How Imperialists Fight: CPP Reviews COIN Strategy

US Counterinsurgency Guide 2009: Guide to imperialist intervention and aggression and counter-revolutionary war

Executive Committee-Central Committee, Communist Party of the Philippines

The US COIN Guide was issued by the US government in January 2009. It  presents US imperialism’s current official doctrine in fighting revolutionary armed struggle in colonial and semicolonial countries.

It is allegedly the product of summed-up experiences in implementing “counterinsurgency” in various parts of the globe for the past 40 years and was the result of collaborative efforts of nine US government agencies and/or offices led by the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Department of State.

The agencies involved in writing the US COIN Guide 2009 are the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of The Treasury, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, Department of Transportation, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the US Agency for International Development.

Through the document, the US government speaks as a sole superpower and self-appointed international policeman. It unabashedly presents the various types and levels of interference and intervention, which are undertaken with or without the permission of the targeted subject of ‘assistance’ or client government, in the name of fighting “insurgency.”

US imperialism estimates that it is armed revolutions that pose major and growing threats to the US’ international power in the 21st century. With the crash of the international capitalist system in the Long Depression since 2008, the US anticipates the explosion of widespread people’s dissent, armed revolutions and upheavals. US planners also anticipate only a remote possibility that the US will be embroiled in a thoroughly conventional war against other governments in the immediate future.

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The term ‘NGO’ is a misnomer

By Yves Engler

They’re called NGOs — non-governmental organizations — but the description is misleading at best, or an outright lie generated by intelligence agencies at worst.

In fact, almost all development NGOs receive most of their funding from government and in return follow government policies and priorities. While this was always true, it has become easier to see with Harper’s Conservative government, which lacks the cleverness and subtlety of the Liberals who at least funded some “oppositional” activity to allow NGOs a veneer of independence.

The example of the NGO called Alternatives illustrates these points well. This group, which has ties to the progressive community in Canada and Quebec, has done some useful work in Palestine and Latin America. But, at the end of 2009, the Canadian International Development Agency failed to renew about $2.4 million in funding the Montreal-based organization. After political pressure was brought to bear, Ottawa partly reversed course, giving Alternatives $800,000 over three years.

Alternatives’ campaign to force the Conservatives to renew at least some of its funding and CIDA’s response tell us a great deal about the ever more overt ties between international development NGOs and western military occupation. After the cuts were reported, the head of Alternatives, Michel Lambert, tried to win favour with Conservative decision makers by explicitly tying the group’s projects to Canadian military interventions. In an article in French for Le Journal Des Alternatives [1] in which he claimed Alternatives was “positive[ly] evaluated and audited” by CIDA, Lambert asked: “How come countries like Afghanistan or Haiti that are at the heart of Canadian [military] interventions [and where Alternatives operated] are no longer essential for the Canadian government?”

After CIDA renewed $800,000 in funding, Lambert claimed victory. But, the CIDA money was only for projects in Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti — three countries under military occupation. (The agreement prohibited Alternatives from using the money to “engage” the public and it excluded programs in Palestine and Central America.) When western troops invaded, Alternatives was not active in any of these three countries, which raises the questions: Is Alternatives prepared to follow Canadian aid anywhere, even if it is designed to strengthen military occupation? What alternatives do even “leftwing” NGOs such as Alternatives have when they are dependent on government funding?

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