In Chapter 7 of The Art of War, Sun Tzu writes, “if an army is without its equipment it will lose; if an army is without its provisions it will lose; if the army is without its stores it will lose.”
Insurgent forces in Syria are experiencing the difficulty of obtaining adequate medical provisions and casualty care in makeshift, covert clinics. All the hospitals are government run:
Government run health care is an extension of central authority. In effect, hospitals, doctors and medical clinics become another avenue in which government asserts control over the population. As the guerrilla must intermix with the population, in the same way that a fish swims in water, governmental control of the population’s health care services leaves the insurgent with limited options in seeking care.
Since the insurgents in Syria hold no separate territory, they are forced “underground” into covert clinics where resources, equipment and medical stores are substandard. Casualty care is a critical piece of logistical support that is essential for any successful campaign. This planning factor cannot be overlooked without succumbing to Sun Tzu’s prophecy.