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View Full Version : Adopting Law Enforcment Doctrine/Techniques in the COIN environment



Shek
27 Apr 07,, 12:44
Here's an area that I'm looking at doing some research on. I just received a bunch of material from a friend that is in LE, and I am interested in others'opinions on what doctrine/techniques would help out COIN operations.

WECIV
27 Apr 07,, 18:29
D-N-I.net has quite a few articles on exactly what you are talking about. As does Poole's books. Sorry that is not very helpful, still up to my eyeballs in law finals :(

W

FSV
27 Apr 07,, 23:25
Look for LE Doctrine/Techniques for:
1. Acquiring & ‘running’ informants.
2. Counter/Anti-Gang & Organized Crime operations.
3. Counter- Smuggling operations.

Also look for ‘case studies’ of where the LE have ‘turned around’ persuasive crime areas.

Jake

ChdNorm
28 Apr 07,, 01:58
I think the place to start translating a civilian law enforcement lessons learned into a military counter insurgency strategy is in the PR department. The metamorphosis that civilian law enforcement went thru to implement initiatives like community oriented policing and outreach programs like DARE have some striking similarities to what some are calling for in a COIN environment.

From a historical perspective, a lot of people blame the divergence of the law enforcement community from the civilian community in the 60's and 70's on the increase of urban sprawl and the increased use of patrol vehicles to patrol such an environment. I think there is some merit to that argument it eventually led to patrol officers hunkering down in their cars with little to no positive contact between officers and the ordinary average citizens. Eventually, the only time the average citizens met a police officer was when they were being written up for something.

This was one of the primary goals of COPPS initiatives across the country ... get the officers and citizens back together for the common good. Such things as reducing the reliance on patrol cars and replacing them with foot, bike, and horse mounted patrols (while still keeping cars on the street in those areas in the interest of timely response). This made the officers more approachable and less threatening to the average citizen, even downright popular in the case of mounted patrols. The Officer's real duty in this type of assignment is to get to know the people in the neighborhood on a first name basis, and be a direct contact for informal complaints (the type that would never even get passed along to the patrol officers thru the communication network because they're so "petty"). That's the kind of informal contact that constitutes a great source of low level intelligence for the local police, and a safe outlet for concerned citizens. The potential to build on all that information and put it all into it's place can paint a very accurate picture of the goings on within specific neighborhoods, allowing the department to target specific issues and subjects without imposing itself on the average citizens unnecessarily. The main thing is trust though ... the people have to be able to trust that officer before they will ever approach them to begin with.

In the area of earning that trust, I believe that a real factor in alienating the citizenry was the introduction of officer survival tactics that taught every officer to approach every citizen as a potential threat. While that approach has much merit in helping to protect the individual officer, it also puts up another wall between police officers and the citizens they work for. There is a fine line to walk there between taking care of yourself out on the street and alienating the people that are going to be able to help you.

Little old ladies don't need to be pulled out of the car at gunpoint to receive a citation for running a stop sign. In fact, they should be yes ma'amed to death and cut loose with more of an apology than even a warning. On the other hand, when you stop a car full of maggots at 3AM that needs investigating ... rest assured they're sizing you up the second you step out of your car. THAT is when you pour on the "give me an excuse and I'll stomp the **** out of you and leave you for dead" attitude. The real test for the individual officer here is to know when and where to do which. Each serves it's purpose in the right context. You have to win over the little old ladies (and let them leave with a warm fuzzy experience and feel that much safer in her own home) and scare the maggots to the point they're afraid to leave the house (no less so much as forget to signal if they do).

I believe the US military is more than capable of dealing with the insurgents. The primary goal, in my view, would be to take some of these ideas and lessons and see how they could be implemented in a COIN environment for dealing with the average ordinary Iraq or Afghanistan citizen. Ultimately, we have to win them over to our side. One of the main benefits of COPPS type programs is turning the average citizens (that were content to sit over on the curb and watch the action for afar) into partners in solving what is ultimately everybody's problem.

Shek
28 Apr 07,, 02:25
I haven't had a chance to read them all yet, but I'll hang 'em on the board so others can read them. Thanks to ChdNorm for sending them.

COPS Office: What is Community Policing? (http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=36)
SafeState - Community Oriented Policing Overview (http://safestate.org/index.cfm?navId=7)
Center for Problem-Oriented Policing (http://www.popcenter.org/)

Kartajan
28 Apr 07,, 04:10
Modern Community Policing is equivalent to a "Hearts and Minds" military campaign. Shek, apply you understanding of an environment to see if a military "Hearts and minds" campaign can work in the first place - then you can pick up lots of tactics and tricks from the police hand-book.

Professional Policing (Dirty Harry), abandoned in US LE since 1970s, is more of a "Minds and Minds" campaign. This, IMHO, is better suited for effective COIN ops that are aimed purely insurgencies. Its not that good at combatting hybrid terrorism/insurgency campaigns.

Political Policing, used in US for most of history, involves making and enforcing laws in close conjunction with political goals. Very flexible, very scalable. Scalability is an issue in fighting hybrid threats. So you need to be like the sheriffs in old Westerns: engage in individual duels, lead posses of deputies.

Shek
28 Apr 07,, 11:56
Kartajan,
Thanks, although you just increased everything I need to look at :mad: Why can't things be simple and easy to research :frown:

Kartajan
28 Apr 07,, 14:41
Kartajan,
Thanks, although you just increased everything I need to look at :mad: Why can't things be simple and easy to research :frown:

Hey, I also made it lot more fun: Now you have a perfectly good excuse to go back and watch a ton of old movies in name of "research"! There aint one good "community policing" movie I can think of (in fact I just remember some quite bad Walker Texas Ranger episodes... you can just feel your IQ points drop as you watch those).

ChdNorm
28 Apr 07,, 18:47
I'm not really sure where I see that the progressive/professional movements have a whole lot to offer us in a counterinsurgency. It was, at least to my understanding, more of a change in administrative policies than it was operational. The police professional model centered on implementing more stringent requirements and training for officers/administrators and more autonomous departmental authority.

The real catalyst for the movement evolved out of the corruption and inefficiencies of the political police theories that had been in use up till then. To a large extent, the police forces up till the professional movement were little more than the strong arm of the local political machines and used accordingly. The advent of the full time sworn police departments of the Northeast came about largely because the semi-volunteer night watchman system of policing did not provide for officers during the day to go out and smash unions and picket lines. Police departments close relationship with political powers of the time encouraged widespread corruption and abuses of power that are really pretty hard to even imagine in today's world.

For all the good intentions, the professional movement also had some very noteworthy unintended consequences. The implementation of departmental administrator's more autonomous authority led to their own abuses of power. (especially in the areas of force, corruption, internal affairs, and discipline). External investigations of departments into alleged abuses of power were stifled, departmental detractors were silenced, and whole communities estranged from their municipal, county, and state law enforcement agencies ... all in the interest of protecting to sovereignty of the agencies. That's where the infamous "blue wall of silence" originates.

If movies count as research .... "Serpico". That's about as accurate look into the overlap of the political and professional movements of policing as has ever been made.

With all that said, it does make for a great model in reforming/establishing Iraqi police though. Their police forces up till now have always been of the political policing school of thought. One area I have been meaning to look into, for a couple of years now actually, is what we're doing to advance the Iraqi police. If anybody has any good sources on that, I'd love to see them.

I think at the fundamental level, COIN/Peacekeeping type operations (like law enforcement) center around the population more than anything. I don't think the specific administrative policies are as important as what results they achieve. It is all about hearts and minds and winning them over to our side. In a war of us against them .. the fewer thems there are the better. That's the angle I approach this question from. If I am coming at this from a direction that isn't intended, let me know and I'll re-approach it from another angle.

Kartajan
28 Apr 07,, 21:26
ChdNorm,

A society should have a police-force that reflects its level of development, giving it a more advanced form is as useless as giving it an outdated form. A place that is suffering from insurgency (hence the COIN ops there), has most probably devolved into a pretty primitive state. Police forces for such a society should also start of at a similarly primitive and simplified manner.

Political Policing: This was suggested as a counter to hybrid terrorism/insurgency because it allows the police forces to work in tandem with political and military authorities in establishing foundations of a modern state. In insurgency-***-terrorism prone areas no notion of organization exists: even if some insurgents try to establish their own order, other terrorists will prefer total anarchy. Of course, political policing also developed in US not because there was terrorism but because there was essentially no society and plenty of opportunity for anarchy.

Professional Policing: This can be implemented in an insurgency environment where foreign terrorists and anarchists have been reduced to a great extent. At this point it becomes necessary to undercut the insurgents' support base. To show them that the government now won't pursue recriminations against those who had been fighting against it, professionalizing the force is a good gesture. The government can then come to settlement with key moderate insurgent leaders, protect them with a professional force, and coopt their forces in the COIN ops.

At this point of time the insurgency has lost out first its flashy agents and then a significant portion of its support base. The insurgency is no longer an insurgency, but an armed banditry - in short, a criminal operation. By that time the society has also returned to normalcy and appreciates the order and supports the law. Then community policing can take over.

PS: OTOH some large societies prefer to have all three forms of approach co-exist at different levels. Maybe there are lessons from all three...

ChdNorm
03 May 07,, 14:04
I'm going to have to disagree on the matter of political policing. I think a good example of that is what they have in place at the moment with the use of the sectarian militias. The problem I see with that is that they tend to fall outside of a direct chain of command and have to be negotiated with and bought off with each time their services are needed on a larger scale. Also, the training and standards (and true allegiance) for such a force borders on the uncontrollable. That's not mentioning the exponentially greater risk of excessive force for anyone outside their own group.

One of the first priorities I would concentrate on in any type of occupation would be to immediately break the indigenous internal security and police forces free from local influence. Initially you almost have to have a centralized and coordinated security force that cannot be led astray. From my point of view, allowing decentralized militias to operate with any autonomous authority immediately begins to erode any confidence in a central government by the people. You cannot allow vigilantism to organize to any sort quasi official level without severely undermining any sense of security for the greater population.

I believe that is one thing that has worsened the state of Iraq to date. Allowing local militias to gain any status at all only motivates others to organize their own militias to provide security against the other militias. It's a neighborhood arms race that can quickly get out of control, with Civil War right around the corner. There can't be real security for the masses as long as there are essentially rogue groups enforcing their own set of rules.

Now granted, instituting a completely new and foreign ideology of policing upon anybody overnight is easier said than done. I don't believe the Iraqi people are so backwards or undeveloped that they do not value their own future though. They have seen what political policing means when carried out by Saddam's thugs over the past 20 years. It may be the only thing they know, but I'd be willing to bet it's not what they want.

The main hurdle would be the lack of a tradition of fair and honest law enforcement. The recruits would have few examples to look up to for inspiration. My solution? Get every episode of Adam-12 and Dragnet translated and overnighted pronto!

Kartajan
03 May 07,, 14:29
I'm going to have to disagree on the matter of political policing. I think a good example of that is what they have in place at the moment with the use of the sectarian militias. The problem I see with that is that they tend to fall outside of a direct chain of command and have to be negotiated with and bought off with each time their services are needed on a larger scale. Also, the training and standards (and true allegiance) for such a force borders on the uncontrollable. That's not mentioning the exponentially greater risk of excessive force for anyone outside their own group.

One of the first priorities I would concentrate on in any type of occupation would be to immediately break the indigenous internal security and police forces free from local influence. Initially you almost have to have a centralized and coordinated security force that cannot be led astray. From my point of view, allowing decentralized militias to operate with any autonomous authority immediately begins to erode any confidence in a central government by the people. You cannot allow vigilantism to organize to any sort quasi official level without severely undermining any sense of security for the greater population.

I believe that is one thing that has worsened the state of Iraq to date. Allowing local militias to gain any status at all only motivates others to organize their own militias to provide security against the other militias. It's a neighborhood arms race that can quickly get out of control, with Civil War right around the corner. There can't be real security for the masses as long as there are essentially rogue groups enforcing their own set of rules.

Now granted, instituting a completely new and foreign ideology of policing upon anybody overnight is easier said than done. I don't believe the Iraqi people are so backwards or undeveloped that they do not value their own future though. They have seen what political policing means when carried out by Saddam's thugs over the past 20 years. It may be the only thing they know, but I'd be willing to bet it's not what they want.

The main hurdle would be the lack of a tradition of fair and honest law enforcement. The recruits would have few examples to look up to for inspiration. My solution? Get every episode of Adam-12 and Dragnet translated and overnighted pronto!

Agreed in the matter of militias and their divisive nature. Political policing I recommended was one that is at first loyal to the national government and its representatives in the country.