Recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated that military interventions to affect regime change can be extremely costly and fraught with risk. When weighing future foreign policy options, it is possible that the US will turn to less overt means of changing regimes and spreading democracy, namely the sponsorship of insurgency.
After analyzing historical examples of US support to insurgent movements, this paper outlines operational planning considerations and limitations. The US government currently possesses the necessary capabilities to support an insurgency, but is lacking in an effective command and control structure to ensure unity of effort. In order to properly harness these capabilities, a unique coordinating structure needs to be created that can take advantage of the disparate skill sets resident in State, CIA, and DoD.