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«Countering the Adversary: Effective Policies or a DIME a Dozen? Stephen M. Shellman Brian Levey Hans H. Leonard Violent Intranational Political ...»

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military actions defined and operationalized above in the Philippines reduced separatist violent events (controlling for other factors) by almost six violent events per month. The effect is statistically significant at the 95% level.

Figure 8 Average Effects of High-Level U.S. High-Level Military Actions on Separatist Violent Events: Philippines 1997-2006 In much the same way as we performed a complimentary time-series impact assessment of India military training, we designed and implemented an impact assessment of two joint U.S.-Philippines military exercises in the Philippines. Figure 9 illustrates the two main U.S.-Philippines exercises overlaid on the violent separatist series. While much of these exercises consisted of joint training exercises, there were joint missions such as hunting down and killing terrorist leaders and armed skirmishes among U.S.Philippines troops and militant groups such as Abu Sayyaf. In fact, Balikatan (―Shoulder to Shoulder‖ in Tagalog is an annual joint training exercise) 02-01 in 2002 was the largest U.S. military deployment engaged in actual combat against ―real actual targets‖ on Philippine soil since the Philippine-American War. The explicit mission of the exercise was to eliminate the Abu Sayyaf and bring social stability to the region. The ultimate goal of exercise was to recover two U.S. missionaries held captive by Abu Sayyaf.

At the same time, the U.S. & Philippines signed a series of bilateral agreements that stipulated U.S.

diplomatic actions. The U.S. military engaged in a series of civil military projects to help improve dilapidated infrastructure while also upgrading the transportation capacity of the island. Moreover, the U.S. military became involved in constructing a circumferential road, water, an airstrip, a port, and bridges. Finally, U.S. troops also engaged in volunteer activities such as painting walls, building canteens, and renovating school houses.

Figure 9 Separatist Violent Events Philippines (1997-2006) with Highlighted Periods of joint U.S.-Philippines Military Actions To model the impacts of such exercises, we coded the presence (1) and absence (0) of Balikatan & Carmen Town Exercises by dates of operation activities. We then specified a model to estimate the impacts of Balikatan and Carmen Town activities in the presence of control variables (e.g., other DIME actions, other day to day Philippine government activities, etc.). We estimated the impacts via an Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) time-series model and a Zero-Inflated Negative Binomial (ZINB) model. The results were consistent across both estimators. Table 4 displays those results. In short, the ARIMA results conclude that the exercises reduced attacks by about 4.6 a month, while the ZINB results showed that attacks were reduced by 3.3 a month. At the end of the day, both methods find that such activities reduced separatist violence. The results produced using the impact assessment methods are similar and corroborate those results from the matched case analysis. Two separate analyses using different methods and operationalized variables conclude that high-level U.S.

military and high-level U.S. diplomatic actions reduced the frequency of violent attacks by separatists in the Philippines.

Table 4 Time-Series Impact Assessments for U.S.-Philippines Joint Military Exercises: ARIMA and ZINB Results

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8.0 Conclusion Do U.S. counter-insurgency DIME actions reduce political conflict in a region or feed the fire? Which policy strategy offers optimal results? Using the latest counterfactual research methodologies, we are able to evaluate the direction and magnitude of different policy strategies aimed at reducing overall levels of violent political conflict within an area of operation. The multi-method approach employed above offers confirmatory evidence and lends credibility to our results.

We found differing and even directly opposite results across different countries. On an aggregate level hands-on military training and cooperation increased separatist violence in India but quelled it in the Philippines. This is not surprising, given that our study treated countries heterogeneously and respected the different contexts which shape the political spectrum in each. Under varying circumstances Indian separatists saw fit to fight back whereas the Filipino MILF and Abu Sayyaf groups chose to lay low.

These disparate findings strengthen, rather than undermine our results.

Just as physicians treat a cancer with differing prescriptions for different patients, decision makers must be aware that not all tools are equally well-suited to all operational environments. Directly supporting the Armed Forces of the Philippines may work wonders in Mindanao, but identical operations in Indonesia or Bangladesh may yield little gain or worse yet, they may further destabilize security. The analysis we have undertaken here can offer a framework for supporting such difficult and open-ended choices.

We used multiple methods to internally validate our findings. Matched case counterfactual analysis allowed us to see ―what would have happened if‖ while still comparing apples to apples. At the same time, we employed multiple interrupted time series techniques to answer the question ―what effect will action X cause on the dependent variable?‖ In our study, both methods gave broadly similar results while also offering different nuances. In the Indian case time series impact analysis showed that while military training increased separatist violence on the whole, it achieved its intended effect, reducing violence in the long run.

We must admit, however, that the same attributes of this study that we champion may be construed as weaknesses. The results presented here are country-specific and as such are not readily generalizable. Findings from India do not directly translate to subsequent areas of operation. Individual studies would have to be conducted on any country requiring US intervention. One possible way forward is to match observations across countries rather than solely within. Such an approach may lead to more generalizable results. Despite these limitations our results indicate a nascent path forward as research begins focusing on the impacts of specific DIME actions.

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