Arming civilians as a counterterror strategy: The case of the village guard system in Turkey
Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict: Pathways toward Terrorism and Genocide
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There are currently more than 60,000 Kurdish village guards in a system that has been fighting against the PKK in Turkey for almost three decades. This article offers the first evaluation of the effectiveness of the village guard system as a counterterror strategy. I argue that the village guards in Turkey proved their effectiveness as a deterrencebased and territory-focused counter-terror strategy between 1985 and 1999. From 1999 onwards, however, when the nature of the conflict changed, the costs of the village guard system in the political and socio-psychological domain have exceeded its value in the security domain. Evaluation of the village guard system in Turkey provides insights which may be useful in considering the formation of local militias in conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Sons of Iraq