If you were in charge of waging a war against guerrillas

stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
3,063
Las Vegas, NV USA
If You occupy a place and want to keep it on long term/indefinitely/for ever, making population to accept submission means You're already close to failing, if not already starting failing.
"Submission" can be tolerable or harsh. "Tolerable" is whatever the population will accept without open rebellion. Guerrilla activity is open rebellion at some level. The Second Boer War was rather brutal compared to the First, which Britain lost. They weren't going to lose again. There was ongoing guerrilla activity, but Britain dealt with it and retained its conquests until after WWII.

Edit: The OP puts the poster in the position of waging war, not making policy.
 
Last edited:
Sep 2017
697
United States
If there’s no risk of political or domestic reprocussions? And assuming I’m a power like the U.S. in a less developed area, and it isn’t my own country?

Well, throwing aside all moral and ethical concerns and focusing on pure efficiency and long term stability, I’m going to genocide the country (don’t take this out of context!).

Every single person, civilian or not, is a combatant. Of course, short term, the insurgency would balloon in size and support as the people would have no choice but to join it. But bring them to extinction, and there will be no agitated populace to raise an insurgency.

To compliment this I’d begin renovating cities I’d ravaged and paying my citizens to settle there, basically replacing the local populace with colonists and turning the country into an extension of my state.
 
Oct 2013
14,077
Europix
Edit: The OP puts the poster in the position of waging war, not making policy.
I suppose that could be the origin of disagreements between us two: personally, I believe waging war (especially in modern times) is linked to making policy. Not having a policy, having a bad policy, is looking for trouble.

I think I already said it: guerillas are efficient with significant popular support. Cutting efficiently that base is possible through policy on civil population, not trough war.
 
Jul 2016
9,087
USA
If there’s no risk of political or domestic reprocussions? And assuming I’m a power like the U.S. in a less developed area, and it isn’t my own country?

Well, throwing aside all moral and ethical concerns and focusing on pure efficiency and long term stability, I’m going to genocide the country (don’t take this out of context!).

Every single person, civilian or not, is a combatant. Of course, short term, the insurgency would balloon in size and support as the people would have no choice but to join it. But bring them to extinction, and there will be no agitated populace to raise an insurgency.

To compliment this I’d begin renovating cities I’d ravaged and paying my citizens to settle there, basically replacing the local populace with colonists and turning the country into an extension of my state.
Why would there ever be no political repercussions? War is a continuation of politics by other means, specifically violence, so sayeth Clausewitz. Any military decision has to be ultimately framed on political reality.

So who, when, and how can domestically and internationally get away with total genocide?
 
Oct 2013
14,077
Europix
If there’s no risk of political or domestic reprocussions? And assuming I’m a power like the U.S. in a less developed area, and it isn’t my own country?

Well, throwing aside all moral and ethical concerns and focusing on pure efficiency and long term stability, I’m going to genocide the country (don’t take this out of context!).

Every single person, civilian or not, is a combatant. Of course, short term, the insurgency would balloon in size and support as the people would have no choice but to join it. But bring them to extinction, and there will be no agitated populace to raise an insurgency.

To compliment this I’d begin renovating cities I’d ravaged and paying my citizens to settle there, basically replacing the local populace with colonists and turning the country into an extension of my state.
It had been tried a couple of times in history.

But I have three questions:


1. Do You have enough population to colonise those places?
2. Will Your population wanna go colonise those places?
3. How cost effective is to eliminate a population, destroy the place, then rebuild it and bring population from elswere to repopulate?
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,286
Spain
Total Genocide is a joke.. never happened and never will happen.. it is no real... and it is not working... To opossite a Guerrilla Warfare only it is possible with intelligence and not always it is working... I repeat again... French lost their War in Spain as the Axis their war in Yugoslavia...maybe the best intelligence it is to know when u can win and when don´t...British knew they could win the war in Malaysia.. and they knew they have not option to win the war in Yugoslavia against Tito in 1945-1948.

So.. again.. not formula to win a war against Guerilla...Pancho Villa beat Pershing...because he was more intelligent than the "Gringo" General...and he knew the land, the society, the people.... as Ho-Chi-Minh and Nguyen van Giap defeated French...or Cura Merino, Empecinado or El Barbudo defeated Napoleon...

First: Use INTELLIGENCE... and I am not talking only about spies... but about your own intelligence...