Wartime Informing


 

Civilian Abuse and Wartime Informing

w. Luke N. Condra, Jacob N. Shapiro, Andrew C. Shaver

Civilian support is central to the success of counterinsurgent campaigns. Harm to civilians, and who harms them, influences when and with whom non-combatants collaborate. Drawing on newly declassified military records and a novel instrumental variables approach, we find robust, direct evidence that civilians respond to victimization by insurgents by providing intelligence about insurgent operations to security forces in Afghanistan. These results clarify the conditions under which civilian casualties can shape the course of internal war, with implications for future research on political violence.

 

Latest draft here.


 

Insurgent Predation and Wartime Informing

w. Alexei V. Zakharov

Insurgent predation of non-combatants is common in civil war. Yet little is known about how civilians respond to armed extortion after their possessions have been expropriated. We argue that non-combatants respond to predation by punishing insurgents using a prominent but poorly understood mechanism: wartime informing. We present a model of armed extortion and wartime informing, assuming that civilians are rewarded for informing but face the risk of retribution from the rebels. Drawing on newly declassified military records and a novel instrumental variables approach, we find robust, direct evidence that civilians respond to insurgent predation by providing intelligence to security forces in Afghanistan. We find no evidence that the accumulation of lootable income by civilians moderates the propensity of non-combatants to inform against predatory rebels.

 

Latest draft here.