In Iraq in the summer of 2007, Sunni insurgents began a systematic campaign to kill police chiefs in their homes, policemen at road checkpoints, and would-be officers at recruiting posts, as they had done throughout the insurgency (Australian, 27 August 2007); in 2005 alone, 1,497 officers were killed and 3,256 wounded (New York Times, 16 January 2006). Thai and Yemeni police are similarly targeted, as are police in India where, in April 2010, Naxalite insurgents ambushed paramilitary police in the eastern state of Chattisgarh, killing 74 officers sent to reinforce the inexperienced local police (Financial Times, 7 April 2010). Meanwhile international forces in Afghanistan rely on indigenous police to distract attention from their troops or to provide the local security that will enable them to leave. Hence three-quarters of the US$14.2 billion requested in 2010 for Afghanistan’s reconstruction is intended for training, equipping and mentoring the Afghan National Police (ANP) and army (Special Inspector, 2010). This chapter addresses the issues raised by police and policing in insurgency and counterinsurgency. Police refers to the public or statutory police whose significance results from the political objectives it symbolises, the power relationships it reflects, and its close engagement with local populations. In counterinsurgency, police refers to indigenous officers and to the international civilian or paramilitary volunteer officers advising or mentoring them; it may also refer to retired officers contracted by international private security companies to train local police. In contrast, policing is a descriptive term alluding to the problem-solving, regulatory, enforcement and coercive activities of statutory and non-statutory (or customary) security groups. The police role in insurgency is relatively straightforward. Local police play a negative role in insurgency because they reproduce the political order that insurgents challenge; their functions usually include regime representation and regulatory activities so they are targeted. In the early days of an insurgency police may attempt to police, but once violence reaches certain levels they either support the insurgents, or they disappear or they are killed. This is notably so in rural areas where police are rarely present. In contrast, the police role in counterinsurgency is multifaceted and assertive. International, national and local police are used in combination with troops to contain or crush insurgency, as in Iraq or Chechnya, or, more rarely, to address its root causes, as in Northern Ireland. Increasingly, as in Afghanistan, police are seen as an enabling element in non-military security operations involving Western forces (though all counterinsurgency is predicated on coercion), and are accordingly regarded as key local actors.