Glossary of Terms and Study Definitions
External Sanctuary. “External sanctuary” is defined as a land border with a neighboring country that the rebel combatants could and did cross in militarily significant numbers without excessive difficulty or danger. Militarily significant numbers are considered to be platoon-size elements crossing with their weapons and equipment, rather than individuals exfiltrating and infiltrating across a guarded border. Once across the border, for the destination to be considered “sanctuary,” the rebels must be reasonably certain of safety from detention, repatriation, or pursuit. Certainty of external support in the form of funding, new equipment, training, or new recruits is not required for the cross-border area to be considered “sanctuary,” but it must be across an international border. Determining whether external sanctuary existed in a given case was relatively easy in actual practice, as during the course of the study, there have been no cases in which adjudication was required whether the criteria were met. In other words, all cases have been clear-cut. If sanctuary was available at the start of the conflict, but the government succeeded in sealing off its borders to eliminate the sanctuary during the conflict, the study defines this as a “negative” finding for external sanctuary despite its earlier existence, and it appears as “Yes → No” in the data matrix.
Government Victory. “Government victory” is defined as the government which was in power at the start of the conflict or its natural successors (i.e., not a change of government) remained in power eighteen months after the end of hostilities, and the territory of the country remained unchanged from the start of the conflict. If the rebels succeeded in bringing down the government or in achieving their goal of either establishing an independent breakaway country, even if the government remained in power, the government cannot be said to have won the conflict.
Legitimacy of Government. The study uses established political science principles in defining legitimacy of government. Princeton University Encyclopedia for example defines it as: “The belief that a rule, institution, or leader has the right to govern. It is a judgment by an individual about the rightfulness of a hierarchy between rule or ruler and its subject and about the subordinate’s obligations toward the rule or ruler.” The level established by the study for analysis is 85 percent of the population holding such a belief.
National Identity. The study uses established political science principles in defining “national identity” as citizens locating their personal identities at the level of the state and not at a sub-state stratum such as their tribe, clan, ethnicity, linguistic or religious group. The level established by the study for analysis is 85 percent of the population holding such a state or nation-level identity.
Population Protection. Although population protection is a bedrock principle of counterinsurgency doctrine, it was necessary to define what the SOIC means by the term in order for researchers to assess whether or not a population was in fact being protected. The definition the study uses states that a population is protected if “85 percent or more of the civilian population is effectively sealed off from meaningful contact with the rebel group.” Examples of meaningful contact would be the printing and distribution of leaflets, pamphlets or other propaganda material in any significant degree, the persistent ability of a rebel group to make radio broadcasts which reached any significant number of listeners, the ability of rebels to give speeches in public or address groups of more than a few individuals in private, the ability of rebels to credibly threaten, intimidate or bribe government officials, or to assassinate government workers or leaders. This definition acknowledges that it is not possible to create a completely airtight firewall between civilians and rebels that will prevent 100 percent of rebel propagandists or terrorists from slipping past government security cordons 100 percent of the time. Thus “Population Protection” is defined as the reliable, continuous maintenance a high level of public security which prevents all but rare interaction between the civilian population and rebel elements.
Sustainable, pre-existing security forces. This term is defined for the study as an existing security force at the outset of the conflict which was funded by the government, wore some sort of uniform, observed some sort of hierarchical rank structure in which the soldiers largely obeyed the orders of their superiors, was capable of transporting itself and sustaining itself in the field, and which generally carried out the orders of the Head of State or the appointed government official responsible for security. In the case of military rule, the standing security force had to be subordinate to the military element holding state power.
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