- Low intensity conflict
Low intensity conflict (LIC) is the use of
militaryforces applied selectively and with restraint to enforce compliance with the policies or objectives of the political body controlling the military force. The term can be used to describe conflicts where at least one or both of the opposing parties operate along such lines.
Low intensity operations
Low-Intensity Operations is a military term for the deployment and use of troops and/or assets in situations other than
war. Generally these operations are against non-state actors and are given terms like counter-insurgency, anti- subversion, and peacekeeping. Some, such as Noam Chomsky, view LIC as a form of terrorism.citation
url = http://www.monthlyreview.org/1101chomsky.htm
title = The
United Statesis a Leading Terrorist State: An Interview with Noam Chomsky
first = David | last = Barsamian
journal = Monthly Review
volume = 53
issue = 6
year = 2001] The term "low intensity operations" appears to have originated with a
British soldier, General Sir Frank Kitson.citation
authorlink = Frank Kitson| last = Kitson | first = Frank
title = Low-intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping
publisher = Faber and Faber
year = 1971
Official state definitions
Low-intensity conflict is defined by the
... a political-military confrontation between contending
states or groups below conventional warand above the routine, peaceful competition among states. It frequently involves protracted struggles of competing principles and ideologies. Low-intensity conflict ranges from subversion to the use of the armed forces. It is waged by a combination of means, employing political, economic, informational, and military instruments. Low-intensity conflicts are often localized, generally in the Third World, but contain regional and global security implications.citation
url = http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/fm/100-20/10020ch1.htm#s_9
title = Field Manual 100-20: Military Operations in Low Intensity Conflict
United States Department of the Army
date = 5 December 1990]
The manual also states that "successful LIC operations, consistent with
US interestsand laws, can advance US international goals such as the growth of freedom, democratic institutions, and free marketeconomies.""US policy recognizes that indirect, rather than direct, applications of US military power are the most appropriate and cost-effective ways to achieve national goals in a LIC environment. The principal US military instrument in LIC is security assistance in the form of training, equipment, services and combat support. When LIC threatens friends and allies, the aim of security assistance is to ensure that their military institutions can provide security for their citizens and government.""The United States will also employ combat operations in exceptional circumstances when it cannot protect its national interests by other means. When a US response is called for, it must be in accordance with the principles of international and domestic law. These principles affirm the inherent right of states to use force in individual or collective self-defenseagainst armed attack."
As the name suggests, in comparison with conventional operations the armed forces involved operate at a greatly reduced tempo, with fewer soldiers, a reduced range of tactical equipment and limited scope to operate in a military manner. For example the use of
air power, pivotal in modern warfare, is often relegated to transport and surveillance. Artilleryis often not used when LIC occurs in populated areas. The role of the armed forces is dependent on the stage of the insurrection, whether it has progressed to armed struggle or is in an early stage of propaganda and protests.
Intelligence gatheringis essential to an efficient basis of LIC operation instructions. Electronic and signal gathering intelligence, ELINTand SIGINT, proves largely ineffective against low intensity opponents. LIC generally requires more "hands-on" HUMINTmethods of information retrieval.
In the first stages of
insurrection, much of an army's work is "soft" - working in conjunction with civil authorities in psychological operations, propaganda, counter-organizing, so-called " hearts and minds." If the conflict progresses, possibly into armed clashes, the role develops with the addition of the identification and removal of the armed groups - but again, at a low level, in communities rather than throughout entire cities.
Examples of low-intensity operations include the British campaigns against the Mau Mau in Kenya in the 1950s, against the
Malayan Races Liberation Armyled by the communist Chin Pengin Malayaduring the " Malayan Emergency" from 1948 to 1960, Adenin the 60s, Omanin the 70s, against EOKAin Cyprusin the 1960s, and " the Troubles" in Northern Irelandfrom the late 1960s to mid-1990s.Fact|date=March 2008 Since World War II, the British military has engaged in over fifty low intensity campaigns.Fact|date=February 2007 The US Rapid Deployment Forceswere formed to deal with low intensity conflicts.Fact|date=March 2008
Israeli Defence Forceshave performed hundreds of low-intensity operations during the al-Aqsa Intifada, including the creation by SHABAKof a large network of HUMINT agents to better enable Israel Defence Forcesidentification and assassinationof insurgent leaders.Fact|date=March 2008
Fourth generation warfare
Michael G. Vickers
* Asprey, Robert. "War in the Shadows", ISBN 0-595-22593-4
* British Army (ed.). "Land Operations, Volume III,
Counter Revolutionary Operations", 1969.
* Buffaloe, David. "Conventional Forces in Low-Intensity Conflict: The 82nd Airborne at Firebase Shkin, Afghanistan" [http://www.ausa.org/pdfdocs/LPE04_2Buffaloe.pdf] , October 2004.
* Hammes, Thomas X.. "The Sling and the Stone", Zenith Press, 2004. ISBN 0760320594
* van Creveld, Martin. "The Transformation of War". The Free Press, 1991. ISBN0-02-933155-2
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