Military Police


Military Police contains information about military police functions in maneuver and mobility support, area security, law and order, internment/resettlement, and police intelligence operations.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 18 of 55

MILITARY POLICE . 19-14-1 17 According to Army doctrine, centers of gravity in a complex operational environment can be either physical or moral. Whereas physical centers of gravity are easier to identify and are singularly affected by military means, moral centers of gravity are "intangible and more diffcult to infuence." 10 A strong-willed populace is an example of a moral center of gravity. Through the identifcation of the center of gravity, planners are well on the way to applying operational art to the human domain. 11 The center of gravity is identical to the desired core of legitimacy of the irregular opposing force. Subsequent efforts should be applied to decision points and the classifcation of lines of operation and effort. Part Two: Opposing-Force "Ways" There are multitudes of ways that hybrid threat actors can exert control over the populace within the human domain. Ultimately, locals may actively or passively support the efforts of hybrid threat actors. 12 Motivations may vary, but can generally be aligned along hierarchical need. For example, the motivation could be related to fnances (receipt of payments or benefts), security (receipt of physiological or safety needs), or ethnic or religious issues (receipt of social needs). 13 There are numerous examples of overlap between the need defciencies of the populace and the need fulfllment by hybrid threat actors. Human biological and physiological needs are vital. Where the state fails to provide basic physiological services, other actors step in. For instance, in the Dominican Republic, community organizations, churches, and other nongovernmental organizations temporarily flled the gap between physiological populace needs and state-provided services. However, criminal organizations with the necessary funds and resources have recently begun to fll the vacuum left by repeated state failures. 14 One way for groups to obtain money is through resource or commodity sales. In southern Afghanistan, the opium trade is rich. The Taliban offers loans to farmers who agree to grow poppies to meet production quotas. These agreements provide farmers with work and a means to sustain their families. However, under this salaam system, farmers "presell their crops at planting time at a price that was lower than its market value at harvest," ultimately "[trapping] thousands of poor farm families into a crippling debt cycle." 15 Although the Taliban helps farmers meet the biological need to minimally provide for their families, it also holds the farmers captive for future exploitation. This is a common example of insurgent civic interaction and support of criminal enterprise profting. While the salaam system may meet an essential need and serve as an effective means of control, it is not the best means of gaining legitimacy. Security, law and order, and stability are necessities for the human condition. To illustrate, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia is best known for what it is today—a terrorist organization and transnational, organized-criminal syndicate; however, it "got its start like modern-day Robin Hoods, protecting rural peasants from the excesses of a corrupt government." 16 Protection is only one of the components. The establishment of a governing structure to supplant the state is another, more effective component. When successful, this approach garners great populace support. For instance, the Haqqani network furnished shadow organizations to provide minimal state functions, such as dispute resolution, Figure 1. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Fisher.1.indd 19 3/21/2014 12:49:20 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Military Police - SPRING 2014