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Guerilla war

 

Disciplines > Warfare > Strategies > Guerilla war

Action | Analysis | Example | Analogy | See also

 

Action

Guerilla warfare is surreptitious and hidden. Guerillas hide secretly in the hills or jungle. They might also hide openly amongst the population, gaining local collaboration either through sympathy that is diligently earned (for example by providing scarce food) or by fear of retribution.

Guerillas act in relatively small groups where they attack specific targets rather than engaging large forces.

Analysis

Guerrilla warfare is a form ideally suited to a smaller, weaker group but who are far more familiar with the territory and culture than the enemy.

In traditional pitched battles they would quickly be overrun, but in guerrilla form they can deliver 'death by a thousand cuts'.

Guerilla warfare needs a suitable territory into which the fighters can melt after an attack, such as dense jungles or vast, impenetrable mountains.

Example

In the Vietnam war, the Vietcong lived in the jungle and amongst the population, from which they harried the American forces and destroyed buildings and installations. Unable to defeat them, the Americans eventually left.

Analogy

In negotiation, attack the person outside the negotiation room, destroying their credibility by nefarious means.

See also

Demoralization in war, Distraction in war, Speed in war, Terrorism

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