Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How to fight Guerillas?

Guerilla warfare has always irritated me, even though it helped my country defeat the British over 200 years ago.


It irritates me because it mixes civilians with fighters but of course its brilliant in that when the opposing side kills civilians (probably by accident either while trying to kill fighters or because they are unsure if the civilians are helping the fighters) and killing civilians helps the fighters gain support, they aren’t seen as brining the fight home, the victims just see the opposing force shooting at them.


Despite the effectiveness of guerilla warfare it still strikes me as cowardly. I actually have more sympathy for car bombings against military than I do hiding out in some village and encouraging air strikes from the other side.


Another point is the whimpyness of much of NATO in combat. I have heard from Afghans that many of the Europeans are *much* less willing to fight in close proximity and tend towards air strikes (which kill much more indiscriminately). This bites in two ways, one it of course kills indiscriminately but also most afghans don’t see the troops and even if they do it is just assumed that they are from the US so any botchups made are instantly blamed on the US (*not* that the US hasn’t made its fair share of mistakes but I don’t think it is responsible for as many civilian deaths though I can’t back that up).