Insurgency: The Soro Resistance Pyramid
Updated: Oct 19
Insurgency is a political struggle in which both sides use armed force to achieve their aims. It involves a complex matrix of actors with various aims that may manipulate religious, tribal or local identity to exploit common grievances. Insurgents seek to gain control of populations through persuasion, subversion and coercion, using guerrilla tactics to offset the strengths of government security forces. The intent is usually to protract the struggle and win popular support to force capitulation or political accommodation.
The SORO pyramid is an influential model of resistance warfare that incorporates several assumptions of modern UW doctrine, such as categorizing resistance into underground, auxiliary and guerrilla components and a covert/overt dichotomy. It has been updated to include a 'public component' and other minor changes, though largely remains the same. However, it has been critiqued for making assumptions about the sequential and vertical aspects of resistance movements and the centrality of undergrounds. It is also a blend of Second World War and Cold War resistance warfare, social movement theory, Maoist insurgency theory and recent terrorist and militia thinking, which may not be applicable to some forms of resistance. Furthermore, the notion of a clandestine/overt dichotomy is becoming less relevant with the prevalence of social media and electronic surveillance.
The Special Operations Research Office (Soro) Resistance Pyramid provides insight into the progression of unconventional warfare, highlighting the components necessary for a successful resistance movement to arise and expand. Similarly, the Counter Insurgency Pyramid is a framework designed to help strategists comprehend and address insurgency operations. Through these tools, strategists can develop an effective counterinsurgency strategy by targeting their actions based on the principles of the Counter Insurgency Pyramid.
At the base of the pyramid are the people who are the foundation of the movement. These individuals are often those who experience the most direct consequences of the injustice, and are the most likely to be driven and motivated to take action.
Above them are the networks and organizations that provide support, resources, and guidance to the people. These networks can include local and national organizations, as well as international groups and organizations.
At the top of the pyramid are the decision makers and policy makers who have the power to create the conditions for change. By understanding the dynamics of the Soro Resistance Pyramid, activists can better understand how to create change and build a successful resistance movement.
America’s Founders believed that corruption and foreign influence were among the gravest threats to our nation. The Founders were also deeply worried that foreign powers would interfere with America’s internal affairs, undermining the nation’s institutions and making its leaders subservient to foreign interests. Of particular concern to the Founders was the risk that benefits and rewards given by foreign states would subvert the President’s undivided loyalty to the nation’s best interests.
To guard against this risk, the Founders designed a system of checks and balances that would limit the President’s ability to benefit from foreign entanglements. The Constitution bars the President from receiving any form of payment or “emolument” from a foreign state or its representatives without the express consent of Congress. Additionally, the Founders included a foreign emoluments clause in the Constitution, which requires disclosure of any foreign gifts or payments to the President. This clause prohibits the President from using any foreign influence or benefit to the advantage of the United States. Finally, the Constitution requires the President to take a solemn oath to “faithfully execute” the office of the President and “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” This duty requires the President to place the interests of the nation ahead of any personal gain or benefit.