Tag Archives: military tactics

Occupation and Guerilla Warfare

4 Mar

How do you respond if your country is invaded and you wish to repel the invaders?

In America, I don’t see us being invaded in my lifetime. Our military is too strong. Take away most of our military, and we can still nuke the crap out of any country that would have sufficient troops to invade us. Invaded, we still have about 150 million armed citizens. That would spoil any plans for domination by a foreign power.

Occupation should be looked at as a severe economic collapse where nothing is working. You need to hunker down and stay home. It’s dangerous to run into foreign troops. You can’t trust them to act in a civilized manner. You must hide your resources or they would be confiscated. Secrecy is the key. Maintain as low a profile as possible. In today’s world, remember, all of your online and cell phone communication could be monitored 100% by an invader.

If you want to oppose an invading army and don’t have an army of your own, you must rely on guerilla tactics. Guerilla tactics are confused by many for basic combat tactics. Everybody moves. Everybody uses concealment. Everybody hits the opponent where they are weak and avoids battles when a loss is likely. Everybody wants great intelligence about their adversary. If you’re playing paintball with your friends, you’re not using guerilla warfare. You’re using basic combat tactics.

Guerilla warfare means you have insufficient force to confront your adversary directly. You’re relegated to hit and run attacks. You need to find what works. The goal is to slowly and steadily drain the resources and will of your adversary.

Renewed respect and interest today focuses on Lawrence of Arabia’s views of guerilla warfare. He said it well: Guerilla warfare is a war of detachment and not engagement. Blowing stuff up and forcing the larger occupier to protect everything saps energy.

In my time, Mao Tse Tung was credited with innovating guerilla warfare. (Link to book in pdf.)

We live in a very different world today than T E Lawrence and Mao Tse Tung. Drones, communications, satellite images, and a whole host of other technology changes traditional guerilla warfare. You can’t move across a desert without getting spotted by drones.

One mistake I personally believe America made in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan was the use of regular ground forces. We didn’t need them. When we came in with overwhelming power, we made the Taliban flee and resort to terrorist attacks. Much better: Arm and support the Northern Alliance and let them grind down the Taliban for the next 30 years. Use targeted strikes to take out key leaders. Give an enemy the right-sized opponent and they want to fight pitched battles. They destroy themselves by thinking they can win. Same result in the end for much less resources.