On Winning the Guerrilla Warfare
By Joseph Parish
A lot of the information contained in this article originated from a friend of mine in South America who attended a CIA sponsored class in Guerrilla Warfare. It is no secret that guerrilla warfare is essentially a battle of politics.
As in most wars the major thresholds to achieve involve the minds of the population itself. It is said that when you have the common man behind you then victory is but a step away. With that said its fairly easy to recognize that the human being is effectively the priority objective in this type of war.
The CIA has for decades used the process of psychological operations to decide how they would conduct their police actions in nations around the world. In all reality the nature of guerrilla warfare forbids the usual sophisticated operations that are normally conducted and has replaced them with shortened techniques developed for the chiefs of groups, detachments and squadron leaders which would enable them to successfully carry out their psychological operations with a minimum of contacts.
For maximum results to be obtained from any psychological operations involving guerrilla warfare it is vital for every combatant to be highly motivated in order to promote the propaganda sessions. The combatants must believe in what they are fighting for. There can be no half way point in this endeavor. The use of discussions is frequently an active means of achieving these goals. Think for a moment of a movie that you may have watched and picture the guerrilla leader sitting beside the campfire with his lieutenants talking about their revolutionary plans. This is what we are talking about here. Non-formal meetings meant only for discussions.
These group discussions tend to raise the revolutionary’s spirits and improve their unity of thought. In addition a measure of social pressure is placed upon the various members in attendance. The result is nothing less then a guerrilla fighter who can effectively justify his actions before his peers. Its important for him to be able to justify his existence since he may have to convince a commoner that he should receive support in the way of clothing or food. It might not seem so critical here in America yet but it certainly is in many of the South American nations.
I have been told that when an armed militia takes over a small town in South America they usually play down the arms unit and give the impression that their strength and positive attributes does not rely solely upon force but rather by way of behavior towards the population. They frequently give the common people the perception that strength is that of the people from those who may be repressing them. This is made possible by a close identification with the actual people. In some nation down south the guerrillas will hang up their weapons and actual get behind the plow to help the people in their fields. They will instruct the people in a variety of topics such as in fishing, explaining about basic weapons to the young people, giving them a weapon without shells to see close up and to touch while describing how they work. In short, their goal is to win the respect and cooperation from the people. It’s important to identify with the people in cases such as this.
One group from within the guerrilla fraternity is known as the Armed Propaganda Team or EPA. These people are carefully selected because of their talent to persuasive and motivated the people. They move about with the population and encourage the people to support the guerrillas principles and to resistance their common enemy. “Front” organizations establish a means of legitimacy for the cause. You will find doctors, lawyers, teachers, businessmen, etc. all awaiting to serve a specific purpose in support of the guerrilla team. It would take pages to list the various aspects that should be taken into consideration when dealing with a guerrilla organization. It is suffice to say that in any endeavor of this sort one must obtain the backing of the people. The Psychology of guerilla warfare is of great importance in this respect.
Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish