Bringing the Bad Boys Home

Kilcullen (Dept. of State) ecosystem of insurgency

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One of the most important aspects of a successful counterinsurgency effort is how the government handles former insurgents once they have effectively switched sides. Simply letting them go leaves them susceptible to the same forces that put them into the insurgency in the first place, but relocation leaves them both disconnected and alienated, once again making them perfect recruiting fodder for the movements they had left.

In Reintegrating Afghan Insurgents, Seth Jones examines the experience in Afghanistan and comes up with recommendations for turning former insurgents into productive members of society, even as the insurgency continues.

Jones’ recommendations are operational rather than political or strategic: to a certain extent he assumes that the insurgency is on the wrong side of history. Nonetheless, what makes this a worthy read is that the conclusions apply not only to Afghanistan, but to any insurgency. Jones keeps his recommendations short and to the point, making this accessible to the layman as well as the expert. Free download.

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