Counter Insurgency 101: The Social Approach
Established, well armed, populous, and conscientious societies are always harder to take, occupy, and conquer. What made the original Caliphate so mobile and powerful early on was that there were many factors that were working in favor of them when they left the Hejaz region of what is now Saudi Arabia. The Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Empire were collapsing, due to their own mismanagement and constant struggling. People did not have any particular allegiance to these empires, necessarily, what is the difference between calling one person “Emperor” or “Caliph” when you don’t feel like you have a personal stake in that polity? Furthermore, the original Muslim armies were quite reasonable, rational, and benevolent when they approached and conquered the new lands. People were willing to join them than just sit on the sidelines and be apathetic in the defense of the old regime. It’s the will of the people that determines who enters and how successfully and easily they’re able to enter. That’s how we got flowers in Afghanistan and nothing in Iraq but bombs and IEDs.
If you want to really check the Islamic State and the pretender Caliph, let them alienate themselves in the population while building a greater society in your own home territory. If people like the leadership and feel partial ownership of the common wheel, they’ll be much more rigorous in the defense than if you were simply forcing them to fight on pain of death or imprisonment. Take back from the wealthy, give ownership to people, and see what happens when and if IS approaches our territories. Constantly gauge the sentiments within IS controlled territories. Get the full story about what is happening on the ground with regards to the average, everyday person. Wait for the opportune moment for IS to alienate themselves, and separate them from the larger social body. Eliminate the offenders according to local sentiments and sensibilities of justice. Spare the rest and let them establish their OWN government, with their OWN leaders and their OWN sensibilities.
Counter-insurgency 101, the Social Approach.
Tags: al-qaeda, Caliph, Caliphate, Counter-insurgency, Defense, diplomacy, governing, government, history, Insurgency, international relations, IS, Islamic State, Legitimacy, Popular, psychology, Sentiments, Social, society, sociology
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