About the Journal
Irregular Forces in Counterinsurgency Warfare
Author: Will Clegg
Volume 5, Number 3 (Spring 2009), pp. 1-25.
Effective counterinsurgency requires a strategy aimed at securing control of civilian populations. Historically, irregular forces recruited from local communities and ‘turned’ insurgents have helped generate, sustain and manage collaboration between civilians and counterinsurgent forces. However, irregular forces do not necessarily promote counterinsurgent success. If poorly raised and managed, private interests may be pursued using the means of violence at their disposal, undermining the broader counterinsurgency campaign. This article identifies benefits of raising irregular forces and suggests management strategies for coalition commanders working with them. It concludes with recommendations for emerging approaches to the use of irregular forces in Afghanistan.
About the Author
Will Clegg is an Honours student with the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. In January and February of 2009 he researched counterinsurgency warfare at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, ANU, under the supervision of Dr Daniel Marston. This article is based on work undertaken at the ANU. Previously, he studied Afghanistan’s recent history at the London School of Economics, under the supervision of Dr Antonio Giustozzi. His present research relates to the establishment and sustenance of warlord organisations in the Afghan Civil War, 1978-2001. firstname.lastname@example.org.