MLO Belgrade  /  NATO-SERBIA PARTNERSHIP  /  Counterinsurgency Mobile Training Team - COIN MTT

Counterinsurgency Mobile Training Team - COIN MTT

Mobile Training Team of seven NATO officers from Joint Force Command Naples held a specially designed training course for Serbian Army Officers in Serbian Armed Forces Barracks in Pancevo, intended for 22 students.


  • After 1945, the international community dealt more and more with intrastate violence and instability.
  • Potential fragile states present a vacuum of authority that may conduct to the raise of insurgencies.
  • This may destabilize entire regions and affect global interests of others, especially when international terrorists get involved.
  • International organizations might be invited to support fragile (host) nations.
  • A new set of challenges for UN, NATO and EU.
  • Insurgency is a part of asymmetric warfare and can often be linked to terrorism and/or
    criminal activities.

An insurgency is normally a protracted struggle based on political, economic, social or religious ideology, using violence and subversion. Insurgency is a fight for the legitimacy to rule in the eyes of the population and insurgents seek to undermine the government's legitimacy while reinforcing their own. Violence is used because insurgents feel they cannot attain their goals through the country's established political process. Key to this endeavor is gaining, and retaining, the popular support and insurgents will use all means available to achieve this, including political, economic, information and cultural measures, as well as violence. Insurgents typically seek concealment within the population and this would not be possible without the support of that population. Sometimes coercion can be used to gain short-term support but this is unlikely to be sustainable. Using violence and any related overreaction by the government security force (which may be deliberately provoked) will undermine the authority and credibility of the government and will invariably be destabilizing. An unstable state may attract terrorists and organized criminals who seek to benefit from the lack of government control. The resulting chaotic and unstable environment may bring together disparate elements because, although they may have different aims, they will have a common purpose in undermining effective government control. 
Because insurgencies are generally not constrained by geographical boundaries they may be local, regional, national, transnational or even international in nature. Insurgents may employ irregular activities (criminality, terrorism, subversion and/or disorder) to obtain funds, promote instability and insecurity throughout the country, and reduce government control. Conversely, insurgencies might also use regular activities (for example, political, diplomatic, economic, social, religious or information) in order to gain legitimacy, generate funding, spread ideology, recruit supporters and obtain external support. Major insurgencies will often have some foreign/international backing which could include moral, political, technical, financial and/or military support to resource activity together with providing safe havens out of the country involved. That support will come from a wide variety of sources including Diasporas, sympathetic groups, organizations with affiliated ideology, ethnicity, cultural or religious kinship, or even recognized nation states. Insurgencies are not monolithic and, in some cases, a host nation may be confronted by several different insurgent groups, each with different grievances and desired end-states.
The aim of this MTT is to share and exchange similar experiences on COIN.
The familiarization of the SRB participants with Allied Joint Doctrine on COIN, including Intelligence lessons, CIMIC operations and the NATO approach to Countering Improvised Explosive Devices.

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