If you were in charge of waging a war against guerrillas

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,812
Australia
I would use tactics based on those of the Commonwealth forces during the Malayan emergency. Isolate the guerrillas from their communities, cut off their food supply, use aggressive patrolling to keep them on the back foot, allow them no safe areas.
 
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Apr 2012
1,683
India
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.
There are not many insurgencies that have been ended through military action alone since rules of war (Geneva conventions) came into effect, but there are zero insurgencies that have been ended through political action alone.

If you don't show strength in face of a rebellion, rebels would have no incentive to come to a political solution.
 

Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,630
Not all insurgencies are the same. The scenario would need to be a bit more detailed to really come up with a viable strategy. Counter-insurgency strategies wouldn't necessarily be one-size-fits all.

For example is it a domestic rebellion, or an international one? What motivates the rebel faction? Is the rebellion unified under a single faction, or is it sub-divided into potentially rival factions, like in Syria? What level of support does the insurgency enjoy among the civilian population? Does the insurgency have any international support? Ect., Ect.

In the real world all of those factors and more are going to play a role in shaping the counter-insurgency strategy used to counter the rebellion.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2015
1,747
Bye, bye
If you were in charge of waging a war against guerrillas, how would you do it? What tactics and strategy would you use? Discuss.
I would use tactic and strategy used by Americans and allied in Afganistan until 2003.
They were efficient, unfortunately as from as Irak invasion this changed in a bad way for allied.
 

paranoid marvin

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,359
uk
Wins hearts and minds of the local populace. Use local people along with my forces. Bring the guerillas to the negotiating table; they're guerillas because they want something. Compromise, as otherwise you hae a headache on your hands usually for years to come.
 
Nov 2015
1,016
Ayton
Napalm everything.
At last.... THe voice of reason!

Also... Take a look at Russia. Had it's arse kicked in Afghanistan, but the Allies have been pussying around for 2 years in Syria and look what their strategy has come to.

Russia refused to bomb Assad. Britain and America took 2 years to realize Russia was right.
When Britain and America were umming and ahing about what to do, Russia just said 'point us at them!'
 
Nov 2015
1,016
Ayton
Hmm - so the British crown forces should have done this against the American revolutionaries?
You may be right but an underfunded. under supplied army working thousands of miles from home was never going to win. One Lord stood up and said ' If you weren't going to supply and equip your army, why did you bother sending it out?

And remember, the OP is phrased 'if you' which means it would be at a time when we could nuke the buggers or send them a parcel of Anthrax.:)
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,135
Navan, Ireland
I would use tactics based on those of the Commonwealth forces during the Malayan emergency. Isolate the guerrillas from their communities, cut off their food supply, use aggressive patrolling to keep them on the back foot, allow them no safe areas.
Good point but you might still struggle if 'press' and 'media' access are at modern levels.

Counter-insurgency is particularly hard in modern liberal democracies where the forces of 'law and order' have to largely abide by the 'rules' (or be seen to be doing so) while the 'insurgents' are much less so if at all.

Victory will be a propaganda one rather that a pure military one.