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09 Apr 2011
United States
PostedOct 20, 2011 10:48 pm

Guerilla Warfare

A brief guide on tactics.
Guerrilla warfare is irregular warfare, conflicts in which a small group of combatants uses military tactics, like ambushes and raids, to harass a larger and less-mobile traditional army. The guerrilla focuses on organizing in small units, depending on the support of the local population, as well as taking advantage of terrain more accommodating of small units.

Tactically, the guerrilla army would avoid any confrontation with large units of enemy troops, but seek for and eliminate small groups of soldiers to minimize losses and exhaust the opposing force. Not only personnel but enemy resources are also preferred targets. Guerrilla tactics are based on ambush, sabotage, and espionage, and their ultimate objective is usually to destabilize an authority through long high-intensity confrontation. The enemy advances, we retreat. The enemy camps, we harass. The enemy tires, we attack. The enemy retreats, we pursue.

To defeat the more powerful enemy, the guerrilla needs to dictate the terms of warfare.

Six principles of war are:
1. Achieving the Objective Without Destroying It
2. Avoid Strength, Attack Weakness: Striking Where the Enemy is Most Vulnerable
3. Deception and Foreknowledge: Winning the Information War
4. Speed and Preparation: Moving Swiftly to Overcome Resistance
5. Shaping the Enemy: Preparing the Battlefield
6. Character-Based Leadership: Leading by Example

Many guilds, nations, and empires have been built by leaders who leveraged their nation's unique history, geography, and assets to control that guilds environment. Thus, these leaders were able to ensure their forces ability to survive, become stable, expand, dominate their neighbors, and ultimately prosper for hundreds of years. To find and exploit an enemy's weakness requires a deep understanding of their leaders' strategy, capabilities, thoughts, and desires and a similar depth of knowledge of one's own strengths and weaknesses. It is critical to study the minds of the opposing leaders and understand how they will react to one's moves. It is also important to understand the environment and terrain which will be contested.

Speed is the essence of war. Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness; travel by unexpected routes and strike him where has taken no precautions. To move with such speed does not mean to do things hastily. In reality, speed requires much preparation. Reducing the time it takes to make decisions, develop new weapons, implement strategies and respond to the enemy's moves is crucial. To think through and understand the opponent's reaction to one's possible moves also is essential. Therefore those skilled in war bring the enemy to the field of battle and are not brought there by him. Shaping the enemy means changing the rules of the contest and making one's opponent conform to one's desires and actions. It means taking control of the situation away from the enemy and putting it into one's own hands. One way of shaping the enemy is by the skillful use of alliances. By building a strong web of alliances, the moves of the opponent can be limited. Also, by eliminating its alliances, one can weaken the enemy.

A direct attack is one that occurs in an expected place at an expected time. An indirect attacks is one that comes as a surprise, both in location and timing. By combining direct attacks and indirect attacks on the enemy to fix their leaders' attention and deceive them, one can then use indirect attacks to win complete victory. By utilizing the indirect and direct approaches and skillfully crafting alliances the opponent can be put on the defensive and made more vulnerable to future attacks. To achieve everything discussed so far takes a special kind of leader; one who can see the correct course of action and take it immediately, who can relate to the military forces, other leaders and the population and gain commitment, who can empower subordinates to carry out the nation's strategy and who can use all personnel wisely. Do things that people can see by revealing your actions but you must hide your intentions. Then you will be unpredictable and this leads to victory.

So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.
-Sun Tzu, "The Art of War"

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
- Sun Tzu, the Art of War

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