Population and Environment Analysis for Counter-insurgency Evaluation

Image provided courtesy of the U. S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Army.  Photo by Spc. Terry Self

Problem Definition

Efforts to define the force size required to restore and then maintain order in a failed or failing state have been sporadic and far from complete. To date, it has been a problem with “no simple answers” and, as result, ad-hoc planning has been the norm for military strategists. The recently revised United States Army’s “Field Manual 3-24, Counterinsurgency” states that performing a successful counterinsurgency operation requires one counterinsurgent, at a minimum, for every fifty people in the area where the counterinsurgency is being waged. The manual further goes on to state that this ratio is merely a guideline, with appropriate ratios to be determined as necessary by the environment and the nature of the insurgency. Given this guidance, two questions arise. First, “How do I frame the environment and the nature of the insurgency to determine a troop density?” Then, “Given, the framework from the first question, what is an appropriate troop density?”