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For operational techniques pertaining to Special Forces operations, seeFM For detailed information and guidance for the training and operational employment of units, teams, and individuals designated as U. The classified supplement to this manual is keyed to the appropriate paragraph or subparagraph. In each case, the appropriate paragraph in this manual is so annotated, d and e, below.

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Special responsibility for review of guerrilla warfare manuals and doctrine was assigned to the Fort Bragg center in A review process for the manual on "guerrilla operations," for example, was coordinated there in and drew considerable fire from at least one military department concerned with the laws of war.

A paragraph on "hostage taking" in particular prompted a proposal that the manual be withdrawn: The inference which may be drawn from this paragraph is in violation of Section IV Hague , negates provisions of the Geneva Conventions and could prejudice responsible persons before an international tribunal.

Deletion of this paragraph and all references in the manual to the right to take or "eliminate" hostages should be deleted. The clause outlawing assassination, for example, was too broad: "The distinction between assassination of an enemy which is prohibited and attacks on individual soldiers or officers of the enemy wherever they may be which is permissible is obscure.

It appears that the manual gives no recognition to any distinctions other than guerrillas unlawful belligerents and regular i. The status of what, for lack of a better term, may be called "irregular military forces" appears to be undefined and unprotected. The draft seems to have been written with an eye to guaranteeing U. To the extent permitted by international law, this aspect of the matter should also be considered Can a CIA officer be held accountable for a war crime?

In February , the responsibility for preparation and revision of the field manuals on guerrilla and counterguerrilla warfare was assigned to the Psychological Warfare School. Guerrilla operations are useful in destroying signal communications, gaining information, disrupting lines of communications, destroying.

A "strong local leader" will generally serve as a focal point for recruitment, while "a conventional force may infiltrate qualified personnel to serve as military and technical advisers. The manual, for example, prescribes taking "action" against the recalcitrant: Guerrillas seek to insure support and loyal cooperation by exercising control over civilians. To achieve this control, guerrilla policies and measures may include—1 Dissemination of propaganda; 2 Action against individuals and communities that fail to cooperate; 3 Organization and regimentation of civilians Guerrillas publish orders and policies and act to enforce them in an effort to discourage collaboration.

It is enforced by quick and severe action without recourse to formal investigations and trials.

Special Forces Operational Techniques (FM 31-20)

Similarly, the laws of land warfare are considered in the context of resistance to a foreign occupation force, outlining the conditions under which partisan forces are eligible for prisoner-of-war status if captured. Such an individual is classed as a traitor and is subject to punishment, including death. A traitor may be tried and punished even though captured long after the commission of his offense. The counterguerrilla objective is defined accordingly, and has remained more or less the same in doctrine to the present: a. Isolate guerrilla forces from the civilian population Deny guerrilla forces contact with and support from friendly forces or a sympathetic sponsoring power; c.

Destroy the guerrilla forces. Enemy nationals [i. The participation by Special Forces units in maneuvers—war games— with conventional forces contributed to the development of the American style of special warfare. The intent was to familiarize commanders with the kind of unconventional operations the adversary, dubbed "Aggressor," would launch.

A series of army field manuals defined the order of battle, tactics, and strategies of the Aggressor in conventional warfare, including nuclear and biological scenarios, as well as insurgency. The Aggressor-warfare manuals enter into elaborate detail, from describing the uniforms and weaponry of Aggressor forces, conventional and unconventional, to outlining the more or less imaginary geography, politics, and indeed history of the Aggressor nation and its sphere of influence.

The field manuals, prepared at the U. The Special Forces' role in Aggressor-maneuver warfare was, as explained in a January instruction, "to make the United States Forces guerrilla conscious and trained in anti-guerrilla tactics," and to show the possibilities "of the use of friendly guerrilla forces. However, in the event that personnel of the opposing force accidentally uncover an operational base, the guerillas would be forced to take them prisoner under maneuver conditions Such prisoners will have to be specially handled in order to maintain the security of the guerrillas.

Army's own Special Forces than that of Mao's Red Army is suggested by both the record of action and written doctrine.

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The general concordance between the tactics of American unconventional warfare doctrine and that ascribed to the subversive guerrilla breaks down primarily in the way in which political and ethical values are assigned in the subversive model. The model of insurgent doctrine presented in the field manuals on Aggressor-maneuver warfare provides a model for, or a reflection of, the doctrine governing America's own "guerrillas. It outlines "the strategy of 'Aggressor' insurgency and discusses its sociological, economic, political, psychological operations, and other military doctrines.

The rationale is that to fight Aggressor insurgents one must understand— and be able to mimic—their tactics.

The manual purports to elucidate "insurgent activities" so that American forces can respond in kind, presenting a mirror image of Aggressor doctrine. Training in Aggressor insurgent tactics, in turn, was to be adapted to the counterinsurgency mission: The purpose As a means of application, an "Aggressor" war is conducted in the fictitious nation of New Freeland The importance of Aggressor insurgent doctrine to Special Forces training supports only obliquely the argument that the top American counterinsurgents were remade in the image of the enemy.

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The actual practice of Special Forces in operations around the world and the standing orders for specific assignments that have emerged provide more compelling evidence. Aggressor insurgent tactics are American tactics. The image in the mirror is us. Although first introduced in the s, Aggressor warfare field manuals for guerrilla warfare continued to represent state of the art unconventional warfare as practiced by the United States into the s.

Aggressor doctrine provided the basis for the United States' analysis of enemy guerrilla threat, but more significantly, presented a concept of "real-world" guerrillas as a model for the United States' own guerrillas. Perhaps not surprisingly, the norms of Aggressor guerrilla warfare were already adapted for instruction of Americans and their allies in real-world unconventional warfare in the s.

Much more than documents.

Aggressor Warfare and the War on NicaraguaThe army's FM 4 defined "psychological operations" to include "communicative acts such as propaganda as well as physical acts of murder, assassination, or a simple show of forces which are intended to influence the minds and behavior of people. One of the most used procedures was terrorism. A special terrorist cell would enter a village, kill the Chief, and hang his body in the village square for everyone to see.

This tactic had three major accomplishments. First, the villagers were apt to change their minds. Second, news of the disaster had considerable effect on the attitude of neighboring villages. Third, it made the villagers feel totally at the insurgent's mercy and underlined the inability of the government authorities to protect them.

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A guerrilla force always involves implicit terror because the population, without saying it aloud, feels terror that the weapons may be used against them. However, if the terror does not become explicit, positive results can be expected If the government police cannot put an end to the guerrilla activities, the population will lose confidence in the government, which has the inherent mission of guaranteeing the safety of citizens. However, the guerrillas should be careful not to become an explicit terror, because this would result in a loss of popular support.

The distinction might be that made by the U. Army between "selective" and "mass" terror, or again between terror as overt or covert action. FM , for example, attempts to do so: Aggressor advocates the selective use of terror as opposed to mass terror. The assassination of a government official will lead some people to refrain from seeking public office Likewise, the assassination of a village leader will make it difficult to obtain another leader enabling the insurgent movement to have more freedom of action.

In general, guerrilla actions endangering the public are to provide the strategic background to other tactical initiatives to undermine the government. The manual advises the elaborate explanation of the use of armed force involving the noncombatant population: The people are to be told actions were taken "to protect them, the people That this action, although it is not desirable, is necessary because the final objective of the insurrection is a free and democratic society.

If a guerrilla fires at an individual, make the town see that he was an enemy of the people, and that they shot him because the guerrillas recognized as their first duty the protection of citizens. The manual provides further useful explanations for the killing of informers: The commando tried to detain the informant without firing because he, like all Christian guerrillas, espouses nonviolence. Firing at the Sandinista informant, although it is against his own will, was necessary to prevent the repression of the Sandinista government against innocent people.

Make the population see that it was the repressive system that was the cause of this situation, what really killed the informer Make the population see Should the team encounter hostility from "one or two men," the threat "can be overcome by eliminating the enemy in a rapid and effective manner. Set up ambushes in order to delay reinforcements. Kidnap all officials or agents of the Sandinista government and replace them in "public places" with military or civilian persons trusted by our movement. For psychological purposes it is necessary to take extreme precautions, and It is absolutely necessary to gather together the population affected so that they will be present, take part in the act, and formulate accusations against the oppressor.

Unlike the Nicaraguan manual, its roots in American doctrine went largely unremarked. The Panamanian Defense Forces had published the eighty-page manual in Ostensibly authored by Noriega,, it may have been approved or even ghostwritten by the American advisers then close to defense chiefs there. Noriega had illustrated basic principles of psychological warfare with the Mongol experience—laying open his own rise to power to later ridicule: "Genghis Khan may have been a tough man to revere. But to General Manuel Antonio Noriega, the marauding Army instructional material—Paul Linebarger's study of psy-war.

Linebarger's classic had praised Genghis Khan for his use of "black propaganda" in his review of psychological warfare in history: the Mongols "had used espionage to plan their campaigns and deliberately used rumor and other means to exaggerate accounts of their own huge numbers, stupidity, and ferocity.