Explaining insurgent identification
Insurgent identification is taken for granted by both practitioners and academics. This chapter offers an alternative standard for solving the identification problem and argues a probabilistic theory has more causal power than alternatives. A central problem with observing militant identification is it is both objective and subjective. There are three broad ways to gain information that leads to solving the identification problem. The first way is for militants to identify themselves. Self-identification occurs when the actor knows they are taking an action that will reveal their support for an insurgency. The second way that governments try to solve the identification problem is to leverage modern, technical tools. The final way to gain identifying information is through the use of collaborators. The identification problem is solved when the government targets individuals based on a process that links a specific actor and their actions in support of an insurgency. Risk-acceptant methods subsume the protection of the security forces to civilian safety.