Monday, March 2, 2015

Pop-Centric COIN: Protect the Population

"COIN is Population-Centric. The development of a proper COIN approach starts with the acceptance of the people as important to COIN operation." Counterinsurgency strategy should " . . . protect the population from insurgent violence; . . . " Page I-3, Joint Publication 3-24, Counterinsurgency, 22 November 2013.

"Security Sector Reform. SSR is primarily a means to strengthen the capabilities, capacity, and effectiveness of the HN security apparatus, which in turn improves the capabilities of the security forces to secure and protect the population from insurgent/terrorist violence." Page VIII-11, Joint Publication 3-24, Counterinsurgency, 22 November 2013.

Stated at the top of the first page of the ISAF Commander's Counterinsurgency Guidance, signed by General McChrystal, are the words "Protecting the people is the mission".

The Host Nation, Afghanistan, is conducting counterinsurgency operations to defeat the Taliban and other insurgent groups. The Resolute Support Mission, comprised of NATO and other countries, is engaged in Security Sector Reform (a U.S. doctrinal term) through its Train, Advise, and Assist (TAA) mission to help the Host Nation conduct its counterinsurgency war. So how is the COIN population-centric campaign going?

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has released its 2014 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, dated February 2015. Afghan civilian deaths rose 25 percent in 2014. Below is a chart from the report depicting the continuing rise in Afghan civilian casualties in the war from January 2009 to December 2014. Based on the United Nations data it would appear that the "protect the population" component of the COIN population-centric campaign is not going so well.

The entire report can be read at the link below. It is an Adobe Acrobat PDF file.
2014 Annual Report - Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

The Resolute Support Headquarters Information Operations machine was hard at work in response to the UN report. See the RS HQs press release entitled UNAMA 2014 Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Report, February 18, 2015 at the link below.

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