What is guerrilla war




The Spanish term guerrilla is the diminutive of guerra ("war") and therefore means "small war". The term "guerrilla" has several meanings: On the one hand, it describes a special form of military tactics, which is characterized by small, independently operating combat units, which mostly act in the rear of the enemy.

The guerrilla fighters are usually numerically inferior to the orderly army of the enemy and therefore avoid direct confrontations. Their aim is not to destroy the opposing troops, but rather to wear them down in order to advance their political concerns as time goes on. Therefore, on the other hand, guerrilla war also stands for a special form of politically motivated, revolutionary or anti-colonial war. The guerrilla fighters do not draw their power from technological superiority, but rather from the support of the local population, who no longer want to endure the status quo under a dictatorship or occupying power. The success of guerrilla fighters depends to a large extent on the support of the people who provide them with food and information.
What distinguishes the guerrilla fighters from conventional soldiers is the lack of identifiability as such: They do not wear uniforms and are constantly on the move to take advantage of their knowledge of the country in a particular region, e.g. B. the jungle or the mountains.

The so-called "Belligerenz", ie the recognition as a warring party, is of great importance for every guerrilla movement. Only if it is recognized as a belligerent party can it achieve its political goals and captured guerrilla fighters can assert their legal status as prisoners of war. In 1979 the UN General Assembly reaffirmed “the right of the peoples to comprehensive resistance against oppression and occupation” (Resolution 34/44), to which guerrilla fighters can also refer in certain cases.

Nonetheless, the military-political opponents of every guerrilla movement work hard to prevent its recognition as a warring party and to discredit the guerrilla fighters linguistically and politically as "terrorists".

The guerrilla movement counteracts its efforts to be recognized as a legitimate party to the conflict, for example by creating political-democratic structures or by presenting its concerns to international organizations such as the UN. Only military equivalence with the opposing army, which only occurs when the weakly armed insurrectionary movement has turned into a revolutionary army with similar hierarchical structures, can ultimately force the opponent to enter into negotiations with the guerrilla fighters. (dp)


Wikipedia: Guerrilla.