Even if those rulers had wanted to ignite insurgencies, moreover, the ideological fuel was generally lacking, save in Algeria, Chechnya and Dagestan, and a few other areas where Muslim rebels waged prolonged wars of resistance against European colonists. When such teams do need to physically infiltrate a denied area, the ability to access data online and draw on technically-skilled populations with advanced manufacturing capabilities might enable a ‘naked man infiltration’ approach. The new Ottoman army conquered Constantinople in a famous siege in 1453 and, within less than a century, advanced to the gates of Vienna. Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which small groups of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars, use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility, to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military. With a few exceptions, by 1825, the European colonial powers had been defeated in the Americas. The reproductions were seldom as good as the originals, however, and their inferiority was brutally exposed in battle. The original SORO pyramid is reproduced in Figure 1. Never before or since has the glamour and prestige of irregular warriors been higher, as seen in the ubiquity of the artist Alberto Korda's famous photograph of Che Guevara, which still adorns T-shirts and posters. Though state sponsorship of irregulars is one of the oldest and commonest forms of warfare, its modern western iteration dates to the work of the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and British Special Operations Executive (SOE) with resistance movements in Nazi-occupied Europe during the Second World War. At the same time, the pyramid was cogently critiqued in a 2017 Special Warfare paper by Jeffrey Hasler. In Greece and Cuba, the anti-imperialists won by highlighting the colonies' suffering to spur what would today be called humanitarian interventions by Western powers. Western militaries marched into the next few decades still focused on fighting a mirror-image foe. Cambodia Begins Oil Production, But Who Will Benefit? Every great empire of antiquity, starting with the first on record, the Akkadian empire, in ancient Mesopotamia, was deviled by nomadic guerrillas, although the term "guerrilla" would not be coined for millennia to come. By 2017, the number of Global Navigation System Satellite (GNSS) devices in use worldwide—including the American GPS, Russia’s GLONASS, China’s Beidou network and the European Galileo system—was more than 5 billion and was expected to grow to 8 billion by 2020 (European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency 2017: 5). This week, the Defense Department released an unclassified summary of the Irregular Warfare (IW) Annex to the National Defense Strategy. By 1914, Europeans and their offspring controlled 84 percent of the world's landmass, up from 35 percent in 1800. By the 1770s, light troops (skirmishers lacking heavy weapons and armor who did not stand in the main battle line) made up 20 percent of most European armies. In its Second World War manifestation, the raw material for UW was the spontaneous resistance (including nationalist, royalist, separatist and communist movements) that sprang up in territories occupied by Germany and its allies. The 9/11 attacks serve as a reminder that seeming security against an invisible army can turn to vulnerability with shocking suddenness and that, unlike the more geographically restricted insurgents of the past, international terrorist groups, such as al Qaeda, can strike almost anywhere. Attempts by either insurgents or counterinsurgents to short-circuit the process usually backfire. Indeed, if this analysis suggests anything, it is that we should be extremely sceptical about our ability to predict future UW. Retrieved from https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/atf/Cyber%20War%20Netwar%20and%20the%20Future%20of%20Cyberdefense_Header.pdf. Darwinian selection in asymmetric warfare: The natural advantage of insurgents and terrorists. But these were only temporary reversals in the inexorable westernization of the world. As used by Western Special Operations Forces (SOF) the terms special warfare, guerrilla warfare or unconventional warfare (UW) all mean roughly the same thing: operations by specialised forces to advise, assist and accompany local partners conducting resistance warfare against a hostile state or occupying force. Like everyone else, guerrillas and terrorists are subject to popular moods and intellectual fads. . Counterinsurgency and FID missions followed, drawing on many of the same concepts and lessons as classical UW. European soldiers in "small wars" were helped by the fact that most of the fighting occurred on the periphery of their empires in Asia and Africa against enemies that were considered "uncivilized" and therefore, under the European code of conduct, could be fought with unrestrained ferocity. The pyramid was updated in 2013 under the Assessing Revolutionary and Insurgent Strategies (ARIS) project to include a ‘public component’ that operates openly alongside the underground, auxiliary and guerrilla force (Figure 2) (Tompkins 2013: 6). Arguably these were always theoretical attempts to model a messy reality. The long history of low-intensity conflict reveals not only how ubiquitous guerrilla warfare has been but also how often its importance has been ignored, thus setting the stage for future humiliations at the hands of determined irregulars. Here it is -- the sixth & final installment of the DHP History of Irregular Warfare series with Bill Buppert. The origins of guerilla warfare are lost in the swamps of prehistory, but the kinds of foes that guerrillas have faced have changed over the centuries. But the process of state formation and, with it, army formation took considerably longer in most of the world. By the 1980s, as memories of colonialism faded, as the excesses of postcolonial rulers became more apparent, and as the desirability of capitalism was revived under U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, leftist movements went into eclipse and the guerrilla mystique faded. Retrieved from https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/books/pdf/Unconventional%20Warfare%20Pocket%20Guide_v1%200_Final_6%20April%202016.pdf, Kilcullen, D., 2019. It involves much more than winning "hearts and minds" -- a phrase invented by Sir Henry Clinton, a British general during the American Revolution, and popularized by Sir Gerald Templer, a general during the Malayan Emergency, in the late 1940s and 1950s. Several theorists—notably Dominic D.P. When the United States had to confront a guerrilla threat in Vietnam, William Westmoreland, the commander of U.S. operations there, formulated an overwhelmingly conventional response that expended lots of firepower and destroyed lives on both sides but did not produce victory. The liminal manoeuvre space for netwar could thus expand to cover most of the planet, with every location potentially acting as a virtual hinterland, support base or AO for a resistance warfare campaign somewhere on the globe. Nigerian Reaction to the Assault on the U.S. Capitol, The Link Between Foreign Languages and U.S. National Security, Aung San Suu Kyi’s Major Speech on Rakhine State, Creating a State Department Office for American State and Local Diplomacy, Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives, Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading, Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions. Updated version of the SORO pyramid (Tompkins 2013: 6). In states with functioning or semi-functioning governments, such as the Philippines and Saudi Arabia, the U.S. role was limited to providing training, weapons, intelligence, and other assistance to help those governments fight the extremists. Archaeological evidence confirms that such losses are not a modern anomaly. The incidence of guerrilla warfare and terrorism did not decline with the demise of the European empires. Follow him on Twitter @MaxBoot. History Of Irregular Warfare 848 Words | 4 Pages. But operations in Syria, Africa and Europe by state-backed UW actors, as well as patterns of insurgency and terrorism globally, suggest that netwar is now at least as prevalent a model as the classic resistance pyramid. In part, because non-Westerners had little idea of the combat power of Western armies until it was too late. One of the cherished myths of American history is that plucky Yankees won independence from Great Britain by picking off befuddled redcoats too dense to deviate from ritualistic parade-ground warfare. Considering how long humans have been roaming the earth, the era of what we now think of as conventional conflict represents the mere blink of an eye. Table of Contents General Topics on Irregular Warfare Historical Studies Military Philosophy Organization, Analysis, Doctrine and Training Air Power in the Irregular Warfare Environment Bibliographies Irregular Warfare Websites Counterinsurgency Counterinsurgency Manuals, Evaluations, Metrics and Theory United States Current Counterinsurgency Operations Afghanistan Iraq United … “The Evolution of Unconventional Warfare”. It could be traced back to, among other things, the writings of the Egyptian agitator Sayyid Qutb in the 1950s and 1960s; the activities of Hasan al-Banna, who founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in 1928; and the proselytizing of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who in the eighteenth century created the puritanical movement that would one day become the official theology of Saudi Arabia. While it is easy to conceive of resistance movements where some or all of these elements might apply, there are clearly others—global jihadist insurgency or national resistance movements against occupation, for example—where they might not. And be sure to follow the podcast on Twitter! The Arab Spring has proved to be far more potent an instrument of change than suicide bombings. Resistance actors, including terrorists and insurgent groups, have already mastered the use of offset command nodes, where control of elements in the field is exercised by cells offshore, hidden in major cities or inside adversary nations themselves. Likewise, the ubiquity of electronic surveillance and social media has made clandestine operations impossible to sustain for any length of time, while simultaneously creating a ‘liminal warfare’ space for actors able to operate in the gap between detection, attribution and response. Fort Bragg, NC: United States Army Special Operations Command. The SORO resistance pyramid challenged: Critical observations and questions on a classic. Irregular warfare (IW) is defined as a violent struggle among state and non-state actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant populations. Where the British did face determined opposition, as in India and Palestine, it did not take much to persuade them to leave. The application of AI may enable resistance groups to do away with command nodes altogether, creating instead a distributed C3I system that exists in multiple locations at the cell group level, sits on nets of hijacked computers or floats within the smart city systems of modern urban areas. These include the idea that UW occurs mostly within denied areas; the categorisation of resistance movements into underground, auxiliary and guerrilla components; the model of a pyramid of resistance activities becoming larger in scale, more violent and less covert until they emerge ‘above ground’ into overt combat; and the assumption that the external (non-indigenous) component of UW primarily consists of infiltrated Special Forces elements, or support from governments-in-exile. Box, G. E. P., Hunter, J. S., & Hunter, W. G. (2005). Arguably, a fourth megatrend—climate change—is equally long-standing, but has emerged as a military factor only in recent years with the opening of ice-free Arctic sea routes, great-power competition in the high North and changes in maritime and land access to polar settlements. Cyber war, netwar, and the future of cyberdefence. Better performers have a higher probability of surviving to pass their characteristics on to others, and thus over time such characteristics are replicated among a wider population. They developed it jointly with the Joint Staff, Services, Combatant Commands, and … It was only when the United States gave up hopes of a quick victory, ironically, that it started to get results, by implementing the tried-and-true tenets of population-centric counterinsurgency. Department of Defense dictionary of military and associated terms. The threat from Islamist extremists, which had been building sub rosa for decades, burst into bloody view on September 11, 2001, when al Qaeda staged the deadliest terrorist attack of all time. Concepts associated with irregular warfare are older than the term itself. The ‘Resistance Pyramid’ developed by the Special Operations Research Office (SORO) in 1966 represents an effort to codify the experience of the preceding 20 years into a unitary model (see Hasler 2017). It incorporates several assumptions inherent in modern UW doctrine, including the categorisation of resistance into underground, auxiliary and guerrilla components, the covert/overt dichotomy, and the notion that successful resistance must be built from the underground upward, progressing from psychological and political operations by clandestine underground cells, through auxiliary networks and increasingly violent covert activities, toward open warfare by mobile guerrilla forces. (Eds.) Technologies for remote UW, offset command and control, repurposing of consumer systems and connectivity tools have made infiltration into denied areas an option, rather than a necessity, and opened up the possibility that SOF units could engage in a continuous process of preparation, initial contact, organisation and build-up (phases one to four of the doctrinal UW sequence) across their entire area of responsibility, with multiple potential resistance partners, from their home locations, all the time. American irregular warfare is the United States' unique and, in recent times, troubled approach to conflict in which armed civilian or paramilitary forces, and not regular armies, are the primary combatants. Even so, it is doubtful that the United States will be able to avoid them in the future any more than it has in the past. But since the start of this century the evolution of resistance warfare within a rapidly changing environment has prompted the UW community to reconsider their relevance. The fact that the response threshold is politically-driven rather than capability-dependent emphasises the reality – recognised in UW doctrine all along – that resistance warfare is fundamentally a form of political warfare. We might call this the ‘liminal warfare’ space, from the Latin word for ‘threshold’. Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies. The embassy takeover had been organized by radical university students, including the future Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who wanted to strike a blow at "the Great Satan" and domestic secularists. Kennedy's "nomad paradox" is really a guerrilla paradox, and it asks how and why the weak seem to so frequently defeat the strong. local resistance movements, was lacking. Those tasks, too, required a professional standing army. Once an adversary’s response threshold and reaction time are identified, a resistance actor can calculate the time window available to achieve objectives before a response, render a response ineffective or prevent it altogether. In modern times, the same old guerrilla tactics have been married to ideological agendas, something that was utterly lacking among the apolitical (and illiterate) tribal warriors of old. Another new trend is the return of great-power conflict in the 21st century. ("Guerrilla," literally meaning "small war," dates to the Spanish resistance against Napoleon, from 1808 to 1814.). But at the same time, the very pervasiveness of social media increases opportunities for deception, enabling resistance actors to hide in plain sight, mimic others, create and exploit ‘fake news’ or manipulate their physical and electronic signatures. It involved slowly extending army posts and settlements, like a spreading oil spot, until indigenous resistance was crushed, while also trying to address locals' political and economic concerns. Special Warfare, 30(3), 10–27. That is a sobering thought. 61–71. The period saw the proliferation of barracks to house soldiers, drillmasters to train them, professional officers to lead them, logistical services to supply them, factories to clothe and equip them, and hospitals and retirement homes to take care of them. Guerrilla tactics, on the other hand, are proven effective, even against superpowers. Although that type of fighting continued after 3000 BC, it was supplemented and sometimes supplanted by warfare pitting tribes and rebels against newly formed states. World within: A Borneo story. In the fight against insurgents, conventional tactics don't work. But the new era of UW was taking place in a transformed environment, due to the most significant trend of recent decades: the explosion of electronic connectivity. Notions derived from terrorist and militia movements—including leaderless resistance, remote radicalisation and ad-hoc direct action by self-motivated (but remotely mobilised) individuals—also suggest other models beyond the pyramid or netwar. The possibility, in the next decade, of an AI-controlled resistance movement fighting an AI-enabled state adversary is entirely feasible. Democratic countries constrained by domestic and international opinion or high regard for international norms and the rule of law, alliances such as NATO that require consensus before initiating collective action or countries with publicly-stated response criteria (‘red lines’) have high, and very predictable, response thresholds, creating significant vulnerabilities and expanding the liminal warfare space for resistance actors. In years past, it was not hard for foreign empires to gain the necessary legitimacy. Indeed, the archetypal underground, auxiliary and guerrilla labels might better be considered as functional descriptors of roles within a mesh of multi-role resistance cells, rather than organisational components. Pervasive electronic surveillance, so that resistance actors must expect all their communications to be intercepted, and all activities to be eventually compromised, though this is offset by traffic volumes so massive that intercepted communications may not be analysed in time for opponents to act on them. The average tribal society loses 0.5 percent of its population in combat every year. By 2011, however, competition between Western powers and revisionist or rising states such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea was increasing, and by 2014 this had broken into military confrontation (though mostly short of war) in Ukraine, the Baltic, the Middle East, the South China Sea and parts of Africa. Austria lost the war's early battles, allowing foreign troops to occupy a substantial portion of its territory. Tom Wolfe captured the moment in his famous 1970 essay "Radical Chic," which described in excruciating detail a party thrown by the composer Leonard Bernstein in his swank New York apartment for a group of Black Panthers, one of myriad terrorist groups of a period whose fame far exceeded its ability to achieve its goals. Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies, 2(1), 61–71. A Brief History of Unconventional Warfare Though state sponsorship of irregulars is one of the oldest and commonest forms of warfare, its modern western iteration dates to the work of the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and British Special Operations Executive (SOE) with resistance movements in Nazi-occupied Europe during the Second World War. Several military AI projects already exist. Pundits and the press too often treat terrorism and guerrilla tactics as something new, a departure from old-fashioned ways of war. The process of colonization and resistance would do much to shape the modern world and would give rise to the most influential counterinsurgency doctrine of all time: the "oil spot" theory, coined by the French marshal Hubert Lyautey, who in fin-de-siècle Indochina, Madagascar, and Morocco anticipated the "population-centric" doctrine that U.S. forces implemented in Afghanistan and Iraq in the twenty-first century. Still, effective population-centric counterinsurgency is not as touchy-feely as commonly supposed. The Evolution of Unconventional Warfare. Become a subscriber for unrestricted access. Resistance actors could now plan, reconnoitre, radicalise, recruit, pass target information, collect and collate intelligence, perform battle damage assessment, synchronise supporters, conduct political and information warfare operations, mount cyberattacks (including lethal attacks on infrastructure connected to the ‘Internet of things’) and publicise their operations, all online and on the move, via handheld smart devices. The United States has been continuously engaged in irregular combat since initiating operations in Afghanistan the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. homeland. Other than these changes, the classical pyramid remained largely unaltered as late as 2016 (United States Army Special Operations Command 2016: 9). By contrast, he notes, settled societies appointed commanders based on political considerations and drafted as soldiers farmers with scant martial skills. Such was the fate of the Manchu, who, as the rulers of China, fought off the Dzungar (or western Mongols) in the eighteenth century and tried to fight off the Taiping rebels in the deadliest war of the nineteenth century. The next layer up, between detection and attribution, is that of covert operations in which an adversary cannot attribute responsibility, despite detecting the existence of an activity. In the most extreme case, political leaders who are prepared to issue bald-faced denials of blatantly obvious action by their own forces, or by irregular actors they sponsor, can create a zone of ‘implausible deniability’ whereby international pressure loses much of its impact. (2008). Mostly, this involved improved security, police work, and intelligence gathering. 1These definitions follow traditional British Commonwealth usage, rather than current SOF doctrine, but are preferred in this article because they are useful in examining the concept of liminal warfare described below. Liberal insurgents scored their most impressive victories in the New World. The Greeks in the 1820s, the Cubans in the 1890s, and the Algerians in the 1950s all enjoyed notable success mobilizing foreign opinion to help win their independence. Redcoats certainly knew enough to break ranks and seek cover in battle when possible, rather than, in the words of one historian, "remaining inert and vulnerable to enemy fire." In North America, the British army came increasingly to rely on a variety of light infantry. ), & United States Army Special Operations Command. Terrorists want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead." Meanwhile, a "soldier must be prepared to become a propagandist, a social worker, a civil engineer, a schoolteacher, a nurse, a boy scout," Galula wrote. To understand why decolonization swept the world in the late 1940s and why anti-Western guerrillas and terrorists fared so well during that period, it is vital to underscore how weak the two biggest colonial powers were by then. If that were to happen, a small terrorist cell the size of a platoon might gain more killing capacity than the entire army of a nonnuclear state. Meanwhile, other Islamist groups continue to show considerable strength in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah holds sway in Lebanon, al Shabab bids for power in Somalia, Boko Haram advances in Nigeria, and two newer groups, Ansar Dine and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa, have taken control of northern Mali. The Irregular Warfare Podcast is a collaboration between the Modern War Institute and Princeton University’s Empirical Studies of Conflict Project. Beyond the West's efforts against al Qaeda, popular protests in the Middle East have dealt terrorist organizations another blow. And the American rebels used a more sophisticated form of irregular warfare than the French backwoodsmen and Native American warriors whom the redcoats had gotten used to fighting. On the contrary, the years between 1959 and 1979 -- from Fidel Castro's takeover in Cuba to the Sandinistas' takeover in Nicaragua -- were, if anything, the golden age of leftist insurgency. European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency. It begins with a historical overview, examines how drivers of evolutionary change are manifested in modern resistance warfare and considers the implications for future UW. The 1960s, with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s ‘wars of national liberation’ and a series of campaigns of decolonisation in Africa, Asia and Latin America, saw the retooling of Western SOF (and of UW) into counter-revolutionary warfare support for governments facing Communist insurrections. (2016). Instead of attempting to engage in guerrilla warfare -- which, even if unsuccessful, might have staved off ultimate defeat for years, if not decades, and inflicted considerable costs on the invaders -- most non-Europeans fought precisely as the Europeans wanted them to, that is to say, in conventional fashion. Radicals who styled themselves as the next Mao, Ho, Fidel, or Che took up Kalashnikovs to wage rural guerrilla warfare and urban terrorism. . And then, on December 24, 1979, the Soviets marched into Afghanistan, thus inspiring the mobilization of a formidable force of holy guerrillas: the mujahideen. 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