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Friday, March 28, 2003

 

Asymmetric warfare has become the new standard, and we need to understand it better than we do. What are the best ways for regular troops to fight irregulars? And how do irregulars fight regulars without letting their tactics poison their cause, as the Palestinians have with the second intifada? (We may not always be the strong man, fully armed; even if we are, it's good strategy to try to think like your opponent.)

How do regulars combat fighters (we can't always call them soldiers) who move in and out of civilian clothing and civilian groups, without stooping to match their perceived disregard for the rules of war and for innocent human life?

The irregular uses his opponents' weaknesses (materiel requirements, supply lines) and strengths (codes of conduct, concern for civilians) against him; what are the irregular's weaknesses and strengths that can be turned to his disadvantage? The lack of supply evidenced in the paltry weapons gathered after the recurring assaults on armored columns is one; another is the civilian shields who know their identities.
Irregulars consider that their boldness and brutality are strengths: how can these be leveraged against them? By drawing them out into grand public gestures, as much as possible, perhaps. And the brutality demonstrated in the executions of POWs has only stiffened resolve, both in the ranks and at home.
How else? How else?

This isn't something we can leave to the military professionals any longer; we've all been volunteered for duty.

posted by Kelly | 2:34 PM link
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