On Guerrilla Warfare presents the ideological underpinnings of Mao Tse-tung’s theory of insurgency warfare. In true Clausewitzian style he devotes a chapter to the dynamic political dilemmas engendered by revolutionary guerrilla warfare.
“Military action is a method used to attain a political goal. While military affairs and political affairs are not identical, it is impossible to isolate one from the other.
“A revolutionary army must have discipline that is established on a limited democratic basis.
“Officers should live under the same conditions as their men, for that is the only way in which they can gain from their men the admiration and confidence so vital in war. It is incorrect to hold to a theory of equality in all things, but there must be equality of existence in accepting the hardships and dangers of war.
“It is only undisciplined troops who make the people their enemies and who, like the fish out of its native element, cannot live.
“We further our mission of destroying the enemy by propagandizing his troops, by treating his captured soldiers with consideration, and by caring for those of his wounded who fall into our hands. If we fail in these respects, we strengthen the solidarity of our enemy.
*All excerpts have been taken from On Guerrilla Warfare, Mao Tse-tung, University of Illinois Press.
Serving as an infantry officer in myriad airborne units within the French Army, Roger Trinquier conducted counterinsurgency operations throughout the French conflicts in Indochina as well as Algeria. His experience in those conflicts guided his writing of Modern Warfare, which is a book conveying his lessons learned as well as his own theory of counterinsurgency. His methodology for counterinsurgency warfare involves a force architecture dependent on a prodigious organizational institutional apparatus usually outside the means of most states without a war economy in place.
“…in modern warfare we are not up against just a few armed bands spread across a given territory, but rather against an armed clandestine organization whose essential role is to impose its will upon the population. Victory will be obtained only through the complete destruction of that organization. This is the master concept that must guide us in our study of modern warfare.
“We know that the sine qua non of victory in modern warfare is the unconditional support of a population.
“The war in Indochina and the one in Algeria have demonstrated the basic weapon that permits our enemies to fight effectively with few resources and even to defeat a traditional army. This weapon is terrorism.
“The best way to be well informed consists in introducing our own agents into the organization of the enemy and in corrupting his agents. This is a delicate task that only a few proven agents will be able to accomplish.
“The goal of the guerrilla, during what can be a long period of time, is not so much to obtain local successes as it is to create a climate of insecurity, to compel the forces of order to retire into their most easily defensible areas.
*All excerpts have been taken from Modern Warfare: A French View of Counterinsurgency, Praeger Security International.