21 October, 2020

The Humint Cost Of Coin

In Kashmir, both sides use the same deterrence tactics, with different results

Photograph by AP
The Humint Cost Of Coin

November saw 37 militants killed in Kashmir, 22 of them in the last 10 days of the month. This intensified counterinsurgency (COIN) response came in the wake of killings of ‘informers’ by militants. The latter had abducted civilians accused of passing information to the army about militant movements. At least two were killed—one was showered with a volley of bullets, and another one had his throat cut. These killings were recorded, went viral on social media and sparked outrage in the Indian media, with many calling the second one an “ISIS-style execution”.

This is not the first time visuals depicting violence have emerged from Kashmir. The army has circulated videos of houses burning, killings of militants and the roadside torture of civilians. The logic is the same for both the militants and the army: deterrence. Both groups are willingly broadcasting the repression—defined here as a group’s capacity to increase its opponents’ cost of collective action—they subject their targets to, and which they deem necessary to...



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