Collaboration with Indigenous Irregular Military Forces


  1. Chalmers, W.
  2. McKay, J.
  3. Seaboyer, A.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Royal Military Coll of Canada, Kingston ONT (CAN)
This report analyzes how the United States has worked with Indigenous Irregular Military Forces (IIMF) during the past 70 years and whether IIMF are a controllable means of long-term influence. Three IIMF case-studies are analyzed: Philippines during the Second World War, Vietnam and during the Iraq War were analysed to answer the above questions. The case studies show that the utilization of IIMF over the past 70 years contains many similar themes. For example, IIMF were primarily used as auxiliary support to conventional forces or as the primary vehicle of influence for an outside actor in areas where there was little or no presence of conventional forces, for military intelligence gathering and validation, for cultural intelligence and understanding, for influence operations directed at civilians, for direct action and for sabotage against communication and transportation infrastructure. In the Philippines and Iraq case studies, IIMF were also used for destabilization activities and to influence the morale of the opponent. While the benefits of IIMF deployment are very significant as their engagement can make a notable difference for the security of regular forces, this paper concludes that establishing a necessary, strict control over IIMF contractors is both challenging and resource consuming. However, the deployment of small numbers of IIMF in limited geographical areas can be a manageable and effective tool.

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Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2012-097 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 Sep 2012
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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