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Encyclopedia > Low intensity conflict

Low intensity conflict (LIC) is the use of military forces 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. Politics, sometimes defined as the art and science of government. ...

Contents


Low intensity operations

Low-Intensity Operations is a military term for the deployment and use of troops in situations other than war. Generally these operations are against non-state adversaries and are given terms like counter-insurgency, anti-subversion, and peacekeeping. Some, depending on political alignment, view LIC as a form of terrorism.[1] The term "low intensity operations" appears to have originated with General Sir Frank Kitson. The only atomic weapons ever used in war - the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan by the United States on August 9, 1945, effectively ending World War II. The bombs over Hiroshima (August 6) and Nagasaki immediately killed over 120,000 people. ... Counter-insurgency is the combatting of insurgency, by the government (or allies) of the territory in which the insurgency takes place. ... Norwegian Blue Helmet during the Siege of Sarajevo, 1992 - 1993, photo by Mikhail Evstafiev. ...


Official state definitions

US Army Field Manual

Low-intensity conflict is defined by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (as promulgated in the US Army Field Manual 100-20) as:

... a political-military confrontation between contending states or groups below conventional war and 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. Subversion is an overturning or uprooting. ...

Implementation

Weapons

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. Artillery is 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. Aerial warfare is the use of aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of warfare. ... Historically, artillery refers to any engine used for the discharge of projectiles during war. ... US Marines fight in the city of Fallujah during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn) in November 2004. ...


Intelligence

Intelligence gathering is essential to an efficient basis of LIC operation instructions. Electronic and signal gathering intelligence, ELINT and SIGINT, proves largely ineffective against low intensity opponents. LIC generally requires more hands-on HUMINT methods of information retrieval. ELINT stands for ELectronic INTelligence, and refers to intelligence-gathering by use of electronic sensors. ... SIGINT stands for SIGnals INTelligence, which is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether by radio interception or other means. ... HUMINT, short for HUMan INTelligence, is an intelligence gathering discipline collecting information either by interviewing or tracking a subject of investigation, or by using a combination of black techniques to gain confessions or involuntary disclosure of information. ...


Stages

In the first stages of insurrection, much of the 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, communities rather than entire cities. Throughout the conflict there is a general need for the armed forces to operate in a manner to which they are not well-suited or adequately trained - police-work, individual assassination, arrests, interrogations and torture being problematic and often leading to human rights abuses and unnecessary deaths. Psychological Operations (PSYOP or PSYOPS) are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to specific foreign and (in certain countries) domestic audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. ... U.S. propaganda poster, depicting a Nazi stabbing a Bible. ...


Examples

Examples of low-intensity operations include the British campaigns against the Mau Mau in Kenya in the 1950s, the Malayan Peoples Anti British army led by the Communist leader Chin Peng in Malaya in the from 1948 to 1960 known as the Malayan Emergency, Aden in the 60s, Oman in the 70s Cyprus in the 1960s, Northern Ireland since the late 1960s. Since World War II, the British military has engaged in over fifty low intensity campaigns. The U.S. Rapid Deployment Forces were formed to deal with low intensity conflicts. The Federation of Malaya, or in Malay Persekutuan Tanah Melayu, was formed in 1948 from the British settlements of Penang and Malacca and the nine Malay states and replaced the Malayan Union. ... Dieu et mon droit (motto) (French for God and my right)2 Northern Irelands location within the UK Main language English Other recognised languages Irish, Ulster Scots Capital and largest city Belfast First Minister Office suspended Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Peter Hain MP Area  - Total Ranked 4th... In 1977, a presidential directive called for a mobile force capable of responding to worldwide contingencies but to be established without diverting forces from NATO or Korea. ...


The Israeli Defence Forces have performed hundreds of low-intensity operations during the al-Aqsa Intifada and achieved overwhelming results. The Israeli SHABAK has successfully created a large network of HUMINT agents for the purpose of extracting intelligence to enable IDF identification and termination insurgent leaders. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) (Hebrew: צבא ההגנה לישראל Tsva Ha-Haganah Le-Yisrael ([Army] Force [for] the Defense of Israel), often abbreviated צהל Tsahal, alternative English spelling Tzahal, is the name of Israels armed forces (army, air force and navy). ... The wreckage of a commuter bus in West Jerusalem after a suicide bombing on Tuesday, 18 June 2002. ... Shabak emblem Defender who shall not be seen The Shabak (in Hebrew, שבכ (help· info)) an acronym of ShérÅ«t ha-BÄ«tāhōn ha-KlālÄ« שירות ביטחון כללי) known in English as the Shin Bet (which was how the Shabak was known in Israel in its early days) or the... HUMINT, short for HUMan INTelligence, is an intelligence gathering discipline collecting information either by interviewing or tracking a subject of investigation, or by using a combination of black techniques to gain confessions or involuntary disclosure of information. ...


LIC Doctrines

  • Urban warfare:
    • MOUT : the macromanagemental facet of urban warfare, how to utilize infantry, tanks, snipers and bulldozers in order to clear a populated area from armed enemy's forces with minimal casualties to raiding forces and civilian population.
    • CQB : the micromanagemental facet of urban warfare, how a squad of infantry should fight in narrow alleys, buildings and tunnels.
  • Counter terror
  • Intelligence gathering
    • HUMINT : HUMINT stands for Human Intelligence, and refers to intelligence-gathering by means of interrogation, espionage and use of secret agent networks in the local population.
    • SIGINT : SIGINT stands for Signals Intelligence, and refers to intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether by radio interception or other means.
    • ELINT : stands for Electronic Intelligence, and refers to intelligence-gathering by use of electronic sensors.

US Marines fight in the city of Fallujah during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn) in November 2004. ... MOUT/FIBUA simulated in US Army exercise Urban warfare is warfare conducted in populated urban areas such as towns and cities. ... US Marines fight in the city of Fallujah during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn) in November 2004. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I. Infantry are soldiers or marines who fight primarily on foot with small arms in organized military units. ... The term sniper is attested from 1824 in the sense of sharpshooter. The verb to snipe originated in the 1770s among soldiers in British India in the sense of to shoot from a hidden place, in allusion to snipe hunting, a game bird known for being difficult to sneak up... A bulldozer is a powerful crawler (caterpillar tracked tractor) equipped with a blade. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with MOUT. (Discuss) CQB, sometimes CQC, is an acronym for Close Quarters Battle or Close Quarters Combat, and refers to fighting methods within buildings, streets, narrow alleys and other places where visibility and maneuverability are limited. ... US Marines fight in the city of Fallujah during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn) in November 2004. ... Counter-terrorism refers to the practices, tactics, and strategies that governments, militaries, and other groups adopt in order to fight terrorism. ... It has been suggested that Political terrorism be merged into this article or section. ... Military intelligence (abbreviated MI, int. ... HUMINT, short for HUMan INTelligence, is an intelligence gathering discipline collecting information either by interviewing or tracking a subject of investigation, or by using a combination of black techniques to gain confessions or involuntary disclosure of information. ... Interrogation is the method of interviewing a source used by police and military personnel to obtain information that the source would not otherwise willingly disclose. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Secret Agent is a 1936 British film directed by Alfred Hitchcock based on a novel by W. Somerset Maugham. ... SIGINT stands for SIGnals INTelligence, which is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether by radio interception or other means. ... ELINT stands for ELectronic INTelligence, and refers to intelligence-gathering by use of electronic sensors. ...

Further reading

  • General Sir Frank Kitson. Low-intensity Operations: Subversion, Insurgency and Peacekeeping. Faber and Faber, 1971. ISBN 0571161812
  • British Army (Ed.) Land Operations, Volume III, Counter Revolutionary Operations, 1969.
  • Robert Asprey. War in the Shadows, ISBN 0595225934

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Low intensity conflict (LIC) is the use of military forces applied selectively and with restraint to enforce compliance with the policies or objectives of the political body controlling the military force.
Low-intensity conflict ranges from subversion to the use of the armed forces.
Throughout the conflict there is a general need for the armed forces to operate in a manner to which they are not well-suited or adequately trained - police-work, individual assassination, arrests, interrogations and torture being problematic and often leading to human rights abuses and unnecessary deaths.
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