It was he who led the Air University expedition to Morocco to study the role of the Royal Moroccan Air Force in the Morocco-Polisario conflict and who picked me to be the "Morocco expert" for the trip.
low intensity center
Colonel Alnwick also introduced me to the mysteries of small wars and low-intensity conflict. Those who have helped me understand the difficulties of military organizations coping with unfamiliar ways of war are too numerous to mention. But the first to push me into questioning conventional wisdom and traditional approaches to analyzing problems deserves my special thanks-the late Professor Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University. I believe that the low intensity conflict is the most important strategic issue facing the US.
If we don't learn to deal with it, we risk being isolated in an increasingly competitive world. Why is General Nutting so concerned about it? Is it counterinsurgent warfare, that form of conflict which the United States failed to master and win in Southeast Asia? Is low-intensity conflict something we should avoid lest the Vietnam-related social, political, and military upheavals of the s and s be relived in the s and s? Or in the years ahead, will the world be such that the United States must prepare for a form of conflict that is not pristinely dualistic-good confronting evil, with clear-cut, "vital" national interests or national survival at stake?
To answer these questions we must begin by attempting to understand the concept of low- intensity conflict and the kinds of military, paramilitary, political, and economic activity it encompasses. Nutting, USA Professor Sam Sarkesian of the Loyola University of Chicago has done more than anyone to try to establish a meaningful definition of low-intensity conflict.
Getting agreement on what exactly is meant by low-intensity conflict proved to be the toughest issue faced by participants at a workshop at Loyola. The best they could do was to adopt a working definition. Sarkesian depicts a spectrum of conflict fig. Presumably a break point between wars of lower and higher intensity would occur in a Vietnam-type conflict when the intervening power made the decision to commit division-sized ground force units and wing-sized air force units. At such a point, a conflict would no longer be defined as low-intensity because major national resources are being committed to the conflict.
Sarkesian's conflict spectrum identifies three levels of US participation in guerrilla warfare. During the first phase, Guerrilla I, US forces would be involved in a purely advisory role; military advisory teams would work with a host country to establish a useful level of proficiency in handling weapons applicable to the type of conflict being experienced. At this level of conflict the United States might also provide training in tactics and doctrine.
When US forces begin serving as cadre or "stiffeners" for local forces, then the level of conflict would clearly move into the Guerrilla II level of involvement. At this stage, special operations forces from any or all US services could work with specific host country units as they developed and executed operations in the field. Presumably, this level of activity would be the highest in which the United States could become involved without a declaration of war. Thus, Sarkesian defines low-intensity conflict as a range along the conflict spectrum where a variety of military and paramilitary activities take place to achieve limited political goals-usually to assist a threatened friend.
In contrast, the US Army defines low-intensity conflict differently and in terms that emphasize operational rather than theoretical uses of force. Type A requires assistance operations by US combat forces to "establish, regain, or maintain control of specific land areas threatened by guerrilla warfare, revolution, subversion, or other tactics aimed at internal seizure of power.
The difference between mid- and high-intensity conflicts is the nature of the objectives involved, the level of force that may be applied, and the size of the geographic area that might be involved. All Guerrilla classifications include requisite economic assistance. Figure 1. Sarkesian's Conflict Spectrum. Both Sarkesian's and the Army's definitions of low-intensity conflict are useful. Sarkesian looks at the issue from the standpoint of a US decision maker who needs to make policy decisions on what is to be done to help a threatened friend.
The Army's approach is a more prosaic one that makes a fundamental distinction between two responses to low-intensity conflict: Will Army forces be assigned to help a country by fighting or by advising? The Army thus limits low-intensity conflict to involvement of the United States in a country requiring assistance; the Army's definition does not include the related ideas of US participation in peacekeeping duties, shows of force, or unilateral US intervention in a second country. For the purposes of this paper, a fairly broad range of activity will be considered as low-intensity conflict.
Our definition will lean more to Sarkesian than to the Army. Figure 3 shows the kinds of activities US forces may be asked to accomplish in low-intensity conflict situations. As the chart suggests, the Unites States should have forces designed to show resolve without engaging in combat, to accomplish specialized operations such as the Son Tay raid, and to assist friendly countries facing threats to their internal security by providing advisory assistance, cadre, and, ultimately, US combat units that can be integrated with those of the host nation. In addition, the United States should have the ability to intervene unilaterally in other countries as the need arises.
Such intervention will be most likely in the third world. The primary purpose in any such intervention would be to impose American will on a third world situation. Although the notion of US intervention abroad, either unilaterally or in concert with other forces, is not particularly popular in this country at this time, and it is a capability our military needs to perfect, as proven in Grenada.
Counterterrorism is included in figure 3, although it is not included in the definition of low-intensity conflict. Historically, terrorism has most often been the approach taken by individuals or groups seeking to make a random political statement or to commit an act of violence to support a vision of future revolutionary change. Most often police forces rather than the military are in charge of counterterrorist operations.
However, terrorism could be part of an insurgent group's repertoire of tactics and thus could be part of the problem faced by US assistance forces-but not the primary problem for which the forces were sent. The more dangerous form of terrorism currently evolving in the Middle East is state-sponsored terrorism, or terrorism that is an integral part of a strategy which has both clear political objectives and the backing of sovereign states.
Hence, US forces that confront it will require special training and capabilities. As a result of the bombing of the Marine barracks at the Beirut International Airport on 23 October , this country is devoting considerable attention to the Nevertheless, this paper concentrates on a wider concept-low-intensity conflict-and the special problems it presents, since that form of conflict involves such a great range of challenges for the military, as opposed to the very difficult but more focused challenges of counterterrorism.
Special Characteristics of Low-Intensity Conflict Several characteristics of conflict make them "low-intensity" from the US point of view. The issues that will be involved such a conflict will probably not be "vital" US interests. Vital security interests can be defined in many ways. The fundamental distinction between vital and other interests is that a nation will go to war over the former but not the latter.
In a low-intensity conflict, it is conceivable that a vital interest could be at stake-perhaps access to oil or some specific mineral. However, it would be much more likely that a low-intensity conflict would not center on a vital interest, at least insofar as US involvement was concerned.
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And although the US government might claim that a vital interest is at stake, it would have difficulty convincing the American public and its representatives in Congress that such a condition existed, thus making a declaration of war by the United States impossible. For instance, recent activity in El Salvador and the US involvement there clearly falls into the realm of low- intensity conflict. The United States government is trying to sell an increased level of involvement to the nation on the basis that we are protecting a vital US interest-keeping all of Latin America from succumbing to Soviet-inspired revolutionary movements.
US public opinion has a difficult time believing that what is happening in El Salvador has any direct relevance to this country. It may become necessary and even prudent to defend the notion that US military involvement in small wars may be justified even if a vital US interest is not at stake. The international perception that the United States can and will act militarily in a whole range of ways, from assisting friends to actual intervention to defend an important but not vital interest, is one this country may want to foster in the years ahead. Besides normally involving nonvital US interests, other characteristics of low-intensity conflict distinguish it from the more familiar limited and strategic, conflicts that consume so much of the military's attention and energy.
A low-! The most common type of low-intensity conflict would be a war of insurgency or a limited ;conventional conflict on a scale smaller than Vietnam. US forces would likely be assisting friendly countries rather than managing the conflict unilaterally. By discussing low-intensity conflict in terms of operational responses and limiting parameters time, level of resources involved, geography, and related variables , we have a foundation for a working definition of the term.
That is, low-intensity conflict is a wide range of political-military activity that aims to accomplish limited political and military objectives without resorting to a declaration of war or committing large-scale US forces or nuclear weapons to the fray. The United States can participate in such conflicts in several ways : using military forces in noncombat operations to show support, resolve, or intent; advising and assisting a host government; and intervening with specialized combat forces. Thus in low-intensity conflicts US policymakers can use military forces to accomplish political objectives without using massive resources, and can do so at a controllable level of escalation.
Most US military responses to low-intensity conflict would be drawn from Department of Defense special operations forces. Only when the stage of unilateral intervention had been reached would general purpose forces be employed-and then the primary forces at this time would be marine and naval air resources. The Strategic Air Command's strategic projection force might come into play as well. Operational Terms Relating to Low-Intensity Conflict Two terms, special operations and special air warfare, are often used to describe low-intensity warfare operations in the US Air Force. Both are umbrella terms, as is low-intensity conflict itself.
Special operations is defined in the version of Joint Chiefs of Staff Publication 1 JCS Pub 1 simply as "secondary or supporting operations which may be adjuncts to various other operations and for which no one service is assigned primary responsibility. These operations may be conducted during periods of peace or hostilities.
They may support conventional military operations, or they may be prosecuted independently when the use of conventional forces is either inappropriate or infeasible. Special operations may include unconventional warfare UW , counterterrorist operations, collective security foreign internal defense [FID] , psychological operations, direct action missions, and intelligent strategic and tactical reporting. Especially noteworthy is the idea that special operations may be independent of conventional operations and may include civil affairs Special operations apparently has replaced special air warfare, the latter being an Air Force term referring to the air aspects of counterinsurgency, unconventional warfare, and psychological operations.
This change has two effects : it gives all the US military services the same generic term for special operations and it erodes the idea that air power can play an independent or unique role in special operations. Moreover, this shift in terminology seems to signify an Air Force realization that special air warfare was an outmoded concept. Several specific types special operations of military have been subsumed under the umbrella of special operations, and formerly under special air warfare. For example, unconventional warfare is occasionally used interchangeably with low-intensity conflict or special operations.
It should not be. Unconventional warfare traditionally concerns activities conducted within enemy-held or -controlled territory.
Escape and evasion, sabotage, and other low-visibility operations comprise the other main aspects of unconventional warfare. But because of negative connotations from Vietnam, counterinsurgency has become a nonword in the lexicon of special operations forces. This development represents a significant change, since in the the s counterinsurgency was a discipline separate from unconventional warfare and included all "military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions taken by a government to defeat subversive insurgency.
Western Sahara conflict
Moreover, the Army's new definitions of low- intensity conflict, cited earlier, cover counterinsurgency without using the term by describing low-intensity conflict as operations to "establish, regain, or maintain control of areas threatened by guerrilla warfare, revolution, subversion, or other tactics aimed at internal seizure of power. Then, in theory, the threatened country could handle the threat without US combat forces.
Collective security is now being used to describe that kind of assistance effort. The term collective security in the latest JCS definition of special operations seems to be an acceptable substitute for the Vietnam-era term foreign internal defense FID. The version of JCS Pub 1 defined foreign internal defense as "participation by civilian and military agencies of a government in any of the action programs taken by another government to'free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency.
FID is an extension of the Security Assistance Program, which is often tied to foreign military sales or grant-in-aid programs. The Air Force definition is more narrow and suggests an "air force building" mission in a client country. It also tends to push this mission on to the security assistance program, a Defense Department program that makes it difficult to pinpoint foreign internal defense responsibility and expertise within the Air Force. Assumed in both definitions, however, is the notion that US agencies and armed services must be able to effectively transfer techniques, knowledge, and concepts to the armed forces of other countries to improve their internal and external capabilities.
The final term that invariably crops up when discussing special operations is psychological operations. Most writing on low-intensity conflict includes psychological operations as a discrete discipline, separate from counterinsurgency or unconventional warfare or foreign internal defense.
Psychological operations are designed to influence friendly governments and people to support US national objectives or to have a negative effect on the enemy.
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Such actions can be passive or active and are designed to affect the emotions, attitudes, and behavior of the target population. Psychological warfare should not be considered as a step along an escalatory process going from, for instance, a show of force to military advisors to intervention.
Rather, it is a capability and a resource that must be exploited in any military operation. Therefore, it is not included as a separate entity in figure 3, which shows the kinds of potential US operations involved in low-intensity conflicts. Since it may encompass a vast range of military functions, we must ask: What are the most likely kinds of conflict the United States will be involved in over the next 20 years or so?
It seems inescapable that conflict at the lower end of the conflict spectrum is the most likely form of warfare over the next 20 years. Air Force , one of the many documents projecting the future of conflict, notes that low-level conflict, which spans the political military spectrum from nonviolent political unrest to intense civil war, will frequently threaten US interests. The potential for low-level conflict will increase. The strategic nuclear balance between the superpowers has reached a balance-of-terror level.
Both sides have enormous holdings of nuclear warheads that can be delivered in many ways. Neither side truly comprehends the effects of a large-scale nuclear strike in terms of achievable military goals. Thus, the probability of successfully using nuclear arsenals to achieve policy goals is uncertain enough to make their use unlikely.
However, maintaining a balance in comparative nuclear strength is necessary to ensure that neither side could reduce this uncertainty to a level where initiating a nuclear attack could become a realistic policy option. To a lesser extent, the same sort of standoff exists in the Western European and Korean theaters.
These theaters could be flashpoints for a major nonnuclear or at least initially nonnuclear war. Massive conventional forces, backed up by the threat of nuclear escalation, face each other in the NATO-Warsaw Pact area. This standoff has held for more than 30 years.
The Soviets are facing powerful centrifugal forces in their European empire that will occupy a good deal of their resources and attention in the years ahead. Although these forces may encourage increased Soviet repression in their empire that could increase tension between Moscow and NATO, the balance of forces between the two alliances is such that neither side could be assured of a quick or easy victory. Certainly the balance of forces in Europe and the need to maintain credible deterrent forces to keep the Warsaw Pact at bay in central Europe is a prime policy concern for the United States.
In recent years, the US military has expended vast resources in improving NATO's war-fighting capability, and justifiably so since American and European security, well-being, and cultural values are so closely interwined. South Korea's economy continues to grow rapidly while the North's economy, strangled by defense commitments, continues to stagnate. These factors plus the continued presence of US ground, air, and naval forces suggests that stability rather than war is the likely course of events on that troubled peninsula for the next decade or two.
The fly in the ointment of that projection is the impossibility of forecasting the intentions of North Korea's leader Kim Sung. Kim could well believe that because of his increasing age and the growing relative strength of Seoul vis-a-vis Pyongyang he should make one last attempt to unite the peninsula under his control. Possible political instability in Seoul, brought on by the repressive tendencies of the current South Korean regime, may provide an opportunity for Kim, although he was either unwilling or unable to exploit such a situation when President Park Chung Hee was assassinated in December However, even assuming a strong North Korean desire to unite the Koreans by force, the deterrence posed by the formidable South Korean military, backed up by considerable US force, should make conflict in Korea only slightly more likely than a NATO-Warsaw Pact war for the next 20 years.
The standoff situation that exists in Europe and Korea seems unlikely to change significantly in the years ahead. US and allied forces have spent vast resources on materials, strategic planning, and tactical readiness to ensure that the standoff endures. The interests of both the United States and the USSR are well served if conflicts that could threaten either country's vital national interests, which theoretically could lead to a nuclear exchange, are avoided.
This being so, the area where the United States and USSR will likely be competing in the future will be among the lesser-developed countries of the third world, especially in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East. The third world will be an area of contention for the superpowers for many reasons. Economic factors, however, tend to dominate any discussion as to why the third world is and will be important to the United States.
With the growing interdependence of the world economies, greater volumes of raw materials and finished goods move among nations than ever before. Because disruptions can have a direct impact on American and allied economies, the need to apply force to maintain the flow may be required. A related fact is that heavy industries are moving outside the industrialized democracies. The United States and Western Europe may well be on their way into a postindustrial revolution that will see increasing emphasis on high- 12 In the last decade, more than 90 percent of new basic industrial capacity such as steel and aluminum plants has been built outside the United States.
The United States and the Western Sahara Peace Process
The United States may have to apply force to guarantee access to the materials American industry needs and to ensure access to oil and strategic minerals as well. Military force will certainly be part of any program designed to assure access to resources abroad. Economic issues and potential conflicts over access to resources and industrial capacity must be considered in terms of the political realities in the third world.
The demands of population growth, rising expectations fueled by the explosion in mass communications, and the difficulty of satisfying basic human needs is already stretching the resources of many third world countries. Political instability in many of these countries will be likely as governments fail to meet the demands of their people; this instability could range between uncontrolled migrations resulting from famines and violent internal attempts to change governments.
The Soviet Union and its proxies will likely be involved either as instigators or supporters of revolutionary movements or, in the case of Soviet proxies, as actual participants in such movements. The weapons available to even small revolutionary groups, to third world military organizations in general, and to Soviet proxy forces will make participation by US forces or US client states especially difficult. Sophisticated arms have been flowing to the third world from the United States, USSR, and other arms producers for years. Even though most third world countries have not developed the techniques and infrastructure to fully use the weapons they have obtained, the mere presence in third world forces of quality aircraft, tanks, artillery, and surface-to-air missiles SAMs makes the potential destructive capability very great.
Highly capable SAMs are now available to even the smallest insurgent organization and can be used to great effect in third world conflicts. Thus, it seems that a combination of factors will make low-intensity conflict a very likely phenomenon in the years ahead. Preparing for a wide range of conflict in the third world would be a prudent plan for the United States. Dealing with Future Conflict In a speech to the Air Force Long-Range Planning Conference, Congressman Newt Gingrich, a distinguished scholar as well as a legislator, spoke of four hierarchical layers of decision making and planning relating to conflict.
He suggested that military art is related to vision and strategy while operations and tactics are oriented to military science. He further suggested that 1 3 Representative Gingrich used the example of Vietnam to illustrate his concept. In his view, the North Vietnamese won at the vision and strategy level; we won at the operational and tactical level. The congressman suggested that we need to focus on small wars at all four levels of this hierarchy if we are to survive in the years ahead.
Yet little is written about the "vision" and the "strategy" of the United States for the future in any context, and especially so in the context of low-intensity conflict or small wars. At the most prosaic level, a vision that makes some sense for the United States in the context of low-intensity conflict is to assume that as a nation we may need to be able to impose our will selectively in the third world during the next 20 years and beyond. The volatility of the newly developing countries will be such that disruptions to lines of supply coupled with the vulnerability of key areas to Soviet or Soviet-proxy influence will require a US response.
The only hint we in the military have that such a vision for small wars exists is the fact that high-level directives such as the Defense Guidance require the military to prepare to fight all across the conflict spectrum. Vision must come from the highest leadership level in the government. For example, it was John F. Kennedy who stated so clearly that the United States was going to fight communist insurgencies-wars of national liberation- whenever required. For an hour or so. Two to three times per week. And that's it. You get all the benefits of the aerobic exercises like running, biking, swimming, etc.
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Found in 2 ms. Translation memories are created by human, but computer aligned, which might cause mistakes. They come from many sources and are not checked. Be warned When scientists first reported that in intensive exercises, the body burns glycogen, that is a type of stored carbohydrates kept in your liver and muscles for energy, and through low intensive exercises, the body burns excess fat, everybody all of a sudden changes their exercise routines to do low-intensity exercises to lose excess fat.
Results: In the low intensity shock wave treatment group and the sham group These types of exercises will leave you speaking in short sentences while sweating and breathing rapidly. Efficacy of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound treatment for surgically managed fresh diaphyseal fractures of the lower extremity: multi-center retrospective cohort study ItomanMulti-center clinical trial on low-intensity pulse ultrasound for delayed union and pseudarthrosis. Low intensity extracorporeal shock wave therapy is a new treatment modality for ED.
The efficacy of this technique using various types of energy electrohydraulic, electromagnetic or piezoelectric , several protocols and devices has already been published. XSD Sand Washer. The efficient sand washing machine of XSD series is a kind of cleaning equipment of international advanced level for sand and slag pellets, developed on the basis of introducing foreign outstanding technology of the same kind of products.
August U. Low Intensity Outpatient Program The Low Intensity Outpatient program is designed for clients who are in the early stages of change or those who are not yet ready to commit to full recovery. The client will understand the compromises and changes needed to be made for recovery. Low-intensity Conflict. By Type. All Authors. Indeed, after the Polisario' s brief but highly effective occupa- tion of that city, Morocco's political parties demanded a parliamentary meeting to discuss the Sahara issue.
By early March, the king publicly admitted that the situation was not getting better, and he announced the formation of a new national council on security comprised of a surprisingly wide range of the political spectrum. He also reorganized the FAR, replacing its commander for the southern provinces. In the meantime, they harassed the communication lines between Tan-Tan, Tarfaya, and El Aaiun so effectively that the latter henceforth had to be supplied by sea. After various other tactical successes, on August 24, a Polisario column scored a major victory against the Moroccan Third Armored Division near Leboirat.
Caught by surprise, the Mo- roccans offered relatively little resistance, and many abandoned their posts and equipment. They suffered over 1, casualties and had more than prisoners taken, whom the Polisario subsequently displayed — along with the materiel they had seized— before the international press.
The division also lost 37 T tanks in the encounter, and 77 Moroccan soldiers were subsequently charged with cowardice or negligence. At the strategic level, however, the Polisario failed in its objective for southern Morocco of bringing the FAR out of their footholds in Wadi al-Dhahab. The attackers 43 managed to penetrate the defensive parameter and free some Sahrawi prisoners before Moroccan air attacks with F-l Mirages forced the Polisario forces to withdraw.
On their way back to bases in Algeria, the Polisario attacked and briefly occupied Mahbes, de- stroying Moroccan military installations there. In the wake of these successes, the Polisario leadership de- cided to intensify its attacks, including operations in Moroccan territory north of the Draa River and east of Tarfaya. In short, Morocco's predicament was becom- ing serious, and its military leaders believed that they would not be able to defeat the Polisario definitively without pursuing its forces into Algeria, which was not possible.
For this reason, Morocco made a major strategic shift. At the same time, the Moroccans formed well-armed and supplied motorized columns "flying columns" meant for rapid, simultaneous operations in the unoccupied territories. The Moroc- cans also made at least some use of the traditional COIN technique of reconcentration, removing the Polisario-friendly civilian population from Saac in order to separate the insurgents from a source of support.
As the position of its strategic ally Morocco be- came more precarious, the United States increased its military support. Morocco began to receive much larger amounts of foreign aid beginning in , when the FAR appeared especially threatened by the Sahrawi insurgents. France and the United States sup- plied much of the materiel, while Saudi Arabia pro- vided generous financing. The French also helped in the areas of training and intelligence, drawing from their previous experiences in the Sahara.
During the Ronald Reagan presidency , U. Indeed, the Reagan administration made it clear in a number of ways that it saw strategic value in aiding Morocco in its war against the Polisa- rio. Joseph Reed, a friend of King Hassan, became the only noncareer U. After Polisario forces with heavy armor and sophisti- cated weaponry inflicted a damaging attack at Galtah Zammur and brought down several Moroccan planes in October , Central Intelligence Agency CIA di- rector William Casey personally delivered a request for support from King Hassan to Reagan.
Numer- 45 ous meetings between U. Bush and then U. By , well over U. Air Force trained Moroccan pilots in missile countermea- sures, evasion, and other relevant techniques. In ad- dition, the Moroccans received assistance in finding the positions of Polisario-operated SA-6s, although the FAR does not appear to have made effective use of this intelligence. A group of American advisors was also sent to train a battalion-sized unit to carry out special operations against Polisario SA-6 positions. It is likely that U. The recognition of the useful triangle as a strategic center of gravity would eventually serve as the starting point for the development of a new strategy of static defense, 46 but overall, the flying columns proved largely ineffec- tive.
Indeed, the FAR failed to cleanse the target areas' guerrilla activity, establish dominance over the Polisa- rio forces, or even damage them significantly. Thus, the initiative remained with the Polisario. At the operational and tactical levels, major short- comings included the lack of flexibility in the levels of command below the king, which had become stan- dard after the failed coups of the earlys. When a field commander under attack requested air sup- port, he had to go through Rabat.
The subsequent de- lay gave Polisario forces time to carry out raids and then withdraw before the power could be brought to bear. It is telling that the Royal Gendarmerie, which policed the military on the king's behalf, counted bul- lets before and after training exercises. Strategically, the Moroccans still attempted to hold too much ter- ritory.
Although the size of the Moroccan army had increased dramatically, it could not effectively defend and supply as widely as its strategists had hoped, and the overextension made tactical weaknesses and logistical problems very apparent. Given the need to avoid open war with Algeria and the conditions in which it had to fight, the Moroccan armed forces were incapable of defeating such a determined enemy as the Polisario.
After the failure of the attack columns, Morocco ad- opted a clear-and-hold strategy based on the construc- tion of a series of well-defended barriers, or berms, known colloquially as "the Berm," "the Wall," or, to Polisario sympathizers, "the Wall of Shame. With the completion of all 1, miles of barrier, Mo- rocco would gain control of over 80 percent of West- ern Sahara, making the project "the largest functional military barrier in the world.
This meant that Morocco initially renounced control over much of the territory, especially in the south not in- cluding the population centers of Dakhla and Aargub in the former Spanish bay of Rio de Oro, where the FAR maintained significant garrisons. In , work began on another phase in the Berm construction, employing some 30, Moroccan soldiers. Here the location of the new wall appears to have been largely political: by dividing the Sahara right at the corner border with Mauritania, Morocco may have endeav- ored to force the Polisario to tread on Mauritanian soil when launching attacks in the south, thereby implicat- 48 ing Mauritania in the conflict.
Further Berm construc- tion continued in southward pattern, eventually cut- ting the Polisario territory off from the Atlantic coast. The soldiers were de- ployed either in frontal positions or in bases to the rear, armed with artillery and from which rapid reac- tion forces were to emerge if the wall were breached.
Operationally, regional commanders enjoyed more autonomy than before, including the ability to call in and receive more timely support. Although relatively small penetrations were not difficult, large-scale at- tacks were more problematic. Once they had detected a breach, the FAR could block the entry point and then attack the trapped Polisario forces with ground and air power. Just the construction of the sixth wall, for instance, en- tailed personnel needs of between 10, and 15, men and the creation of a mechanized regiment, an airborne battalion, six infantry battalions, two artil- lery groups, a sapper battalion, and a transportation battalion.
Even long after the declaration of the cease- fire in , the Berm remains the largest minefield in the world; since , the UN Mission for the Referen- dum in Western Sahara MINURSO has coordinated the removal of mines — a task in which both Morocco and the Polisario Front have pledged to assist. The combat that did take place was increasingly attritional in nature. In September , for example, Polisario forces consisting of five mechanized battalions and two armored battalions with more than 50 tanks at- tacked the first wall near Samara along a km front, and the ensuing battle acquired a markedly conven- tional character.
The August Treaty of Uxda between Morocco and Libya pro- voked a strong reaction from Algeria, which strongly criticized the "unnatural" nature of the agreement between the traditionalist Moroccan monarchy and Ghaddafi's revolutionary regime and quickly became the Polisario' s largest supplier of arms. Thereafter, as the Moroccan strate- gic aim of enclosing most of Western Sahara became clear, the ELPS increased its offensive operations.
As the Moroccans had planned, however, the Polisario forces now had to employ the kind of direct, costly, and concentrated attacks that they had previously sought to avoid. The Moroccans generally preferred to respond to Polisario attacks with firepower alone, declining to abandon the protection afforded by the defensive barriers. Indeed, on the occasions when they have done so, the Moroccans suffered heavy losses. Foreign military presence continued on both sides through the s, including Cuban and 25 North Korean technical advisors in Polisario training 50 camps in Tinduf, and French and Israeli advisors with Moroccan military forces.
One of the most damaging, carried out in late-February near the border area near El Farsi, illustrates typical Polisario tactics against the Berm defenses. The immediate area was defended by only two small garrisons, manned by 80 and 50 Mo- roccan soldiers, respectively. The Polisario column approached the Berm under the cover of night, avoid- ing detection by the defenders. In the first phase, two mechanized battalions attacked, followed by an assault by a tank battalion.
This method followed the general pattern of such operations: simultaneous attacks, one primary and one secondary, against two contiguous, mutually supporting defensive positions. The initial aim was to fix and hold the Moroccan defensive posi- tions, thereby permitting mechanized and armored el- ements to break through to the other side of the Berm. There they awaited the arrival of the Moroccan rapid reaction force, which they ambushed with great effec- tiveness when it arrived. Another Polisario motorized battalion provided logistical support and transported captured materiel and prisoners to the rear.
In this case, the magnitude of the FAR defeat was so great that Hassan II solicited a report from the general in charge of the southern provinces that evening. The report attributed the Moroccan debacle to a failure in intelligence, a lack of anti-tank weapons, and weak- nesses in the armored intervention detachment. To make matters worse for the FAR, the soldiers in their garrisons fre- quently appeared to lack a strong fighting spirit. The Polisario learned that it could sometimes forgo fron- tal attacks; infiltrating through unguarded areas and then surrounding FAR positions might be all it took to make them surrender.
But by this point, neither side saw a resolution through military force as a viable possibility. Many Sahrawis express negative opinions about MINURSO — tasked with monitoring the ceasefire and 52 organizing and conducting a referendum — charging that it does little to stop abuses or break free of close Moroccan supervision and monitoring of its activities. Nonetheless, the ceasefire continues to hold.
After the ceasefire, Morocco and the Polisario both made intense use of diplomatic and international public relations endeavors, although, in general, Mo- rocco made scant attempts to win Sahrawi hearts and minds. The UN, most visibly in the figure of envoy James Baker, exerted considerable efforts trying to re- solve the conflict. In June , the UN Secretary Gen- eral's proposed framework agreement, known as the Baker Plan, called for elected executive and legisla- tive bodies and much local control in Western Sahara, with a referendum on the status of the territory to be held within 5 years.
After this proposal failed to gain sufficient support from the interested parties Mo- rocco, the Polisario, Mauritania, and Algeria , Baker proposed a compromise in January , sometimes referred to as Baker Plan II, which was incorporated into the Secretary General's report of May 23, It did not require the consent of the four parties of Bak- er Plan I and gave voters in a future referendum the choice between integration with Morocco, autonomy, 53 or independence.
The Polisario, under pressure from Algeria, made the surprising announcement that it would support the proposal, but Morocco rejected it. In addition, Rabat wanted to negotiate only with Algeria, but the latter insisted that it could not substitute for the Sahrawis. The is- sue of who should vote in any referendum has also been a major obstacle to successful negotiations, as the different parties interpret census figures and the role settlers should play differently, and neither side has wanted to risk a referendum it might lose.
With Baker Plan II, however, the Polisario apparently thought in- dependence was worth the risk, whereas Rabat may have feared that it had lost support among the Moroc- can settlers, especially those of ethnic Sahrawi back- ground who had moved to the territory in the s. The Polisario's insistence on full independence and Morocco's refusal to consider this option have also re- mained a significant hindrance.
In the fall of that year, President George W. The situation of the refugees, while not as dire as in many of the world's camps for displaced people, remained a major concern even after the ceasefire. Ac- cording to a study by ACNUR, the World Food Programme, and Medicos del Mundo, malnutrition af- fected 61 percent of children and 55 percent of women in the camps, contributing to high fetal death rates.
There are also problems with the quality and quan- tity of water available in the camps, which are subject to disastrous flooding during periods of high rain. In fact, even after recent kidnappings, Spanish aid work- ers expressed a desire to remain and help alleviate the situation— warning that their absence would contrib- ute to further economic hardship, in turn making the camps more vulnerable to radical movements. Thanks to the extensive system of bilingual schools Arabic and Spanish and further education opportunities made available to Sahrawis over the years in Cuba and, to a lesser extent, in Al- geria, Libya, Syria, the former Eastern Bloc countries, and even Spain, West Germany, and Austria, the ed- ucational level of the camps' residents is very high.
In the field of health care, supplies may be short, but knowledge is not. The Tindouf camps have one doctor for every , residents, and in the unoccupied territory, Polisario-run clinics and military hospitals have also provided care to nomads from Mauritania, Algeria, and Mali. Sahrawis who work abroad also send funds to family members in the camps. A major source of support for Western Saharans is the Vacaciones en Paz Vacation in Peace program, which sponsors 2-month summer visits each year by thou- sands of Western Saharan children between 8 and 12 years old to families in Spain and, to a lesser ex- tent, Italy and France.
The Spaniards in turn often visit these children and their families in the camps, bringing financial assistance when they come. Since , a market economy has sprouted in the camps, which now host many small businesses such as Inter- net and telephone cafes locutorios , hair salons, and small shops catering to residents and visitors alike, and enterprising Sahrawis have learned to profit by importing various goods from abroad. Even researchers sympathetic to the Polisa- rio note that treatment of dissidents has been harsh, especially during the high point of the war with Morocco. These researchers write of purges of those considered dangerous to the "revolution" and of Sahrawis who promote "tribalism.
According to a Human Rights Watch report, "The Polisario ef- fectively marginalizes those who directly challenge its leadership or general political orientation, but it does not imprison them. It allows residents to criticize its day-to-day administration of camp affairs. The Gendarmerie, with its more military structure and jurisdiction over transportation routes, is tasked with countering smuggling and — one would assume — more recent threats of penetration by terrorists and criminal organizations.
Cuba has sponsored study by thousands of young Sahrawis in secondary schools, universities, technical institutes, and military academies. Upon their return to Western Sahara, many experienced a sort of reverse culture shock, wondering how to put their education to use in the desert and feeling constrained by many aspects of traditional Sahrawi society. Saharan women who had studied in Cuba, for example, found themselves stereotyped as promiscuous, and people began to joke that the male and female cubarauis as a whole consti- tuted a new Saharan tribe with its own identity.
Re- turnees from Cuba figure prominently among the new generation of Sahrawi elite, who question the domi- nance and ways of the traditional Polisario leadership without renouncing its cause. As one would expect, in the sphere of public relations, Morocco has done its best to extract the maximum possible gain from these cases. On more than a few occasions, the principal motives of these people, dis- missed as opportunistic traitors by the Polisario, were undoubtedly financial; Morocco offered attractive in- centives to those Sahrawis who publicly denounced the Polisario.
In other cases, however, the situation was not so clear-cut. Some Sahrawis seem to have concluded, albeit reluctantly, that the Polisario' s stra- tegic goal of full independence was no longer realistic, 58 seeing some sort of autonomy statute as the best they could hope for. Others claim that they became turned off by the Polisario's intransigence and unwillingness to consider opposing views.
Mohammed VI established the reconciliation com- mittee in to shed light on the issue of forced dis- appearances and arbitrary detentions from the period of , when Morocco gained independence, through After 2 years of work, the committee issued a re- port with its findings on disappearances, the ma- jority of which were related to the Sahara. According to the report, all had ended in death— either in captiv- ity, in clashes with Moroccan forces, or because of ex- cessively violent actions against demonstrations.
But as Amnesty International reports, the government has not published the list of names, and some cases involving Sahrawis remain in process. The last great wave of disappearances occurred in November , coinciding roughly with a visit by a UN technical mis- sion. These large-scale detentions by Moroccan au- thorities acquired a permanent character; many lasted until June , when over of the "disappeared" Sahrawis were released. The former detainees have spoken of clandestine prisons, harsh conditions, and 59 physical and psychological abuse while in Moroccan custody. With the me- diation of U.
Many had been held captive by the Polisario since the lates, and they subsequently spoke of harsh conditions, abuse, forced labor, and being paraded before visiting journalists and Spanish tourists by the Polisario. In many cases, Morocco re- fused to accept the former prisoners upon their release because Rabat would not recognize the Polisario. The return of these prisoners was thus delayed by years, until diplomats from the United States and Argentina forcibly repatriated them.
Al- though the record does not look so bad compared with that of other regimes in North Africa and the Middle East, it is not a country of ample political freedom — improvements since the coronation of Mohammed VI in , notwithstanding. As Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have noted, the regime has traditionally shown no toleration for opposing views in three areas: the monarchy, Islam, and the ter- ritorial integrity of the kingdom.
The latter, of course, pertains directly to the Western Sahara question. A Freedom House report from categorized Western Sahara to be one of the 21 most repressive societies in the world. In a report, Human Rights Watch noted that the Moroccan government's methods were especially harsh in Western Sahara, where Sahrawis 60 were arrested or imprisoned for peaceful defense of self-determination, while politically motivated travel restrictions increased.
State Department's April report on human rights refers to "arbitrary and unlawful killings" by Moroccan government se- curity officials, "unconfirmed reports of politically motivated disappearance," and "credible reports that security forces engage in torture, beatings, and other mistreatment of detainees," especially Sahrawi separatist activists.
Concurrently, freedom of expression about the monarchy and other subjects in Morocco increased during this period, although peri- odicals that offended the monarchy were eventually shut down, some only reemerging very recently as online publications. Critics charge that the constitution calls for scant meaningful reforms, leaving the king's privileg- es and the traditional system of patronage and clien- telism largely untouched.
Although it has had to spend enormous amounts of money in military and security costs and infrastructure, the regime has reaped at least some economic gain for its efforts. For 61 example, fishing is among the most profitable West- ern Saharan natural resources, as evidenced by the sardine canning facilities at El Aaiun, which employ more than 1, people. Waters off the Western Saha- ran coast generate more than 60 percent of Morocco's fishing activities and revenues, creating more than 50, jobs.
Yet, many Sahrawis complain that they have gained little from these investments, which they say primarily benefit the Moroccan settlers and people with good political connections. Ties between the fish- ing industry, high military figures, and people near to the throne are close. For example, Imazighen Berbers from the Sus and the Anti- Atlas, who often work as merchants, operate many of the cafes, shops, and hotels in the Western Sahara. But they keep their permanent homes elsewhere, where they often send their income. Un- employment is officially 25 percent in the region, but it may, in fact, be twice that.
In fact, the roots of recent violent confrontations at El Aaiun in November , disturbing footage of which has been disseminated on YouTube, lay in popular anger over the embezzlement 62 of land designated for indigenous Sahrawis. On the other hand, the nomination of a new wali of the region within weeks of the riots indicates that the monarchy had taken the causes of the protests seriously.
During the late-Spanish period, they fueled youthful resentment against colonial authorities and their col- laborators, and thereafter they contributed to what are known as the intifadas of and Other causes of these generally nonviolent popular protests were cultural, such as the belief that Morocco aims to eradicate Sahrawi culture, linguistic and otherwise. It does not help that soldiers make up about one-third of the Moroccan population of Western Sahara, not counting the various kinds of police, state security, and intelligence personnel.
The intifada of late took place at least in part for the benefit of the international community, occur- ring as it did after the death of Hassan II, when the initial weeks after the takeover by his son, Moham- med, seemed to promise democratic reform. The intifada occurred in the wake of the growing realiza- 63 tion by Sahrawis that Polisario diplomacy had not managed to persuade the heavy-hitting outside pow- ers especially the United States to withdraw their customary support for the Moroccan position; receiv- ing little help from Washington for his efforts.
Baker had resigned in June Significantly, the popular demonstrations apparently occurred, at least in part, outside the control of the Polisario leadership, sug- gesting that young people were rejecting the approach of some of the traditional Sahrawi elites. Many lead- ing organizers of the demonstrations, however, had reportedly spent long periods in Moroccan prisons. The first in- tifada, which began with dozens of students organiz- ing a sit-in, setting up tents, and occupying a square in front of a hotel where many UN personnel stayed, provoked a Moroccan reaction of "excessive violence," in the words of a U.
State Department employee. The government's direction reversed itself, however, after the terrorist bombings in Casablanca on May 16, , when it again clamped down on some Sahrawi activists, along with the Islamists who made up the primary targets of the crackdown. A low point in the Moroccan response to the second intifada occurred in October , when security forces publicly beat a Sahrawi demonstrator to death, making him the inti- fada's first martyr.
Predictably, his funeral in January was a massive, although silent, demonstration. When the activist Aminatou Haidar was then released from prison, crowds responded with open demonstra- tions of support for SADR, with some demonstrators 64 sporting Palestinian-style headscarves in apparent at- tempts of provocation. First, some ethnic Sahrawis living in parts of Morocco and poor Moroccans in Western Sahara joined the demonstrations against the Moroccan authorities and the status quo.
Indeed, some of the settlers may have become so dissatisfied with Rabat with time that they came to favor the Polisario's position. The Internet and mobile phones have radically changed the playing field. Given the forced separation of so many families and friends between the refugee camps and on both sides of the Berm, it is hardly surprising that Sahrawis learned to make good use of the Internet. In ways that foreshad- owed the Arab Spring, the Internet and mobile phones enabled the coordination of demonstrations and the recording of images for political purposes, and their role in protests in and thereafter shows that their importance has only increased in the meantime.
Worrisome elements from the Sahel have shown some signs of attempting to infiltrate the refugee camps and West- ern Sahara. These include the drug trade with links to South America and Islamist terrorist organiza- tions. In , Mali arrested six major drug traffickers 65 linked to a criminal gang with ties to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb AQIM , and the Malians identified the arrestees as "coming from the ranks of the Polisa- rio Front. An AQIM splinter faction eventually claimed respon- sibility, although the circumstances and authors of the kidnappings remain unclear.
This abduction reportedly resulted in the payment of an enormous ransom by Madrid and the freeing of Omar Sid' Ahmed Ould Hamma, also known as Omar the Sahrawi, who was reportedly a former member of the Polisario hierarchy. Morocco has drawn as much attention as possible to these al- leged connections between the Polisario and terror- ism. The few known instances of cooperation between Sahrawis and AQIM apparently stemmed from finan- cial rather than ideological motives.
The alleged mercenary work by some Sahrawis for Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi during his last days, to which Morocco was quick to draw attention, probably stemmed mostly from financial motives. Nevertheless, given the conditions in the massive camps and the younger generation's lack of hope for a better future, it would be most surprising if radical Is- lamist ideology found no converts whatsoever. In any case, terrorist or- ganizations will undoubtedly try to gain a foothold in the Western Sahara if at all possible, as they now do in northern Mali. There, three organizations, AQIM, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, and Ansar al Din, have combined forces since January to attempt to impose an ultra-strict observance of Islamic law that runs counter to the region's tradition- ally more tolerant and open practices.
At the most basic level, the U. Army should make better use of the military history of Western Sa- hara as a source of relevant and concrete knowledge, in particular with regard to the role of fortified walls the Berm in COIN, static defense strategy in general, and guerrilla tactics of possible relevance to future irregular operations. As we have seen, modern U. In an age of rapid dissemination of news from the battlefront, tactical successes such as those inflicted by the Polisario against the Berm can have strategic and grand strategic significance, especially 67 in the theater of public opinion.
Moreover, in a future conflict in the area with more direct involvement by the United States and more extensive media coverage, the overall impact of tactical developments would be deeper. Even the authoritarian regime in Rabat, which has more control over the dissemination of news than a democratic government does, had to overcome po- litical difficulties stemming from tactical defeats at the hands of the Polisario. The tactical and operational aspects of the Polisario war and their relationship to strategy, covered previ- ously, still need further study by military historians and analysts.
Although the Berm-based strategy of static defense enabled Morocco to gain control of much of Western Sahara, it did not bring with it a decisive de- feat of the enemy. Given the likelihood that any future U. In addition, learning more about the military history of the conflict could help military planners gain a better idea of what to expect in future desert conflicts, especially of this type in this region.
The Western Sahara experience re- minds us that desert geography can still facilitate suc- cessful guerrilla operations, and the U. Army should make sure it has up-to-date and complete knowledge of the physical and human geography of the area at its disposal. Army should learn more about the Mo- roccan military and prepare for the possibility of more joint operations with it, drawing from the historical 68 lessons mentioned previously and an in-depth study of the FAR today. Given Morocco's importance for current AFRICOM issues, including terrorist threats from the Sahel and other potential sources of politi- cal instability, it makes sense to focus more on mili- tary forces with which the United States may soon cooperate more closely.
As we have seen, limitations imposed from the top have historically hindered operational effectiveness, mission command on the ground, and air-land cooperation and coordination in the Moroccan military. In some cases, there may be some hesitation from above to give commanders too much leeway with U. In the unlikely event that war were to break out again involving the Western Sahara, Morocco, and Algeria, U.
As this monograph has attempted to demonstrate, the history of the region also makes clear the importance of cultural knowledge and effective civil affairs work, intelligence analysis, geographical constraints, and fa- miliarity with classical guerrilla methods in Western Sahara — with its specific set of human and physical geographical circumstances. At the policy level, the strategic importance of Morocco to the United States, long a fundamental te- net of U. Yet, the Western Sahara prob- lem and related Moroccan affairs, however vital to the legitimacy and stability of the U.
In the economic sphere, natural resources in the region such as hydrocarbons and phosphate may prove important to the United States over the long term, but at present, gas supplies and security-related issues of terrorism, the drug trade, and immigration are of more direct concern to Europe. Hence, Europe should lead mediation efforts. Moreover, some powers, such as France, are likely to react badly if the United States acts unilaterally to exert pressure on Morocco. Yet, the United States still has a crucial, if some- what less visible, role to play in resolving the West- ern Sahara problem.
Above all, Washington should consider ways in which to leverage European powers, especially France and Spain, to take more decisive ac- tions to solve current problems in the region. If left alone, the situation will probably de- teriorate, and a regime change in Morocco might well signify strategic disaster for the United States. Hence, while it may be most appropriate for European coun- tries to implement directly some of the recommenda- tions that follow, the United States should explore ways to encourage the relevant governments to act accordingly.
The United States should continue to monitor closely the security situation in Western Sahara and its possible relationship to developments in the Sahel, co- 70 operating with Moroccan intelligence collection agen- cies but working to curtail their repressive practices.