If you were in charge of waging a war against guerrillas

Apr 2015
519
United States
#1
If you were in charge of waging a war against guerrillas, how would you do it? What tactics and strategy would you use? Discuss.
 

kazeuma

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
2,366
#2
If it is summer and the wind is with me - fire is quite useful in a forest. The problem with guerrillas is that they can hide behind every other tree. Burning the forest flushes them out right into your guns.
If they are on top of a mountain, charging up the mountain is the only way to end them - but first surround the mountain on all sides.
If they are in a city - reduce the city to ground level.
If they are in a desert - poison the water supply and wait.
 
Apr 2015
519
United States
#3
If it is summer and the wind is with me - fire is quite useful in a forest. The problem with guerrillas is that they can hide behind every other tree. Burning the forest flushes them out right into your guns.
If they are on top of a mountain, charging up the mountain is the only way to end them - but first surround the mountain on all sides.
If they are in a city - reduce the city to ground level.
If they are in a desert - poison the water supply and wait.
Interesting - what if you had to deal with guerrillas in your own cities?
 
Oct 2011
7,654
MARE PACIFICVM
#4
There are thousands of pages of doctrinal and strategic methodology for hunting guerillas (Gen. Petraeus wrote his dissertation on the subject, IIRC).

If you are interested in the subject, I recommend an interesting book entitled "Counterinsurgency".

A lot depends on the freedom of firepower that you are given. There were times during the Iraq war where US forces weren't even permitted to use .50 caliber rounds within city limits, let alone air strikes and artillery.

The first question to ask in any counterinsurgency campaign is: How much collateral damage is acceptable?
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,053
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#6
If it is summer and the wind is with me - fire is quite useful in a forest. The problem with guerrillas is that they can hide behind every other tree. Burning the forest flushes them out right into your guns.
I think the Americans tried that in Vietnam. It didn't work very well.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,053
T'Republic of Yorkshire
#7
There are thousands of pages of doctrinal and strategic methodology for hunting guerillas (Gen. Petraeus wrote his dissertation on the subject, IIRC).

If you are interested in the subject, I recommend an interesting book entitled "Counterinsurgency".

A lot depends on the freedom of firepower that you are given. There were times during the Iraq war where US forces weren't even permitted to use .50 caliber rounds within city limits, let alone air strikes and artillery.

The first question to ask in any counterinsurgency campaign is: How much collateral damage is acceptable?
I would ask, how many insurgencies have been ended through military victories though? I can think of only one, the war in Sri Lanka, which was arguably not an insurgency campaign. I'm of the impression that insurgencies are mainly ended through political processes, which then begs the question of how effective counter-insurgency tactics really are.
 
Likes: M.S. Islam
Sep 2013
7,435
Ireland
#8
Nuke the area until not even bacteria can survive. Problem solved.
Great, kill 500,000 people to kill 1000 urban guerillas. Stop their supply of weapons would greatly help I would say, not easily done, massive cooperation needed there which was never there so it's a tough one. If you can't get weapons from the Russians, you'll get them from the Americans.
 
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Mar 2010
9,842
#9
It depends on how bound your hands are by the "Rules of War"

If these don't concern you then the order of "10 dead civilians" for every soldier wounded by the guerrillas and 100 dead civilians for every soldier killed, will lead to a dramatic drop in attacks especially if you target areas where you know a large number of Guerrilla are from.

Knowing that their entire family could be wiped out if they attack anyone will stop such attacks.


If you are however bound by the rules of law, then cut off their supplies stop the guns, ammunition and bombs reaching them. Even better if you can start supplying them with materials yourself. Guns that jam and backfire, explosives that detonate prematurely, make them doubt their own materials.
 
Sep 2013
7,435
Ireland
#10
It depends on how bound your hands are by the "Rules of War"

If these don't concern you then the order of "10 dead civilians" for every soldier wounded by the guerrillas and 100 dead civilians for every soldier killed, will lead to a dramatic drop in attacks especially if you target areas where you know a large number of Guerrilla are from.

Knowing that their entire family could be wiped out if they attack anyone will stop such attacks.


If you are however bound by the rules of law, then cut off their supplies stop the guns, ammunition and bombs reaching them. Even better if you can start supplying them with materials yourself. Guns that jam and backfire, explosives that detonate prematurely, make them doubt their own materials.
Problem with that is that the person who gives that order could in turn lose his family also. That's why no one wants to get too personal if at all possible in these situations. All concerned want to go home and have dinner with the kids after a good days killing.
 
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