guerrilla warfare
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Guerrilla warfare is a form of
irregular warfare Irregular warfare (IW) is defined in United States joint doctrine as "a violent struggle among state and non-state actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant populations." Concepts associated with irregular warfare are older than the te ...
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. The legal definition of "combatant" is found at article 43(2) of Protocol I, Additional Protocol I (AP1) to the Geneva Conventions ...
s, such as
paramilitary A paramilitary is an organization whose structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but is not part of a country's official or legitimate armed forces. Paramilitary units carr ...
personnel, armed
civilian Civilians under international humanitarian law are "persons who are not members of the military, armed forces" and they are not "combatants if they carry arms openly and respect the law of war, laws and customs of war". It is slightly different f ...

civilian
s, or
irregulars Irregular military is any non-standard military component that is distinct from a country's national armed forces. Being defined by exclusion, there is significant variance in what comes under the term. It can refer to the type of military orga ...
, use
military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield. They involve the application of four battlefield functions which are closely related – kinetic or firepower, Mobility (military), mobil ...
including
ambush An ambush is a long-established military tactics, military tactic in which a combatant uses an advantage of concealment or the element of surprise to attack unsuspecting enemy combatants from concealed positions, such as among dense underbru ...

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 Petty warfare (; ; ) is a form of irregular warfare where small units attack the enemy's support operation to ensure that the main force enjoys favorable conditions for decisive battle, decisive battles. Petty warfare can be used in both ground and ...
,
hit-and-run tactics Hit-and-run tactics are a Military tactics, 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 to decisive ...
, 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 contemp ...
, 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. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...

military
. Although the term "guerrilla warfare" was coined in the context of the
Peninsular War The Peninsular War (1807–1814) was the war, military conflict fought in the Iberian Peninsula by Spain, Kingdom of Portugal, Portugal, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom against the invading and occupying ...

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, s=孙子, first= t, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese military general, strategist, philosopher, and writer who lived during the Eastern Zhou period of 771 to 256 BCE. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of '' Th ...
proposed the use of guerrilla-style tactics in ''
The Art of War ''The Art of War'' () is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in History of China, Chinese history from approximately 770 to 476 BC (or according ...
''. 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 Roman consul, consul five times (233, 228, 215, 214, and 209 BC) and was appointed Roman dictator, dictato ...
is also credited with inventing many of the tactics of guerrilla warfare through what is today called the
Fabian strategy The Fabian strategy is a military strategy where pitched battles and frontal assaults are avoided in favor of wearing down an opponent through a attrition warfare, war of attrition and indirection. While avoiding decisive battles, the side employ ...
. 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 Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which small groups of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or Irregular military, irregulars, use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, Raid (military), raids ...
focus on avoiding head-on confrontations with enemy armies, typically due to inferior arms or forces, and instead engage in limited skirmishes with the goal of exhausting adversaries and forcing them to withdraw. Due to this, guerrilla tactics are rarely used for anything other than defence. Organized guerrilla groups often depend on the support of either the local population or foreign backers who 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 war, military conflict fought in the Iberian Peninsula by Spain, Kingdom of Portugal, Portugal, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom against the invading and occupying ...

Peninsular War
, when, after the defeat of their regular armies, the Spanish and Portuguese people successfully rose against the
Napoleonic Napoleon Bonaparte ; it, Napoleone Bonaparte, ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821), later known by his regnal name Napoleon I, was a French military commander and political leader who ...

Napoleonic
troops A troop is a military sub-subunit, originally a small formation of cavalry, subordinate to a Squadron (cavalry), squadron. In many armies a troop is the equivalent element to the infantry section (military unit), section or platoon. Exception ...
and defeated a highly superior army using the guerrilla strategy. In correct
Spanish Spanish might refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards are a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language, spoken in Spain and many Latin American countries **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Cana ...

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 that has been modified to convey a slighter degree of its root meaning, either to convey the smallness of the object or quality named, or to convey a sense of Intimate relationship, intimacy or Term of endearment, endea ...
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 War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and militias. It ...
, 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, s=孙子, first= t, p=Sūnzǐ) was a Chinese military general, strategist, philosopher, and writer who lived during the Eastern Zhou period of 771 to 256 BCE. Sun Tzu is traditionally credited as the author of '' Th ...
, in his ''
The Art of War ''The Art of War'' () is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in History of China, Chinese history from approximately 770 to 476 BC (or according ...
'' (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 Roman consul, consul five times (233, 228, 215, 214, and 209 BC) and was appointed Roman dictator, dictato ...
, widely regarded as the "father of guerrilla warfare", devised the
Fabian strategy The Fabian strategy is a military strategy where pitched battles and frontal assaults are avoided in favor of wearing down an opponent through a attrition warfare, war of attrition and indirection. While avoiding decisive battles, the side employ ...
, which the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Res publica Romana ) was a form of government of Rome and the era of the ancient Rome, classical Roman civilization when it was run through res publica, public Representation (politics), representation of the Roman peo ...

Roman Republic
used to great effect against
Hannibal Hannibal (; xpu, 𐤇𐤍𐤁𐤏𐤋, ''Ḥannibaʿl''; 247 – between 183 and 181 BC) was a Punic people, Carthaginian general and statesman who commanded the forces of Ancient Carthage, Carthage in their battle against the Roman ...

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'' ('On Skirmishing') so it would not be forgotten in the future. Since
the Enlightenment The Age of Enlightenment or the Enlightenment; german: Aufklärung, "Enlightenment"; it, L'Illuminismo, "Enlightenment"; pl, Oświecenie, "Enlightenment"; pt, Iluminismo, "Enlightenment"; es, La Ilustración, "Enlightenment" was an intel ...
, 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 peo ...

nationalism
,
liberalism Liberalism is a Political philosophy, political and moral philosophy based on the Individual rights, rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality and equality before the law."political rationalism, hostilit ...

liberalism
,
socialism Socialism is a left-wing Economic ideology, economic philosophy and Political movement, movement encompassing a range of economic systems characterized by the dominance of social ownership of the means of production as opposed to Private prop ...
, and
religious fundamentalism Fundamentalism is a tendency among certain groups and individuals that is characterized by the application of a strict Biblical literalism, literal interpretation to scriptures, dogmas, or Ideology, ideologies, along with a strong belief in th ...
have played an important role in shaping insurgencies and guerrilla warfare. In the 17th century,
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shivaji Bhonsale I (; 19 February 1630 – 3 April 1680), also referred to as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, was an Indian ruler and a member of the Bhonsle Maratha clan. Shivaji carved out his own independent kingdom from the declining Adilsh ...
, founder of the
Maratha Empire The Maratha Empire, also referred to as the Maratha Confederacy, was an early modern Indian confederation that came to dominate much of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. Maratha rule formally began in 1674 with the coronation of Shi ...

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 was an early-modern empire that controlled much of South Asia between the 16th and 19th centuries. Quote: "Although the first two Timurid emperors and many of their noblemen were recent migrants to the subcontinent, the d ...
. Kerala Varma (Pazhassi Raja) (1753-1805) used guerrilla techniques in his war against the British
East India Company The East India Company (EIC) was an English, and later British, joint-stock company founded in 1600 and dissolved in 1874. It was formed to Indian Ocean trade, trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with the East Indies (the Indian subco ...
in India between 1790 and 1805. Arthur Wellesley adopted the term "guerrilla" into English 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 ( - 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 involves war being conducted in tunnel 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 natural caves and ...
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
Royal Irish Constabulary The Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC, ga, Constáblacht Ríoga na hÉireann; simply called the Irish Constabulary 1836–67) was the police force in Ireland from 1822 until 1922, when all of the country was part of the United Kingdom of Great Bri ...
force consisting of both regular RIC personnel and the
Auxiliary Division The Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary (ADRIC), generally known as the Auxiliaries or Auxies, was a paramilitary unit of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) during the Irish War of Independence. It was founded in July 1920 by Major ...
took revenge, shooting into 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 referred to as Croker by GAA fans and locals. It serves as both the principal national stadium of Ireland and hea ...

Croke Park
, killing fourteen civilians and injuring 60 others. In west
County Cork County Cork ( ga, Contae Chorcaí) is the largest and the southernmost Counties of Ireland, county of Republic of Ireland, Ireland, named after the city of Cork (city), Cork, the state's second-largest city. It is in the Provinces of Ireland ...
, 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 columns", engaged British forces in large battles, usually for between 10 - 30 minutes. The Kilmichael Ambush in November 1920 and the Crossbarry Ambush in March 1921 are the most famous examples of Barry's flying columns causing large casualties to enemy forces. The Algerian Revolution 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. The Mukti Bahini (Bengali: মুক্তিবাহিনী, translates as 'freedom fighters', or liberation army), also known as the Bangladesh Forces, was the guerrilla resistance movement consisting of the Bangladeshi military, paramilitary and civilians during the War of Liberation that transformed East Pakistan into Bangladesh in 1971. An earlier name Mukti Fauj was also used.


Strategy, tactics and methods


Strategy

Guerrilla warfare is a type of
asymmetric warfare Asymmetric warfare (or asymmetric engagement) is the term given to describe a type of war between belligerents whose relative military power, strategy or tactics differ significantly. This is typically a war between a Standing army, standing, pr ...
: competition between opponents of unequal strength. It is also a type of irregular warfare: that is, it aims not simply to defeat an invading 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 ...

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, 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. (26 December 1893 – 9 September 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the List of national founde ...

Mao Zedong
summarized basic guerrilla tactics at the beginning of the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was fought between the Kuomintang-led government of the Republic of China and forces of the Chinese Communist Party, continuing intermittently since 1 August 1927 until 7 December 1949 with a Communist victory on m ...
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 Chinese military treatise dating from the Late Spring and Autumn Period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in History of China, Chinese history from approximately 770 to 476 BC (or according ...
'' with inspiring Mao's tactics. In the 20th century, other communist leaders, including North Vietnamese
Ho Chi Minh (: ; born ; 19 May 1890 – 2 September 1969), commonly known as ('Uncle An uncle is usually defined as a male kinship, relative who is a sibling of a parent or married to a sibling of a parent. Uncles who are consanguineous, relat ...

Ho Chi Minh
, often used and developed guerrilla warfare tactics, which provided a model for their use elsewhere, leading to the Cuban " foco" theory and the anti-
Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
Mujahadeen in
Afghanistan Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,; prs, امارت اسلامی افغانستان is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia. Referred to as the Heart of Asia, it is bordere ...

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 constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional warfare, conventional military action. It may be constructed of conventional military explosives, such as an artillery shell, attached t ...
s, for example. They typically also rely on
logistical Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics manages the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requirements of ...

logistical
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 (or a group of non-combatants) who either volunteers or is forced to shield a legitimate military target in order to deter the enemy from attacking it. The use of human shields as a resistance measure was popula ...
), and many guerrilla groups are adept at public persuasion through
propaganda Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to Social influence, influence or persuade an audience to further an Political agenda, agenda, which may not be Objectivity (journalism), objective and may be selectively presenting facts to en ...
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 "Refugees as weapons", or "Weapon of Mass Migration" is a term used to describe a hostile government organizing, or threatening to organize, a sudden influx of refugee A refugee, conventionally speaking, is a forced displacement, displaced pe ...
to solidify power or politically destabilize an adversary. The Colombian armed conflict 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 written in the 19th century and, more recently, Mao Zedong's '' On Guerrilla Warfare'',
Che Guevara Ernesto Che Guevara (; 14 June 1928The date of birth recorded on /upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Ernesto_Guevara_Acta_de_Nacimiento.jpg his birth certificatewas 14 June 1928, although one tertiary source, (Julia Constenla, quoted ...

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 1928The date of birth recorded on /upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Ernesto_Guevara_Acta_de_Nacimiento.jpg his birth certificatewas 14 June 1928, although one tertiary source, (Julia Constenla, quoted ...

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 Left-wing politics, left-wing to Far-left politics, far-left method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a Materialism, materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand S ...
revolutionary
Che Guevara Ernesto Che Guevara (; 14 June 1928The date of birth recorded on /upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/78/Ernesto_Guevara_Acta_de_Nacimiento.jpg his birth certificatewas 14 June 1928, although one tertiary source, (Julia Constenla, quoted ...

Che Guevara
developed the ''foco'' ( es, foquismo, link=no) theory of
revolution In political science, a revolution (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in the lower Tiber area (then known ...

revolution
in his book ''
Guerrilla Warfare Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which small groups of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or Irregular military, irregulars, use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, Raid (military), raids ...
'', based on his experiences during the 1959
Cuban Revolution The Cuban Revolution ( es, Revolución Cubana) was carried out after the 1952 Cuban coup d'état which placed Fulgencio Batista as head of state and the failed mass strike in opposition that followed. After failing to contest Batista in cour ...
. This theory was later formalised as "focal-ism" by
Régis Debray Jules Régis Debray (; born 2 September 1940) is a French philosopher, journalist, former government official and academic. He is known for his theorization of mediology, a critical theory of the long-term transmission of cultural meaning in hum ...
. Its central principle is that
vanguardism Vanguardism in the context of Leninist Communist revolution, revolutionary struggle, relates to a strategy whereby the most class consciousness , class-conscious and politically "advanced" sections of the proletariat or working class, described ...
by cadres of small, fast-moving
paramilitary A paramilitary is an organization whose structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but is not part of a country's official or legitimate armed forces. Paramilitary units carr ...
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 In the fields of sociology Sociology is a social science that focuses on society, ...
. 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, industr ...
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. The term comes from the Latin ''bellum gerere'' ("to wage war"). Unlike the use of ''belligerent'' as an adjective meaning ...
s (most often by governments in power) to denounce opponents whose status as
terrorists Terrorism, in its broadest sense, is the use of criminal violence to provoke a state of terror or fear, mostly with the intention to achieve political or religious aims. The term is used in this regard primarily to refer to intentional violen ...
is disputed. Contrary to some terrorist groups, guerrillas 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

*
Conventional warfare Conventional warfare is a form of warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or paramilitary groups such as Mercenary, mercenaries, Insurgency, insurgents, and militias. It ...
*
Counter-insurgency Counterinsurgency (COIN) is "the totality of actions aimed at defeating irregular military, irregular forces". The Oxford English Dictionary defines counterinsurgency as any "military or political action taken against the activities of guerril ...
*
Fabian strategy The Fabian strategy is a military strategy where pitched battles and frontal assaults are avoided in favor of wearing down an opponent through a attrition warfare, war of attrition and indirection. While avoiding decisive battles, the side employ ...
* Free War * Freedom Fighters (disambiguation) * History of guerrilla warfare * "Yank" Levy * List of guerrilla movements * List of guerrillas * List of revolutions and rebellions * Militia * New generation warfare * Partisan (military) * Paramilitary * Resistance during World War II * Special forces * Unconventional warfare * Terrorism * Violent non-state actor * Viet Cong * Improvised explosive device * TM 31-210 Improvised Munitions Handbook


References


Further reading

* Asprey, Robert. ''War in the Shadows: The Guerrilla in History'' * * Derradji Abder-Rahmane, The Algerian Guerrilla Campaign Strategy & Tactics, Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1997. * Warren Hinckle, Hinckle, Warren (with Steven Chain and David Goldstein): ''Guerrilla-Krieg in USA'' (''Guerrilla war in the USA''), 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. . * William R. Peers, Peers, William R.; Dean Brelis, Brelis, Dean. ''Behind the Burma Road, 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



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