Clandestine Cell System - Parallel Organizations

Parallel Organizations

The NLF and PIRA, as well as other movements, have chosen to have parallel political and military organizations. In the case of the NLF, other than some individuals with sanctuary in North Vietnam, the political organization could not be overt during the Vietnam War. After the war ended, surviving NLF officials held high office.

In the case of the PIRA, its political wing, Sinn Féin, became increasingly overt, and then a full participant in politics. Hamas and Hezbollah also have variants of overt political/social service and covert military wings.

The overt political-covert military split avoided the inflexibility of a completely secret organization. Once an active insurgency began, the secrecy could limited freedom of action, distort information about goals and ideals, and restrict communication within the insurgency. In a split organization the public issues can be addressed overtly, while military actions were kept covert and intelligence functions stay clandestine.

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