Slate’s write up characterizes these as rules for terrorists. It seems that they are more like rules for effective insurgency against Middle East States. Original documents can be found here. A brief fun down of the rules:
- Don’t fight civil wars.
As for the local enemy, such as if the Yemenis were to begin a long battle against the security services, this is a matter that will weigh on the people. As time goes by, they will begin to feel that some of them have been killed and they will start to want to stop the fighting. This would promote the ideology of secular governments that raise the motto of pleasing all sides.
- Don’t kill civilians.
- Don’t flaunt your bloodlust.
- Don’t rule harshly.
- Don’t claim territory unless you can feed the people.
The issue of providing for basic needs is a matter that must be taken into consideration before taking control of nations or cities. If a controlling force, that enjoys the support of the majority where it has taken control, fails to provide for the basic needs of the people, it will lose their support and will find itself in a difficult position that will grow increasingly difficult with each passing day. People will not bear seeing their children die as a consequence of a lack of food or medicine.
- Don’t fight with your allies.
- Don’t alarm your enemies prematurely.
Many Iraqis joined the mujahidin against the Americans until some mistakes happened when some of al-Anbar tribe’s children were attacked without a reason of self-defense (they were not a threat to the mujahidin), but they were registering in the security force compound. This attack resulted in the tribe working against the mujahidin.
The entire write up at Slate is worth a read.