Guerrilla Warfare

Guerrilla Warfare

Guerrilla warfare is a warfare that is fought by the irregulars in small scale, fast moving actions against the orthodox police and military forces and occasionally against rival insurgencies either in conjunction or independently of the larger political-military strategy. The term guerrilla comes from the campaigns of the Wellington duke, during the 1808 to 1814 Peninsular War when the Portuguese and Spanish irregulars or the guerrilleros assisted in driving the French out of the Iberian Peninsula. For many centuries, those who engage in this kind of warfare have been referred to with terms like irregulars, rebels, partisans, mercenaries and insurgents. They have been damned as savages, outlaws, bandits, brigands, terrorists and barbarians by the frustrated commanders of the military.

When and where the tactics of guerrilla warfare originated from

The tactics of this warfare date back to Sun Tzu ideas. Sun Tzu was a military strategist in China who lived more than 2000 years back. According to Sun Tzu, all warfare includes the use of the strength of a person in exploiting the enemy’s weakness. He wrote a book, The Art of War, in which he suggests how a better equipped and larger enemy can be defeated. Mao Zedong, the Chinese communist forces’ leader adopted the ideas of this military strategist successfully. The communist government’s establishment in China became an inspiration to the South East Asia revolutionaries. This became especially the case for the neighbor of China, Vietnam. Even the National Liberation Front’s tactics and strategy were based on those of Mao Zedong.

What causes this warfare?

Fundamentally, militant revolution causes this warfare. This is easily found in the world that has never been perfect. The causes of the guerrilla can assume different guises. However, it can be presented as the liberating force from the rule of the invader or colonial yoke. It can be freedom from the oppressive rents, serfdom or taxation. It can also be the restoration or establishment of a representative government contrary to a totalitarian or military dictatorship.

How it is fought

This warfare is fought by focusing tactics and strategies to the use of mobile, small forces to compete the large and unwieldy force. Small units are organized depending on the local population’s support and taking advantage of the terrain which accommodates small units. The guerrilla army tactically avoids confrontation with the troops of the large enemy’s units. Instead, a guerrilla army looks for and eliminates soldiers in small groups to minimize their losses while exhausting the forces of the enemy. Without limiting targets to the personnel, the resources of the enemy also become targets.

The guerrilla army does everything possible to weaken the strength of the enemy and to eventually make the enemy incapable of fighting and finally withdraw. A primary feature of this warfare is to disguise as civilians. However, this war is practiced in any place as long as there are ideal places where combatants can cover themselves as well as places where a more conventional and larger force cannot use such an advantage.

Why forces turn to guerrilla warfare

This warfare has been fought by many forces for various reasons. Popular forces use this warfare when they want to win against their enemy. With this warfare, it is not always necessary to wait for ideal conditions to start a revolution. The conditions can be created by an insurrection. In most cases, this warfare has an affiliation with the local people because the guerrillas come from the local people who later support the spawn by not just furnishing their daughters and sons to this cause, but furnishing food, refuge, money, shelter, medical aid, intelligence and transport. This support is not accorded the enemy.

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