Successful counterinsurgency requires getting insurgents to switch sides. Former insurgents provide an invaluable source of information on their previous colleagues, and can ultimately cause momentum to shift toward counterinsurgent forces. This document examines reintegrating mid- and low-level insurgents into their local communities in Afghanistan and outlines steps to facilitate that reintegration process. The author discusses the factors that increase the likelihood of reintegrating fighters and the key options for fighters as they consider reintegration. Finally, he outlines operational and tactical steps that should be taken when insurgents consider reintegration.
The research described in this report was prepared for the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity. The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Occasional paper series. RAND occasional papers may include an informed perspective on a timely policy issue, a discussion of new research methodologies, essays, a paper presented at a conference, or a summary of work in progress. All RAND occasional papers undergo rigorous peer review to help ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.