New counterinsurgency manual can benefit police, other 1st responders

Submitted by PoliceOne Columnist Raymond Foster

"Learn" and "adapt" are the key messages of the new Army and Marine Corps Counterinsurgency Field Manual, which just hit the streets. The Counterinsurgency Field Manual, FM 3-24 and Marine Corps Warfighting Publication 3-33.5, is a unique joint effort between the Army and Marines to put in place doctrine to help operators as they face the challenges of asymmetric warfare.

The manual codifies an important lesson of insurgencies: it takes more than the military to win. First responders, police, fire and EMS are part of the overall response, especially to any homegrown insurgency, or terrorist movements.

"There are more than just lethal operations involved in a counterinsurgency campaign," said Conrad Crane, director of the U.S. Army Military History Institute, in Carlisle, Pa., and one of the leaders of the effort.

He said the team working on the manual decided early on to emphasize the interagency aspect of counterinsurgency fights. "The military is only one piece of the puzzle," Crane said. "To be successful in a counterinsurgency, you have to get contributions from a lot of different agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and host-nation organizations. There are so many people involved to make counterinsurgency successful."

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About the author

About the Author

Lt Raymond E. Foster, LAPD (ret.), MPA is author of Police Technology (Prentice Hall, July 2004), and co-author of Leadership: Texas Hold ‘em Style (Quill Driver Books, August 2006), From NYPD to LAPD: An Introduction to Policing (Prentice Hall, July 2007), over fifty articles on technology, policing, leadership and terrorism and a dozen educational Web sites like Raymond can be reached at or through his blog.

About ITT Night Vision's Sponsorship of this Column

ITT Night Vision is sponsoring this column in order to facilitate information sharing across law enforcement around this important topic and to support law enforcement in their efforts to secure the homeland and better prepare for and respond to acts of terrorism.

Every year, ITT Night Vision partners with various associations in support of the law enforcement community, including the IACP/ITT Community Policing Awards, the Police Officer Safety Technology (POST) program within IACP/SACOP, and the Patrol and Tactical Operations Committee (PTO) also within the IACP. These efforts range from regional sponsorships of K-9 and SWAT team competitions to national and international sponsorships of programs.

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