This award-winning comprehensive study of clandestine cellular networks and the effect on counterinsurgency operations provides a theoretical, doctrinal, and operational understanding of the form, function, and logic of clandestine cellular networks resulting in valuable insight and understanding of the complex nature of these organizations. As the world's societies have migrated into the urban areas, the urban guerrilla, underground, and auxiliaries, all operating as clandestine cellular networks, have become increasingly important, especially the core members of the movement within the underground. This analysis presents the problem from a Western military, and especially the counterinsurgent perspective pointing out that the primary components of these networks, the underground and auxiliary elements and the urban guerrillas, exist among and are drawn from the local population. As such, thus, they continually frustrate counterinsurgent operations. Any misapplication of force by the counterinsurgent automatically delegitimizes the government's efforts.
The author provides several recommendations for the U.S. military to better understand the importance of clandestine cellular networks. First, he suggests that the U.S. military needs to conduct further research into the form, function, and logic of contemporary insurgencies, specifically those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and globally, focused on al-Qaeda and its associated movements. These studies should use the Special Operations Research Office products from the 1960s as a model for these efforts. The author recommends deploying researchers to Iraq and Afghanistan to interview former Sunni and Shi'a insurgents, such as the members of the Sons of Iraq, and detained insurgents, in order to develop an in-depth understanding of the local, as well as al-Qaeda and Iranian, methods of clandestine cellular network operations.
Second, include a detailed discussion of the form, function, and logic of clandestine cellular networks, including the underground, auxiliary, and urban guerrillas, in the next version of both Field Manual 3-24 and Joint Publication 3-24, currently in draft, to increase the understanding of this organizational form.
Third, conduct comparative analysis of the form, function, and logic of clandestine cellular networks with current network and network attack methodologies to identify which network theories and network attack methodologies are truly feasible, acceptable, and suitable. Adjust current counternetwork operations—tactically, operationally, and strategically— based on this analysis.
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