03 March 2009

Next project

Well, the challenge has been laid forth.  A lieutenant colonel who goes by the moniker of "Boss Mongo" has challenged someone to write about "compound warfare"--a simultaneous use of conventional and unconventional forces.  It's a phenomemon seen during the Southeast theater of the First World War, where T.E. Lawrence (controlling an Arab insurgency) and General Edmund Allenby (controlling maneuver forces, which were predecessors of the German blitzkreig forces) were able to drive back the Turkish forces.  Indeed, the use of both insurgent and conventional forces would actually make up much of Maoist doctrine on revolutionary conflict.  

I'm actually going to kick this one up a notch and look at "compound warfare", and also "hybrid warfare"--a blending of conventional and unconventional tactics to create a new, more deadly phase of conflict, which proved quite effective in the hands of Hezbollah forces in 2006, inflicting losses on an Israeli army who first tried counterinsurgency, then conventional tactics.  I'm thinking of writing a basic primer on the subject and hoping someone who is not only bright but also with access to a much larger library and free time is able to finish it.  

Two articles on hybrid warfare in the past two days from Small Wars Journal:

How successful can a proper blend of orthodox and unorthodox methods be in conflict?  Let's hear what Sun Tzu has to say on the topic:

In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, 
but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.  

Indirect tactics, efficiently applied, are inexhaustible as Heaven and Earth, 
unending as the flow of rivers and streams; 
like the sun and moon, they end but to begin anew; 
like the four seasons, they pass away to return once more.  

There are not more than five musical notes, 
yet the combinations of these five give rise to more melodies than can ever be heard.

There are not more than five primary colors (blue, yellow, red, white, and black), 
yet in combination they produce more hues than can ever been seen.  

There are not more than five cardinal tastes (sour, acrid, salt, sweet, bitter), 
yet combinations of them yield more flavors than can ever be tasted.  

In battle, there are not more than two methods of attack--the direct and the indirect;
yet these two in combination give rise to an endless series of maneuvers.  

The direct and the indirect lead on to each other in turn. 
It is like moving in a circle--you never come to an end.  
Who can exhaust the possibilities of their combination?

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