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What is Counterinsurgency?

The science, known as COIN or Counterinsurgency doctrine, is nothing less than a perpetual war, waged by states against their domestic populations.

Despite the unimaginable capacity for violence and coercion that they wield, states are far more vulnerable than they let on. This is not only true of the so-called “failed states” currently plagued by civil war and internal strife, but also the imperialist centers of global capitalism themselves. Their fatal weakness is built into their design; modern states are incredibly complicated and dynamic political constructions, yet at their core they remain what they have always been – vehicles of social organization aimed at facilitating the exploitation of the many, for the enrichment of the few. Without the active or passive consent of the many, the few are in serious trouble.

In order to seek out and manage threats to their legitimacy and authority, states invest a considerable amount of time, energy and resources towards the science of social control. This science, known as COIN or Counterinsurgency doctrine, is nothing less than a perpetual war, waged by states against their domestic populations. Their tactical repertoire spans the gamut from violence and covert assassination, to elections, community police liaisons, and the funding of pacifist non-profit groups. In addition to this, they pursue divide-and-rule strategies, relying on structural institutions such as nationalism, white supremacy, and hetero-patriarchy to fan the flames of reaction and keep us fighting amongst ourselves.

If revolutionaries hope to be successful in our efforts, it’s vitally important to understand the way our enemies view us, and the tactics and strategies that they will deploy against us. In this month’s episode of Trouble, anarchist media collective sub.Media interviews a number of individuals as they explain some of the main principles of counterinsurgency, and identify historical and contemporary examples of how they are put into practice.

In this episode we interviewed JoNina Ervin and Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin of the Black Autonomy Federation, Gord Hill, Author of 500 Years of Indigenous Resistance, Dawn Paley, author of Drug War Capitalism, Peter Gelderloos, author of The Failure of Nonviolence and Kristian Williams author of Our Enemies in Blue.

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39 Comments on "What is Counterinsurgency?"

  1. Davy on Wed, 4th Oct 2017 5:22 pm 

    If revolutionaries hope to be successful in their efforts, it’s vitally important to understand WTF you are fighting for. If you are fighting for a lie or just fighting because you like fighting you will be quashed. Today’s revolutionaries are just pawns in a bigger game. The reasons for their efforts are hollow. The results they seek are fantasy. If they were real revolutionaries they would yield and seek a lower level of activity. They would withdraw from the insanity that is the status quo. They would fight the status quo not adapt it as most movements today are trying to do. You fight the status quo by leaving it. You fight is by learning to use it to leave it. Otherwise you are just playing the same game as the ones you are battling are playing.

  2. Anonymouse1 on Wed, 4th Oct 2017 6:58 pm 

    Thats right exceptionalist, resistance is futile, so keep whoring for the uS of status quo. Which sheeple like you cheer-leading for the 1%, they should be able to hold on to their wealth and privilege almost indefinitely. Not that itinerant swamp dwellers like you will have anything to say about it one way or the other, but Im sure the elites do appreciate your passive acceptance of their rule, and your pouring cold water on the idea of resistance-bonus.

    In fact, article identifies enablers and sheep like you early on.

    “Without the active or passive consent of the many, the few are in serious trouble.”

    They have the exceptionalists passive consent. Point proven.

  3. Davy on Wed, 4th Oct 2017 7:06 pm 

    Look at you your movement mouse Jew baiting and anti-Americanism from mom’s basement. I find it particularly hilarious your infantile vocabulary and special spelling. It is like you are trying to create a special language but instead look foolishly adolescent. A dumbass Canadian kid caught up in a sad nation without identity except attacking American culture.

  4. makati1 on Wed, 4th Oct 2017 7:58 pm 

    “… your infantile vocabulary and special spelling.” Sound familiar Davy? It should. It perfectly describes yourself.

    slimy sicko

    BTW: It is raining here today so I have plenty of time to poke the Missouri Mule. LOL

  5. Davy on Wed, 4th Oct 2017 8:10 pm 

    The difference mad-cat1 is I am defending myself and people and you anti-Americans are on the attack and disgracing us. I would much rather be talking about real issues instead you waste my time fighting extremist creeps like you. Think of the others mad-cat1. The only one you care about is yourself. You are just a lonely old man seeking attention. You don’t care about the issues so important to the world.

  6. MASTERMIND on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 12:59 am 

    This shock, will be electric and abrupt. Stress, fear, depression, despairs, and nightmares will be the order of the day — as people come to face the not-so-palatable facets of ‘Post Peak Oil’.

    – Dr Ali Samsam Bakhtiari

  7. GregT on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 1:25 am 

    “you anti-Americans are on the attack and disgracing us.”


    Paranoia and schizophrenia: What you need to know

    A person who has a condition on the schizophrenia spectrum may experience delusions and what is commonly known as paranoia.
    These delusions may give rise to fears that others are plotting against the individual.”

    “People with paranoia often have an extensive network of paranoid thoughts and ideas.”

    This can result in a disproportionate amount of time spent thinking up ways for the individual to protect themselves from their perceived persecutors. It can lead to problems in relationships and at work.

    Hmmm, ring a bell delusionalist?

  8. makati1 on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 2:06 am 

    Greg, Davy likes to think he is the leader in Davy World and is protecting something from someone. That a few people should see and point out the US for what it is, is an attack on Davy World that he has to ‘protect’ with a 12 year old’s tactics because he is unable to do anything else. His “enemies” are untouchable. It must be frustrating that he cannot punch us in the face. Only throw harmless names and putdowns that bounce right off.

  9. GregT on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 2:57 am 

    Davy has serious psychological issues mak, plain for all to see. He’s been to the bottom before, he’s headed there again, and he knows exactly what I am talking about.

    The only person who can help Davy, is Davy himself, but he won’t. That is symptomatic of his disease. His only real options are to avoid contact with others, or to maintain

    a strict regiment of medication. With drugs, his condition can be somewhat managed, without drugs, he will continue to alienate everyone around him, and will in all likelihood, eventually, end up

    in a long term mental health facility.

  10. GregT on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 3:08 am 

    IMA, is one of the worst places that a person wth his disabilities could possibly be hanging around. If I knew his family, friends, or local law enforcement, I would be giving them all a heads up.

  11. makati1 on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 3:12 am 

    Greg, I do not know his past, but I have seen similar cases in my life. I have watched his decline. I don’t make notes on everyone I debate so I sometimes forget who lives where or their ages, etc. He appears to keep notes on certain people here. He also seldom adds anything new or positive to the discussion. Yes, I think he will be under an institution’s care before long. He is bound to lose it in public eventually.

  12. Davy on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 4:37 am 

    Grehg, you and mad-cat, AKA, the gang are disgusting anti-Americans living in denial of your own personality disorders. You are the two people on this board that believe in the Deagel dot com solution to the American problem. You find it acceptable that 280MIL Americans die to make room for more Chinese. You are oblivious that such an event will bring down the interconnected global economy so that shows how stupid you both are in addition to your murderous nature of your personalities. You are clearly both rabid anti-Americans. OH, grehg, your fake acknowledgement of good Americans in earlier comments is a farce. If you really cared about them you would not live in the continuous state of hate and belligerence to anything and everything American. You said that dubiously to camouflage your rabid anti-American nature. It is just a ruse so you can try to maintain respectability which I have shattered by confronting your hatred. You stalk and prick American who comment here exclusively. I have watched you go downhill since you started on this board. It must because you have retired recently up in forests of BC and now are getting long term cabin fever. You are bored sitting on all that money you money laundered from flipping the house in Hongcouver. You are the one that is dangerous because you are also a gun freak. A gun freak wailing and whining about mass murder when you have all the ingredients to be one.

  13. fmr-paultard on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 6:04 am 

    For many soldiers, the transition from combat back to civilian life can be difficult. The film “Blood Stripe” captures those moments through the eyes of a female soldier.

  14. Darrell Cloud on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 8:15 am 

    These COIN operations do not always go as planned. One of the most egregious was the Phoenix Program instituted by the CIA in Vietnam. Thousands of people were murdered and tortured in an effort to push a political agenda designed to keep North Vietnam from taking over South Vietnam. The Phoenix Project was an abject failure. The CIA agenda ended with American and coalition forces fleeing Saigon. All of those lives were destroyed in vain.

    That failure has not kept the policy planners from initiating similar actions in the Middle East, Europe, the Ukraine and Latin America.

    To assume that the American population is somehow shielded from these deep state games is hubris. The Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act have given the President and his minions the authority to disappear or kill anyone that the deep state determines to be a threat to the regime. President Kennedy comes to mind.
    The American Civil Liberties Union and Info Wars pointed this out to a numb public when these laws were passed by a lock step Congress.

    I think one of those deep state programs was just played out in Vegas.

  15. makati1 on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 8:28 am 

    Darrell, I am glad to see someone else here who sees behind the curtain and what is in store for America. The president now has dictatorial powers anytime he wants to use them.

    I too question the USMSM version of the Vegas event. After 9/11, Iraq, etc. lies, I suspect everything that comes out of the USMSM.

  16. Davy on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 8:46 am 

    Duerte’s hell is no better. China is the defiinition of a modern police state. Russia is a mafia oligarchy.

  17. Dooma on Thu, 5th Oct 2017 11:24 pm 

    Davy. When did you become so “brainwashed? First, quite unbelievably, you just shrug at your latest massacre as something that is now a fact of life. Then you basically state that resistance is futile.

    Total nonsense. We had several mass shootings. The semi-auto centre fire weapons were removed from society and guess what stopped happening?


    So it is a complete cop-out to say that the situation cannot be changed. If you used to hunt for food like me then you could not deny that a bolt-action rifle is by far the most accurate weapon. If you need more than a couple of shots, then you shouldn’t be shooting.

    On the subject of being subservient, no
    revolution I believe was initiated with that attitude. I am sure that you are comfortable with you farm and toys but there are billions of people who are barely making it through each day and they are sick and tired of it.

    The best thing that the internet has done is teach people just how corrupt our world is. We always knew it but having the cold hard data availableis making people far less apathetic. That is why governments and places like YouTube want it controlled

  18. makati1 on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 12:12 am 

    Delusional Davy, living in his Davy World of perfection. Do they still use straight jackets to manage people like you? Maybe drugs? Or has the constant USMSM brainwashing destroyed your sense of reality? Or both?

  19. GregT on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 12:23 am 


    The paranoid delusionalist doesn’t understand why pretty much everybody other than himself, is upset about mass murdering on American soil. That wouldn’t be so much a part of his brainwashing/indoctrination, but rather a glaring sign of a more severe psychological disorder. There really is no point in trying to carry on a rational conversation with him. He’s too far gone already, and he’s getting worse by the day.

  20. Davy on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 12:50 am 

    “Davy. When did you become so “brainwashed? First, quite unbelievably, you just shrug at your latest massacre as something that is now a fact of life. Then you basically state that resistance is futile.”
    No dooma, I am talking about perspective which is something someone like you lacks.

    “Total nonsense. We had several mass shootings. The semi-auto centre fire weapons were removed from society and guess what stopped happening?”
    Dooma, the horse is out of its stall in the US. You are not going to remove “semi-auto centre fire weapons” from US society. They may find the balls to remove assault rifles and should but not semi-auto in general. I would like to see better control. Right now you can by second hand without a background check. Hand guns need better control.

    “On the subject of being subservient, no revolution I believe was initiated with that attitude. I am sure that you are comfortable with you farm and toys but there are billions of people who are barely making it through each day and they are sick and tired of it.”
    “So it is a complete cop-out to say that the situation cannot be changed.”
    Have at it brother. Sounds like you are one of them “pissed offs”. Have at it and lynch some MF’er. I am telling you that you are not going to achieve what you think you are going to achieve. This is a late term civilization brittle to change. Significant change will tear society apart because there is no longer room for change without catastrophic breakage of systematic systems. Many “real” changes are just not possible anymore like turning our back on globalism. Globalism is out of control but changing it and even reforming it will bring it down. It is one of those things that once started must have more and more efficiency complexity until those efforts hits diminishing returns and the whole ball of wax tumbles down. Everyone want to be rich but not everyone can be rich on a finite planet. Sure some lessor changes people demonstrate for might be achievable but I am talking about the root of the problem. So get revenge and satisfaction but don’t believe in general you will reach your goals.

    I see no groups embracing “less” and embracing “no” in the name of higher wisdom. I see not groups advocating demand management starting with themselves and population control starting with themselves. Everyone just wants “MOAR”. Everyone has a deadly serious passion and envy of someone else. Everyone is blaming and complaining as the ship sinks and you want to tell me there is hope? This board is polarized and replete with bitching, moaning, and complaining. I am with it too. We are all moderns and sinking into oblivion.

  21. Davy on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 12:53 am 

    Mad-cat1, STFU you yapping little Chihuahua, lol. Say something of substance little yapping dog

  22. Davy on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 1:01 am 

    Grehg, you don’t say anything anymore you are just pissed because I kick your stupid ass daily. You want to stalk and prick an American but I prick you back and hurt your stupid BC pride. You are pretty dumb as can be witnessed by most of your attempts ate real comments. Say something new and worth a constructive debate. You are just out to be a prick. You started this long series of accusations and recriminations. I am not going to give you the last word so we can be at this as long as you like. I love spitting in your eye. You have serious personality issues. You are an extremist emotional anti-American and it is my pleasure to stop you wherever I can. You are attacking me by just being you. So go fuck yourself and do it daily. Thanks for politicizing the issue you embody. You just strengthen my point. OH, and don’t think your little gang matters. That just makes me more honored. You don’t have the 5 on one like 2 years ago so maybe you dumbasses are just petering out.

  23. makati1 on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 1:11 am 

    I make posts other than commenting on your delusions Davy. Or hadn’t you noticed? You are the braying Missouri Mule who gets frustrated at not being able to do anything about us. Insults bounce off. We take into account the source. The 12 year old bully who wants his own way and is frustrated because he cannot.

    Your mind is really gone. You fantasize about ‘kicking ass’ or making up stuff about others here. Purely bullshit.

  24. GregT on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 1:11 am 

    More of your paranoid schizophrenic delusions. I am completely against psychos such as yourself. I am in complete support of the American constitution, and believe that America was once the greatest nation in the world. It is the enabling sick fucks such as yourself, who are bringing the US down. Get help, you paranoid, delusional, sick, sad excuse of a human being.

  25. GregT on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 1:21 am 

    “No dooma, I am talking about perspective which is something someone like you lacks.”

    Which perspective would that be, you sick fuck. The dead 34 year old single mother of four? The girl who desperately tried to stop the bleeding from her husbands head by sticking her finger into his brain?

    WTF is wrong with you anyways. Give your fucking head a shake.

  26. Davy on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 1:32 am 

    Say something yapping Chihuahua not just your usual puke. Watch out you might wet the diaper you wacko old man. You don’t say anything but copy and paste puke, mad-cat1. Your life is a failure and your comments show how much you are a failure. You are a braggart and a liar.

  27. Davy on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 1:36 am 

    This is friggen great widdle. I got you so hot and bothered you can’t come up with enough shit to peg on me. One thing is for sure you can’t puke your emotional anti-Americanism without consequences anymore. This is what really has you pissed. You and your sluts don’t own the board anymore. You are a despicable money laundering Canadian dumbass and I love everyday seeing you pee your pants with anger. Your stalking and pricking is sicko. Go fuck yourself asswipe. LOL

  28. Davy on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 1:39 am 

    Grehgor, this is happening everyday all around the world. What about the dead 34 year old single mother of four that died in a car wreck. Get a grip stupid the world is full of tragedy and more is one the way. You are such a friggen pussy that is sensationalizing something that happens with a regularity it can almost be predicted. Quit your whining and man up. We don’t need pussies like you grehg. We need real men to face the bad shit coming

  29. GregT on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 1:44 am 

    Unlike you, I will never accept the mass murder of Americans. What has me really pissed off, is that you can’t figure out why people are so upset. You sick, delusional fuck.

  30. Davy on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 1:48 am 

    “Unlike you, I will never accept the mass murder of Americans.”
    Hypocritical Deagel dot come bastard. I am going to hold you to your American hatred you stupid disgusting West Coast Canadian piece of shit. You are so fake and full of lies you pricking stalking bastard. How did that feel widdle G? Did you feel the burn of someone who has a hypocrite pegged? Your stalking and pricking is not turning out so well is it chump.

  31. makati1 on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 1:52 am 

    Stalking? Davy, you are the one who cannot let everyone make comments on articles without attacking them for being called a(insert putdown or name). A shrink would have a field day with you Davy.

  32. Davy on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 2:05 am 

    Mainly just you mad-cat1 and widdle G. IMA, it is working because both of you are peeing in your pants daily. You guys are the widdle gang now. You can’t seamlessly spread your anti-American extremism like the past. Grehg is a stalker prick but you mad-cat1 are a crazy lonely old man losing his faculties in a faraway land without friends or family. You talk about a fantasy farm but you are never there. You are stuck on the 27th floor of a cheap condo with a Filipino boyfriend. Who knows when he will kick you to the street? What will you do then with just a widdle social security stipend? You pollute this board with you dubious bragging and hateful repetitive anti-American extremism. Like I said in the past mad-cat1, moderate a little and show respect and we will find peace. How hard is that for everyone’s betterment? Otherwise I will not leave you alone until you are gone. That is my promise I made to you years ago and I have held to my word. You have tried to ignore me and now I am your most important comment focus. That means I am winning. You can’t spread your puke without consequences.

  33. GregT on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 2:10 am 

    I will never accept the mass murder of American people on American soil, or the mass murder of any people, anywhere in the world. Ever. I do not agree with you, and I never will.

  34. Davy on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 2:11 am 

    grehg, go get some rest you are repeating yourself like a zombie or are you drinking?

  35. GregT on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 2:23 am 

    Get help. You are one seriously deranged individual.

  36. GregT on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 2:39 am 

    People like yourself should not be allowed to own guns. There needs to be criminal background checks, and psychological evaluations in the US, the same as there are in Canada, and in most other sane countries in the first world.

  37. makati1 on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 3:22 am 

    There you go again Davy, making up a life for me when you have ZERO knowledge of what I am, do, or where I live. ZERO.

    I am secure here. More secure than you will ever be and it frustrates you that it is so. I have stated many times that I do not care if SS ends because it will mean that the US is gone. I do not need it. I will continue to take it until it does end and use it to build even more severity here. Keep paying your taxes Davy. And I will keep cashing the checks.

    BTW: The condo I live in has seven levels of parking for the tenant’s cars, a pool, gym, commons room, and children’s pool and playground on the 8th floor. Security guards at all entrances 24/7/365, a 24 hour desk clerk in the lobby, maintenance staff for repairs, cleaning staff for the public areas, and inexpensive water. Better than any of the apartments I lived in the US.

    Oh, and I almost forgot, a new Starbucks, a laundry, a Dominoe’s Pizza, a drug store, a bank, a FedEx, three other restaurants, a 24hr 7-Eleven and a barber. ALL in the 1st floor of the condo complex.

  38. makati1 on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 3:23 am 

    “…use it to build even more SECURITY here.”

  39. Davy on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 7:37 am 

    blah, blah blah, this is getting boring. debate the issues I don’t care what you freaks think about me. You guys like talking to each other so much I am a bonding rod for you. LOL. grehg you have daddy issues?

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