Army manual: Focus on root causes critical

May 6, 2009 at 5:49 PM

WASHINGTON, May 6 (UPI) -- A new U.S. Army field manual calls on troops to address an insurgency's root problems and suggests military solutions alone cannot solve them.

The Army has formally released its new field manual addressing the latest policy and strategic objectives for combat units to counter insurgencies around the world.

"Tactics in Counterinsurgency" was released following an abrupt removal from circulation at the beginning of April, according to Secrecy News, a project of the Federation of American Scientists.

The manual says that a military solution alone is not the answer to defeating an insurgency. Instead, the guidebook directs troops to address the underlying issues that spark an insurgency, including widespread unemployment, oppressive leadership, ethical tensions and other root causes.

"At its heart, a counterinsurgency is an armed struggle for the support of the population," the field manual says.

"This support can be achieved or lost through information engagement, strong representative government, access to goods and services, fear or violence. This armed struggle also involves eliminating insurgents who threaten the safety and security of the population."

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