Over the past two decades, community development has re-emerged as a central mechanism for delivering aid, particularly in conflict areas. Practitioners view community development as a tool to empower citizens while making state institutions more responsive and accountable. Oppenheim argues that the operational elements that advance these objectives—locally elected village councils, supported by resource transfers and technical assistance from state agencies—have an important latent function: to extend the state’s reach into the village. When injected into an active insurgency, the operations and premises of community development may mirror key elements of civil counterinsurgency. Insurgent organizations may read community development as an effort to contest control of the grassroots.