Stratfor on Insurgency

Protracted War:

“The insurgent strategy of fighting a long, protracted war means that insurgents’ recent withdrawals from cities and towns in Yemen, Syria and Somalia do not necessarily mean that the wars in those regions will end anytime soon.”

“One of the basic tenets of modern Western warfare, as articulated by theorists such as Carl von Clausewitz, is the desire to destroy the enemy in quick, decisive battles that break the enemy’s ability — and will — to fight. In contrast, one of the basic doctrines of insurgent warfare, as articulated by theorists such as Mao Zedong and Vo Nguyen Giap, is to decline decisive battle when the odds are not favorable and to live to fight another day. The insurgent wants to prolong the battle and create a drawn-out, grinding war that will gradually wear down the stronger enemy while insurgent forces build up enough strength to fight a conventional war and defeat their opponents.”

“For insurgents, the operational concept is that if the enemy attacks in force, they retreat; if the enemy stays in place, they conduct harassing attacks; if the enemy tires, the insurgents press the attack; and if the enemy retreats, the insurgents pursue.”

“It requires far more resources and effort to control and govern populated cities and towns than it does to conduct an insurgent campaign from the jungles or mountains.”

“Such ungoverned spaces have played an important role in the current insurgencies in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Mali.”

“Another important consideration in many insurgent refuge spaces is the insurgents’ ability to use an international border to keep the government from attacking them.”

“Undercutting an insurgent group’s support is normally quite difficult, especially when the group has access to large areas of rugged terrain.”

“The real key in counterinsurgency is drying up the insurgents’ base of support. Once that happens, the insurgents lose their ability to use the population as camouflage and as a source of recruits and material support, and the intelligence advantage is tipped toward the government.”



About The Jade(d) Warrior

Decades of walking the path of the warrior in service to noble ideals leaves one, well...jaded.
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