The Heritage Foundation

Backgrounder #816 on Latin America

March 12, 1991

March 12, 1991 | Backgrounder on Latin America

An American Strategy for Third World Insurgencies


(Archived document, may contain errors)

.8 16 March 12,1991 ANAMERICAN SrRA FOB THIRD WORLD INSURGENCES I INTRODUCTION whet her or not the United States faces a resurgence of the Soviet military threat, America will confront challenges to its global interests from terrorists narcotics trackers, Saddam Hussein-style dictators, and anti-American in surgency movements in theThird World. While none of these is as over whelming as the Soviet threat, collectively they pose a steady, long-term chal lenge to such U.S. interests as the security of Americas southern border, ac cess to critical resources, preventing the spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, and encouraging the spread of democracy and free market institutions. During the Cold War, the U.S. focused most of its military planning efforts on the Soviet threat in Europe, even though all the wars and other military ac tions in which the U.S. has been involved since World War II have been in the Third World. Most of this involvement totalling 27 military interventions of some kind or another -have been in Central and South Arne where anti American insurgencies still t hreaten democratically elected governments, in cluding those in El Salvador and Peru. If successful, these efforts could in crease west and disorder south of the Rio Grande, not only setting back Americas decades long efforts to bring democracy, prosperit y, and stability to the region, but eventually threatening Mexico, and thus raising the prospect that Amerka may have to seal and fortify the 1,933-de long U.S Mexico border.

Deegly Rwfed Problems. For ysars, official U.S. government reports and outside md yses have warned that insurgency problems in Latin American and elsewhere are deeply rooted in economic, ethnic, political, and other problems which are exploited by anti-democratic forces. Blueprint after blueprint has been issued for dealing with these p roblems and next month yet another will be released a new National Security Council study on counter-insurgency and low-intensity conflicts. Many of these documents starting with the seminal 1962 National Security Action Memorandum 182 correctly identify the problems of insurgency. But little has been done to or ganize the U.S. government to combat the problem effectively.

Lack of Coordination. U.S. efforts have focused on the strictly military side of counter-insurgency warfare, and have not always done t his well, tending to apply NATO-style tactics ineffectively to guerrilla warfare. Such federal agen cies as the Departments of State and Defense, the Agency for International Development, and others historically have failed to give priority to insurgen cy issues, or have failed to coordinated their efforts efficiently. As a result, in surgencies in El Salvador, Peru, and elsewhere have dragged on despite vic tories in the field of combat and the development of fairly strong democratic institutions in these cduntries.

America can do better.

The manpower and expertise exists within federal agencies and the military to help friendly governments combat insurgency. The U.S. need only bring these to bear in a coordinated program that addresses the military require ments of counter-insurgency warf a re and helps alleviate the economic, social and political conditions in which insurgents thrive. This would require no major new funding since it would draw on existing programs. U.S foreign in volvement need not be expanded, since new programs would be d esigned lar gely to be run and staffed by foreign governments receiving counter-insurgen cy aid.

What America has to do is reorganize its counter-insurgency efforts, put ting all its counter-insurgency resources under the auspices of a single new program: the Special Program to Advance Regional Capabilities, or SPARC.

To begin doing this, George Bush should Establish a Special Program to Advance Regional Capabilities, known as SPARC, to plan, organize, and coordinate American assistance to friendly nations facing insurgencies. SPARC would bring together the counter-insur gency efforts of such federal agencies as the Defense, Justice and State Departments, the Agency for International Development (AID and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under a single program coordinated by the National Security Council (NSC Appoint a Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Af fairs for Low-Intensity Conflict to head SPARC. Bush still has not appointed a Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC) Czar, as recommended by Congress in the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols act. A LIC Czar, with presidential backing and am bassadorial rank, would have the bureaucratic clout to run the SPARC pro gram 2 Establish a senior SPARC statPat the National Security Council to design and plan U . S. counter-insnrgency programs. The SPARC staff would be small -under ten and would serve the LIC Czar and the NSCs existing Low-Intensity Conflict Board, which consists of senior representatives from various federal agencies involved in combatting insurg e ncy, terrorism, narco trafficking, and other forms of low-intensity conflict Establish U.S. SPARC committees in countries chosen for SPARC as sistance These committees, each under a SPARC country director appointed by the LIC Czar at the NSC, would run co u nter-insurgency operations in foreign countries, including military assistance programs and such humanitarian assistance programs as road building, health improvement, and the development and strengthening of democratic institutions. These would replace t h e counter-insurgency functions of inter-agency country teams now run by the State Department Help establish foreign SPARC committees. Foreign governments receiving U.S. SPARC assistance would be required to set up their own SPARC committees, paralleling t h e U.S. SPARC committee and assuming most of the responsibility for administering and carrying out the SPARC pro gram. Foreign SPARC committees would work with the U.S. SPARC com mittee to design effective counter-insurgency programs SOCOM) dedicated to SP A RC. SOCOM commands U.S. special forces in cluding Army Green Berets and Navy SEALS (Sea-Air-Land Some spe cial forces would be forged into new SPARC counter-insurgency units, that also would include engineers, medical technicians, and specialists drawn fr o m other military commands.These units would be under SOCOM command Establish a SPARC training institute. U.S. civilian and military per sonnel, along with foreign SPARC teams, would be trained together in local political, economic, and security conditions before deploying. The SPARC in stitute should be an adjunct to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina Begin test cases for SPARC in El Salvador and Peru. In El Salvador the U.S. has failed to defeat the Farabundo Marti Lib eration Front (FMLN insurgency despite ten years and $3 billion in effort. In Peru, the U.S. and the government of Albert0 Fujimori have not been able to agree on a plan to defeat Shining Path and Tupuc Amam guerrillas and narco-terrorist bands.

The succes s of the insurgencies in either of these countries would jeopardize regional stability in Lath America, Americas own backyard Establish units within the U.S. Special Operations Command 3 WHAT IS INSURGENCY An insurgency is an organized, violent uprising a gainst the established civil authority of a nation. Insurgent groups such as the Faribundo Marti National Liberation Front FMLN) in El Salvador and the Shining Path in Peru ex ploit economic, political, and other problems to support their claim to power.

M ost insurgent groups advocate Marxist or other leftist ideologies. Others such as the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front in Ethiopia demand the right to create their own nation out of part of an existing one. Alternatively, in Sudan, the Christian insurgen ts in the south seek to reform government regulations that force them to observe Islamic law.

Terrorism is used by most revolutionary groups in the first stage of insur gency to spread fear among the governments supporters, to erode the will and strength o f the government, and to elicit at least tacit cooperation among the local populace In the second stage of insurgency, guerrilla warfare aimed at military targets augments the use of terror against civilians and govern ment officials. Meanwhile, insurgent s engage in continuous attempts, via un derground literature, face-to-face indoctrination, and clandestine radio broadcasts to gain support among the population In the final stages of a clas sic insurgency, traditional warfare with organized military force s is used to overthrow a government US. INVOLVEMENT IN COUNTER-INSURGENCY WARFARE The U.S. began, in part, as an insurgent movement against British rule in the 1770s. Since then, America generally has found itself on the other side engaged in counter-insur gency warfare, for example against Filipino tionali~ts after the Spanish-American War of 18

98. Since World War II, the U.S. mainly has been fighting Soviet-backed communist insurgents as part of the global strategy of containment. The goal for the U.S. ha s been to strengthen friendly governments and eliminate these insurgencies, thus deny ing Moscow control over new client states. Today the problem is not only or even mainly Moscow. As Saddam Hussein has demonstrated, anti-American Third World regimes can challenge U.S. interests of their own initiative.

Sometimes U.S. counter-insurgency programs have been successful. Ex ample: the program developed and run in the 1940s and 1950s by the late Air Force Major General Edward Lansdale to prevent the communist Huk bulahap insurgency from overthrowing the government of the Philippines. Ex ample: the Civil Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS) pro gram of the Vietnam War which, between 1967 and 1972, managed largely to neutralize Viet Cong insurgents i n South Vietnam 1 Bard Oweill, et at, eds Iiwwgeney in he Modem World (Boulder, CO. Westview Press, 1980 Ch. 1.

Close Cooperation. Lansdale used a small staff of military counter-insur gency experts who possessed the skills of soldiers, diplomats, intellig ence specialists, and developmental economists. Working closely with Philippine Defense Minister and later President, Ramon Magsaysay, Lansdales team eliminated popular support for the Hukbulahap guerrillas by helping to turn the Filipino military into ef f ective counter-insurgency fighters and creating an economic development corps which provided land, training, and start-up funding to former guerrillas and members of the Philippine military Lansdale also bolstered local security for villagers by improving local militia enhancing the ability of the army to infiltrate guerrilla groups, overseeing free and fair elections, and using psychological warfare techniques such as a ten centavo telegram program to enable the populace to communicate directly with top g o vernment officials In Vietnam, CORDS followed the Lansdale model, only it used advisers from various U.S. agencies including the State, Defense, and Justice Depart ments to help write legal codes, reform the local prison system, redistribute land, provide agricultural assistance, build public health clinics, and promote rural electrification. Meanwhile, American military advisors helped train and lead village militia to provide military security at the local level Criteria for Success. The success of these two programs was due mainly to two factors: 1) they helped alleviate the underlying political, economic, and social problems that give rise to insurgencies; and 2) they coordinated the manpower and resources of different U.S. agencies official U.S. policy has recognized the need to meet these two criteria in facing down insurgencies. National Security Action Memorandum No. 182 NSAM-182 issued by President John Kennedy in 1962, assigned a role for each U.S. federal agency to play in pacification operations o verseas. This was to be done through country teams in U.S. embassies. NSAM-182 recog nized that efforts to stop revolutionary movements involve more than simply providing weapons and military training to allies, and prescribed programs to foster foreign e c onomic, political and social development. NSAM-182 was the blueprint for CORDS and, ostensibly, for all subsequent U.S. counter-in surgency efforts PROBLEMS WITH THE CURRENT SYSTEM With the exception of CORDS and a few other cases, U.S. policy has not fol lowed the inter-agency and combined military/civilian approach to defeat ing insurgencies outlined in NSAM-1

82. U.S. involvement in counter-insur gency generally has been marked by failure, such as the inability to stop the Sandinista victory in Nicaragua in 19

79. While varying from case to case, the failures had common causes: the agencies reluctance to cooperate and an ex aggerated focus on the military aspects of insurgency 5 One reason for the lack of cooperation has been the failure of the State Dep artment, designated in NSAM-182 as the lead agency for all U.S. counter insurgency efforts, to provide 1eadership.The State Department runs its counter-insurgency efforts through country teams, based at U.S. embassies under control of the ambassador and c o nsisting of representatives from other agencies. The problem is that State has little or no institutional hderstanding of insurgency. Even today, the State Department has only one Air Force of ficer, on loan from the Pentagon, to study low-intensity codli ct and revolu tionary warfare problems full time. Moreover, the State Department tends to assign regional specialists, without a counter-insurgency background, to its country teams.

In the Philippines, for example, State has failed to give sufficient priority to gathering information in the provinces since Corazon Aquinos ascent to the presidency in 19

86. This has caused a serious gap in Americas understanding of the Communist Party of the Philippines New Peoples Army (NPA).The NPA murders several Americans and over 3,000 Filipinos annually.

AID Deficiencies. The State Department is not the only federa l agency that has-failed to address the problems of insurgency. The Agency for Internation al Development (AID which assists the political and economic development of Third World nations like Brazil, Kenya, and Indonesia, has avoided invol vement with sec u rity issues. This particularly has been true since 1975 when liberals in Congress attacked AIDS highly successful international police training program and passed Section 660 of the Foreign Assistance Act preventing AID from training police. One result is that human rights abuses by foreign police forces have not abated in such countries as El Salvador and Guatemala. Further, most AD foreign aid funds are trmferred directly to Third World governments, rather than supporting private sector initiatives.

As a result, not only is the central government strengthened at the expense of private individuals and concerns, but U.S. funds often are squandered on inef ficient state-controlled projects or lost to corruption. This then can give im petus to insurgent clai ms of government illegitimacy?

An agency that has played little role in counter-insurgency, but should, is the Justice Department. Its main involvement has been through its Drug En forcement Agency, which tracks drug shipments abroad, trains foreign nar co tics police, and performs other roles that help counter narco-terrorism.

While not insurgents themselves, narco-terrorists often have close links to in surgent groups and, as in Peru and Colombia, help create the political anar chy in which terrorism thri ves. Justice also runs the International Criminal In vestigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP which replaced AIDS police training program in 19

86. The Justice Departments legal 2 Daniel Landau, Government and Economic Growth in the Less Developed Countries: An Empirical Study for 1960-1980, Economic Development and atlluml October 1986, p. 37 6 prosecutorial, and judicial expertise could be used against insurgencies through programs to train lawyers, judges, and prosecutors in Third World countrie s , and to help design effective justice systems.This task now is as signed to AID, which lacks sufficient personnel trained in this field Hampering the CIA. Another major problem with U.S. counter-insurgency efforts has been the inability of the CIA to per f orm effective counter-insur gency intelligence operations due to uneven congressional and presidential policy over the past fifteen years CIA roles in counterinsurgency include: in filtrating insurgent organizations, collecting information, and organizing clandestine forces During the Carter Administration, manpower for these ac tivities was cut back drastically under CIA Director Stansfield Turner. While some of this capability was rebuilt by the late William Casey during the Reagan Administration, the CI A still has not regained its full effectiveness.

Congressional micromanagement also hampers the CIA. Congresss Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, headed by Senator Frank Church in the mid-l970s, publi cly dis credited the CIA and limited the authority of the Director of Central Intel ligence.

There are serious problems too with how the U.S. military has performed its counter-insurgency role. U.S. military forces typically play the largest role in U.S. counter-insurgency efforts. The military has the largest pool of experts capable of training foreign military forces to fight insurgencies. It does this.by supplying weapons and equipment through the Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA), sending advi s ors to train local military forces in counter-in surgency strategy and tactics, and in some cases providing direct military sup port on the ground. U.S. military forces also build roads, upgrade public health, and assist in other humanitarian programs des i gned to raise living standards and build allegiance to friendly governments Falling Short. In this the U.S. military has fallen short. First, counter-insur gency and other forms of low intensity conflict only recently have begun to receive adequate budget a ry support and never have been regarded as a career enhancing specialty in the military. Second, the military has tended to emphasize the warfare side of counter-insurgency operations, while tending to shortchange its humanitarian assistance role. Example : This year a course dealing with humanitarian assistance at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg, N.C failed to attract a single U.S. military officer 3 Doctrine for Joint Operations in Low-Intensity Conflict, The Joint Chiefs of Staff , JCS PUB 3-07 Washington, D.C January 1990, p. L23 7 EL SALVADOR AND PERU INACTION IN ACTION These endemic problems with U.S. counter-insurgency efforts have led to a string of American counter-insurgency failures, from the success of the San Wta uprising against the Nicaraguan government in 1979 to the continuing inability to eradicate the communist New People's Army in the Philippines.

Typiijing America's counter-insurgency limitations have been the experien ces in El Salvador and Peru Resurgent Guerrill as. In El Salvador, more than a decade of involvement and approximately 3 billion in U.S. aid have failed to defeat the Marxist F which continues to threaten the democratically elected government of Alfred0 Cristiani. In the early 198Os, the U.S. had some success in El Sal vador. With U.S. help, every Salvadoran election since 1982 has been free and fair. Under the direction of U.S. military advisors between 1981 and 1985, the El Salvadoran military cut in half the combat strength of the FMLN from ap proxi m ately 12,000 to 6,000 fighters. And the U.S. helped establish a special unit that drastically reduced human rights violations by the El Salvadoran army But since the mid 198Os, the American counter-insurgency effort in El Salvador has stagnated the guerri llas gradually have regained their fighting effectiveness and now have Soviet-made shoulder-fired surface-to-air mis siles. Human rights abuses, including murder, by rogue army officers con tinue.

Many of the systemic problems in America's approach to coun ter-hurgen cy are evident in El Salvador: a lack of support by U.S. Ambassador William Walker for the military side of the counter-insurgency effort he refused to back U.S. and Salvadoran military attempts to prosecute an American citizen imprisoned in El Salvador for stockpiling weapons for the FMLN; an insuffi cient effort to reform the local justice system; a focus by the military on NATO-style warfare rather than small-unit tactics; a lack of attention by U.S advisors or the Salvadoran army to humanita r ian assistance programs, and finally, a congressionall.-imposed limit of 55 on the number of U.S. military advisors in the country Plan Rejected. In Peru, the new government of President Albert0 Fujimori is embroiled in a counter-insurgency war against th e Shining Path, Tupac Amanr, and other leftist groups as well as a war against narco-trafickers who often fund and coordinate operations with the guerrillas. Although these two wars are intertwined, U.S. efforts have focused almost exclusively on the drug w ar. Even there, the US. has taken a typically high-tech approach to stopping the production and shipment activities of drugs by employing sophisticated 4 AJ. Bacevich, et d American Military Policy in Small Wars: the Case of El Salvador"(Washington, D.C I . F.PA Pergamon-Brassey, 1988 the Siub Commission Report, The FMLN Offensive: Republic of El Salvador Alexandria, Vk Free World Foundation, 1990) p. 23 8 I aircraft and surveillance techniques, while ignoring needed programs, such as those promoting alterna t ives to coca growing. To make matters worse, the country team assigned by the State Department to Peru to design a military and humanitarian assistance program lacked counter-insurgency experts This team was unable to design a program that would be effect i ve and accept able to the Peruvian government As a result, the U.S. plan was rejected by Fujimori last September. Meanwhile, the war goes on RECOMMENDATIONS America has the means and experience to defend its interests when threatened by foreign insurgenci e s. The only problem is that the federal government is not organized to do the job right. In the future, if U.S. counter insurgency operations in theThird World are to succeed all elements of U.S power must be coordinated to give friendly governments the a b ility to protect themselves and enable their citizenry to resist the threats and inducements of insurgents To do this Bush should Establish a Special Program to Advance Regional Capabilities, known as SPARC, to plan, organize, and coordinate U.S. assistan c e to sriendly na tions facing insurgencies. SPARC would bring together the counter-insurgen cy efforts of such federal agencies as the Defense, Justice, and State Depart ments, Agency for International Development, and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) un d er a single program coordinated by the National Security Council (NSC The U.S. should put SPARC into operation only where U.S interests are clearly at stake and with the minimum use of U.S. manpower and funding necessary to help defeat local insurgents. S P ARC would train and advise local civilian and military officials in their fight against insurgency rather than conduct programs themselves. SPARCs mandate would be to ad dress the local political, economic, and social factors exploited by insurgents as we l l as the military requirements of defeating insurgents. Because it main ly would bring under one umbrella existing U.S. programs and manpower SPARC would not necessarily require additional U.S. funding for counter-in surgency. In fact, by eliminating prog ram overlap, SPARC could save money.

SPARC funding would come mainly from the budgets of the agencies in volved in counter-insurgency efforts on the basis of requirements drawn up by the LIC Czar for the President, who would include these in his proposed a nnual budget Appoint a Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security M fairs for Low-Intensity Conflict to head SPARC. Bush still has not appointed a Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC) Czar, as recommended by Congress in the 1986 Goldwater-Nichols act . A LIC Czar, with presidential backing and am bassadorial rank, would have the bureaucratic clout to run the SPARC pro gram. He also would be given the authority to hire, fire, and promote person 9 ne1 within SPARC to prevent individual agency interests f r om interfering with SPARC efforts Establish a senior SPARC swat the National Security Council to design and plan U.S. counter-insurgency programs plans. The SPARC staff would be small fewer than ten and would serve the LIC czar and the NSCs existing Low-I n tensity Conflict Board, which consists of senior repre sentatives from various federal agencies involved in combatting insurgency terrorism, narco-terrorism, and other forms of low-intensity conflict. The LIC Czar and NSC SPARC Staff would draw up a globa l SPARC strategy focus ing on nations that are facing insurgencies and are of critical national security value to the U.S. They also would dispatch and oversee the operations of U.S civilian and military personnel in counter-insurgency operations, at the d i rec tion of the President and with the consent of Congress. Because the NSC SPARC Committee would be small, foreign operations would be under the day-to-day operation of the local SPARC director Establish U.S. SPARC Committees in countries chosen for SPAR C as sistance. These committees, each under a SPARC country director appointed by the LIC Czar at the NSC, would run counter-insurgency operations in foreign countries, including military assistance programs and such humanitarian programs as road building, health improvement, and the development and strengthening of democratic institutions. These would replace the counter-insurgency functions of inter-agency country teams now run by the State Department. Local SPARC committees would be com prised of represe n tatives from U.S. government agencies involved in the SPARC effort including AID, Defense, Justice, State, and the CIA. The State Department would be limited to providing reporting and analysis for the SPARC team. Agencies, such as AID, with other respons i bilities in the country, would continue to fulfill their responsibilities as before under State Department guidance. All activities related to the SPARC counter-insurgen cy campaign, however, would be run by the local SPARC director A typical SPARC commit t ee might include: AID personnel supervising such projects as irrigation and rural electrification; a U.S. Information Agen cy representative to prepare an information campaign conducted over the air waves and through local media outlets, aimed at promotin g democratic values and discrediting guerrillas; Justice Department officials to assist local authorities in creating a fair and credible justice system, as well as training local police to conduct effective investigations while respecting human rights Tre a sury Department advisors to provide macroeconomic advice to the government; and CIA personnel to help establish an effective intelligence network within the country. U.S. military advisors would coordinate their ef 5 David Silverstein, Preparing America t o Win Low-Intensity Conflicts, Heritage Foundation Buckgmunder No. 786, August 31,1990 10 forts with civilian programs through the SPARC committee, which would in clude the head of the U.S. military team in the country SPARC assistance would be expected, w i th U.S. assistance, to establish their own SPARC committee to parallel the U.S. SPARC committee. The foreign SPARC committee would design and run the SPARC programs with their U.S. counterparts. This will foster local involvement and a stake by the local p opulation in the success of the programs. Funding for SPARC programs would be shared by the U.S. and the government receiving support, and the bulk of the manpower for caffying out programs would be provided by the foreign government 4 Establish a unit wi t hin the U.S. Special Operations Command SOCOM dedicated to SPARC. SOCOM commands such special operations forces as the Army Green Berets, which are specially trained to teach counter-insurgency tactics to foreign armies. Other U.S. military commands have f orces essential to the humanitarian assistance side of counter-insurgen cy warfare, including engineers and medics. SOCOM should draw upon these resources from throughout the military and combine them with its own spe cial operations forces to create new, multi-mission units dedicated to combat ing insurgency This will help ensure that the military addresses all aspects of insurgency, including its underlying political, economic, and social causes as well as its strictly military aspects.

These new multi-m ission units could assist in such activities as bridge and road construction, well digging, and building communications systems, while also training local military forces. SPARC units would live and work in local towns and villages, providing the expertis e needed to help improve the local populations living conditions while helping local military forces to protect them from insurgents.

While the Army would provide most of these forces, the Coast Guard and Navy also could teach naval skills including interd iction of shipping, boarding ships, and running river patrols to counter narcotics traffickers as they now do in Bolivia. The U.S. Air Force also has a role. Third World air forces often are plagued by maintenance and equipment problems and are not traine d to support counter-insurgency operations for example, by providing covering fire for troops engaged at close range against insurgents. Air Force advisors could help correct these problems Establish a SPARC training institute. SPARC teams, including the f o reign-based U.S. SPARC Committees, the foreign SPARC Committees and the militarys SPARC units should train together at a school specifically designed to teach them about the political, economic, social, and security situation in the country in which they w ill be operating. This group training will promote teamwork, coordination, and a better understanding of each agencys capabilities. The institute should be an adjunct to the John F. Ken nedy Special Warfare School at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina Establish fo r eign SPARC committees. The governments receiving U.S 11 Foreign governments could establish their own SPARC schools based on programs designed at the U.S. SPARC institute, to train their own civilian and military personnel in counter-insurgency warfare an d humanitarian assis tance skills.Training would focus on practical skills such as basic medicine and construction methods, and also would teach local bureaucrats the prin ciples of democracy and free enterprise and how to run efficient and honest local go v ernments. Classes could be conducted by local specialists schooled at the U.S. SPARC institute. Foreign graduates of the U.S. and local SPARC institutes would provide a core of highly motivated and trained individuals capable of matching the insurgents ow n skilled and disciplined guerrillas tions face difficulties that a SPARC program could help alleviate. In El Sal vador, ten years of poorly organized U.S. assistance has failed to defeat the FMLN. SPARC would expand the number of counter-insurgency adviso r s in El Salvador, provide assistance from the Justice Department to help local governments eliminate the pervasive problem of human rights abuses, ex pand training of local officials through the SPARC institute, increase involve ment of local officials th r ough SPARC committees, exhance the human itarian assistance role of the militaq, and refocus the training of local military forces away from NATO-style tactics and toward small-unit patrols needed for effective counter-insurgency warfare. Peru faces a rev o lutionary insurgen cy and a violent, narcotics-based threat to national stability. It has rejected strictly military assistance from the U.S. and insists, rightly, on a balanced military and humanitarian assistance approach. SPARC represents a multi agenc y alternative to strictly military aid Begin test cases for SPARC in El Salvador and Peru. Both of these na CONCLUSION The great majority of future threats to American security are likely to come from theThird World and they are likely to come as a less co n ventional military threat than that posed by Saddam Hussein. The U.S. has failed to ad dress these threats adequately, particularly those posed by anti-Western insur gency movements.This failure stems from a lack of coordination in U.S. ef forts, and from a lack of attention to the most basic political, economic, so cial, and ideological issues that fuel insurgencies.

A Special Program to Advance Regional Capabilities (SPARC run by a presidentially appointed Low-Intensity Conflict Czar on the N ational Security Council, would bolster U.S. efforts to combat insurgencies. His staff of about ten counter-insurgency experts would craft global counter-insurgen cy strategy, design SPARC programs, and recommend countries to be in cluded in SPARC program s . SPARC would stress minimum use of U.S. man power and funding, would promote democratic and free market ideas and would interfere minimally in running local governments or development projects. Kept to a minimum, above all, would be the use of U.S. force s in combat roles, with foreign forces providing virtually all combat personnel.

SPARC would focus on addressing the political, economic, and social issues 12 that can fuel insurgencies, as well as helping to provide the security needed for the success of programs to improve living standards.

SPARC committees would consist of individuals from such federal agen cies as the State, Justice, Defense, and Treasury Departments, the Central In telligence Agency (CIA and Agency for International Development (AID A fter training together at a new SPARC institute, which would be established as an adjunct to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg North Carolina, this committee would be dispatched at the Presidents direc tion to a friendly country fac i ng insurgency. A parallel committee would be established by the foreign government receiving SPARC assistance, and would be responsible for running SPARC programs. Governments receiving assistance would have to share funding with the U.S supply most of th e man power for running SPARC programs, share responsibility for designing a counter-insurgency program, and set up its own SPARC school to train local personnel Mobilizing Tools At Hand. The U.S. military would create new SPARC units out of existing count e r-insurgency warfare specialists under the Special Operations Command (SOCOM and other non-combat troops such as en gineers and doctors from elsewhere in the military. The new units would be under SOCOM command and would train with their civilian counterp a rts at the SPARC Institute. Once deployed they would train local military person nel in counter-insurgency warfare, focusing on sd-unit tactics as opposed to NATO-style warfare.They also would help carry out humanitarian assis tance programs along with th eir local military counterparts. SPARC should be put into practice first in El Salvador and Peru, two countries where U.S policy has failed to defeat insurgents and provide the peace and stability needed for democratic governments to be secure.

A relativel y low investment in a SPARC program today can help avoid major investment or even militmy involvement if insurgencies in Latin America and elsewhere are permitted to get out of hand. SPARC will do this by organizing and mobilizing the tools already at han d to help bring stability toThird World nations facing insurgent threats. b David A. Silverstein Policy Analyst 13

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