Guerrilla warfare

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Guerrilla warfare (also spelled guerilla) is a method of combat by which small groups of combatants attempt to use mobile and surprise tactics (ambushes, raids, etc) to defeat a foe, often a larger, less mobile, army. Typically the smaller guerrilla army will either use its defensive status to draw its opponent into terrain which is better suited to the former or take advantage of its greater mobility by conducting strategic surprise attacks.

Guerrilla warfare should not be confused with covering or screening operations by a regular force, or defensive maneuver to avoid battle, such as that conducted by ancient Roman general Fabius Maximus (with conventional forces) against Hannibal. Nor should it be confused with simple small unit tactics like ambushes, or light probing attacks which most conventional armies incorporate as part of their routine training. Instead, guerrillas are almost always part of a resistance movement.

Primary contributors to modern theories of guerrilla war include Mao Zedong, Abd el-Krim, T. E. Lawrence, Vo Nguyen Giap, Josip Broz Tito, Michael Collins, Tom Barry, Che Guevara, and Charles de Gaulle.

Contents

[edit] Etymology

Guerrilla, from the Spanish term guerra, or War, with the -illa ending diminutive, could be translated as small war. The use of the diminutive is probably to evoke the difference in size between the guerrilla army and the state army against which they fight. The term was invented in Spain to describe the tactics used to resist the French regime instituted by Napoleon Bonaparte. Its meaning was soon broadened to refer to any similar resistance of any time or place. The Spanish word for guerrilla fighter is guerrillero. According to the OED, the term was used in English as early as 1809 to describe the persons involved rather than just the tactics. In most languages the word still denotes the specific style of warfare. However, this is changing under the influence of broad English usage.Gurrilla comes from the word "gorilla". Gorilla is species of animal which attacks in groups. In the mid 5th century this term was first used by The Ancient Persians to decribe Muslim Arabs leaded by Mohammad because they were Ambushing carravan and the towns killing men who resisted and kidnapping women for sake of their god known as "Allah". Sometimes the resisted town or people were given a chance to be safe provided they accepted Islam as a new faith or paying tax to Muslims.

[edit] The continuum of guerrilla warfare

Guerrilla warfare can be conceived as a continuum. <ref> On Guerrilla Warfare, by Mao Tse-tung, 1937, See the text of Mao's work on the web at at [http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/mao/works/1937/guerrilla-warfare </ref> On the low end are small-scale raids, ambushes and attacks. In ancient times these actions were often associated with smaller tribal polities fighting a larger empire, as in the struggle of Rome against the Spanish tribes for over a century. In the modern era they continue with the operations of terrorist, insurgent or revolutionary groups. The upper end is composed of a fully integrated political-military strategy, comprising both large and small units, engaging in constantly shifting mobile warfare, both on the low-end "guerrilla" scale, and that of large, mobile formations with modern arms. The latter phase came to fullest expression in the operations of Mao tse-Tung in China and Vo Nguyen Giap in Vietnam. In between are a large variety of situations - from the struggles of Palestinian guerrillas in the contemporary era, to Spanish and Portugese irregulars operating with the conventional units of British General Wellington, during the Peninsular War against Napoleon.<ref> Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Warfare Conduct Of, Guerrilla Warfare," 1984 ed, p. 584)</ref>

Modern guerrilla warfare at its fullest (high end) elaboration should be conceived of as an integrated process, complete with sophisticated doctrine, organization, specialist skills and propaganda capabilities. Guerrillas can operate as small, scattered bands of raiders, but they can also work side by side with regular forces, or combine for far ranging mobile operations in squad, platoon or battalion sizes, or even form conventional units. Based on their level of sophiscation and organization, they can shift between all these modes as the situation demands. Guerrilla warfare is flexible, not static.

[edit] Tactics and strategy of guerrilla warfare

Guerrilla tactics are based on intelligence, ambush, deception, sabotage, and espionage, undermining an authority through long, low-intensity confrontation. It can be quite successful against an unpopular foreign or local regime, as demonstrated by the Vietnam conflict. A guerrilla army may increase the cost of maintaining an occupation or a colonial presence above what the foreign power may wish to bear. Against a local regime, the guerrilla fighters may make governance impossible with terror strikes and sabotage, and even combination of forces to depose their local enemies in conventional battle. These tactics are useful in poop demoralizing an enemy, while raising the morale of the guerrillas. In many cases, guerrilla tactics allow a small force to hold off a much larger and better equipped enemy for a long time, as in Russia's Second Chechen War and the Second Seminole War fought in the swamps of Florida (United States of America). Guerrilla tactics and strategy are summarized below and are discussed extensively in standard reference works such as Mao's "On Guerrilla Warfare." <ref>Mao, op. cit.</ref>

[edit] The three-phase Maoist model versus more limited variants

The Mao/Giap approach. Maoist theory of people's war divides warfare into three phases. In the first phase, the guerrillas gain the support of the population through attacks on the machinery of government and the distribution of propaganda.In the second phase, escalating attacks are made on the government's military and vital institutions. In the third phase, conventional fighting is used to seize cities, overthrow the government, and take control of the country. Mao's seminal work. On Guerilla Warfare, <ref>Mao, op. cit.</ref> has been widely distributed and applied, nowhere more successfully than in Vietnam, under military leader and theorist Vo Nguyen Giap. Giap's "Peoples War, Peoples Army" <ref>Peoples War, Peoples Army, Vo Nguyen Giap</ref> closely follows the Maoist three-stage approach, but with greater emphasis on flexible shifting between mobile and guerrilla warfare, and opportunities for a spontaneous "General Uprising" of the masses in conjunction with guerrilla forces.

Variants not requiring a conventional warfare "final stage". Such a phased approach does not apply to all guerrilla conflicts. In some cases, opposing conventional formations cannot be defeated in battle within any reasonable time scale. Small-scale attacks and sabotage however, can over time create an atmosphere of turmoil and chaos, (the "bloody mayhem" of Irish Leader M. Collins) that is sufficient to force capitulation or extensive concessions from the opposing side. The Algerian War follows this pattern, as does the guerrilla operations leading to British withdrawal from in Cyprus. <ref> The Cyprus Conflict</ref> Palestinian struggles against Israel seem to also follow this pattern, with a series of attritional attacks and international diplomatic pressure forcing concessions from the Israeli leadership.

[edit] Organization

Guerrilla organization can range from small local rebel groups with a few dozen participants, to tens of thousands of fighters, deploying from tiny cells to formations of regimental strength. In most cases, there will be leadership aiming for a clear political objective. The organization will typically be structured into political and military wings, sometimes allowing the political leadership to claim "plausible denial" for military atacks.<ref> "Insurgency & Terrorism: Inside Modern Revolutionary Warfare", Bard E. O'Neill </ref>The most fully elaborated guerrilla warfare structure is seen by the Chinese and Vietnamese communists during the revolutionary wars of East and Southeast Asia. <ref> Inside the VC and the NVA, Michael Lee Lanning and Dan Cragg </ref> A simplified example of this more sophiscated organizational type- that used by revolutionary forces during the Vietnam War, is shown below.

[edit] Types of operations

Guerrilla operations typically include a variety of attacks on transportation routes, individual groups of police or military, installations and structures, economic enterprises, and targeted civilians. Attacking in small groups, using camouflage and often captured weapons of that enemy, the guerilla force can constantly keep pressure on its foes and diminish its numbers, while still allowing escape with relatively few casualties. The intention of such attacks is not only military but political, aiming to demoralize target populations or governments, or goading an overreaction that forces the population to take sides for or against the guerrillas. Examples range from the chopping off of limbs in various internal African rebellions, to the suicide bombings of Palestine and Sri Lanka, to sophisticated maneuvers by Viet Cong and NVA forces against military bases and formations.

[edit] Surprise and intelligence

For successful operations, surprise must be achieved by guerrillas. If the operation has been betrayed or compromised it is usually called off immediately. Intelligence is also extremely important, and detailed knowledge of the target's dispositions, weaponry and morale is gathered before any attack. Intelligence can be harvested in several ways. Collaborators and sympathizers will usually provide a steady flow of useful information. If working clandestinely, the guerrilla operative may disguise his membership in the insurgent operation, and use deception to ferret out needed data. Employment or enrollment as a student may be undertaken near the target zone, community organizations may be infiltrated, and even romantic relationships struck up as part of intelligence gathering. <ref>Lanning/Cragg, op. cit.</ref> Public sources of information are also invaluable to the guerrilla, from the flight schedules of targeted airlines, to public announcements of visiting foreign dignitaries, to US Army Field Manuals. Modern computer access via the World Wide Web makes harvesting and collation of such data relatively easy. <ref>Terrorist use of web spreads </ref> The use of on the spot reconnaissance is integral to operational planning. Operatives will "case" or analyze a location or potential target in depth- cataloging routes of entry and exit, building structures, the location of phones and communication lines, presence of security personnel and a myriad of other factors. Finally intelligence is concerned with political factors- such as the occurrence of an election or the impact of the potential operation on civilian and enemy morale.

[edit] Relationships with the civil population

Relationships with civil populations are influenced by whether the guerrillas operate among a hostile or friendly population. A friendly population is of immense importance to guerrilla fighters, providing shelter, supplies, financing, intelligence and recruits. The "base of the people" is thus the key lifeline of the guerrilla movement. In the early stages of the Vietnam War, American officials "discovered that several thousand supposedly government-controlled 'fortified hamlets' were in fact controlled by Viet Cong guerrillas, who 'often used them for supply and rest havens'." <ref>Encyclopedia Britannica, 14ed, "Guerilla Warfare" p. 460-464</ref> Popular mass support in a confined local area or country however is not always strictly necessary. Guerrillas and revolutionary groups can still operate using the protection of a friendly regime, drawing supplies, weapons, intellligence, local security and diplomatic cover. The Al Queda organization is an example of the latter type, drawing sympathizers and support primarily from the wide-ranging Muslim world, even after American attacks eliminated the umbrella of a friendly Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

An apathetic or hostile population makes life difficult for guerrillas and strenuous attempts are usually made to gain their support. These may involve not only persuasion, but a calculated policy of intimidation. Guerrilla forces may characterize a variety of operations as a liberation struggle, but this may or may not result in sufficient support from affected civilians. Other factors, including ethnic and religious hatreds, can make a simple national liberation claim untenable. Whatever the exact mix of persuasion or coercion used by guerrillas, relationships with civil populations are one of the most important factors in their success or failure. <ref>"Defeating Communist Insurgency: The Lessons of Malaya and Vietnam", Robert Thompson </ref>

[edit] Use of terror

The use of terror is one of the worst aspects of guerrilla warfare. Terror is used to focus international attention on the guerrilla cause, liquidate opposition leaders, extort cash from targets, intimidate the general population, create economic losses, and keep followers and potential defectors in line. Widespread use of terror by guerrillas and their opponents is a common feature of modern guerrilla conflicts, with civilians attempting to mollify both sides. At times a civil population may be the main targets of guerrilla attacks, as in Palestinian operations against Israeli civilians. Such tactics may backfire and cause the civil population to withdraw its support, or to back countervailing forces against the guerrillas. <ref>"Insurgency & Terrorism: Inside Modern Revolutionary Warfare", Bard E. O'Neill</ref>

Such situations occurred in Israel, where suicide bombings encouraged most Israeli opinion to take a harsh stand against Palestinian attackers, including general approval of "targeted killings" to liquidate enemy cells and leaders.<ref>Steven R. David (September 2002). "Fatal Choices: Israel's Policy of Targeted Killing" (PDF). THE BEGIN-SADAT CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES; BAR-ILAN UNIVERSITY. Retrieved on 2006-08-01. </ref> In the Philippines and Malaysia, communist terror strikes helped turn civilian opinion against the insurgents. In Peru and some other South American countries, civilian opinion at times backed the harsh countermeasures used by authoritarian regimes against revolutionary movements. (See the Peruvian regime of Alberto Fujimori for example).

[edit] Withdrawal

Guerrillas must plan carefully for withdrawal once an operation has been completed, or if it is going badly. The withdrawal phase is sometimes regarded as the most important part of a planned action, and to get entangled in a lengthy struggle with superior forces is usually fatal to insurgent, terrorist or revolutionary operatives. Withdrawal is usually accomplished using a variety of different routes and methods and may include quickly scouring the area for loose weapons, evidence cleanup, and disguise as peaceful civilians. <ref>Mao, op. cit.</ref> In the case of suicide operations, withdrawal considerations by successful attackers are moot, nevertheless such activity as eliminating traces of evidence, or hiding materials and supplies must be done.

[edit] Logistics

Guerrillas typically operate with a smaller logistical footprint compared to conventional formations, nevertheless their logistical activities can be elaborately organized. A primary consideration is to avoid dependence on fixed bases and depots which are comparatively easy for conventional units to locate and destroy. Mobility and speed are the keys and wherever possible, the guerrilla must live off the land, or draw support from the civil population in which he is embedded. In this sense, "the people" become the guerrillas supply base.<ref>Mao, op. cit.</ref> Financing of terrorist or guerrilla activities ranges from direct individual contributions (voluntary or non-voluntary), to actual operation of business enterprises by insurgent operatives, to bank robberies and kidnappings, to the complex financial networks based on kin, ethnic and religious affiliation used by modern Jihadist/Jihad organizations.

Permanent and semi-permanent bases form part of the guerrilla logistical structure, usually located in remote areas or in cross-border sanctuaries sheltered by friendly regimes.<ref>Mao, op. cit., Lanning/Cragg, op. cit.</ref> These can be quite elaborate, as in the tough VC/NVA fortified base camps and tunnel complexes encountered by US forces during the Vietnam War. Their importance can be seen by the hard fighting sometimes engaged in by communist forces to protect these sites. However when it became clear that defence was untenable, communist units typically withdrew without sentiment.

[edit] Terrain

Guerrilla warfare is often associated with a rural setting, and this is indeed the case with the definitive operations of Mao and Giap, and the mujahadeen of Afghanistan. Guerrillas however have successfully operated in urban settings as demonstrated in places like Argentina and Cyprus. In both cases, guerrillas rely on a friendly population to provide supplies and intelligence. Rural guerrillas prefer to operate in regions providing plenty of cover and concealment, especially heavily forested and mountainous areas. Urban guerrillas, rather than melting into the mountains and jungles, blend into the population and are also dependent on a support base among the people. Rooting guerrillas out of both types of areas can be difficult.

[edit] Foreign support and sanctuaries

Foreign support in the form of soldiers, weapons, sanctuary, or statements of sympathy for the guerrillas is not strictly necessary, but it can greatly increase the chances of an insurgent victory.<ref>Lanning/Cragg, op. cit.</ref> Foreign diplomatic support may bring the guerrilla cause to international attention, putting pressure on local opponents to make concessions, or garnering sympathetic support and material assistance. Foreign sanctuaries can add heavily to guerrilla chances, furnishing weapons, supplies, materials and training bases. Such shelter can benefit from international law, particularly if the sponsoring regime is successful in concealing its support and in claiming "plausible denial" for attacks by operatives based in its territory.

The VC and NVA made extensive use of such international sanctuaries during their conflict, and the complex of trails, way-stations and bases snaking through Laos and Cambodia, the famous Ho Chi Minh Trail, was the logistical lifeline that sustained their forces in the South. Another case in point is the Mukti Bahini guerrillas who fought alongside the Indian Army in the 14-day Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 against Pakistan that resulted in the creation of the state of Bangladesh. In the post-Vietnam era, the Al Queda organization also made effective use of remote territories, such as Afghanistan under the Taliban regime, to plan and execute its operations. This foreign sanctuary eventually broke down with American attacks against the Taliban and Al Queda but not before operatives pulled off the spectacular September 11, 2001 attacks.

[edit] Guerrilla initiative and combat intensity

Able to choose the time and place to strike, guerrilla fighters will usually possess the tactical initiative and the element of surprise. Planning for an operation may take weeks, months or even years, with a constant series of cancellations and restarts as the situation changes.<ref>Lanning/Cragg, op. cit</ref> Careful rehearsals and "dry runs" are usually conducted to work out problems and details. Many guerrilla strikes are not undertaken unless clear numerical superiority can be achieved in the target area, a pattern typical of VC/NVA and other "Peoples War" operations. Individual suicide bomb attacks offer another pattern, typically involving only the individual bomber and his support team, but these too are spread or metered out based on prevailing capabilities and political winds.

Whatever approach is used, the guerrilla holds the initiative, and can prolong his survival though varying the intensity of combat. This means that attacks are spread out over quite a range of time, from weeks to years. During the interim periods, the guerrilla can rebuild, resupply and plan. In the Vietnam War, most communist units (including mobile NVA regulars using guerrilla tactics) spent only a few days a month fighting. While they might be forced into an unwanted battle by an enemy sweep, most of the time was spent in training, intelligence gathering, political and civic infiltration, propaganda indoctrination, construction of fortifications, or foraging for supplies and food. <ref>Inside the VC and the NVA, Michael Lee Lanning and Dan Cragg </ref>The large numbers of such groups striking at different times however, gave the war its "around the clock" quality.

[edit] Other aspects of guerrilla warfare

[edit] Guerilla Warfare contrasted with other small scale actions

Commando operations are not guerrilla warfare (Richard Taber, "The War of the Flea : Guerrilla Warfare, Theory and Practice". Paladin, London, 1977) while they lack the political goal. Commando troops, as the British commando, were a branch of the armed forces. Guerrilla warfare is the expression of Sun Tzu's Art of War, in contrast to Clausewitz's unlimited use of brute force. Guerrilla warfare is also distinguished from the small unit tactics used in screening or recon operations typical of conventional forces. It is also different from the activities of bandits, pirates or robbers. Such forces may use guerrilla-like tactics, but their primary purpose is booty, and not a clear political objective.

[edit] Guerrilla warfare against foreign and native regimes

Guerrilla warfare has been sometimes unsuccessful against native regimes, which have the advantage of being highly knowledgeable about their own people, society, and culture. Examples of successful guerrilla warfare against a native regime include the Cuban Revolution and the Chinese Civil War, as well as the Sandinista overthrow of a military dictatorship in Nicaragua. The many coups and rebellions of Africa often reflect guerrilla warfare, with various groups having clear political objectives and using guerrilla tactics. Examples include the overthrow of regimes in Uganda, Liberia and other places. In Asia, native or local regimes have been overthrown by guerrilla warfare, most notably in Vietnam, China and Cambodia. Foreign forces intervened in all these countries, but the power struggles were eventually resolved locally. There are some unsuccessful examples of guerrilla warfare against local or native regimes. These include Malaysia (then Malaya) during the Malayan Emergency, Bolivia, Argentina, and the Philippines. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), fighting for an independent homeland in the north and east of Sri Lanka, achieved significant military successes against the Sri Lankan military and the government itself for twenty years. It was even able to use these tactics effectively against the IPKF forces sent by India in the mid-1980s, which were later withdrawn for varied reasons, primarily political. The mutual attrition on both sides in the island led to a ceasefire following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

[edit] Ethical dimensions of Guerrilla Warfare- attacks against civilians

Civilians may be attacked or assassinated as punishment for alleged collaboration, or as a policy of intimidation and coercion. Such attacks are usually sanctioned by the guerrilla leadership with an eye towards the political objectives to be achieved. Attacks may be aimed to weaken civilian morale so that support for the guerrillas' opponents decreases. Civil wars, may also involve deliberate attacks against civilians, with both guerrilla groups and organized armies committing atrocities. Ethnic and religious feuds may involve widespread massacres and genocide as competing factions inflict massive violence on targeted civilian population.

Guerrillas in wars against foreign powers may direct their attacks at civilians, particularly if foreign forces are too strong to be confronted directly on a long term basis. In Vietnam, bombings and terror attacks against civilians were fairly common, and were often effective in demoralizing local opinion that supported the ruling regime and its American backers. While attacking an American base might involve lengthy planning and casualties, smaller scale terror strikes in the civilian sphere were easier to execute. Such attacks also had an effect on the international scale, demoralizing American opinion, and hastening a withdrawal.

In Iraq, most of the deaths since the 2003 US conquest have not been suffered by US troops but by civilians, as warring factions plunged the country into civil war based on ethnic and religious hostilities. See Sectarian war in Iraq. Arguments vary on whether such turmoil will succeed in turning American opinion against the US troop deployment. However the use of attacks against civilians to create an atmosphere of chaos (and thus political advantage where the atmosphere causes foreign occupiers to withdraw or offer concessions), is well established in guerrilla and national liberation struggles. Claims and counterclaims of the morality of such attacks, or whether guerrillas should be classified as "terrorists" or "freedom fighters" are beyond the scope of this article. See Terrorism and Genocide for a more in-depth discussion of the moral and ethical implications of targeting civilians.

[edit] Guerrillas and the laws of war

Guerrillas are in danger of not being recognized as lawful combatants because they may not wear a uniform, (to mingle with the local population), or their uniform and distinctive emblems may not be recognised as such by their opponents. Article 44, sections 3 and 4 of the 1977 First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, "relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts", does recognise combatants who, due to the nature of the conflict, do not wear uniforms as long as they carry their weapons openly during military operations. This gives non-uniformed guerrillas lawful combatant status against countries that have ratified this convention. However, the same protocol states in Article 37.1.c that "the feigning of civilian, non-combatant status" shall constitute perfidy and is prohibited by the Geneva Conventions.

[edit] Writings of Guerrilla warfare practitioners and theorists

[edit] Theories of Mao

Mao Zedong, during the Chinese civil war, summarized the Red Army's principles of warfare in the following points for his troops: The enemy advances, we retreat. The enemy camps, we harass. The enemy tires, we attack. The enemy retreats, we pursue. Mao made a distinction between Mobile Warfare (yundong zhan) and Guerrilla Warfare (youji zhan), but they were part of an integrated continuum aiming towards a final objective. Michael Collins of the Irish Republican Army, who orchestrated the Anglo-Irish war of 1919-1921, had a more succinct principle behind his campaign of intelligence, assassination, and propaganda: create "bloody mayhem". Mao's seminal work. On Guerilla Warfare, <ref>On Guerrilla Warfare, by Mao Tse-tung, 1937</ref> has been widely distributed and applied, successfully in Vietnam, under military leader and theorist Vo Nguyen Giap. Giap's "Peoples War, Peoples Army" <ref>Peoples War, Peoples Army, Vo Nguyen Giap</ref> closely follows the Maoist three-stage approach.

[edit] Writings of T. E. Lawrence

T. E. Lawrence, best known as "Lawrence of Arabia," introduced a theory of guerrilla warfare tactics in an article he wrote for the Encyclopedia Britannica published in 1938. In that article, he compared guerrilla fighters to a gas. The fighters disperse in the area of operations more or less randomly. They or their cells occupy a very small intrinsic space in that area, just as gas molecules occupy a very small intrinsic space in a container. The fighters may coalesce into groups for tactical purposes, but their general state is dispersed. Such fighters cannot be "rounded up." They cannot be contained. They are extremely difficult to "defeat" because they cannot be brought to battle in significant numbers. The cost in soldiers and material to destroy a significant number of them becomes prohibitive, in all senses, that is physically, economically, morally, etc. It should be noted that Lawrence describes a non-native occupying force as the enemy (e.g. the Turks).

[edit] Texts and treatises on guerrilla warfare

Guerrilla tactics were summarized into the ' Mini-manual of the Urban Guerrilla<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> in 1969 by Carlos Marighella. This text was banned in several countries including the United States. This is probably the most comprehensive and informative book on guerrilla strategy ever published, and is available free online. Texts by Che Guevara and Mao Zedong <ref>On Guerrilla Warfare, by Mao Tse-tung, 1937</ref>on guerrilla warfare are also available.

[edit] WW II American writings

John Keats wrote about an American guerrilla leader in World War 2: Colonel Wendell Fertig, who in 1942 organized a large force of guerrillas who harassed the Japanese occupation forces on the Philippine Island of Mindanao all the way up to the liberation of the Philippines in 1945. His abilities were later utilized by the United States Army, when Fertig helped found the United States Army Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Others included Col. Aaron Bank and Col. Russell Volckmann. Volckmann, in particular, commanded a guerrilla force which operated out of the Cordillera of Northern Luzon, in the Philippines from the beginning of World War II to its conclusion. He remained in radio contact with US Forces, prior to the invasion of Lingayen Gulf.

[edit] Counter-guerrilla warfare

[edit] Counter-guerrilla warfare principles

The guerrilla can be dificult to beat, but certain principles of counter-insurgency warfare are well known since the 1950s and 1960s and have been successfully applied.

[edit] Classic counter-guerrilla guidelines

The widely distributed and influential work of Sir. Robert Thompson, counter-insurgency expert in Malaysia, offers a number of such guidelines. Thompson's underlying assumption is that of a country minimally committed to the rule of law and better governance. A number of other regimes however give such considerations short shrift, and their counterguerrilla operations have involved mass murder, genocide, starvation and the massive spread of terror, torture and execution. The totalitarian regimes of Stalin and Hitler are classic examples, as are the lesser, but comparable measures of dictatorships fighting "dirty wars" in South America. Elements of Thompson's moderate approach are adapted here:<ref>"Defeating Communist Insurgency: The Lessons of Malaya and Vietnam", Robert Thompson </ref>

  1. A viable competing vision that comprehensively mobilizes popular support. There must be a clear political counter-vision that can overshadow, match or neutralize the guerrilla vision. This can range from granting political autonomy to economic development measures in the affected region. The vision must be integrated approach, involving political, social and economic and media influence measures.
  2. Reasonable concessions where necessary. Action must be also be taken at a lower level to resolve legitimate grievances. It may be tempting for the counter-insurgent side to simply declare guerrillas "terrorists" and pursue a harsh liquidation strategy. Brute force however, may not be successful in the long run. Action does not mean capitulation, but sincere steps such as removing corrupt or arbitrary officials, cleaning up fraud, or collecting taxes honestly can do much to undermine the guerrillas' appeal.
  3. Economy of force. The counter-insurgent regime must not overreact to guerrilla provocations, since this may indeed be what they seek to create a crisis in civilian morale. Police level actions should guide the effort and take place in a clear framework of legality, even if under a State of Emergency. Civil liberties and other customs of peacetime may have to be suspended, but again, the counter-insurgent regime must exercise restraint, and cleave to orderly procedures. Clear steps must be taken to curb brutality and retaliation by the security or "freelance" forces.
  4. Big unit action may sometimes be necessary. If police action is not sufficient to stop insurgents, military isweeps may be necessary. Such "big battalion" operations may be needed to break up significant guerrilla concentrations and split them into small groups where combined civic-military action can control them.
  5. Mobility. Mobility and aggressive small unit action is extremely important for the counter-insurgent regime. Heavy formations must be lightened to aggressively locate, pursue and fix insurgent units. Huddling in static strongpoints simply concedes the field to the insurgents. They must be kept on the run constantly with aggressive patrols, raids, ambushes, sweeps, cordons, etc.
  6. Systematic intelligence effort. Every effort must be made to gather and organize useful intelligence. A systematic process must be set up to do so, from casual questioning of civilians to structured interrogations of prisoners. Creative measures must also be used, including the use of double agents, or even bogus "liberation" or sympathizer groups that help reveal insurgent personnel or operations.
  7. Methodical clear and hold. An "ink spot" clear and hold strategy must be used by the counter-insurgent regime, dividing the conflict area into sectors, and assigning priorities between them. Control must expand outward like an ink spot on paper, systematically neutralizing and eliminating the insurgents in one sector of the grid, before proceeding to the next. It may be necessary to pursue holding or defensive actions elsewhere, while priority areas are cleared and held.
  8. Careful deployment of mass popular forces and special units. Specialist units can be used profitably, including commando squads, long range recon and "hunter-killer" patrols, defectors who can track or persuade their former colleagues like the Kit Carson units in Vietnam, and paramilitary style groups. Strict control must be kept over specialist units to prevent the emergence of violent vigilante style reprisal squads that undermine the government's program. Mass forces include village self-defence groups and citizen militias organized for local defence and security.
  9. Foreign assistance must be limited and carefully used. Such aid should be limited to material and technical support and small cadres of specialists. Unless this is done, the foreign helper may find itself "taking over" the local war, and being sucked into a lengthy committment, thus providing the guerrillas with valuable propaganda opportunities. Such a scenario occurred with the US in Vietnam.

[edit] Variants on the classic counter-guerrilla model

Some writers on counter-insurgency warfare emphasize the more turbulent nature of today's guerilla warfare environment, where the clear political goals, parties and structures of such places as Vietnam, Malaysia, or El Salvador are not as prevalent. These writers point to numerous guerrilla conflicts that center around religious, ethnic or even criminal enterprise themes, and that do not lend themselves to the classic "national liberation" template. The wide availability of the Internet has also cause changes in the tempo and mode of guerrilla operations in such areas as coordination of strikes, leveraging of financing, recruitment, and media manipulation. While the classic guidelines still apply, today's anti-guerrilla forces must needs accept a more disruptive, disorderly and ambiguous mode of operation.

"Insurgents may not be seeking to overthrow the state, may have no coherent strategy or may pursue a faith-based approach difficult to counter with traditional methods. There may be numerous competing insurgencies in one theater, meaning that the counterinsurgent must control the overall environment rather than defeat a specific enemy. The actions of individuals and the propaganda effect of a subjective “single narrative” may far outweigh practical progress, rendering counterinsurgency even more non-linear and unpredictable than before. The counterinsurgent, not the insurgent, may initiate the conflict and represent the forces of revolutionary change. The economic relationship between insurgent and population may be diametrically opposed to classical theory. And insurgent tactics, based on exploiting the propaganda effects of urban bombing, may invalidate some classical tactics and render others, like patrolling, counterproductive under some circumstances. Thus, field evidence suggests, classical theory is necessary but not sufficient for success against contemporary insurgencies..." <ref>[1] Counter-insurgency Redux", David Kilcullen </ref>

[edit] Counter-guerrilla methods in practice

[edit] Victory in Malaysian and Philipines

[edit] Failure in Vietnam

[edit] Failure of Soviet forces against mujadaheen in Afghanistan

[edit] Examples

[edit] Examples of countries and wars where guerrilla campaigns were successful

[edit] Examples of unsuccessful guerrilla campaigns

[edit] Examples of ongoing guerrilla warfare

[edit] Guerrillas in Europe

Over centuries of history, many guerrilla movements appeared in Europe to fight foreign occupation forces. The Fabian Strategy applied by the Roman Republic against Hannibal in the Second Punic War could be considered an early example of guerrilla tactics. After witnessing several disastrous defeats at the hands of Hannibal, the Roman dictator Fabius Maximus decided to modify traditional warfare methods. More often full-scale pitched campaigns were exchanged for small-scale skirmishes, sieges, sabotage attempts, assassinations and raiding parties. The Romans set aside the typical military doctrine of crushing the enemy in a single battle and initiated a successful, albeit unpopular, war of attrition against the Carthaginians that lasted for 14 years. In expanding their own Empire, the Romans encountered numerous examples of guerrilla resistance to their legions as well.

Mongols also faced guerrillas composed by armed peasants in Hungary after the Battle of Mohi. During The Deluge in Poland guerrilla tactics were applied. In the 19th century, peoples of the Balkans used guerrilla tactics to fight the Ottoman empire. In the 100 years war between England and France, commander Bertrand du Guesclin used guerrilla tactics to pester the English invaders. During the Scanian War, a pro-Danish guerrilla group known as the Snapphane fought against the Swedes. In 17th century Ireland, Irish irregulars called tories and rapparees used guerrilla warfare in the Irish Confederate Wars and the Williamite war in Ireland. The Finns guerrillas, sissis, fought against Russian occupation troops in the Great Northern War 1710-1721. The Russians retaliated brutally on civilian populace; the period is called Isoviha (Grand Hatred) in Finland.

[edit] Europe 1800-1900

[edit] Napoleonic Wars

In the Napoleonic Wars many of the armies lived off the land. This often led to some resistance by the local population if the army did not pay fair prices for produce they consumed. Usually this resistance was sporadic, and not very successful, so it is not classified as guerrilla action. There are three notable exceptions, though:

  • In Napoleon's invasion of Russia of 1812 two actions were ordered by Tsar Alexander which could be seen as initiating guerrilla tactics. The burning of Moscow after it had been occupied by Napoleon's Grand Army, depriving the French of shelter in the city, resembled guerrilla action insofar as it was an attack on the available resources rather than directly on the troops (and insofar as it was a Russian action rather than an inadvertent consequence of nineteenth-century troops' camping in a largely abandoned city of wooden buildings). In a different sense, the imperial command that the Russian serfs should attack the French resembled guerrilla tactics in its reliance on partisans rather than army regulars. This did not so much spark a guerrilla war as encourage a revengeful slaughter of French deserters by Russian peasants.
  • In the Peninsular War the British, encouraged by the spontaneous mass resistance in Spain against Napoleon, gave aid to the Spanish guerrillas who tied down tens of thousands of French troops. The continual losses of troops caused Napoleon to describe this conflict his "Spanish ulcer". The British gave this aid because it cost them much less than it would have done to equip British soldiers to face the French troops in conventional warfare. This was one of the most successful partisan wars in history and was where the word guerrilla was first used in this context. The Oxford English Dictionary lists Wellington as the oldest known source, speaking of "Guerrillas" in 1809.

Poet William Wordsworth, a former radical turned conservative, showed a surprising early insight into guerrilla methods in his pamphlet on the Convention of Cintra.

  • "It is manifest that, though a great army may easily defeat or disperse another army, less or greater, yet it is not in a like degree formidable to a determined people, nor efficient in a like degree to subdue them, or to keep them in subjugation–much less if this people, like those of Spain in the present instance, be numerous, and, like them, inhabit a territory extensive and strong by nature. For a great army, and even several great armies, cannot accomplish this by marching about the country, unbroken, but each must split itself into many portions, and the several detachments become weak accordingly, not merely as they are small in size, but because the soldiery, acting thus, necessarily relinquish much of that part of their superiority, which lies in what may be called the engineer of war; and far more, because they lose, in proportion as they are broken, the power of profiting by the military skill of the Commanders, or by their own military habits. The experienced soldier is thus brought down nearer to the plain ground of the inexperienced, man to the level of man: and it is then, that the truly brave man rises, the man of good hopes and purposes; and superiority in moral brings with it superiority in physical power.” (William Wordsworth: Selected Prose, Penguin Classics 1988, page 177-8.)
[edit] Others

[edit] Europe 1900–2000

[edit] Anglo-Irish War

The wars between Ireland and the British state, have been long and over the centuries have covered the full spectrum of the types of warfare. The Irish fought the first successful 20th century war of independence against the British Empire and the United Kingdom. After the military failure of the Easter Rising in 1916, the Irish Republican Army (IRA) resorted to guerrilla tactics involving both urban warfare and flying columns in the countryside during the Anglo-Irish War (Irish War of Independence) of 1919 to 1921. The chief IRA commanders in the localities during this period were Tom Barry, Dan Breen, Liam Lynch, and Seán Mac Eoin. The British security forces were fought to a standstill and the of the UK government agreed to meet representatives of the Irish uprising, who since the 1918 General Election held seventy-three of the one hundred and five parliamentary seats for the island, to negotiate a settlement, leading to the Anglo-Irish Treaty It created the Irish Free State of 26 counties as a dominion within the British Empire; the other 6 counties remained part of the UK. Sinn Féin and the Irish Republican Army split into pro- and anti-Treaty factions with the anti-Treaty IRA forces losing the Irish Civil War (1922-23) which followed. The partition of Ireland laid the seeds for the later troubles.

[edit] World War II
Image:Soviet guerilla.jpg
Soviet partisan fighters behind German lines in Belarus in 1943

In World War II, several guerrilla organisations (often known as resistance movements) operated in the countries occupied by Nazi Germany. These included the Polish Home Army, Slovak National Uprising, Soviet partisans (see also Russian Guerrilla Warfare of WWII), Yugoslav Partisans, Bulgarian NOVA, French resistance or Maquis, Italian partisans, ELAS and royalist forces in Greece. Many of these organisations received help from the Special Operations Executive (SOE) which along with the commandos was initiated by Winston Churchill to "set Europe ablaze." The SOE was originally designated as 'Section D' of MI6 but its aid to resistance movements to start fires clashed with MI6's primary role as an intelligence-gathering agency. When Britain was under threat of invasion, SOE trained Auxiliary Units to conduct guerrilla warfare in the event of invasion. Not only did SOE help the resistance to tie down many German units as garrison troops, so directly aiding the conventional war effort, but also guerrilla incidents in occupied countries were useful in the propaganda war, helping to repudiate German claims that the occupied countries were pacified and broadly on the side of the Germans. Despite these minor successes, many historians believe that the efficacy of the European resistance movements has been greatly exaggerated in popular novels, films and other media.

Contrary to popular belief, the resistance groups were only able to seriously counter the German in areas that offered the protection of rugged terrain. In relatively flat, open areas, such as France, the resistance groups were all too vulnerable to decimation by German regulars and pro-German collaborationists. Only when operating in concert with conventional Allied units were the resistance groups to prove indispensable. When the U.S. entered the war, the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) co-operated and enhanced the work of SOE as well as working on its own initiatives in the Far East. Even the Home Guard were trained in guerrilla warfare in the case of invasion of England. Osterly Park was the first of 3 such schools established to train the Home Guard.

[edit] Post World War II

After World War II, during the 1940s and 1950s, thousands of fighters in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (see Forest Brothers) participated in unsuccessful guerrilla warfare against Soviet occupation.<ref>Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?; Crimes of Soviet Communists — Wide collection of sources and links about Guerrilla war in the Baltic states against Soviet occupation</ref>

In the late 1960s the Troubles began again in Northern Ireland. They had their origins in the partition of Ireland during the Irish War of Independence. They came to an end with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. The peace is fragile and it is too early to tell if a permanent end to the conflict has occurred and which group, if any, won. The violence was characterised by an armed campaign against the British presence in Northern Ireland by the Provisional Irish Republican Army, British counter-insurgency policy, and attacks on the nationalist population by loyalist paramilitaries who had strong links to the British state forces.<ref>http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/collusion/source.htm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2955941.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2956337.stm</ref>

Although both loyalist and republican paramilitaries carried out terrorist atrocities against civilians which were often tit-for-tat, a case can be made for saying that attacks such as the Provisional IRA carried out on British soldiers at Warrenpoint in 1979 was a well planned guerrilla ambush.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The PIRA, Loyalist paramilitaries and various anti-Good Friday Agreement splinter-groups could be called guerrillas but are usually called terrorists by both the British and Irish governments. The news media such as the BBC and CNN will often use the term "gunmen" as in "IRA gunmen"<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> or "Loyalist gunmen"<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> committed a "terrorist" act. Since 1995 CNN also uses guerrilla as in "IRA guerrilla" and "Protestant guerrilla"<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>. Reuters, in accordance with its principle of not using the word terrorist except in direct quotes, refers to "guerrilla groups".<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

[edit] Europe 2000 – present

Currently, the Corsican FLNC and other groups such as the Greek Marxist [[Revolutionary Organization 17 November]] claim to be guerrillas, but are commonly recognized as terrorists since they have murdered civilians on almost all occasions (collateral damages according to them) and not always purely legitimate military targets. Furthermore, this is how the governments and media of their respective countries (foreign invader governments according to these groups) prefer to refer to them.

The ongoing war between pro-independence groups in Chechnya and the Russian government is currently the most active guerrilla war in Europe. Most of the incidents reported by the Western news media are very gory terrorist acts against Russian civilians committed by Chechen separatists outside Chechnya. However, within Chechnya the war has many of the characteristics of a classic guerrilla war. See the article History of Chechnya for more details.

[edit] Guerrillas in the American Revolutionary War

While the American Revolutionary War is often thought of as a guerrilla war, guerrilla tactics were uncommon, and almost all of the battles involved conventional set-piece battles. Some of the confusion may be due to the fact that generals George Washington and Nathaniel Greene successfully used a strategy of harassment and progressively grinding down British forces instead of seeking a decisive battle, in a classic example of asymmetric warfare. Nevertheless the theater tactics used by most of the American forces were those of conventional warfare. One of the exceptions was in the south, where the brunt of the war was upon militia forces who fought the enemy British troops and their Loyalist supporters, but used concealment, surprise, and other guerrilla tactics to much advantage. General Francis Marion of South Carolina, who often attacked the British at unexpected places and then faded into the swamps by the time the British were able to organized return fire, was named by them The Swamp Fox. However, even in the south, most of the major engagements were set-piece battles of conventional warfare. See also Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, for another Revolutionary example.

[edit] Guerrillas in the American Civil War

Irregular warfare in the American Civil War followed the patterns of irregular warfare in 19th century Europe. Structurally, irregular warfare can be divided into three different types conducted during the Civil War: 'People's War', 'partisan warfare', and 'raiding warfare'. The concept of 'People's war,' first described by Clausewitz in On War, was the closest example of a mass guerrilla movement in the era. In general, this type of irregular warfare was conducted in the hinterland of the Border States (Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and northwestern Virginia), and was marked by a vicious neighbor against neighbor quality. One such example was the opposing irregular forces operating in Missouri and northern Arkansas from 1862 to 1865, most of which were pro-Confederate or pro-Union in name only and preyed on civilians and isolated military forces of both sides with little regard of politics. From these semi-organized guerrillas, several groups formed and were given some measure of legitimacy by their governments. Quantrill's Raiders, who terrorized pro-Union civilians and fought Federal troops in large areas of Missouri and Kansas, was one such unit. Another notorious unit, with debatable ties to the Confederate military, was led by Champ Ferguson along the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Ferguson became one of the only figures of Confederate cause to be executed after the war. Dozens of other small, localized bands terrorized the countryside throughout the border region during the war, bringing total war to the area that lasted until the end of the Civil War and, in some areas, beyond.

Partisan warfare, in contrast, more closely resembles Commando operations of the 20th century. Partisans were small units of conventional forces, controlled and organized by a military force for operations behind enemy lines. The 1862 Partisan Ranger Act passed by the Confederate Congress authorized the formation of these units and gave them legitimacy, which placed them in a different category than the common 'bushwhacker' or 'guerrilla'. John Singleton Mosby formed a partisan unit which was very effective in tying down Federal forces behind Union lines in northern Virginia in the last two years of the war.

Lastly, deep raids by conventional cavalry forces were often considered 'irregular' in nature. The "Partisan Brigades" of Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Hunt Morgan operated as part of the cavalry forces of the Confederate Army of Tennessee in 1862 and 1863. They were given specific missions to destroy logistical hubs, railroad bridges, and other strategic targets to support the greater mission of the Army of Tennessee. By mid-1863, with the destruction of Morgan's raiders during the Great Raid of 1863, the Confederacy conducted few deep cavalry raids in the latter years of the war, mostly due to the losses in experienced horsemen and the offensive operations of the Union army. Federal cavalry conducted several successful raids during the war but in general used their cavalry forces in a more conventional role. A good exception was the 1863 Grierson's Raid, which did much to set the stage for General Ulysses S. Grant's victory during the Vicksburg Campaign.

Federal counter-guerrilla operations were very successful in preventing the success of Confederate guerrilla warfare. In Arkansas, Federal forces used a wide variety of strategies to defeat irregulars. These included the use of Arkansas Unionist forces as anti-guerrilla troops, the use of riverine forces such as gunboats to control the waterways, and the provost marshal military law enforcement system to spy on suspected guerrillas and to imprison those captured. Against Confederate raiders, the Federal army developed an effective cavalry themselves and reinforced that system by a large number of blockhouses and fortification to defend strategic targets.

However, Federal attempts to defeat Mosby's Partisan Rangers fell short of success due to Mosby's use of very small units (10–15 men) operating in areas considered friendly to the Rebel cause. Another regiment known as the "Thomas Legion," consisting of white and anti-Union Cherokee Indians, morphed into a guerrilla force and continued fighting in the remote mountain back-country of western North Carolina for a month after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. That unit was never completely suppressed by Union forces, but voluntarily ceased hostilities after capturing the town of Waynesville on May 10 1865.

In the late 20th century several historians have focused on the non-use of guerrilla warfare to prolong the war. Near the end of the war, there were those in the Confederate government, notably Jefferson Davis who advocated continuing the southern fight as a guerrilla conflict. He was opposed by generals such as Robert E. Lee who ultimately believed that surrender and reconciliation were better than guerrilla warfare.

[edit] South African War

Guerrilla tactics were used extensively by the forces of the Afrikaner republics in the Second Boer War in South Africa 1899-1902. After the British defeated the Boer armies in conventional warfare and occupied their capitals of Pretoria and Bloemfontein, Boer commandos reverted to mobile warfare. Units led by leaders such as Christian de Wet harassed slow-moving British columns and attacked railway lines and encampments. The Boers were almost all mounted and possessed long range magazine loaded rifles. This gave them the ability to attack quickly and cause many casualties before retreating rapidly when British reinforcements arrived. In the early period of the guerrilla war, Boer commandos could be very large, containing several thousand men and even field artillery. However, as their supplies of food and ammunition gave out, the Boers increasingly broke up into smaller units and relied on captured British arms and ammunition.

To counter these tactics, the British under Kitchener interned Boer civilians into concentration camps and built hundreds of blockhouses all over the Transvaal and Orange Free State. Eventually, the Boer guerrillas surrendered in 1902, but the British granted them generous terms in order to bring the war to an end. This showed how effective guerrilla tactics could be in extracting concessions from a militarily more powerful enemy.

[edit] Guerrilla warfare during the Second Sino-Japanese War

Despite a common misconception, both Nationalist and Communist forces were active underground resistance in Japanese-occupied areas during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Even before the outbreak of total war in 1937, partisans were already present in Manchuria hampering Japan's occupation of the region. After the initial phases of the war, when large swaths of the North China Plain rapidly fell to the Japanese, underground resistance, supported by either Communist sympathisers or composed of disguised Nationalist soldiers, would soon rise up to combat the garrison forces. They were quite successful, able to sabotage railroad routes and ambush reinforcements. Many major campaigns, such as the four failed invasions of Changsha, were caused by overly-stretched supply lines, lack of reinforcements, and ambushes by irregulars. The Communist cells, many having decades of prior experience in guerrilla warfare against the Nationalists, usually fared much better, and many Nationalist underground groups were subsequently absorbed into Communist ones. Usually in Japanese-occupied areas, the IJA only controlled the cities and railroad routes, with most of them countryside either left alone or with active guerrilla presence. The People's Republic of China has emphasised their contribution to the Chinese war effort, going as far to say that in addition to a "overt theatre", which in many cases they deny was effective, there was also a "covert theatre", which they claim did much to stop the Japanese advance.

[edit] Guerrillas in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

European Jews fleeing from anti-Semitic violence (especially Russian pogroms) immigrated in increasing numbers to Palestine. When the British restricted Jewish immigration to the region (see White Paper of 1939), Jewish Palestinians began to use guerrilla warfare for two purposes: to bring in more Jewish refugees, and to turn the tide of British sentiment at home. Jewish groups such as the Lehi and the Irgun - many of whom had experience in the Warsaw Ghetto battles against the Nazis, fought British soldiers whenever they could, including the bombing of the King David Hotel.

The creation of the state of Israel might be considered one of the greatest achievements of guerrilla warfare. The Jewish forces were composed of spontaneous groups of civilians working without formal military structure, fighting the British Empire, which had just emerged victorious from World War II. Some of these groups were amalgamated into the Israel Defence Force and subsequently fought in the 1948 War of Independence.)

Palestinian groups, among them the Palestinian Liberation Army, soon initiated their own guerrilla warfare against the new Jewish state.

[edit] Guerrillas in Latin America

In the Mexican Revolution from 1910 to 1920, the populist revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata employed the use of predominately guerrilla tactics. His forces, composed entirely of peasant farmers turned soldiers, wore no uniform and would easily blend into the general population after an operation's completion. They would have young soldiers, called "dynamite boys", hurl cans filled with explosives into enemy barracks, and then a large number of lightly armed soldiers would emerge from the surrounding area to attack it. Although Zapata's forces met considerable success, his strategy backfired as government troops, unable to distinguish his soldiers from the normal population, waged a broad and brutal campaign against the latter.

In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Latin America had a number of urban guerrilla movements whose strategy was to destabilize regimes and provoke a counter-reaction by the military. The theory was that a harsh military regime would oppress the middle classes who would then support the guerrillas and create a popular uprising.

While these movements did destabilize governments, such as Argentina[ Uruguay, Guatemala, and Peru to the point of military intervention, the military generally proceeded to completely wipe out the guerrilla movements, usually committing several atrocities among both civilians and armed insurgents in the process.

Several other left-wing guerrilla movements, often backed by Cuba and/or the Soviet Union, attempted to overthrow US-backed governments or right-wing military dictatorships. US-backed Contra guerrillas attempted to overthrow the left-wing elected Sandinista government of Nicaragua, though most of these groups should be considered mercenary juntas rather than rooted guerrillas. The Sandinista Revolution saw the involvement of Women and the Armed Struggle in Nicaragua.

[edit] Kashmir

Kashmir has been disputed between both India and Pakistan. The territory has been disputed since the Indo-Pakistani Partition in 1947. Many guerrillas fight for an independent Kashmiri state, while other guerrillas wish to annex parts of Kashmir into Pakistani-Administered Kashmir.

[edit] Vietnam War

Within the United States, the Vietnam War is commonly thought of as a guerrilla war. However, this is a simplification of a much more complex situation which followed the pattern outlined by Maoist theory.

The National Liberation Front (NLF), drawing its ranks from the North Vietnamese peasantry and working class, used guerrilla tactics in the early phases of the war. However, by 1965 when U.S. involvement escalated, the National Liberation Front was in the process of being supplanted by regular units of the North Vietnamese Army.

The NVA regiments organized along traditional military lines, were supplied via the Ho Chi Minh trail rather than living off the land, and had access to weapons such as tanks and artillery which are not normally used by guerrilla forces. Furthermore, parts of North Vietnam were "off-limits" by American bombardment for political reasons, giving the NVA personnel and their materiel a haven that does not usually exist for a guerrilla army.

Over time, more of the fighting was conducted by the North Vietnamese Army and the character of the war become increasingly conventional. The final offensive into South Vietnam in 1975 was a mostly conventional military operation in which guerrilla warfare played a minor, supporting role.

The Cu Chi Tunnels (Ð?a d?o C? Chi) was a major base for guerrilla warfare during the Vietnam War. Located about 60km northwest of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the Viet Cong used the complex system tunnels to hide and live during the days and come up to fight at nights.

The communist victory illustrates the importance of the political element in modern guerrilla warfare. "The Party commands the gun" was the Maoist saying and this is reflected in guerrilla struggles that are non-communist as well, from colonial liberation conflicts in Africa, to Palestinian operations against Israel. Mao condemned "guerrillasim" and "banditism", - scattered hit and run attacks for revenge or booty, unfocused on a specific political objective.

Throughout the Vietnam War, the communist Party closely supervised all levels of the conflict. The bulk of the VC/NLF were initially southerners, with some distinctive southern issues and sensibilities. Nevertheless, the VC/NLF was clearly a creature of the Northern Lao Dong Party which manipulated and controlled it -furnishing it with supplies, weaponry and trained cadres, including regular NVA/PAVN troops posing as "local" fighters. Hanoi also organized the Southern Communist party, the Peoples Revolutionary Party (PRP) in 1962, to exercise detailed political control over the insurgency, and COVSN, Central Office for Southern Vietnam, which partially conmtrolled military activity. While a measure of decentralization was necessary to pursue the conflict locally, the PRP, and COVSN, answered ultimately to their Northern handlers. As the war progressed, southern influence weakened, and the northern grip was strengthened. Operating through the PRP, and manipulating a variety of front groups, the communist leadership in the North forged a formidable weapon in both the military and propaganda spheres, garnering both internal support in the South, and international support from sympathetic Westerners. Such shrewd tactics (particularly media manipulation) are still in use today, and can give guerrilla operatives an influence extending far beyond their actual numbers or weaponry.

[edit] Guerrilla warfare in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Kurdish Northern Iraq

Guerrilla warfare formed an integral part of the US/NATO military campaigns in Kosovo in the late 1990s and Afghanistan in 2001, which created a unique style of warfare combining low-technology guerrilla warfare with high-technology air power. In these campaigns, guerrilla fighters with coordination from special forces would engage the enemy, forcing them to move out into the open where they could be destroyed using air power supplied by the United States. In both cases, the guerrillas were able to take advantage of their local knowledge and willingness to take casualties to great effect when supplemented by outside air power. In Kosovo the Kosovo Liberation Army, a separatist paramilitary force, was aided by the NATO air forces. Afghan Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud was known for his guerrilla tactics in the Soviet-Afghan war. In Afghanistan numerous anti-Taliban militias (consisting of regular soldiers and guerrillas), including the Afghan Northern Alliance, were aided by US air power. This formula was used again, in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, against the Iraqi Army by Kurdish Peshmerga guerrillas with the aid of U.S. special forces and the U.S. Air Force.

[edit] Guerrillas in Iraq (since 2003)

Many guerrilla tactics are used by the Iraqi insurgency against the US-led coalition. Such tactics include the bombing of vehicles and human targets, suicide bombings, ambushes, and traditional hit and run raids. Although it is unclear how many US casualties can be attributed to insurgent guerrilla action, due to high numbers of non-combat related injuries and deaths being included in all available statistics of total coalition casualties, it is estimated that they have injured more than 18,000 coalition troops and killed over 2,700, including more than 2,500 US soldiers: In addition the insurgents established de facto control over the Al Anbar Governorate[5], Insurgent control was maintained despite a series of coalition campaigns, due to the worsening violence in Baghdad leading to the recall of coalition forces. [6] [7]

[edit] Influence on the arts

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Notes

<references />

[edit] External links



Contrary to popular belief, the resistance groups were only able to seriously counter the German in areas that offered the protection of rugged terrain. In relatively flat, open areas, such as France, the resistance groups were all too vulnerable to decimation by German regulars and pro-German collaborationists. Only when operating in concert with conventional Allied units were the resistance groups to prove indispensable. When the U.S. entered the war, the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) co-operated and enhanced the work of SOE as well as working on its own initiatives in the Far East. Even the Home Guard were trained in guerrilla warfare in the case of invasion of England. Osterly Park was the first of 3 such schools established to train the Home Guard.

[edit] Post World War II

After World War II, during the 1940s and 1950s, thousands of fighters in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (see Forest Brothers) participated in unsuccessful guerrilla warfare against Soviet occupation.<ref>Could the Baltic States have resisted to the Soviet Union?; Crimes of Soviet Communists — Wide collection of sources and links about Guerrilla war in the Baltic states against Soviet occupation</ref>

In the late 1960s the Troubles began again in Northern Ireland. They had their origins in the partition of Ireland during the Irish War of Independence. They came to an end with the signing of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. The peace is fragile and it is too early to tell if a permanent end to the conflict has occurred and which group, if any, won. The violence was characterised by an armed campaign against the British presence in Northern Ireland by the Provisional Irish Republican Army, British counter-insurgency policy, and attacks on the nationalist population by loyalist paramilitaries who had strong links to the British state forces.<ref>http://cain.ulst.ac.uk/issues/collusion/source.htm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2955941.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/2956337.stm</ref>

Although both loyalist and republican paramilitaries carried out terrorist atrocities against civilians which were often tit-for-tat, a case can be made for saying that attacks such as the Provisional IRA carried out on British soldiers at Warrenpoint in 1979 was a well planned guerrilla ambush.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The PIRA, Loyalist paramilitaries and various anti-Good Friday Agreement splinter-groups could be called guerrillas but are usually called terrorists by both the British and Irish governments. The news media such as the BBC and CNN will often use the term "gunmen" as in "IRA gunmen"<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> or "Loyalist gunmen"<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> committed a "terrorist" act. Since 1995 CNN also uses guerrilla as in "IRA guerrilla" and "Protestant guerrilla"<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>. Reuters, in accordance with its principle of not using the word terrorist except in direct quotes, refers to "guerrilla groups".<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

[edit] Europe 2000 – present

Currently, the Corsican FLNC and other groups such as the Greek Marxist [[Revolutionary Organization 17 November]] claim to be guerrillas, but are commonly recognized as terrorists since they have murdered civilians on almost all occasions (collateral damages according to them) and not always purely legitimate military targets. Furthermore, this is how the governments and media of their respective countries (foreign invader governments according to these groups) prefer to refer to them.

The ongoing war between pro-independence groups in Chechnya and the Russian government is currently the most active guerrilla war in Europe. Most of the incidents reported by the Western news media are very gory terrorist acts against Russian civilians committed by Chechen separatists outside Chechnya. However, within Chechnya the war has many of the characteristics of a classic guerrilla war. See the article History of Chechnya for more details.

[edit] Guerrillas in the American Revolutionary War

While the American Revolutionary War is often thought of as a guerrilla war, guerrilla tactics were uncommon, and almost all of the battles involved conventional set-piece battles. Some of the confusion may be due to the fact that generals George Washington and Nathaniel Greene successfully used a strategy of harassment and progressively grinding down British forces instead of seeking a decisive battle, in a classic example of asymmetric warfare. Nevertheless the theater tactics used by most of the American forces were those of conventional warfare. One of the exceptions was in the south, where the brunt of the war was upon militia forces who fought the enemy British troops and their Loyalist supporters, but used concealment, surprise, and other guerrilla tactics to much advantage. General Francis Marion of South Carolina, who often attacked the British at unexpected places and then faded into the swamps by the time the British were able to organized return fire, was named by them The Swamp Fox. However, even in the south, most of the major engagements were set-piece battles of conventional warfare. See also Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, for another Revolutionary example.

[edit] Guerrillas in the American Civil War

Irregular warfare in the American Civil War followed the patterns of irregular warfare in 19th century Europe. Structurally, irregular warfare can be divided into three different types conducted during the Civil War: 'People's War', 'partisan warfare', and 'raiding warfare'. The concept of 'People's war,' first described by Clausewitz in On War, was the closest example of a mass guerrilla movement in the era. In general, this type of irregular warfare was conducted in the hinterland of the Border States (Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and northwestern Virginia), and was marked by a vicious neighbor against neighbor quality. One such example was the opposing irregular forces operating in Missouri and northern Arkansas from 1862 to 1865, most of which were pro-Confederate or pro-Union in name only and preyed on civilians and isolated military forces of both sides with little regard of politics. From these semi-organized guerrillas, several groups formed and were given some measure of legitimacy by their governments. Quantrill's Raiders, who terrorized pro-Union civilians and fought Federal troops in large areas of Missouri and Kansas, was one such unit. Another notorious unit, with debatable ties to the Confederate military, was led by Champ Ferguson along the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Ferguson became one of the only figures of Confederate cause to be executed after the war. Dozens of other small, localized bands terrorized the countryside throughout the border region during the war, bringing total war to the area that lasted until the end of the Civil War and, in some areas, beyond.

Partisan warfare, in contrast, more closely resembles Commando operations of the 20th century. Partisans were small units of conventional forces, controlled and organized by a military force for operations behind enemy lines. The 1862 Partisan Ranger Act passed by the Confederate Congress authorized the formation of these units and gave them legitimacy, which placed them in a different category than the common 'bushwhacker' or 'guerrilla'. John Singleton Mosby formed a partisan unit which was very effective in tying down Federal forces behind Union lines in northern Virginia in the last two years of the war.

Lastly, deep raids by conventional cavalry forces were often considered 'irregular' in nature. The "Partisan Brigades" of Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Hunt Morgan operated as part of the cavalry forces of the Confederate Army of Tennessee in 1862 and 1863. They were given specific missions to destroy logistical hubs, railroad bridges, and other strategic targets to support the greater mission of the Army of Tennessee. By mid-1863, with the destruction of Morgan's raiders during the Great Raid of 1863, the Confederacy conducted few deep cavalry raids in the latter years of the war, mostly due to the losses in experienced horsemen and the offensive operations of the Union army. Federal cavalry conducted several successful raids during the war but in general used their cavalry forces in a more conventional role. A good exception was the 1863 Grierson's Raid, which did much to set the stage for General Ulysses S. Grant's victory during the Vicksburg Campaign.

Federal counter-guerrilla operations were very successful in preventing the success of Confederate guerrilla warfare. In Arkansas, Federal forces used a wide variety of strategies to defeat irregulars. These included the use of Arkansas Unionist forces as anti-guerrilla troops, the use of riverine forces such as gunboats to control the waterways, and the provost marshal military law enforcement system to spy on suspected guerrillas and to imprison those captured. Against Confederate raiders, the Federal army developed an effective cavalry themselves and reinforced that system by a large number of blockhouses and fortification to defend strategic targets.

However, Federal attempts to defeat Mosby's Partisan Rangers fell short of success due to Mosby's use of very small units (10–15 men) operating in areas considered friendly to the Rebel cause. Another regiment known as the "Thomas Legion," consisting of white and anti-Union Cherokee Indians, morphed into a guerrilla force and continued fighting in the remote mountain back-country of western North Carolina for a month after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. That unit was never completely suppressed by Union forces, but voluntarily ceased hostilities after capturing the town of Waynesville on May 10 1865.

In the late 20th century several historians have focused on the non-use of guerrilla warfare to prolong the war. Near the end of the war, there were those in the Confederate government, notably Jefferson Davis who advocated continuing the southern fight as a guerrilla conflict. He was opposed by generals such as Robert E. Lee who ultimately believed that surrender and reconciliation were better than guerrilla warfare.

[edit] South African War

Guerrilla tactics were used extensively by the forces of the Afrikaner republics in the Second Boer War in South Africa 1899-1902. After the British defeated the Boer armies in conventional warfare and occupied their capitals of Pretoria and Bloemfontein, Boer commandos reverted to mobile warfare. Units led by leaders such as Christian de Wet harassed slow-moving British columns and attacked railway lines and encampments. The Boers were almost all mounted and possessed long range magazine loaded rifles. This gave them the ability to attack quickly and cause many casualties before retreating rapidly when British reinforcements arrived. In the early period of the guerrilla war, Boer commandos could be very large, containing several thousand men and even field artillery. However, as their supplies of food and ammunition gave out, the Boers increasingly broke up into smaller units and relied on captured British arms and ammunition.

To counter these tactics, the British under Kitchener interned Boer civilians into concentration camps and built hundreds of blockhouses all over the Transvaal and Orange Free State. Eventually, the Boer guerrillas surrendered in 1902, but the British granted them generous terms in order to bring the war to an end. This showed how effective guerrilla tactics could be in extracting concessions from a militarily more powerful enemy.

[edit] Guerrilla warfare during the Second Sino-Japanese War

Despite a common misconception, both Nationalist and Communist forces were active underground resistance in Japanese-occupied areas during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Even before the outbreak of total war in 1937, partisans were already present in Manchuria hampering Japan's occupation of the region. After the initial phases of the war, when large swaths of the North China Plain rapidly fell to the Japanese, underground resistance, supported by either Communist sympathisers or composed of disguised Nationalist soldiers, would soon rise up to combat the garrison forces. They were quite successful, able to sabotage railroad routes and ambush reinforcements. Many major campaigns, such as the four failed invasions of Changsha, were caused by overly-stretched supply lines, lack of reinforcements, and ambushes by irregulars. The Communist cells, many having decades of prior experience in guerrilla warfare against the Nationalists, usually fared much better, and many Nationalist underground groups were subsequently absorbed into Communist ones. Usually in Japanese-occupied areas, the IJA only controlled the cities and railroad routes, with most of them countryside either left alone or with active guerrilla presence. The People's Republic of China has emphasised their contribution to the Chinese war effort, going as far to say that in addition to a "overt theatre", which in many cases they deny was effective, there was also a "covert theatre", which they claim did much to stop the Japanese advance.

[edit] Guerrillas in Israel and the Palestinian Territories

European Jews fleeing from anti-Semitic violence (especially Russian pogroms) immigrated in increasing numbers to Palestine. When the British restricted Jewish immigration to the region (see White Paper of 1939), Jewish Palestinians began to use guerrilla warfare for two purposes: to bring in more Jewish refugees, and to turn the tide of British sentiment at home. Jewish groups such as the Lehi and the Irgun - many of whom had experience in the Warsaw Ghetto battles against the Nazis, fought British soldiers whenever they could, including the bombing of the King David Hotel.

The creation of the state of Israel might be considered one of the greatest achievements of guerrilla warfare. The Jewish forces were composed of spontaneous groups of civilians working without formal military structure, fighting the British Empire, which had just emerged victorious from World War II. Some of these groups were amalgamated into the Israel Defence Force and subsequently fought in the 1948 War of Independence.)

Palestinian groups, among them the Palestinian Liberation Army, soon initiated their own guerrilla warfare against the new Jewish state.

[edit] Guerrillas in Latin America

In the Mexican Revolution from 1910 to 1920, the populist revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata employed the use of predominately guerrilla tactics. His forces, composed entirely of peasant farmers turned soldiers, wore no uniform and would easily blend into the general population after an operation's completion. They would have young soldiers, called "dynamite boys", hurl cans filled with explosives into enemy barracks, and then a large number of lightly armed soldiers would emerge from the surrounding area to attack it. Although Zapata's forces met considerable success, his strategy backfired as government troops, unable to distinguish his soldiers from the normal population, waged a broad and brutal campaign against the latter.

In the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, Latin America had a number of urban guerrilla movements whose strategy was to destabilize regimes and provoke a counter-reaction by the military. The theory was that a harsh military regime would oppress the middle classes who would then support the guerrillas and create a popular uprising.

While these movements did destabilize governments, such as Argentina Uruguay, Guatemala, and Peru to the point of military intervention, the military generally proceeded to completely wipe out the guerrilla movements, usually committing several atrocities among both civilians and armed insurgents in the process.

Several other left-wing guerrilla movements, often backed by Cuba and/or the Soviet Union, attempted to overthrow US-backed governments or right-wing military dictatorships. US-backed Contra guerrillas attempted to overthrow the left-wing elected Sandinista government of Nicaragua, though most of these groups should be considered mercenary juntas rather than rooted guerrillas. The Sandinista Revolution saw the involvement of Women and the Armed Struggle in Nicaragua.

[edit] Kashmir

Kashmir has been disputed between both India and Pakistan. The territory has been disputed since the Indo-Pakistani Partition in 1947. Many guerrillas fight for an independent Kashmiri state, while other guerrillas wish to annex parts of Kashmir into Pakistani-Administered Kashmir.

[edit] Vietnam War

Within the United States, the Vietnam War is commonly thought of as a guerrilla war. However, this is a simplification of a much more complex situation which followed the pattern outlined by Maoist theory.

The National Liberation Front (NLF), drawing its ranks from the North Vietnamese peasantry and working class, used guerrilla tactics in the early phases of the war. However, by 1965 when U.S. involvement escalated, the National Liberation Front was in the process of being supplanted by regular units of the North Vietnamese Army.

The NVA regiments organized along traditional military lines, were supplied via the Ho Chi Minh trail rather than living off the land, and had access to weapons such as tanks and artillery which are not normally used by guerrilla forces. Furthermore, parts of North Vietnam were "off-limits" by American bombardment for political reasons, giving the NVA personnel and their materiel a haven that does not usually exist for a guerrilla army.

Over time, more of the fighting was conducted by the North Vietnamese Army and the character of the war become increasingly conventional. The final offensive into South Vietnam in 1975 was a mostly conventional military operation in which guerrilla warfare played a minor, supporting role.

The Cu Chi Tunnels (Ð?a d?o C? Chi) was a major base for guerrilla warfare during the Vietnam War. Located about 60km northwest of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), the Viet Cong used the complex system tunnels to hide and live during the days and come up to fight at nights.

[edit] Guerrilla warfare in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Kurdish Northern Iraq

Guerrilla warfare formed an integral part of the US/NATO military campaigns in Kosovo in the late 1990s and Afghanistan in 2001, which created a unique style of warfare combining low-technology guerrilla warfare with high-technology air power. In these campaigns, guerrilla fighters with coordination from special forces would engage the enemy, forcing them to move out into the open where they could be destroyed using air power supplied by the United States. In both cases, the guerrillas were able to take advantage of their local knowledge and willingness to take casualties to great effect when supplemented by outside air power. In Kosovo the Kosovo Liberation Army, a separatist paramilitary force, was aided by the NATO air forces. Afghan Commander Ahmad Shah Massoud was known for his guerrilla tactics in the Soviet-Afghan war. In Afghanistan numerous anti-Taliban militias (consisting of regular soldiers and guerrillas), including the Afghan Northern Alliance, were aided by US air power. This formula was used again, in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, against the Iraqi Army by Kurdish Peshmerga guerrillas with the aid of U.S. special forces and the U.S. Air Force.

[edit] Guerrillas in Iraq (since 2003)

Many guerrilla tactics are used by the Iraqi insurgency against the US-led coalition. Such tactics include the bombing of vehicles and human targets, suicide bombings, ambushes, and traditional hit and run raids. Although it is unclear how many US casualties can be attributed to insurgent guerrilla action, due to high numbers of non-combat related injuries and deaths being included in all available statistics of total coalition casualties, it is estimated that they have injured more than 18,000 coalition troops and killed over 2,700, including more than 2,500 US soldiers: In addition the insurgents established de facto control over the Al Anbar Governorate[8], Insurgent control was maintained despite a series of coalition campaigns, due to the worsening violence in Baghdad leading to the recall of coalition forces. [9] [10]

[edit] Influence on the arts

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Notes

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[edit] External links

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Guerrilla warfare

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