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Guerrilla warfare is a form of
irregular warfare Irregular warfare (IW) is defined in United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 5 ...
in which small groups of
combatant Combatant is the legal status of an individual who has the right to engage in hostilities during an armed conflict War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups suc ...
s, such as
paramilitary Paramilitary forces usually tend to wear similar but different uniforms to the military, for instance gray " urban camouflage".A paramilitary organization is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subcultur ...
personnel, armed
civilian Civilians under international humanitarian law are "persons who are not members of the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typic ...

civilian
s, or
irregulars Irregular military is any non-standard military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sover ...
, use
military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield A battlefield, battleground, or field of battle is the location of a present or historic battle A battle is an occurrence of comb ...
including
ambush An ambush is a long-established military tactics, military tactic in which combatants take advantage of concealment or the element of surprise to attack unsuspecting enemy combatants from concealed positions, such as among dense underbrush or ...

ambush
es,
sabotage Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening a polity, effort, or organization through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. One who engages in sabotage is a ''saboteur''. Saboteurs typically try to conceal their identitie ...
, raids, petty warfare,
hit-and-run tactics Hit-and-run tactics are a tactical doctrine of using short surprise attacks, withdrawing before the enemy can respond in force, and constantly maneuvering to avoid full engagement with the enemy. The purpose is not a decisive victory against ...
, and
mobility Mobility may refer to: Social sciences and humanities * Economic mobility, ability of individuals or families to improve their economic status * Geographic mobility, the measure of how populations and goods move over time * Mobilities, a contempo ...
, to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or par ...

military
. Although the term "guerrilla warfare" was coined in the context of the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the fought by , the and against the invading and occupying forces of for control of the during the . In Spain, it is considered to overlap with the Spanish War of Independence. The war began when th ...

Peninsular War
in the 19th century, the tactical methods of guerrilla warfare have long been in use. In the 6th century BC,
Sun Tzu Sun Tzu ( ; zh, t=孫子, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese general, military strategist A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially a ...
proposed the use of guerrilla-style tactics in ''
The Art of War ''The Art of War'' () is an ancient List of Chinese military texts, Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period (roughly 5th century BC). The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Su ...
''. The 3rd century BC Roman general
Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, surnamed Cunctator ( 280 – 203 BC), was a Roman statesman and general of the third century BC. He was consul five times (233, 228, 215, 214, and 209 BC) and was appointed dictator in 221 and 217 BC. He was ...
is also credited with inventing many of the tactics of guerrilla warfare. Guerrilla warfare has been used by various factions throughout history and is particularly associated with revolutionary movements and popular resistance against invading or occupying armies. Guerrilla tactics focus on avoiding head-on confrontations with enemy armies, instead engaging in limited skirmishes with the goal of exhausting adversaries and forcing them to withdraw. Guerrilla groups often depend on the logistical and political support of either the local population or foreign backers who do not engage in an armed struggle but sympathize with the guerrilla group's efforts.


Etymology

The Spanish word is the diminutive form of ('war'). The term became popular during the early-19th century
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the fought by , the and against the invading and occupying forces of for control of the during the . In Spain, it is considered to overlap with the Spanish War of Independence. The war began when th ...

Peninsular War
, when, after the defeat of their regular armies, the Spanish and Portuguese people successfully rose against the
Napoleonic Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General o ...

Napoleonic
troops A troop is a military sub-subunit Sub-subunit or sub-sub-unit is a subordinated element below platoon level of company-sized units or sub-units which normally might not be separately identified in authorization documents by name, number, or ...
and defeated a highly superior army using the guerrilla strategy. In correct
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
usage, a person who is a member of a unit is a () if male, or a ( eriˈʎeɾa if female. The term ''guerrilla'' was used in English as early as 1809 to refer to the individual ''fighters'' (e.g., "The town was taken by the guerrillas"), and also (as in Spanish) to denote ''a group or band'' of such fighters. However, in most languages ''guerrilla'' still denotes the specific style of warfare. The use of the
diminutive A diminutive is a root word A root (or root word) is the core of a word that is irreducible into more meaningful elements. In morphology, a root is a morphologically simple unit which can be left bare or to which a prefix A prefix is an affi ...
evokes the differences in number, scale, and scope between the guerrilla army and the formal, professional army of the state.


History

Prehistoric tribal warriors presumably employed guerrilla-style tactics against enemy tribes. Evidence of
conventional warfare Conventional warfare is a form of warfare conducted by using conventional weapons and battlefield tactics between two or more sovereign state, states in open confrontation. The forces on each side are well-defined, and fight using weapons that pri ...
, on the other hand, did not emerge until 3100 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. The Chinese general and strategist
Sun Tzu Sun Tzu ( ; zh, t=孫子, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese general, military strategist A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially a ...
, in his ''
The Art of War ''The Art of War'' () is an ancient List of Chinese military texts, Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period (roughly 5th century BC). The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Su ...
'' (6th century BC), became one of the earliest to propose the use of guerrilla warfare.Leonard, Thomas M., ''Encyclopedia of the developing world'', 1989, p. 728. "One of the earliest proponents of guerrilla war tactics is the Chinese master of warfare, Sun Tzu." This inspired developments in modern guerrilla warfare. In the 3rd century BC,
Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, surnamed Cunctator ( 280 – 203 BC), was a Roman statesman and general of the third century BC. He was consul five times (233, 228, 215, 214, and 209 BC) and was appointed dictator in 221 and 217 BC. He was ...
, widely regarded as the "father of guerrilla warfare", devised the
Fabian strategy The Fabian strategy is a military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek word ''strategos Image:Greek strategist Pio-Clementino Inv306.jpg, ...
which the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the , run through of the . Beginning with the of the (traditionally dated to 509 BC) and ending in 27 BC with the establishment of the , Rome's control rapidly expanded durin ...
used to great effect against
Hannibal Hannibal (; xpu, 𐤇𐤍𐤁𐤏𐤋, ''Ḥannibaʿl''; 247 – between 183 and 181 BC) was a Carthaginian general and statesman who commanded the forces of Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient Ancient Carthage, ...

Hannibal
's army. This strategy would influence guerrilla tactics into the modern era. In the , guerrilla warfare was frequently practiced between the eighth through tenth centuries along the eastern frontier with the Umayyad and then Abbasid caliphates. Tactics involved a heavy emphasis on reconnaissance and intelligence, shadowing the enemy, evacuating threatened population centres, and attacking when the enemy dispersed to raid. In the later tenth century this form of warfare was codified in a military manual known by its later Latin name as ''
De velitatione bellica ''De velitatione bellica'' is the conventional Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. ...
'' ('On Skirmishing') so it would not be forgotten in the future. Since
the Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Reason or simply the Enlightenment); ger, Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie , "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, link=n ...
, ideologies such as
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peop ...
,
liberalism Liberalism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...

liberalism
,
socialism Socialism is a political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, ...
, and
religious fundamentalism Fundamentalism usually has a religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, worldviews, religious text, texts, shrine, sanctified places ...
have played an important role in shaping insurgencies and guerrilla warfare. In the 17th century,
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Chhatrapati is a royal title from the Indian subcontinent that was mainly used by the Maratha The Maratha caste are a Marathi people, Marathi clan originally formed in the earlier centuries from the amalgamation of families from the peasant (K ...
, founder of the
Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was a power that dominated a large portion of the in the 18th century. The empire formally existed from 1674 with the coronation of as the and ended in 1818 with the defeat of ' at the hands ...

Maratha Empire
, pioneered ''Shiva sutra'' or ''Ganimi Kava'' (Guerrilla Tactics) to defeat the many times larger and more powerful armies of the
Mughal Empire The Mughal Empire, Mogul or Moghul Empire, was an Early modern period, early modern empire in South Asia. Quote: "Although the first two Timurid emperors and many of their noblemen were recent migrants to the subcontinent, the dynasty and the ...
. Kerala Varma (Pazhassi Raja) (1753-1805) used guerrilla techniques in his war against the British
East India Company The East India Company (EIC), also known as the Honourable East India Company (HEIC), East India Trading Company (EITC), the English East India Company or (after Acts of Union 1707, 1707) the British East India Company, and informally known a ...
in India between 1790 and 1805. Arthur Wellesley adopted the term "guerrilla" into
English English usually refers to: * English language * English people English may also refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * ''English'', an adjective for something of, from, or related to England ** English national identity, an identity and ...
from Spanish usage in 1809 - after the Pazhassi revolt against the British. Arthur Wellesley (in India 1797-1805) had commanded forces assigned to defeat Pazhassi's techniques, but failed. The Moroccan military leader
Abd el-Krim Mohamed ibn Abdelkrim El-Khattabi (Tamazight: ⴰⴱⴹ ⴻⵍ ⵅⴰⵔⵉⵎ; ar, محمد بن عبد الكريم الخطابي), better known as Abd el-Krim (1882, Morocco – 6 February 1963) was an Amazigh-Riffians, Riffian political a ...

Abd el-Krim
( - 1963) and his father unified the Moroccan tribes under their control and took up arms against the Spanish and French invaders in 1920. For the first time in history,
tunnel warfare Tunnel warfare is a general name for war being conducted in tunnels and other underground cavities. It often includes the construction of underground facilities (mining or undermining) in order to attack or defend, and the use of existing na ...
was used alongside modern guerrilla tactics, which caused considerable damage to both the colonial armies in Morocco. In the early 20th century Michael Collins and Tom Barry both developed many tactical features of guerrilla warfare during the guerrilla phase of the 1919-1921 Irish War of Independence. Collins developed mainly urban guerrilla-warfare tactics in (the Irish capital). Operations in which small Irish Republican Army (IRA) units (3 to 6 guerrillas) quickly attacked a target and then disappeared into civilian crowds frustrated the British enemy. The best example of this occurred on Bloody Sunday (21 November 1920), when Collins's assassination unit, known as "The Squad", wiped out a group of British intelligence agents ("the ") early in the morning (14 were killed, six were wounded) - some regular officers were also killed in the purge. That afternoon a British force of mixed units took revenge, shooting at a crowd at a football match in
Croke Park Croke Park ( ga, Páirc an Chrócaigh, ) is a Gaelic games stadium in Dublin, Ireland. Named after Archbishop Thomas Croke, it is sometimes called Croker by GAA fans and locals. It serves as both the principal national stadium of Ireland and he ...

Croke Park
, killing fourteen civilians and injuring 60 others. In west
County Cork County Cork ( ga, Contae Chorcaí) is the largest and the southernmost county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first p ...
, Tom Barry was the commander of the IRA West Cork brigade. Fighting in west Cork was rural, and the IRA fought in much larger units than their fellows in urban areas. These units, called "
flying column A flying column is a small, independent, military land unit capable of rapid mobility and usually composed of all arms. It is often an ''ad hoc Ad hoc is a Latin phrase Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a l ...
s", engaged British forces in large battles, usually for between 10 - 30 minutes. The Kilmichael Ambush in November 1920 and the
Crossbarry Ambush The Crossbarry Ambush or Battle of Crossbarry occurred on 19 March 1921 and was one of the largest engagements of the Irish War of Independence Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland Irel ...
in March 1921 are the most famous examples of Barry's flying columns causing large casualties to enemy forces. The
Algerian War The Algerian War, also known as the Algerian Revolution or the Algerian War of Independence,( ar, الثورة الجزائرية '; '' ber, Tagrawla Tadzayrit''; french: Guerre d'Algérie or ') and sometimes in Algeria as the War of 1 November, ...
of 1954 started with a handful of Algerian guerrillas. Primitively armed, the guerrillas fought the French for over eight years. This remains a prototype for modern insurgency and counterinsurgency, terrorism, torture, and asymmetric warfare prevalent throughout the world today. In South Africa, African National Congress (ANC) members studied the Algerian War, prior to the release and apotheosis of Nelson Mandela; in their intifada against Israel, Palestinian fighters have sought to emulate it. Additionally, the tactics of Al-Qaeda closely resemble those of the Algerians.


Strategy, tactics and methods


Strategy

Guerrilla warfare is a type of
asymmetric warfare Asymmetric warfare (or asymmetric engagement) is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly. This is typically a war between a Standing army, standing, professi ...
: competition between opponents of unequal strength. It is also a type of irregular warfare: that is, it aims not simply to defeat an enemy, but to win popular support and political influence, to the enemy's cost. Accordingly, guerrilla
strategy Strategy (from Greek στρατηγία ''stratēgia'', "art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship") is a general plan to achieve one or more long-term or overall goals under conditions of uncertainty. In the sense of the "art ...

strategy
aims to magnify the impact of a small, mobile force on a larger, more-cumbersome one. If successful, guerrillas weaken their enemy by
attrition Attrition may refer to *Attrition warfare, the military strategy of wearing down the enemy by continual losses in personnel and material **War of Attrition, fought between Egypt and Israel from 1968 to 1970 **War of attrition (game), a model of aggr ...
, eventually forcing them to withdraw.


Tactics

Tactically, guerrillas usually avoid confrontation with large units and formations of enemy troops but seek and attack small groups of enemy personnel and resources to gradually deplete the opposing force while minimizing their own losses. The guerrilla prizes mobility, secrecy, and surprise, organizing in small units and taking advantage of terrain that is difficult for larger units to use. For example,
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the ...

Mao Zedong
summarized basic guerrilla tactics at the beginning of the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
as:
"The enemy advances, we retreat; the enemy camps, we harass; the enemy tires, we attack; the enemy retreats, we pursue."
At least one author credits the ancient Chinese work ''
The Art of War ''The Art of War'' () is an ancient List of Chinese military texts, Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period (roughly 5th century BC). The work, which is attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Su ...
'' with inspiring Mao's tactics. In the 20th century, other communist leaders, including North Vietnamese
Ho Chi Minh (; , ; : ; 19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969), born , also known as , , , Người cha dân tộc or simply ('Uncle', ), was a revolutionary and politician. He served as from 1945 to 1955 and from 1945 until his death in 1969. ...

Ho Chi Minh
, often used and developed guerrilla warfare tactics, which provided a model for their use elsewhere, leading to the Cuban "
foco The foco theory of revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power rel ...

foco
" theory and the anti-
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a socialist state A socialist state, socialist republic, or socialist country, sometimes referred to as a workers' state or workers' republic, is a sovere ...
Mujahadeen ''Mujahideen'' ( ar, مجاهدين ') is the plural form of ''mujahid'' (fighter in the way of Allah)( ar, مجاهد, links=no), the Arabic term for one engaged in '' jihad'' (literally, "struggle"). The English term '' jihadists'' grammatic ...
in
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari language, Dari: , Pashto: , Dari: ), officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central Asia, Central and South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the ea ...

Afghanistan
.McNeilly, Mark. ''Sun Tzu and the Art of Modern Warfare'', 2003, p. 204. "American arming and support of the anti-Soviet Mujahadeen in Afghanistan is another example."


Unconventional methods

In addition to traditional military methods, guerrilla groups may rely also on destroying infrastructure, using
improvised explosive device An improvised explosive device (IED) is a bomb A bomb is an explosive weapon that uses the Exothermic process, exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy. Detonations inflict ...
s, for example. They typically also rely on and political support from the local population and foreign backers, are often embedded within it (thereby using the population as a
human shield A human shield is a non-combatant Non-combatant is a term of art Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative ...
), and many guerrilla groups are adept at public persuasion through
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence an audience and further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a pa ...
and use of force. The opposing army may come to suspect all civilians as potential guerrilla backers. Many guerrilla movements today also rely heavily on children as combatants, scouts, porters, spies, informants, and in other roles. It has drawn international condemnation. Many states also recruit children into their armed forces. Some guerrilla groups also use
refugees as weapons A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely. Such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status by the contracting state or t ...
to solidify power or politically destabilize an adversary. The
FARC The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army ( es, link=no, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia—Ejército del Pueblo, FARC–EP and FARC) was a guerrilla warfare, guerrilla group involved in the continuing Colombian confl ...
guerrilla war displaced millions of Colombians, and so did the tribal guerrilla warfare (against Soviets) in Afghanistan. The civilian population living in the area might be suspected of having collaborated with the enemy and find itself displaced, as the guerrillas fight for territory.


Growth during the 20th century

The growth of guerrilla warfare in the 20th century was inspired in part by theoretical works on guerrilla warfare, starting with the ''Manual de Guerra de Guerrillas'' by
Matías Ramón Mella Ramón Matías Mella Castillo (25 February 1816 – 4 June 1864), was an early Dominican revolutionary, politician, and military general. Ramón is regarded as a national hero The title of Hero is presented by various governments in recognition ...
written in the 19th century and, more recently, Mao Zedong's ''
On Guerrilla Warfare ''On Guerrilla Warfare'' () is Mao Zedong Mao Zedong (; pronounced , (formerly Romanization of Chinese, romanized as Mao Tse-tung), December 26, 1893September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese Communism, communist revolu ...
'',
Che Guevara Ernesto "Che" Guevara (; 14 June 1928 – 9 October 1967) was a Cubans, Cuban-Argentines, Argentinian Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, Guerrilla warfare, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Rev ...

Che Guevara
'
''Guerrilla Warfare''
and Lenin'

all written after the successful revolutions carried by them in China, Cuba and Russia, respectively. Those texts characterized the tactic of guerrilla warfare as, according to
Che Guevara Ernesto "Che" Guevara (; 14 June 1928 – 9 October 1967) was a Cubans, Cuban-Argentines, Argentinian Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, Guerrilla warfare, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Rev ...

Che Guevara
's text, being "used by the side which is supported by a majority but which possesses a much smaller number of arms for use in defense against oppression".


Foco theory

In the 1960s, the
Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societies progress, ...
revolutionary
Che Guevara Ernesto "Che" Guevara (; 14 June 1928 – 9 October 1967) was a Cubans, Cuban-Argentines, Argentinian Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, Guerrilla warfare, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Rev ...

Che Guevara
developed the ''foco'' ( es, foquismo, link=no) theory of
revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...

revolution
in his book ''
Guerrilla Warfare Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare Irregular warfare (IW) is defined in United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States ...
'', based on his experiences during the 1959
Cuban Revolution The Cuban Revolution ( es, Revolución cubana) was an armed revolt conducted by Fidel Castro Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (; ; 13 August 1926 – 25 November 2016) was a Cuban revolutionary, lawyer, and politician who was the leader of ...
. This theory was later formalised as "focal-ism" by Régis Debray. Its central principle is that
vanguardism In the context of the theory of Leninist Communist revolution, revolutionary struggle, vanguardism involves a strategy whereby the most class consciousness , class-conscious and politically "advanced" sections of the proletariat or working class, ...
by cadres of small, fast-moving
paramilitary Paramilitary forces usually tend to wear similar but different uniforms to the military, for instance gray " urban camouflage".A paramilitary organization is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subcultur ...
groups can provide a focus for popular discontent against a sitting regime, and thereby lead a general
insurrection Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an established authority. A rebellion originates from a sentiment of indignation and disapproval of a situation and ...
. Although the original approach was to mobilize and launch attacks from rural areas, many ''foco'' ideas were adapted into
urban guerrilla warfare An urban guerrilla is someone who fights a government using unconventional warfare or domestic terrorism in an urban area, urban environment. Theory and history The urban guerrilla phenomenon is essentially one of industrialisation, industri ...
movements.


Comparison of guerrilla warfare and terrorism

There is no commonly accepted definition of "terrorism", and the term is frequently used as political propaganda by
belligerent A belligerent is an individual, group, country, or other entity that acts in a hostile manner, such as engaging in combat Combat (French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France Fran ...
s (most often by governments in power) to denounce opponents whose status as
terrorists Terrorism, in its broadest sense, is the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. The term is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the ...
is disputed. Contrary to some terrorist groups, guerillas usually work in open positions as armed units, try to hold and seize land, do not refrain from fighting enemy military force in battle and usually apply pressure to control or dominate territory and population, or deny that control to the enemy. While the primary concern of guerrillas is the enemy's active military units, terrorists largely are concerned with non-military agents and target mostly civilians. Guerrilla forces principally fight in accordance with the law of war (''jus in bello''). In this sense, they respect the rights of innocent civilians by refraining from targeting them.


See also

*
Counter-insurgency Counterinsurgency (COIN) is "the totality of actions aimed at defeating irregular forces Irregular military is any non-standard military component that is distinct from a country's national armed forces. Being defined by exclusion, there is ...
*
Fabian strategy The Fabian strategy is a military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organizations to pursue desired strategic goals. Derived from the Greek word ''strategos Image:Greek strategist Pio-Clementino Inv306.jpg, ...
* Free War * Freedom Fighters (disambiguation) * History of guerrilla warfare * "Yank" Levy * List of guerrilla movements * List of guerrillas *
List of revolutions and rebellions A ''list'' is any enumeration of a set of items. List or lists may also refer to: People * List (surname) Organizations * List College, an undergraduate division of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America * SC Germania List, German rugby ...
*
Militia A militia () is generally an army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-b ...
*
Partisan (military) A partisan is a member of an irregular military Irregular military is any non-standard military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare W ...
*
Resistance during World War II Resistance movements during World War II occurred in every occupied country by a variety of means, ranging from non-cooperation to propaganda, hiding crashed pilots and even to outright warfare and the recapturing of towns. In many countries, r ...
*
Special forces Special forces and special operations forces (SOF) are military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict ...

Special forces
*
Unconventional warfare Unconventional warfare (UW) is the support of a foreign insurgency or resistance movement against its government or an occupying power. Whereas is used to reduce the opponent's capability directly through attacks and maneuvers, unconventional war ...
*
Terrorism Terrorism, in its broadest sense, is the use of intentional violence to achieve political aims. The term is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the ...
*
Violent non-state actor In international relations, violent non-state actors (VNSA), also known as non-state armed actors or non-state armed groups (NSAGs), are individuals and groups that are wholly or partly independent of state government, governments and which threa ...
*
Viet Cong The Viet Cong ( vi, Việt Cộng; ), officially known as the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam ( vi, Mặt trận Dân tộc Giải phóng Miền Nam Việt Nam), was an armed communist political revolutionary organization in South ...

Viet Cong
*
Improvised explosive device An improvised explosive device (IED) is a bomb A bomb is an explosive weapon that uses the Exothermic process, exothermic reaction of an explosive material to provide an extremely sudden and violent release of energy. Detonations inflict ...
*


References


Further reading

* Asprey, Robert. ''War in the Shadows: The Guerrilla in History'' * * Derradji Abder-Rahmane, The Algerian Guerrilla Campaign Strategy & Tactics, the Edwin Mellen Press, New York, USA, 1997. * Hinckle, Warren (with Steven Chain and David Goldstein): ''Guerrilla-Krieg in USA'' (''Guerrilla war in the USA''),
Stuttgart Stuttgart (; Swabian: ; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') ...

Stuttgart
(Deutsche Verlagsanstalt) 1971. * Keats, John (1990). ''They Fought Alone''. Time Life. * MacDonald, Peter. ''Giap: The Victor in Vietnam'' * * Oller, John. ''The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution''. Boston: Da Capo Press, 2016. . * Peers, William R.; Brelis, Dean. '' Behind the Burma Road: The Story of America's Most Successful Guerrilla Force''. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1963. * Polack, Peter. ''Guerrilla Warfare; Kings of Revolution'' Casemate,. * Thomas Powers, "The War without End" (review of Steve Coll, ''Directorate S: The CIA and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan'', Penguin, 2018, 757 pp.), ''The New York Review of Books'', vol. LXV, no. 7 (19 April 2018), pp. 42–43. "Forty-plus years after our failure in Vietnam, the United States is again fighting an endless war in a faraway place against a culture and a people we don't understand for political reasons that make sense in Washington, D.C., Washington, but nowhere else." (p. 43.) * Schmidt, LS. 1982
"American Involvement in the Filipino Resistance on Mindanao During the Japanese Occupation, 1942-1945"
M.S. Thesis. U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. 274 pp. * Sutherland, Daniel E. "Sideshow No Longer: A Historiographical Review of the Guerrilla War." ''Civil War History'' 46.1 (2000): 5-23; American Civil War, 1861–65 * Sutherland, Daniel E. ''A Savage Conflict: The Decisive Role of Guerrillas in the American Civil War'' (U of North Carolina Press, 2009)
online
* Olivier Weber, Weber, Olivier, ''Afghan Eternity'', 2002


External links

* – Pakistani militants conduct raids in Iran
abcNEWS Exclusive: The Secret War
– Deadly guerrilla raids in Iran
Insurgency Research Group
– Multi-expert blog dedicated to the study of insurgency and the development of counter-insurgency policy.


Encyclopædia Britannica, Guerrilla warfare

Mao on guerrilla warfare



Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare
United States Army Special Operations Command
Counter Insurgency Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS)India
{{DEFAULTSORT:Guerrilla Warfare Guerrilla warfare, Warfare by type Spanish words and phrases Wars by type