Recent escalations against various urban police forces by the BlackLivesMatter movement, in conjunction with members of militant “black liberation” organizations, has renewed my dormant interest in the nature, structure, and anatomy of insurgency movements. So what defines an insurgency? Are insurgencies & insurgent organizations similar, or do they vary in a material way? Luckily, the US military has been studying this question for a long time, and we can draw some insights from the way they view and categorize insurgencies.
It should be fairly obvious that no two insurgencies are identical, and no insurgency is unique in all aspects. Insurgencies tend to share some combination of tactics, objectives, and strategy. They also all tend to pass through similar stages of development during their existence. These similarities allow us to construct a framework for evaluating insurgencies, and for comparing and contrasting between insurgency movements. So let’s look at a few definitions to set the stage.
Insurgency – a lengthy socio-political military struggle directed…
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