Leasing leviathan : the role of local defense forces in counterinsurgency operations
Randazzo, Dante Jamil.
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This thesis explores the role of local defense forces in counterinsurgency campaigns, specifically the dynamic that exists between these groups and the state. In many instances, as in Afghanistan today, a state that is in the midst of fighting an insurgency lacks the capacity to protect its citizens. In such situations, a state may turn to the members of local communities, and train and arm them so that they might defend themselves while the government regroups. However, such a policy, while potentially very useful, can also be perilous. By turning over some share of its responsibility to provide security, the state may jeopardize its monopoly on violence.; The question then, is under what conditions a state may safely employ local defense forces with minimal fear that its ultimate authority will be challenged. This thesis finds that there are three specific conditions under which local defense forces may safely take on some of the security burden from the state: 1) Local defense forces are small and defensive, 2) The national government is strong enough to control and monitor local defense forces, and 3) Local defense forces and the national government are perceived as legitimate and enjoy popular support. The paper examines three case studies: the British experience during the Malayan Emergency, the French experience during the Algerian War, and the Soviet experience during the War in Afghanistan. In its conclusion, the paper discusses policy implications that can be drawn from its findings, proposes policy recommendations, and identifies areas for potential future study.
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