Publications & Resources
Counterinsurgency Tactics: A Tool For Domestic Policing
By Dominic J. Traina
Since 2014, civil unrest has taken place in Ferguson, Berkeley,
Cleveland, New York and most recently in Baltimore. These events
have been triggered by incidents that have involved local law enforcement
officers and the deaths of members of the local community.
cities along with others in the United States are plagued with similar
social issues, such as income inequality, that ferment social and
other economic woes that fuel high crime rates and unemployment.
These issues fester in many urban areas throughout the United States.
The unemployment rate in Ferguson, Missouri for example is at 26%
for African-Americans. Understandably, cities throughout the U.S.
should be concerned as civil unrest appears to be on the rise. Saint
Augustine once noted in an essay about the elements of peace and
war that, "The purpose of all wars is peace." Hopefully,
lessons have been learned from the recent events of civil unrest
and opportunities for a greater understanding of these complex issues
will be addressed.
Counterinsurgency (COIN) tactics and strategies learned over the
past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan could be considered useful by
many of our local and state law enforcement officials. Future unrest
could be thwarted by reviewing some of these lessons in counterinsurgency
and incorporating some of the tactics into the widely used community
policing that is already a huge part of the policing strategy in
many major cities. Through enhanced COIN training, at the police
recruit level and through additional advanced training for seasoned
officers some civil unrest might be diffused. A question could be
posed is; what type of nexus could be made between counterinsurgency
tactics and community policing in an effort to stabilize urban disorder
and improve relationships with local law enforcement?