it would only add to the grievances against the government and security forces described earlier, which would in turn increase both the likelihood and potency of any potential insurgency. Moreover, by strengthening the security apparatus one reinforces the government’s ability to suppress nonviolent dissent, which again limits the possibility of internal government reforms.

This is exactly what occurred with ORDEN. The United States provided security assistance that was entirely appropriate in theory but was disastrous given the social context. In effect, the United States made a concerted effort to create an intelligence apparatus that was both responsive to the de-


mands of local oligarchs and controlled by a central military authority. This organization was then used by those elites to stifle dissent, prevent reform, and neutralize political opponents. Moreover, once created, ORDEN took on a life of its own. Even after it was outlawed along with ANSESAL, key members of the Salvadoran military intelligence community continued to employ their death squad infrastructure in contravention of Salvadoran governmental and US policy, resulting in thousands of additional deaths and significant domestic and international opposition to the Salvadoran regime. This outcome was entirely predictable—the Salvadoran security forces, since the matanza in 1932, were built around the violent oppression of the campesinos. Any aid given without reform, especially aid designed to help ward off Communist insurrection, would conveniently be exercised for that purpose.

ORDEN was created in the 1960s, when the Communist threat in El Salvador was minimal. Yet 20 years later, when El Salvador faced a robust insurgency that was capable of operating in battalion-sized formations and moving with impunity through 20 percent of the countryside, American aid came with significant strings attached. Not only did world leaders demand a halt to extrajudicial killings, the United States also supported political organizations that directly threatened Salvadoran elite interests. Thus, in contrast to the Alliance for Progress aid that created ORDEN, a massive infusion of American money, equipment, and personnel in the 1980s resulted in a reduction in death squad activity and an increase in political opportunity. Eventually, the return to civilian rule, the marginalization of right-wing militarists, and the creation of a new economic elite led to a negotiated settlement ending the conflict. In short, linking political conditions with security assistance worked.

Unfortunately, this approach is the opposite of the doctrinal sequence of events outlined in FM 3-24. In the manual, security comes first, and it is only when “civil security is assured” that “focus expands to include governance, provision of essential services, and stimulation of economic development.”33 In the Logical Lines of Operation so neatly illustrated on pages 5-3 and 5-5, and enshrined in PowerPoint briefings across the Army, governance, economic development, civil security, host nation security forces, and essential services all run in parallel (and are all contained within the giant “Information Operations” arrow). History has demonstrated that this approach is problematic.

Effective and legitimate governance or governmental reforms should always be a precondition for any other sort of operation. It is the necessary condition that must be established in order for the counterinsurgency to succeed. When a commitment to legitimate governance is missing, any other assistance will be unproductive, because it will fail to address the underlying causes of the insurgency; actually, it will be counterproductive, due to its reinforcement and deepening of the grievances that originally led to the insurgency. All assistance


to the host nation—whether in the form of elimination of its enemies, assistance to its population, or improvements to its security forces—is refracted through its state structure. A repressive, illegitimate state will use the resources of the US counterinsurgency program to perpetuate itself and expand its capabilities unless good governance is a precondition for additional aid. The good counterinsurgent should be prepared to refuse requests for support by an illegitimate government, even if this means risking the collapse of that government and the prospect of an extended struggle against an even more powerful opponent. The alternative is to contribute to the very problem the counterinsurgency is meant to solve, and thereby commit to an endless war of attrition. Governance comes first, and all else follows.

ORDEN Again?

While they are two very different conflicts, the lessons that El Salvador has to teach about the primacy of legitimate governance are critical to analyzing the counterinsurgency in Iraq. The public discussion regarding Iraq up until now has been predicated on the idea that improvements in security will provide the space for political reconciliation to go forward. It is worth considering, however, the possibility that the opposite is true, that security gains without political reconciliation are at best transient and at worst inimical to political settlement. The short and unhappy history of the Iraqi National Police illustrates this point.

The National Police was created in April 2006 under the auspices of the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. The abstract organizational rationale for doing so was quite reasonable; there had been an identified need for the Iraqi police to have a heavy paramilitary capability in order to effectively combat well-armed insurgents. Up until 2006, that capability was provided by a hodgepodge of organizations founded by both the Coalition and the government of Iraq. From a bureaucratic perspective, combining these units under a unified command would yield salutary benefits in terms of efficiency and effectiveness.

Much like with ANSESAL and ORDEN, however, the question was never asked “effective according to whom?” During the formation of the organizations that were to become the National Police, the emphasis was on rapidly restoring security and building Iraqi capacity, rather than ensuring proportional representation.

“When we stood them up, we didn’t ask, ‘Are you Sunni or are you Shia?’” Major General Joseph F. Peterson, in charge of police training, said in an interview at a base in Taji, north of Baghdad, as he was visiting soldiers newly assigned to the Iraqi police. “They ended up being 99 percent Shia. Now, when we look at that, we say, ‘They do not reflect the population of Iraq.’”34


Coalition planners assumed that the Iraqi security forces would be a public institution that acted in the best interests of the entire population. The commanders of the National Police had other plans. The Ministry of the Interior was initially controlled by the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a Shia group that, as its name suggests, wishes to remold Iraq into a Shia republic along the Iranian model. Having experienced severe repression at the hands of the state security forces in the Saddam era, they viewed control of the police forces as an absolute necessity. The Iraqi police, and especially the Iraqi National Police, became a force created with Coalition resources and yet subverted to advance a violent sectarian agenda.

The result was predictable. Just as good intentions in El Salvador fueled the creation of ORDEN and the murder of thousands of campesinos, good intentions in Iraq created the National Police and resulted in the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad. National Police units facilitated the operation of Shia death squads in neighborhoods they were responsible for, ran their own network of secret prisons and torture chambers, and were implicated in repeated massacres of Sunni civilians. The situation became so bad that an entire Iraqi police commando brigade was taken off line for retraining, nine brigade and 17 battalion commanders were replaced, and the Coalition pressured Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki into naming a new, reformist Minister of the Interior.35

Unfortunately, the damage caused by the rush to achieve security through the creation of the National Police may be irreversible. Much like the structures of ORDEN that survived the formal dissolution of the organization in 1980, the Ministry of the Interior and the National Police have proven resistant to reform. Despite Coalition efforts, the force is still overwhelmingly Shia, and the government has ignored a recently created police training center in Anbar Province, according to its commander.36 Additionally, the National Police are widely reviled and have been so thoroughly discredited in the eyes of the population that General James Jones’s commission on Iraqi Security Forces recommended it be entirely disbanded.37

The National Police, like ORDEN, was a spectacular failure because, rather than make security assistance contingent upon necessary political reforms and a nonsectarian ideology, it rapidly developed a coercive capability in the hopes that a space for political progress could be created. This challenge holds important lessons for the future of Iraq, as well as American security policy generally. Much ado has been made about the rapid reduction of violence in Iraq since the creation of the Sons of Iraq (SOI), also known as Concerned Local Citizens or Awakening groups, throughout the country. Research indicates that those security gains may be largely illusory.

While SOI groups are eventually to be integrated into the Iraqi Security Forces, there has been a consistent refusal on the part of the Ministry of


the Interior to allow widespread recruitment of SOI members in Sunni areas. Moreover, rifts and violent clashes with the central government have already occurred in Diyala, where SOI groups ominously walked off the job with weapons in-hand in response to a police killing that involved a local family. All of this disruption occurs in a larger political context in which the largest Sunni parties continue to boycott Parliament in protest of what they perceive to be sectarian policies implemented at the expense of their communities. It is entirely possible that the SOI program will simply result in the armament and organization of Sunni tribal militias throughout the country, who, while happy to eject al Qaeda, will be less sanguine about the imposition of central government authority in their communities. Thus, the security gains occurring now contain within them the seeds of their own demise.


While the American military has made great strides in the tactical and operational aspects of counterinsurgency, it still faces challenges in the realm of strategy. National objectives are articulated in a political vocabulary; the desired outcome in El Salvador and in Iraq was a stable, secure, US-friendly, democratic regime. The reflexive response to instability, insecurity, or nondemocratic hostility is a rush to augment internal security forces. Ostensibly once the security situation is assured, necessary political reforms can proceed. Unfortunately, it would appear that this is seldom the case; the attempt to provide security strengthens elements within the state that have the capability to contribute to future instability. Further, by reinforcing violent, repressive organizations in the name of expediency, political positions harden and the underlying problems only become more intractable.

There is a better way. While it seems counterintuitive, instability can be essential to a counterinsurgency because it forces a change in the status quo. A politician threatened with his imminent demise is much more likely to undertake the deep structural reforms necessary to address the underlying dynamics of the conflict. Conditional security aid can be extremely helpful in this regard. The Leahy Amendment, which forbids US funding of organizations implicated in human rights abuses, and high-level pressure, such as George Bush’s vice presidential visit to El Salvador, have historically had a significant effect. But conditionality is key.

A successful counterinsurgency campaign has to carry within it a credible threat of withdrawal. Rather than a security plan that will be implemented regardless of political change, security aid should be tied to political benchmarks. Consistent failure to achieve those benchmarks can result in the continual drawdown and eventual elimination of US support. In one sense this is brinksmanship—the host nation government’s fear of revolution ver-


sus the US government’s discomfort with instability. But in another, it’s just common sense; without political reform, American forces will be mired in and contributing to the perpetuation of an unending conflict. Feckless, self-interested, sectarian politicians do not deserve the sacrifices in blood and treasure required to prop up their regimes.


1. Department of the Army, Field Manual 3-24, Counterinsurgency (Washington: Headquarters Department of the Army, 2006), para. 1-50.

2. Elisabeth Jean Wood, Forging Democracy from Below: Insurgent Transitions in South Africa and El Salvador (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2000), 39.

3. Ibid., 35.

4. Elisabeth Jean Wood, Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003), 24.

5. Jeffery M. Paige, Coffee and Power: Revolution and the Rise of Democracy in Central America (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1997), 120.

6. See Walter LaFeber, Inevitable Revolutions: The United States in Central America (2d ed.; New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1993).

7. Jeff Goodwin, No Other Way Out: States and Revolutionary Movements, 1945-1991 (New York: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2001), 154.

8. William Stanley, The Protection Racket State: Elite Politics, Military Extortion, and Civil War in El Salvador (Philadelphia: Temple Univ. Press, 1996), 114.

9. Cynthia J. Arnson, “Window on the Past: A Declassified History of Death Squads in El Salvador” in Death Squads in Global Perspective: Murder with Deniability, eds., Bruce B. Campbell and Arthur D. Brenner (New York: Palgrave Macmillin, 2000), 85.

10. Wood, Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador, 24.

11. “Murdered” was the word used by then-Ambassador Thomas Pickering to describe the Salvadoran government’s actions.

12. Stanley, 3.

13. FM 3-24, para. 1-45.

14. Wood, Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador, 131.

15. Ibid., 134.

16. Ibid.

17. Ibid., 135.

18. Ibid., 29.

19. Ibid.

20. Ibid.

21. Stanley, 81.

22. Ibid.

23. Wood, Forging Democracy from Below, 46.

24. Stanley, 83.

25. Wood, Insurgent Collective Action and Civil War in El Salvador, 48.

26. Ibid.

27. Stanley, 8.

28. FM 3-24, paras. 1-149 through 1-158.

29. Ibid., para. 1-113.

30. Ibid.

31. Ibid., para. 6-10.

32. Ibid.

33. Ibid., para. 5-5.

34. Edward Wong, “U.S. is Seeking Better Balance in Iraqi Police,” The New York Times, 7 March 2006.

35. David Cloud, “Panel Will Urge Broad Overhaul of Iraqi Police,” The New York Times, 31 August 2007.

36. See Michael Gordon, “Iraq Hampers US Bid to Widen Sunni Police Role,” The New York Times, 28 October 2007.

37. James Jones, The Report of the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq, 6 September 2007.

Captain Robert M. Chamberlain is a Truman and Rhodes Scholar who specializes in theories of violence, substate actors, and collective identity. He was a battalion military transition team senior maneuver adviser in Iraq and is conducting background research on theories and histories of revolutionary movements.

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Reviewed 15 July 2008. Please send comments or corrections to usarmy.carlisle.awc.mbx.parameters@mail.mil