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“Bobbies”, COIN, and 4GW

Zenpundit had a post recently were he recounts:

However, I was most intrigued by a sociologist who was recounting the evolution of CAPS, which is Chicago’s community policing program. In essence, CAPS is COIN doctrine carried out by civil agencies. Anyone who has read John Nagl or David Kilcullen or follows the tenets of the 4GW school, will immediately recognize the premises of CAPS, though my intuition is that the OODA Loop has been much slower with the City of Chicago than it has been even with CENTCOM.

Amusingly, the professor, a younger, urban hipster-type female, reacted with visible anxiety when I pointed out the similarities with counterinsurgency doctrine.

I thought that was pretty funny.

Anyways, I came across this link on Robert Peel’s policing principles (he originated the “bobbies”):

1. The basic mission for which the police exist is to prevent crime and disorder

2. The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon the public approval of police actions.

3. Police must secure the willing co-operation of the public in voluntary observation of the law to be able to secure and maintain the respect of the public.

4. The degree of co-operation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.

5. Police seek and preserve public favor not by catering to public opinion, but by constantly demonstrating absolute impartial service to the law.

6. Police use physical force to the extent necessary to secure observance of the law or to restore order only when the exercise of persuasion, advice, and warning is found to be insufficient.

7. Police, at all times, should maintain a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent upon every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.

8. Police should always direct their action strictly towards their functions, and never appear to usurp the powers of the judiciary.

9. The test of police efficiency is the absence of crime and disorder, not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with it.

The wordings remind me a lot of Lind’s 4GW tactical manual FMFM 1-A

Perhaps the best example of this symbiotic protection is the traditional British “bobby.” The bobby was, until recently, unarmed. The reason he did not need a weapon was that just as he protected the neighborhood, the neighborhood protected him. The bobby had a regular beat, which he patrolled on foot. He came to know every house and its inhabitants, and they came to know him. He became part of the neighborhood. Just as his familiarity with his beat enabled him to see very quickly if anything was out of the ordinary, so the fact that the local people knew him as an individual meant they told him what he needed to know. They did not want any harm to come to “their” bobby. Just like that bobby, Marines need to take part in local life, living in the town, listening to gossip and participating in spreading the “Marines’ message” as part of winning the war.
Marines will not be able to go about unarmed in most Fourth Generation situations. But they can become part of a neighborhood. To do so, they must live in that neighborhood, get to know the people who inhabit it and become known by them in turn. They will usually do so in small groups, squads or even fire teams. Living in the village not only contributes to the important relationships and networks that are needed to create a feeling of trust and to gather relevant intelligence.
Second, Marines need to learn from police. There are many police in Marine Reserve units, and it may be advisable to give them leading roles both in training for Fourth Generation war and in dealing with actual Fourth Generation situations. The most common and most effective tool police use to de-escalate situations is talk.
Police officers and prison guards are often found in Reserve and National Guard units. The police officer who has walked a beat in any major American city has dealt with gang warfare, illicit drug dealing, gun running and other criminal enterprises. Fourth Generation war does not look much different than the streets of an American ghetto. The level of violence may be more extreme, but many police who serve on SWAT teams in major cities have dealt with more violence in a month than most Marines do in a year.

Maybe good community based policing and COIN can learn from each other.

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