COIN Needs Cops

Yesterday I dashed off a post expressing concern that COIN’s low-intensity, population-centric tactics might eventually make their way into domestic policing via returning vets. Today at Small Wars Journal, Ben Fitzgerald and Scott Brady discuss the need for domestic policing to make its way into COIN’s low-intensity, population-centric tactics via deployed civilian law enforcement officers:

From a military perspective, the value of law enforcement may be seenas enhancing the military’s conduct of population centric operationsthrough improved patrolling techniques, investigation, communityengagement, graduated use of force etc. Separate to the militaryperspective is the potential to deploy civilian law enforcementpersonnel to essentially perform domestic law enforcement tasks, suchas community policing, in support of broader operational goals.

My post yesterday addressed the possibility that in the absence of viable career opportunities, war veterans will end up in disproportionate numbers in domestic law enforcement. Fitzgerald and Brady’s article illustrates the interest COIN practitioners are now taking in policing.

Without going overboard or adopting a paranoid posture, I fear the integration of civilian policing with counterinsurgency campaigns will have a leveling effect on both. That’s better for counterinsurgency campaigns than it is for civilian policing.

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