Theory of conflicts: Structural and Strategic elements. 1.- Structural elements. 2 groups of actors: State actors and non-State actors. 4 basic elements (structural elements) in each conflict, although they treated in different ways according to the nature if the actors (State or non-State). They are permanent elements in every conflict whose evolution and management define each case specifics. Cause, as element which provides with legitimacy and cohesiveness to the whole actor and its grassroots. i.e.: decolonization processes, fight on terrorism, etc. Legitimacy against the enemy. It’s based on the “construction” of the cause, and it means the amount of moral support that the actor has from its population. Population integration and mobilization. Length of the conflict. These elements can be exploited also by the aggressor, so they will be in a double way the core of the defense: Protection of the provision of services and critical infrastructures (railroads, electric plants, etc.) The economic costs of a protracted war. If the war efforts becomes a bleeding population will be soon demoralized. Population’s psychological attrition, liked to the aforementioned factor. Creating (and maintaining) the legitimacy levels of populations Population cohesiveness, government kind and how they manage the use of force: repression, protection, administration or outadministering government, etc. 2.- Strategic elements They are external elements to the conflict, but with an important impact over the conflict process. They have to be considered in the strategic, operational and tactical development of the conflict. Territory. Location. Geographic location. Importance because of the distribution of population and the involved States. Size. Determines the State’s capability to spread it’s control over the territory. Geography. Compartment territories reduces the chances of the insurgency to spread, but they are advantageous in terms of concealment and links with local communities. On the other hand, they increase the difficulties of government control. In opposition to that, a wide open terrain favors government and administrative structures. International borders. They can differentiate actors with different interests, but they can also be a porous line between a State or community and its supporter. Terrain. It can determine the access of the superior military capabilities to an environment of battle, i.e., a tank can’t penetrate the jungle. Weather. It may influence in the logistic order of both regular and non-regular forces. Population. It is the rear of the conflict, the supporting grassroots that legitimize or delegitimize the struggle with its support or rejection of the alleged causes. Economy. The effect of the war over the economy will be also a restraint for continuing on the war effort. Theory of conflicts: external supports. SECONDARY, TERTIARY AND QUATERNARY FORCES 1.- Definition of external support. By external support we understand States, suprastate, inter-State and non-State actors, different from the one where the fight or conflict takes place. These external supports can be States, criminal networks, NGOs, lobbies, etc. 2.- Secondary forces: Sponsor States Moral support through pressure over international public opinion. Political support through diplomatic efforts, representation at international level, etc. Technical (and technological) support to one’s party military capabilities (teaching know-how techniques, military advisors, etc.) Economic support, cover or uncover, through legal and/or illegal networks. Military support participating in an active role in the conflict as a military force. Self-interest or support due to a common interest with one of the parties involved. Diasporas and refugees. With a different level of cooperation, both sends money to their homelands, but the second group would be the most active since their motives to abandon the land are not merely economic (persecution, repression, political repressive tools, etc.) 3.- Tertiary forces They make use of force or violence to deploy their influence. Mainly three examples: Militias: military branch of a political party, tribe, group different from the State, that provides its group with a service of “protection”, i.e, in places with a vacuum of power or where the State can’t reach. International organized crime. The support will probably be focused on economic relations and logistic aspects, being of special interest the one related to arms traffic and non-State actor groups, such as insurgent movements. Private Military Companies (PMCs). Limited role in conflicts, but the fact that they can deploy a high level of military capability is an element to consider in the balance of powers and forces, since the power with more economic solvency can hire these companies an modify the balance of power. 4.- Quaternary forces. They are unarmed groups which affect one or both of the parties in a conflict .They exert their influence through non-violent means, as boycotts, support, humanitarian aid, etc. NGOs cooperating with the parties in provision of services, which maintain levels of legitimacy in the weakest actor, who keeps its activity thanks to the international aid. NGOs have also a role in tactical and geographical intelligence. International corporations with enough resources to influence in the sign of a conflict through economic pressure. Non-State groups. Mass media working as global perception modifiers. Broader reach after internet revolution. Lobbies, exerting influence at government level in economic and political spheres, and even modifying also international opinion. Influential individuals. Fundamentalist religious organizations that may radicalize their followers on a sense or another.