The Best Defense

Memorable military names

I didn't know that there was a Royal Navy admiral named Reginald Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax. He fought at Dogger Bank. Looking that up the other day, I noticed something else I didn't know, which was that during the last ice age, when Dogger was dry land, the Thames and the Rhine had a common mouth, or at least what looks like one in this map.

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The Best Defense

The seven steps of highly effective counterinsurgents: A new RAND guide

There are seven steps usually seen in negotiating an end to an insurgency, according to a new RAND study, "From Stalemate to Settlement." It looks at Northern Ireland, the Philippines, Lebanon, Western Sahara, Mozambique, Indonesia, Kampuchea, Bosnia, Tajikistan, Burundi, Chechnya, and Congo. Only in one case were the seven steps followed exactly in the sequence here, the study says, but "each case unfolded in a manner close enough to this narrative that it is a useful comparative tool for understanding how to reach negotiated settlements." 

Those steps are:

  • Military stalemate
  • Acceptance of insurgents as legitimate negotiating partners
  • Brokered cease-fire (not always respected)
  • Official intermediate agreement
  • Power-sharing offer (or other concession, such as amnesty or elections)
  • Moderation of insurgent leadership
  • Third-party guarantor

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