Of course, the precise nature of the ideological agendas being fought for has changed over the years, from liberalism and nationalism (the cri de coeur of guerrilla fighters from the late eighteenth century to the late nineteenth century), to socialism and nationalism (which inspired guerrillas between the late nineteenth century and the late twentieth century), to jihadist extremism today. Before about 3000 BC, tribal guerrillas fought exclusively against other tribal guerrillas. In North America, the British army came increasingly to rely on a variety of light infantry. 550-104, September 1966. 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. Of critical importance, unlike the two lower thresholds, the response threshold is determined not by ISR capability, but by political decision-making. Prelude to invasion: Covert operations before the re-occupation of Northwest Borneo, 1944–45. Militaries played an important role, too, although seldom as central as in Afghanistan and Iraq -- countries whose governments were toppled by American invasions. Please enable JavaScript for this site to function properly. 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. This was a tradeoff that most of them were happy to make. Both factors have sapped the will of states to engage in protracted counterinsurgencies, especially outside their own territories, and have heightened the ability of insurgents to survive even after suffering military setbacks. As an adjunct to this pyramidal concept of a resistance movement—and, again, codifying one particular sequence from Jedburgh-type operations—UW doctrine had solidified, by the 1970s, into a seven-phase model with stages as follows: In effect, this phasing takes the typical progression of a Jedburgh mission, aligns it with the SORO pyramid and plugs UW teams into the pyramid in a sequential bottom-to-top fashion. The explosion of connectivity and social media during the last two decades has changed the methods available to resistance actors, but not their target: the legitimacy, cohesion and effectiveness of political institutions and leaders. The end of the old regime in Moscow and the gradual opening in Beijing had a more direct impact on insurgent groups, too, by cutting off valuable sources of subsidies, arms, and training. At the same time, the pyramid was cogently critiqued in a 2017 Special Warfare paper by Jeffrey Hasler. By contrast, he notes, settled societies appointed commanders based on political considerations and drafted as soldiers farmers with scant martial skills. Other than these changes, the classical pyramid remained largely unaltered as late as 2016 (United States Army Special Operations Command 2016: 9). 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. Despite its prevalence, the US Army has a history of neglecting its irregular warfare and counterinsurgency doctrine in favor of focusing on conventional warfare. Box, G. E. P., Hunter, J. S., & Hunter, W. G. (2005). 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. Further, in an environment of pervasive surveillance and omnipresent social media, there is no such thing as a permanently clandestine operation. Human factors considerations of undergrounds in insurgencies. 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. London, United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons. In its modern form it derives from Second World War resistance movements and organisations such as OSS and SOE who sponsored them. Tactical asymmetries are an enduring characteristic of warfare across three centuries. The environment for modern resistance warfare is thus characterised by: This environment favours (and therefore encourages the replication of) resistance actors with the following characteristics: Obviously enough, this evolution has several implications for the traditional UW construct. 61–71. (2017). Some governments had considerable success in suppressing insurgent movements. Sometimes, they were able to force serious setbacks; a famous example was the 1842 British retreat from Kabul. Hasler, J. When the British did choose to fight, they did so skillfully and successfully; their counterinsurgency record is better than that of the French during the same period, and some of their campaigns, notably that in Malaya, are still studied by military strategists. London, United Kingdom: Chatto and Windus. Like everyone else, guerrillas and terrorists are subject to popular moods and intellectual fads. Indeed, in the eyes of their local partners, it was often the UW teams’ ability to access coalition airstrikes and thereby help a partner overcome obstacles or defend bases that arguably became the critical contribution of such teams—making the role of the Special Forces Joint Terminal Attack Controller (SFJTAC) the critical one. The Evolution of Unconventional Warfare. European governments-in-exile provided personnel for infiltration or trained their own UW organisations to work with SOE and OSS, while the Soviets infiltrated teams from intelligence agencies (principally GRU, the main intelligence directorate of the Soviet general staff) to work with partisans and Red Army stragglers behind German lines. The Evolution of Unconventional Warfare. "In the history of warfare, it has generally been the case that military superiority lies with the wealthiest states and those with the most developed administrations," the historian Hugh Kennedy wrote in Mongols, Huns, and Vikings. The new Ottoman army conquered Constantinople in a famous siege in 1453 and, within less than a century, advanced to the gates of Vienna. During the Cold War, starting in the late 1940s with operations into Ukraine, the Baltic states and Albania, successors to OSS and SOE (both SOF and intelligence services) continued UW seamlessly, treating Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe and Communist-controlled Latin American and Asian countries much as their predecessors had treated Nazi-occupied Europe. 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. The first is to note that the pyramid, in its post-2013 form, incorporates elements of Second World War and Cold War resistance warfare, blended with social movement theory and Maoist insurgency theory along with elements (such as leaderless resistance, implicit in the notion of a ‘public component’) derived from recent terrorist and militia thinking. Nomadic empires generally crumbled after a generation or two. Too many indigenous empire builders in the developing world imagined that the tactics they had used to conquer local tribes would work against the white invaders as well. 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. But the epochal consequences of these religious leaders' ideas did not seize the world's attention until the fateful fall of 1979, when protesters occupied the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Liberal insurgents scored their most impressive victories in the New World. The British army had a different problem: much like the modern U.S. Army pre-Iraq, it had forgotten most of the lessons of irregular war learned a generation before. Chapman, F. S. (1950). Even before the death of Osama bin Laden, in 2011, the Pew Global Attitudes Project had recorded a sharp drop in those expressing "confidence" in him: between 2003 and 2010, the figure fell from 46 percent to 18 percent in Pakistan, from 59 percent to 25 percent in Indonesia, and from 56 percent to 14 percent in Jordan. London, United Kingdom: Cresset Press. As can be seen, the set of wartime UW components listed earlier resembles a pyramid of increasingly overt and violent actions at progressively larger scale, with increasing lethality, and in rough chronological sequence. Counterinsurgency and FID missions followed, drawing on many of the same concepts and lessons as classical UW. 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. This view comes to seem a bit ironic when one considers the fact that throughout history, irregular warfare has been consistently deadlier than its conventional cousin -- not in total numbers killed, since tribal societies are tiny compared with urban civilizations, but in the percentage killed. Mounted archers could not have taken Constantinople; that feat required the mechanics of a proper military, including a battery of 69 cannons, two of which were 27 feet long and fired stone balls that weighed more than half a ton. By the eighteenth century, Western warfare had reached stylized heights seldom seen before or since, with monarchical armies fighting in roughly similar styles and abiding by roughly similar rules of conduct. The use of satellites, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and burst transmission might allow downloads via space systems communicating periodically with ground assets who would never need to access the Internet or pick up a radio handset. regions controlled by hostile governments or occupying forces) and could act as a sort of strategic hinterland or virtual safe haven, giving resistance actors greater freedom of action and better access to funding and political support. Westerners thought that most of the areas they conquered were "primitive" and "backward," but in a sense, they were too advanced for their own good. Retrieved from https://www.soc.mil/ARIS/books/pdf/HumanFactorsS.pdf, United States Army Special Operations Command. Precursors to today's special forces -- troops trained in guerrilla tactics who are nonetheless still more disciplined than stateless fighters -- these "rangers" were raised for "wood service," or irregular combat, against French colonial troops and their native allies. The Mongols eventually turned into a semiregular army under Genghis Khan, and the Arabs underwent a similar transformation. They were subject to prosecution as bandits rather than treated as soldiers entitled to the protections of the emerging laws of war. One such development is the emergence of offset command nodes (possibly to be replaced with Artificial Intelligence [AI] in the future). 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. 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. The only way to gain control is to garrison troops 24 hours a day, seven days a week, among the civilians; periodic "sweep" or "cordon and search" operations fail, even when conducted by counterinsurgents as cruel as the Nazis, because civilians know that the rebels will return the moment the soldiers leave. This in turn would mean that SOF organisations supporting resistance movements would need a more complete range of joint capabilities to include non-standard maritime, non-standard aviation, cyber, space and other capabilities as well as advanced ground capabilities. Often, the subjects of these regimes resented the indigenous rulers as much as, if not more than, the European invaders. They developed it jointly with the Joint Staff, Services, Combatant Commands, and … The civil unrest of the twentieth century was harder to deal with for other reasons as well. In the United States, that would translate into 1.5 million deaths, or 500 September 11 attacks a year. Once nomads began living among more sedentary people, they "easily lost their superior individual talents and unit cohesion," write the historians Mesut Uyar and Edward Erickson in A Military History of the Ottomans. Resistance warfare, as in India and Palestine, it also includes areas of military Studies, 2 ( )... 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