Internasjonal Humanitær Rett og opprørsbekjempelse: regler for krig eller en krig om reglene.
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- Forsvarets høgskole 
This thesis focuses on the challenges of a Norwegian approach to counterinsurgency operations (COIN). As a small state, Norway is highly dependant on an UN-based world order with International Humanitarian Law (IHL) as legal framework in armed conflicts. This thesis explains IHL regulations for classification of situations and personnel in COIN. Using this legal framework, it analyzes US and UK doctrines for counterinsurgency operations for diverging views and challenges between the legal framework and the respective doctrines. Drawing lessons from this, this thesis argues for some of the challenges a Norwegian approach might face. With regard to classification of situations, the following main challenges are presented. First, it is difficult to describe what kind of situation counterinsurgency is, and what it is not. Second, due to the variety of situations described, it is difficult to identify the IHL regulations applicable to such situations. Third, classifying COIN as peace time operations is challenging. Using military power under peace time legal framework is demanding. Four, classifying COIN as international armed conflict, when there seldom is a state actor with regular military forces as opponent, make the rules unfit for the situation. Fifth, classifying COIN as non-international armed conflict, provides a less developed legal framework. Especially concerning how to treat those directly participating in hostilities. With regard to classification of personnel, this thesis argues that a Norwegian approach will face the following main challenges. First, defining the opponent is challenging. It is difficult to make a distinction between the civilian population and the opponent. Second, mixing terrorism and insurgency is challenging. Insurgency is in some situations legal. Terror is illegal under international and state law. Third, seeing the police’s responsibility for civilian criminals and the military’s responsibility for criminal insurgents as one area of responsibility remains a challenge. Using the lessons identified might give Norway an opportunity to influence a NATO approach to COIN, with regard to additional conformity between COIN operations and IHL.