About the «Muslim Brothers» (MB) as political modern «organization» there is profusion of available information, which is constantly updated. But the MB are different from a «political association», according with our Western use and understanding. Their function is eminently social in a wide and deep sense. Like is the Islam as religion. That is based on five props represented by a «opened hand». The jihad is added to those, as a collective blood effort in Al-lâh’s path, for the defense and extension of the lands of Dar-al-Islam. The Islam expresses by sacred actions (rites), necessary to be imbued and blooms in the personal and collective soul of the believers. And these «acts and ritual actions», from the Salat (his daily prayers, which re-join the whole present group), passing for the Roza or fasting in the Ramadan month and the Hajj or multitudinous peregrination to the Mecca, to the Zakat or charity (expressed as canonical alms for the Umma, administered by the ulemas, imams or sheiks). They are collective and highly composing the local or regional Muslim community. The MB are like a legal «confraternity», with the due distances, of the Islam. And with the Zakat they support services of social attention of all kinds (schools and madrasas, clinics, hospitals, help to persons and families). These forge the community in a «unit of general action» effective and resistant. That is of very difficult repetition or reply for the laymen, the atheists and other potential enemies.

On February 4, 1982, after a time of pacific active opposition, the Syrian MB Sunnis, tried an armed revolt in Hama’s city against Hafez al-Assad. His brother Rifaat al-Assad directed the military repression. Surrounded, isolated, without heavy armament, or supplies, the uprising MB were squashed by February 28. It is calculated in more than 20 thousand the rebels dead men during in the combats and in the later pursuit and mopping up. The consulted values range between 10 thousand and 40 thousand. Which indicates that they neither are checked, are not even trustworthy, coming from antagonists sources or fickle authors.

It was the epoch in which these mobs were not constituting a part of a social extensive, deep and determined action. But rather an activate «rebel military area». That was seeking to attract, after his first armed successes, wide sectors of the Sunnis Syrian population. Then, they were seditious without sufficient popular support. Not all the MB were even revolted. And that, therefore, could and must be submitted or swept by the established authorities, as irretrievable and odious rebels.

The dynastic government of the Assad and his political equipment have stopped forming a socialist and national regime a lot of time ago. As they neither represent or defend, nor integrate, the particular and collective interests of their nation. Now only support and protect the members of the social religious oligarchy. That monopolizes and distributes in different degrees the institutional, social and economic power of Syria. The Syrian regime is crystallized, without fluency, so much socially, as ideologically and administratively. And is turning into the shell of a «social political fruit», shriveled, sterile and empty.

A Panorama of national and military Strategy of the Civil War in Syria.

Strategically and in the medium term, the regime of the Assad and his institutional skeleton of the Baaz lay party and their supporters of the Republican Guard and the Air Force, the chiefs and many officials of the Army and the high ranking posts in the Administration, is finished.

Their outrages, the social fractures and the grinding time applied and caused to their heterogeneous people are too much. In order that the beginning revolutionary process (of abrupt change of regime and of political structures) has an acceptable and permanent “reverse” in Syria.

Operatively and in the medium term also, the SNA «monitored and encouraged» by the Republican Guard and the Military Security, has a wide operational movement capacity; a consistent logistic network of stores, warehouses, long distance transport and distribution transport and an IT system, that allows the control and direction of her; a sure flow of armament and equipments for replacement and a simply resounding combat capacity, against their armed semi regular and irregular enemies.

In this level of activity, it is of emphasizing the absence of the Syrian Air Force, in the combats, harassments and skirmishes that take place. It is an Army branch, technical, minority and loyal to the al-Assad, where came from daddy Hafez. That would act as air support, rebel movements interdiction and bombardment of their volatile and slightly definite “support rears” and bases of all kinds. She does not have counterinsurgency specific planes. That allow, flying at low speed, to fix the target and concentrate in it the fire, minimizing his action over not belligerent. As those of the Bronco and his derivatives family and even the old Mig-17.

Then, her employment in a revolt against poorly armed rebels and with diffuse and intermingled “fronts” with populations and neighborhoods of cities. It might give place, though more remotely that in the Lybian case, to the decision of a “military foreign intervention” of variable implications against the regime. The intervention, in this case, with the thorny and difficult political and geostrategic exposition that imply: the reluctance to her of China and Russia; the frontier nearness of The Lebanon and Iran;the natural and inconvenient allies of the regime alauí (chii) and the considerable major population of Syria, in comparison with Lybia. So, she Is stopped by the lack of direction, leadership and moral courage and of ideological and political definition of the so called Western «powers». The artillery, which is less visible and spectacular for the present and absent public, is freely used by the SNA, including the heavy organic tubes of the infantry. It is of emphasizing that in the Eastern Front war, the campaign, heavy and reactive artillery caused up to 45 % of the total losses of both rivals, against to 5 % attributed to the assault artillery and other 5 %, to the aviation. And 35 % of the losses assumed by the heavy organic weapons of both infantries. And this, taking apart that other tasks of the artillery also were to disorganize the enemy movements, to destroy equipments and fortifications and the harassment.

Tactically, the Syrian regime supported by the SNA is in conditions to defeat indefinite but not perpetually all his armed opponents. Any rebel armed force that faces him directly or that tries to defend her positions in a rigid defense without yielding space will be annihilated. The only opportunity that the armed opponents have is precisely not to be drawn by the Army to a lost combat in advance. His technologies and tactics must be the constant and far-sighted mobility; the dispersion and the infiltration, for the moment, in the urban fighting; the small, dispersed and more or less simultaneous or sequential actions in a sensible area; the echeloned escape; the fight with very limited goals and with advantageous temporary conditions; the systematic giving up of positions, forcing the enemy to deploy and prepare again. They can win for the rebel armed forces the necessary time to survive. And to manage to glimpse the victory, against the brutal national and international, political and social wear, which will suffer Bachar al-Assad’s regime, in exponential proportion to the repression time he exercises.


The Syrian troops cause hundreds of dead and injured civilians in their attack to Homs’ city since Friday, 3rd of February. Justifying themselves with making “hot pursuit” of a group of supposed regular rebels in retreat. These actions in force spread already to other cities and small populations of the west of the country. This would be the summary of the news that are received from Syria during February. And with them an important qualitative change has taken place in this masked war. That is increasingly near to burst out and to develop and spread, with the typical characteristics of an armed sustained internal conflict.

Geographical Conditionings of the military Theater of Syria. His operational Characteristics in the Modern War.

Syria is fundamentally a flat country. The life and activity of his inhabitants is assembled and supported by 2 great rivers, the Orontes, which flows from north to south, and the high section of the Euphrates, which crosses his extensive and desert plains of the East, in south-east direction. A thin heights chain, the Ansariyya, which extends in its southern part in the Antilibano and Hermon mountain ranges, now close to Damascus, limits his narrow coastal plain, with Mediterranean crops. At the east of this heights succession, the Orontes, which feeds the irrigation of different crops from the Gab natural depression, allows different urban emplacements, principally Hama and Homs, from north to south. Around the Euphrates, the life sustains, thanks to the irrigations from the river and Tabqa’s dam, in the cities of Raqqa and Day the-Zawr and other minor populations.

As we have seen, the Syrian territory offers a favorable area for the operational movement and marches of the mechanized and motorized units and small units. That are capable of rapidly crossing large and surprising distances for their enemy. Using for it departure bases in their operational rear. This allows also that, any semipermanent concentration of the Syrian Free Army (SFA) could be easily reached, isolated and annihilated by the National Syrian Army (NSA) of Bashar al-Assad.

The Prolegomena of the Civil War in Syria.

Till now the combats between the rebels and the NSA were harassments, skirmishes, ambushes and small assaults to populations, which did not have the character of a «circle and siege», even partially and temporarily. All those had two key characteristics: they were very limited in time and did not have any operational projection. The falls of both «rivals», compared with those of any armed conflict that boasts, were ridiculous. On the other hand, many «minishocks» were not even detected by the normal observers or the international press.

The NSA has made one more step towards the crushing of the revolt, still in his tender buds. But already armed and spreading in «spots» over the whole west of the country. Using also in his «task», the artillery, the infantry heavy weapon and the heavy direct fire of the tanks. Heavy fire that, till now, seeks to sow the panic between the enemy soldiers and his civil supporters and the neighbors of the redoubts and strong temporary rebel points. Without that, with the direct and indirect support of their fires, take place military ground actions of operational transcendence. Only there happens the employment of «groups» of snipers by both parts. The select military men infiltrate and establish themselves, forming a short, discontinuous and broken front line, that covers a sector or strip of great frequency of movements in the population or city. And the rebels realize the neutralization action of the military snipers. And, while the panic produces the people’s move out, but rarely the flanks overflow, the soldiers advance, rolling in the created «emptiness». But without penetrating in it in force and decisively, to dismantle the rebel defense. Or to divide in sectors the enemy enclaves, as maneuver before their mop up by parts.

The self named Syrian Free Army in the Syrian Civil War.

It is a conglomerate of dispersed and unlike forces. That come from the intermittent desertion of small groups of members of the different forces of the NSA. There do not exist elements of the Air Force, which we know, between the rebels. The SFA is far from constituting an organic stable and consolidated structure. His order of battle is constituted, in his pinnacle, by the regional «brigades». These operate tactically in the “urban bed” of the Orontes. Looking only for limited goals of harassment or sudden attacks against the security forces and local important authorities. They do not have intention of defending the goals that are occupied. And they shelter at once, more or less deployed, in the nearby mountain chains. Or, forming small but integrated units, in some neighborhoods of the turbulent cities of Homs, Hama and other populations.

This rebel Syrian army, is better qualified and trained that the local «brigades» (hundreds of Lybian improvised «qatibas», in the style of «sans cullottes» or of the Iranian «basijs») of the questionable Libyan National Counsel of Transition. At least, his men possess a unit of doctrine, regulations and armaments. They have plenty of the varied personnel weapons, including the RPG family and her improved HEAT rockets of hollow lcharge and free flight and some heavy infantry armament (mortars and machine guns). His great weakness is his penury of armored vehicles, of artillery and of the antitank organic weapons of the companies and the specific battalions for antitank fighting. And the lack of a logistic stable network, sufficient and provided regularly.

Here also exists the social psychological phenomenon of raising in 2 or 3 degrees the category, the real size and the capacity of the real deployed and operative units. And that, for stale, does not cheat anybody.

Other active Protagonists of the Civil War in Syria.

The Syrian Army is the army of the nation. And it is formed proportionally as her, by a majority of sunnies recruits. That is which feeds, together with NCO s and junior officials of same origin, as an exuberant nursery, the ranks of the FSA. The Army is formed by approximately 200 thousand persons, most of recruit. The potential of the nation for a supported annual recruitment is around 220 thousand men. And it can reach even more than 320 thousand persons, with the first mobilization. Army is integrated by 3 army corps and varied and numerous independent units, with all the branches and available services. Within his upbringing is included a «political indoctrination». Not as severe, extensive and constant as that in the Communist armies, that look to imbue them with hatred towards the Zionist enemy and with loyalty to the Government and the Party.

The Army is «observed and controlled» by a younger brother of Bashar, Mahir, from his headquarters of the Republican Guard (the Haras al-Jumhuriyya). And by his brother-in-law Asef Shawkat, who directs the whole State Security, through his different institutional branches. In all the military «units» are «observers» of the Military Intelligence. Also there are several «Special Forces»units, formed exclusively by alauits volunteers, that nowadays received the joint name of «Force of Rapid Deployment», at the usage of other national armies. They are light infantry reinforced units, with the highest level in motivation, training and combat readiness.

If we want to speak about the combative efficiency of the Syrian Army, we have to depart from his specific “combat capacities». Definite and calculated by colonel Trevor Dupuy. And that refer to real values exhibited in conflicts. The last ones, calculated from the Yom Kippur’s War, were giving a value of 2,54 Syrian soldiers for one of the Tsahal. This was placing them over Jordanians and Egyptians, with values below 2. For more than 20 years, an improvement is perceived in the quality of the military personnel. And the junior officials receive now more tasks and are promoted also by his value, within the habitual parameters of the Arabic armies.

In this multicolored social military scene, are also present a few purely local autonomous militias, without operative connection between them. They do not exist in all the places and neighborhoods. There are out of the Baaz and his politician paramilitary militias that, for the moment, are inactive. Those try to keep a minimum of social internal order and the safety and the movement of the citizens and goods in the different enclaves, small populations and slums where they act. Their armament is merely the infantry personnel weapons and hunting firearms, in very varied number and composition depending on their location and contacts. Both the «task groups» of the SNA and the rebel bands keep, in this period of development of the fighting, a tolerant status quo with these civil militias. Which realize a suitable civil police labor for all.

In many alauits neighborhoods operates a paramilitary governmental militia (the «habiha»), formed by select militants of the Baaz. In different Sunnis neighborhoods act irregular armed rebels from the Muslim Brothers. It is very scanty the presence of radical religious Salafists and his furthermore exiguous local appendices. The past suicide attacks in Damascus were ascribed to them. This introduces a “social instability factor” in the “real parameters” of this war. That performs major effect and importance, that would correspond to it by the number and aggressiveness efficiency of these social religious radical Islamic. Finally, there also are «Sunnis irregular volunteers» from Iraq, without pays since the retreat of the USA. That would be crossing the Syrian border and her Eastern desert, to join the armed fight against the regime of the Baaz.

(to be continued)



The urban effective guerrilla war. Another principal domain for the swarming groups in the networks war theory.

It is not easy to use and defend the urban zones of repulse. Its employment demands high requirements to the rebel combatants:

An enough motivation, which encourages them to follow the arms way and risking their lives for their cause. And appeases and rationalizes them the inevitable fear of the fighting in the close distances with a superior enemy, until the seniority offers to them new impulses.

A good training in the infantry fighting, which gives them trade and confidence. A successful cooperation between the small units that garrison the zones, that guarantees them a cohesion without fissures in their tenuous and lean deployment. And that allows and facilitates the command conduction and the accomplishment of his plans. To get iron nerves tempered by everything previous, that accustom them to fight in solitary or in small groups, refusing to flee in face of the implacable threat of the military heavy fire. For all this, among the few tens of thousands of armed rebels existing, not more than 15% of them can in these moments use this kind of defensive fight. The military networks and the swarming of «small sections» have in these two operational characteristics, their major deficiencies.

These urban irregular enemies are protected extending their defensive positions beyond the necessary in a conventional defense, covering this way a major occupied surface. In the defense zone they establish delaying points, more or less reinforced. These protect the most critical positions of the zone, that incorporate in the defense the buildings with steel structure, specially resistant, and form fire bags to trap the enemy that gets through. The resistance nests have here more importance, provided that the occupation of the zone of defense is more tenuous, that they cannot strengthen the positions too much for covered reasons, the sights are more short and exist numerous approximation routes. They depend on the delaying points and to them they fall back if are invaded or destroyed. Numerous alternative or extras positions exist, more of the habitual in the urban fighting. This allows to deceive the military enemy about the forward limit of the defense position, its real extension, the limits of the sectors that form it, the intentions of the rebel command of the zone about its defense and to disperse the heavy fire of the attacker. In the edges of the urban zones they never establish these fixed positions. Those are occupied by combat advanced parties, which mission is to receive the possible explorers or civil observers, to avoid surprises and to deceive about the tracing of the defensive zone. The occupants of combat advanced positions, distributed in pairs of sentries and some very small mobile patrols, fall back in their moment towards the more interiors delaying points.

These «fortresses» are diffuse, secret and imperceptible to strangers. In a few hours the previous works are reinforced and occupied. Its communication routes need more working time to get done, but also are less evident. It is necessary to enter the houses to detect perforated walls and to find alleys under a furniture or a carpet. These positions are not complex. They need a few interlaced firing sectors, an immediate protection against the enemy irruption in mass or with elite commands, some covers against the heavy normal fire and a sufficient concealment that covers them from the sights of the enemy probable successive positions and his approximation avenues. The obstacles and the mines, even false in certain percentage and always distantly to not betray them, will serve to break the enemy assault and to offer to them more static targets, for example for the mortars, which will have registered its fires. The destruction that generates the wide heavy fire support without aiming a precise target, reinforces the rebel combat positions, surrounding them with debris that divide and impede the accesses of the military, except when they are reached by a ordnance direct impact. To operate this defensive structure the rebels have prepared numerous and narrow tunnels, dragging trenches and gaps in garden walls and interior walls of the buildings. In such a way that, away from the enemy sights, allow them to occupy the combat and observation positions at wish, to defend them more or less time or not, to move among them and to reinforce the most threatened or pressed places.

Generally they try to shoot from the front, with isolated or couples snipers armed with the SVD or M-14 sniper rifles, at individual and small groups of enemies. And to attack from the flank or the rear at the enemy units that penetrate in their defensive zone, which already are disintegrated in squads or sections with one or two armored vehicles. Those prepared communications allow them to appear, always in small number, behind or at the flanks of the units, while these stop, regroup, ask or receive instructions, or decide where to advance, and to erode them, causing some casualties. For example, from a basement or a floor, through an irregular hollow in a yard or garden wall, under a parked or destroyed vehicle in the street, where it emerges a narrow tunnel with a covered and disguised exit. From these positions the armed rebels throw some RPG-7V rockets or several short blasts, always aiming, of the RPK light machine gun or the obsolete RPD. The interior houses courts serve them to place the mortars, which constitute their the only «heavy fire» source, protected by an infantry position. They fired them with the maximum angles on the abundant, large and always excessive military concentrations. The usual mortar is the 82 mm. Russian modern M-1937 model. Here that the attacker presents three times more men (in means the proportion must be 20 to 1) neither favors nor facilitates their labor. But this offers the persecuted defender more targets to be able to use his exiguous fire power. Especially because, in a given moment, is small the attackers’ proportion that are putting in real distress the defenders.

Also they possess an effective and increasing anti-aircraft defense of short range. From other courts and roofs, always protected by a nearby infantry resistance nest, several teams of light anti-aircraft rocket shoulder launchers carriers are arranged. Their location in the deployment is done depending on the most probable and most dangerous aircraft approximation directions for the defense. If they are sufficient and shoot skilful, they could use two nearby, but not contiguous launchers, whom form a team, and that shoot successively and rapidly (the SAM-18 flies at 2 Mach) against an aircraft or towards an enemy air formation in immediate approximation to its target. A typical rocket would be the SAM 7, called «grail» and «strela» (arrow) in not Cyrillic Russian. It had successive improvements and today is replaced in the military arsenals by the SAM 18 former mentioned, that has a useful attack height of 3,5 km (the double). And guides, a fuel rocket, an explosive head and a bait detector, all improved. The shoulder shooter limits himself to direct the launcher already loaded towards its target, wait until the missile confirms the target’s acquisition and then squeeze again the trigger. And to get hide.

The crucial moment for the defense comes when the zone commander decides to evacuate it, after having stopped and delayed the enemy for some time. Trying to cause him losses as high as possible, but without been exposed excessively to a fighting at the close distances, or to be outflanked or to lose his freedom of action. This is inexorably tied to the transfer of space to the military enemies. For it the rebels avoid in opportune moment the direct assault of their enemy, not his extensive or vague bombardment. The rebels must have sufficient exit tunnels directed to not very nearby buildings (often official and even respectable (mosques), offices, companies and some houses) or not evident dry riverbeds (wadis) and bushes in the open land. From there they could disperse through the ground in very small groups towards friends reception positions, in the first moments. The protection of the evacuation is therefore vital and both entrances or exits from these tunnels are always covered by resistance nests, which take to end their rigid defense.

All this cohesion, discipline, formation, training and firm and effective command of the irregular classic units, are distant of those of a military lax structure of networks or of the swarming of independent groups over an enemy or defending itself from him. Where are in this new theory, the center of gravity or the reiteration of efforts or the saving and optimization of the material and human means?

The effective operability of the units and small military units.

The war of networks tends to a too extensive subdivision of the military units. Turning out the «little group» or the net «knot», as tactical independent effective unit (TIEU). With them they would seek to extend the front (so the actions) on a more awkward or passive enemy, to disturb to his command and to alter his plan of fires.

But this is not practical in the operational level of the war.

The subunits tactically related need to have and keep a strip of advance or, at least, the little ones, a direction; a protected and concealed support fires (antitank and anti-aircraft defense and for neutralization and blinding of the enemy); the operational and permanent nearness of a logistic vehicles team, at least for health and to re-put ammunitions; a depth of the deployment, with a certain reserves; and his protection towards the exposed flanks and rear. All this supposes a minimal «tactical entity united and commanded», to keep both his security and resistance to the surprises, his combative efficiency, his deployment and his capacity of tactical movement.

And that they have to share with their companion units, a part of the fulfillment of the aim of their high command. And to have a combat mission directed on the enemy, as part of the gravit center of the efforts of the «major unit» of her. To avoid that these “group or nude” type units roam through the operational field, without a clear, effective and operatively transcendent intention.

All this reduces capacity and possibilities of employment to the networks and to the clusters of multiple «micro or small independent units», within the spectrum of the «situations of efficiency» that are raised and offered by the theory.

Here is an example of the correct employ of modern conventional military units. Against a reinforced infantry position that has advanced antitank weapons, a typical defensive zone, if it cannot be outflanked, an enemy dismounted infantry can break through or destroy it. It can be follow by tanks advancing by covered bounds to offer protection and direct fire support. The defender’s antitank will look for a relatively large and protected target, that it can hit from covered positions or, at least, from well-camouflaged positions, that are flanking the armored vehicles. And will fire by batteries with dispersed guns, so that the same enemy heavy fire can not incapacitate them. The infantry’s heavy weapons (machine guns in tripods) neutralize by «sweeping and searching» a more or less narrow frontal zone, that is occupied in depth by small, soft, dispersed targets such as an infantry platoon.

Attacking tanks can use H.E. and H.E.S.H. shells to overcome infantry strong positions and their infantry squads can attack with light machine guns the enemy antitank weapons, to prevent them from sighting or fix a target. All this destruction and neutralization, once irruption is achieved, proceeds in worm-like movements deep into the tactical zone of the assault sector of the interarms unit. Other parts of the enemy’s position that could collaborate in the rejection are blocked by smoke and/or neutralized by indirect fire.

At the same time, advanced observers from artillery and aviation corps will be defining new targets to its units, in addition to those found by assault units along the flanks and deep (through combat exploration) in the advance sector. The criterion of the gravity center of the fire of support at least will be neutralize all the targets that are opposed to the advance towards the enemy position, to the irruption and to the struggle inside the defense position of in the assigned sector. This will facilitate the direct fire and shock produced by the ground attackers, by means of concentrated and precise fire blows.

This optimizes effective action in a given environment at the level of the tactical groups of action or combined arms systems, whose complementariness has been described. In broken, undulating, wooded or urbanized (housings and factories) areas (not necessarily mountainous), the lack of sight control and the abundant “concealing relative heights” reduce the sector of “interfaces of action” with the enemy.

The suitably-sized “combined arms system” continues to be the element of effective action. The action is effected by companies or reinforced interarms platoons, with heavy fire support provided by battalions (medium and heavy mortars). Except in areas that are very flat and with few “sight obstructions”, ground “transitability” (more than simply “ground on going”), which physically limits the possible “interfaces of action” with the enemy, can prevent the fight using concentrated resources that are beyond those of a company. The battalion role will be to reinforce the efforts and distributing supports.

In these cases, existing communication ways, especially those more or less perpendicular to the front, are critical to land actions. Blockading these ways affects tempo (the total speed of the operation) enormously, by the difficulty presented by sloping or obstructed areas that surrounds them (forests, gullies, constructions, un-reinforced fords). The advance slows down or the forces have to be dispersed onto parallel available routes, forcing them to enter other difficult bordering areas.

Otherwise, contingency plans for units must provide for overcoming four types of unforeseen situations that can impede or endanger a mission. These include:

a) Possible direct action by the enemy in using or recovering initiative. This might take the form of an interdiction bombardment or counterattack. The solution is to tactically neutralize his action, without compromising the mission.

b) Possible encounter with the enemy. This could occur during combat exploration patrols or could be confronted by sentries, advanced security forces and advanced detachments and deep exploration patrols. It is necessary to submit or push back the enemy and to rapidly and temporarily change positions or direction, to not compromise the mission.

c) Possible unforeseen obstacles. These could be ditches, slopes of more difficult soil, blown-up bridges, floods, and storms that affect an area’s transitability. It is important to overcome these as rapidly as possible, while maintaining security and extending exploration.

d) Possible defensive/passive action of the enemy. These can take the form of an ambush, minefield, reinforced cut defended by fire, rejection fires of a defense position or antitank obstacles. These must be overcome as soon as possible, as in the case of natural obstacles, to avoid being moved by the enemy in a direction that is favorable to a counterattack or toward a zone covered by artillery or by convergent fires (bag fires zones).

In general terms, including in the commander’s plan, these must always be pursued:

1) To overcome or repel the enemy and/or unforeseen obstacles which hinder one’s forces and provide information to the enemy.

2) Avoid losing resources (or resources that are neutralized, detached or repulsed) that are important for fulfilling the mission. The surviving enemy can use compromising information, but he may receive it too late to be effective intelligence for him.

3) Resources necessary for the mission must be available for its execution. This multiplies efficiency, after commotion and the incident losses, to maintain a high momentum of execution: this being the product of combat capacity by the average speed of movement in a given period and in a certain direction.

The example of the preparation and action of General Patton’s 3rd American army in counterattacking the German penetration in the Ardennes illustrates the difficulties (its «incident» was a sudden change of mission, direction and execution) and the possibilities gave by the «momentum» of execution.

None of this is improvised. It is the result of practice and is the fruit of frequent training, the organization of work and the coordination of the H.Q. and all commands. These sayings remind us of this: «it is performed as it is trained» and «the man is an animal of habit».

In practice the degree of general military obtained efficiency, will be determined by the idiosyncrasy of the nation, the character more or less gregarious or independent of her peoples, both her military doctrine and tradition, the defense budgets, her » national moral», which feeds and holds her «will of defense», the political national and international situation, the integration of her institutions and national organisms in the regional or international area, etc.


An Innovation or a Rhetorical Redundancy?

In the last five-year periods diverse theories are appearing on the action of military units in networks, or forming a «cluster», around a slower tactical aim This with minor combative alert and/or deficiencies in exploration or intelligence and with worse shooting sectors for his rejection fires. An analysis of his mechanisms and operations demonstrates that they really lack the structural originality and the wide combative efficiency that they raise and offer.

The operational of the «netwars» and the «clusters» of small units of action.

The «little groups» that would create the hived of erosive actions on the enemy or the «networks» that wrap, scourge and/or isolate the goal, not always are or have to be such “small units” «almost independent». An example of the efficiency of the centripetal action of a whole Army, maneuvering on the enemy by Army Corps, in an dislocating and constrictive action, is the battle of Ulm.

In September, 1805 Napoleon moved his «Army of England» to the Rhine, deploying his 208000 men between Mainz and Strasbourg and renamed he the «Great Army». The French “Grande Armée” was formed by 145000 infantrymen and 38000 troopers, joined 7 Army Corps, each one at the orders of a French marshal, a great cavalry reserve commanded by the marshal Prince Murat and the Imperial Guard, directly under Napoleon; to them 25000 allied Bavarians were added.

Taking as usual in him the initiative, Napoleon decides to give the first strategic blow against the army of 72000 Austrians that, at the orders of the general Mack and the archduke Fernando, son of the emperor Francisco II, was advancing towards Ulm, without waiting the arrival of help from their allied Russian.

Napoleon is going to use against the Austrians what we can call an operational effort of gravity center. It would form, if you like so, a network. But an immense network with very fat knots. Whose «singular functioning», already was satisfactorily and profitably offering and explaining by the operational strategy. The characteristics of the process of establishment and functioning of it are the originality, the flexibility of the deployment, the consistency, its not predictability by the enemy and the efficiency.

The operational gravity center supposes the centripetal action of all the means and their lines of action, of the «branched out» activity of all the units and services. Not necessarily coincidental, but convergent and resultant in their synergy, in their efficiency and in the result. By means of the different and coordinated lines of advance or of action, we induce uncertainty and insecurity in the enemy, disperse his rejection capacity and disturb his Defense Plan and its systematic conduction by his commands.

In an ample advance of his independent Army Corps, the Grande Armée (around 210000 men) quickly crossed the center of Germany, from the Rhine to the Danube, between September, 25 and October, 6. With this, it operationally interposed between the Austrians (about 40000 men) and their allied Russian forces that went to help them. The Austrians did not understand the need of the rapidity of the movements, thinking only about the battle, as the only instrument of the decision. The French initiated the crossing of the Danube on October 7, 1805 and, during the following week, Napoleon converge most of his Army Corps in an enormous restricting spiral on Ulm, while a Corp with enough forces watched for the arrival from the east of Russian General Kutuzov.

General Mack made, in vain, several attempts at rupturing Napoleon’s forces, applying his greatest efforts in Haslach and Elchingen. Both Austrian commanders quarreled among themselves and Archduke Fernando, with his 6000 troopers, separated from the main force and tried to escape to the northeast. But Archduke Fernando’s forces were surrounded and beaten by the cavalry Corps of Murat, near Trochtelfingen. Another 12000 Austrians surrendered in Neustadt.

General Mack and the rest of his men (about 27000, after the mentioned battles), with Napoleon’s overwhelming forces at the doors of Ulm since October, 14, came out the city and laid down their weapons at the feet of mounts Michelsberg. The capitulation was signed by General Mack on the 20th. The campaign, without properly battles, cost Austria more than 50000 men (around 70%) of her initial forces of about 70000 troops.

The explanation of this Napoleon’s paradigmatic success, being served the habitual theories of the war, the exploitation of the human weaknesses (emotional intelligence) and the “correct sense” of the command, seems to us more natural, appropriate and established.

The subversive Islamic networks. The case of al-Qaida. His real «military» operational.

The operational actual characteristics are:

His unnecessary and indiscriminate brutality, which discredits them with his religion. We can mention a minimum of 4 important moral “aleyas”or verses, that they despise and disobey, without Allah had changed these for them. Sura 2, aleya 100 «We do not abrogate any verse of this book, or we will not make erase one alone of your memory, without replacing it by an equal or better other one».

The absolute absence of venerable and pious ulemas and muftíes at his side. These are the doctors of the Koranic Islamic Law and of the Sunna.

His great operational decentralization because the universality of the Umma, which comes out the idea of nation or race. This prevents them from obtaining permanent strategic aims. Though his punctual actions are important, painful and fearsome.

This way, his fighting area is tactical, using «actions of bite and flee». Which, paradoxically are very similar to those of the regular armies who fight them. That, avoiding the personal risks and the close distances fighting, use their elite forces in «actions of hunt, capture and extraction or death». And use their “drones”, as expression of their confidence in their technological support. This is the military reason of the lack of efficiency of the western soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan. And not mixing in a superior aim at operational level, the different and costly actions that carry out in these countries. Which deprives of real results the labors of education, social and civil development and pacification of their governments and the foreign military forces and expatriated civilians. Since those need the complementarity of the military victory and the progressive physical and/or social isolation of the radical rebels, to be effective and permanent.

The accumulated cost of the military American interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (so called «war against the terror») was till now 2,2 trillions of dollars. This bleeding throughout a decade to the income of the USA Administration, has specially helped to increase the deficit of his National Debt. And to giving reasons to the Obama Administratiion to initiate an extraordinary political and strategic retreat, «to attend now to the things at home» and «to limit ourselves to the war against al-Qaida». Without leaving our allies and friends, of course.

And his action primer element is the terror. This way, his victory is thanks to those they can terrify or, at least, worry very much. And in the plethoric and slightly effective mobilization of the economic and social resources of the enemy nations. And, because the major vigilance, capacity and means of the western countries, they do not hesitate to operate against other Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, etc.

His failure in active and firmly joining to a social wide group, which would gives coverage and permanent impulse to his movement. The most mentally ill activists are in the habit of being isolating progressively from society (at least, emotional and ideologically), though they «live» within her. For the sake of his violent methods, to which they sacrifice everything for the efficiency. They follow a process of segregation, purification (in his unexpected not orthodox rites they fast, use water of sacred places and green streamers with inscriptions of the verses that favor they), consecration and radicalization. Up to coming to the death and even to the suicide in his punctual actions.

His zeal for advertising, to which the West contributes insensitively, stupidly and tast.

His aim to strike all governments, as the radical and aggressive caliphate in «dar-el–Islam» (Muslim integrated independent lands) does not exist nowadays.

Al-Qaida is an Islamic radical movement organized vertically and from below to above, that spreads and makes concrete in his «franchise swarms». His structure, flex, decentralized, release, makes that his «cells» do not know exactly which are the higher chiefs. They only know where they have to go to receive support or to send or receive information or to communicate with another «equal» cell. The high commands of this movement act by exception, not by presence or by deliberate action.. This way, they give doctrinal orientations, establish great lines of military and proselytizing action for the different territories and areas, they throw threats and notices to the enemy governments and indicate punctual important aims (seudo strategic) at the level of the whole organization, though they should be realized in a given area. This allows them to work enough good, without the intervention of their high commands. Among these chaps or «barons of the fanatical death», are Addel Malek Droukdel, leader of al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghrib, and Abu Bakar Bashir, called the «clergyman militiaman», founder of the Jeemah Islamiya or al-Qaida of Indonesia and condemned in June, 2011 to 15 years of prison in his country. The «martyrdom» of Ayman al-Zawahiri al-Masri (the Egyptian), former «managing director» of Bin Laden, in a bombardment with drones or ordnance, would affect little to their efficiency, at their current levels of military irregular action.

How work the networks and the swarms of small units and in which circumstances?

The battle of mount Majuba (February 27, 1881) was a case of effective employment of the «small independent units». That hived on an enemy conventional unit, type battalion, and destroyed he, finishing with it the First Boer War.

At the end of this, general Colley directed a small British army to Transvaal territory. Here he decided to occupy Majuba’s extinct volcano with 600 m. height and that was dominating the right exposed flank of the camp of wagons (laager) of the Boers. The British force was consisting of approximately 650 men, integrated in 4 companies from different regiments, and lacking field artillery and machine guns. They occupied the flat summit, which was free and established positions in her, in his edges and in the south base of the height, to protect their retreat to the nearby base of mount Prospect.

Though surprised, when the Boers verified the absence of artillery of the British, they prepared to recover the mountain. To their favor they had the total knowledge of the area and their great mobility in it. The mount was formed by alternative strata of schists and limestone, with deep gullies and masses of rocks and thick bushes of dark mimosa. With what the sights of the different defensive British sectors were intermittent and of short range. All this was ought to the independent and irregular character of the Boers shooters and riders. That, even, were feeling free to move to any part of a battlefield, where they believed themselves more useful. Till then, the Boers were keeping a defensive strategy in the war.

The first group of 50 men came to the Majuba’s north slope and were taken by the «general» Smit round the hill, to its south side, to fix the British placed there. Boers’ clusters were appearing from all the sides and continued waiting for their chiefs’ arrival for directing them. Approximately 150 Boers began to climb over the hillsides in different moments, while a similar number was supporting them with a neutralization fire on the edges of the summit. The men who were rising were gathering in independent clusters. In them, a part of the Boers was climbing from a refuge or concealment to other one, whereas other part was offering to them a barrier of gunfire. The latter part, under the protection of the first one, was climbing then up to the last reached level. This work of approximation to the top extended for approximately 6 hours.

The British were kept under cover in the edges, but soon they realized that the enemy was approaching below them. The first assault crowned in the west side. The company of 92º infantry regiment of lieutenant Hamilton began to be attacked from the front and its reverse. Some subunits kept as reserves in the center of the small plateau were advanced to the west. The British were keeping their disciplined fire by volleys. The Boers were shooting individually, resting on ground and loading and began another shooting cycle. The British moved back towards the center of the position. Some Boers, which were coming almost to the top from the west, moved to the north and also attacked the right enemy flank. Others reached also the top from the south, also attacking lined up to the left flank.

The British tried then the break for the south side, lowering in a hurry and taking the way to mount Prospect. In the pursuit there took place the majority of his casualties. The British suffered 96 dead, 132 injured and 56 prisoners. The Boers had 1 dead and 5 injured men. Several are the operative and tactical mistakes of the Red Coats in this final campaign of the war: to lack campaign artillery to beat the camp of the Boers, that had served them to repel to the «clusters» enemy that were appearing in the top; his shooting technique was ineffective against fleeting and dispersed targets; they were not knowing and did not explore the area in which the battalion spread out; the Boers, as all the irregular soldiers, highly displease the close combat and/or by the bayonet, but, in this case, they did not avoid and used it, which surprised the enemy.

But also, this approximation work to the assault distances and without losses of the own combat capacity, can be perfectly realized by many military «action units», without engineers’ training. Divided in teams and still in men pairs or buddy teams, they can take advantage of small drops, flooded fields, verges, ditches, bushes zones, ravines, etc., and even with the concealment of the night and/or the smokes. To close on the enemy and realize an non too deep incursion or to reach his flanks or his rear, even slipping between his combat positions. And though the enemy is strengthened and provided with heavy fires, it can be done by more upbringing and trained units. For it is necessary to have and to keep a previous exploration of the enemy, his movements and habits. The employment of the grenades and not the individual fires of is fundamental to confuse the sentries and the enemy combat positions, of the scope and intentions of the attacker.

Also the war networks and the military clusters can work in favorable circumstances with cavalry irregular mobile forces. An example is the battle Carras (in Latin, Carrhae, nowadays, Harran, in Turkey), where the Partian archers riders of the general Surena defeated the triunviro Marco Licinio Craso and his Roman legions in 53 B.C. The Roman army of approximately 39 thousand men, only was possessing 4 thousand light infantry or vélites and 4 thousand riders. Craso penetrated in the northen plains of Syria in pursuit of the enemy, who was refusing the fight. Finally, near Carras the battle raised up, in an area totally favorable to the cavalry.

The Romans formed a defensive rectangle, which was surrounded by the Partian cavalry, that only the Scitians overcame they in quality and capacity. After some initial skirmishes with the vélites, the Partians were hived on the formed infantry. And they began a long harassment from the effective shooting distance of their arrows and lances, out of the range of the Roman pila and gladius. The legionary deployment faced a dilemma: if they were keeping such closed formations, they would end hurt by the enemy missiles, and, if they were trying to charge on them, breaking a little their formation, simply they were avoiding by them. The Partians squadrons were attacking following a given direction. His riders were approaching by rows, were throwing his missiles and were moving back to his rear following their sides, in an endless and infernal cycle. The harassment lasted up to the dusk.

During the night, a part of the legions sheltered in Carras. The following day, they continued their retreat up to the nearby Armenian mounts, where the cavalry had a difficult area. Surena offered to negotiate to Craso. But, during the negotiations it arose a fight and Craso was dead. After this, the remains of the Roman army dispersed or gave up themselves. Only approximately 5 thousand men came back to their departing camps, approximately 10 thousand were caught and the rest was dead. After this experience, the Romans progressively increased the cavalry of their armies and legions. And at the beginning of the 4th century A.D., she supposed 25 % of their forces.

The one that believes that in similar circumstances, favorable to the mobile swarms and with direct effective fire capacity, these results always repeat, can be wrong. In effect, on the 27th and 28th of October, 1942 in the Egyptian desert a series of comat meetings took place between German and Italian units of the Afrika Korps and 2 º battalion of the brigade of Rifles of the British army. This one took fixed positions in an opened place called Snipe, at the west of the Kidney hill. With the reinforcement and concealment of the positions and the support of a group of 19 6 pounds (53 mm.) antitank cannons, the Britishs could surprise their enemies on their limits and location, reject several direct assaults of the tanks of the Afrika Korps and resist several bombardments of artillery and assault cannons.

At the end of the second day of combats, the Germans left their attempts of squashing and invading the Snipe position. They had lost in them more than 50 diverse armored vehicles. Snipe was resisting and was kept. Though a third of the garrison had fall and only had 6 useful antitanks. Almost all the Bren machinegun vehicles of the battalion were destroyed. Finally, the Britishs left the position and withdrew.

The circumstances and the epochs that can favor the “units clusters” or the networks war are very selective and exclusive. This way, the own theory, though correct, is at least insufficient and not much elaborated and, therefore, probably unnecessary. In effect, any new theory that looks for his implantation, respect and acceptance, must explain satisfactorily all the aspects known about a given phenomenon (the tactics, the logistics, the operational level, etc). This is a necessary condition, but it is not sufficient. And, here his innovation and principal value will reside, it must make clear new ways of approximation and advance to a major knowledge and domain of the mentioned phenomenon.

(to be continued)


What are they? How many there are? How do they serve?

A historical analytical tour from the Fighting Kingdoms of the ancient China up to their modern expression for the irregular or asymmetric war

The so called «principles» of the war or advises for good acting in it, which also are permanent, so as are reinterpreted with good sense and flexibility, are the compendium of «what to do on war. Nevertheless, not always were agree the authors or the doctrines to define or to enumerate them, the results being characterized by its extreme diversity before the same phenomenon.

Following their best theoretical experts and skilled users.

Following General André Beaufré, Clausewitz proposed three fundamental principles: the concentration of efforts, the action of the strong on the weak and the decision by the battle in the principal operational theater.

Nevertheless, the reading of his book «On the War» allows to extract at least other eight conclusions, milestones or advices in his great work. And they have the character of principles of the war. These would be: Simplicity in the plans and executions. Concentration on the enemy and relative economy of forces in other sectors, to help to get it. This way, the establishment of a principal effort and enough reserves to guarantee it through time. The surprise, as multiplier of the own military capacities. Superiority of the defense, which must be active, as a fighting form. Need of the offensive, to obtain positive and/or decisive results at the operational and strategic military levels.

Liddell Hart proposes six positive principles: Following a flexible and adaptable plan, to prosecute a constant goal, fitted to the available means, looked for by means of the line of action that offers the less resistance of the enemy and, therefore, the most unexpected for his deployment and following an operational direction that offers us alternatives and, therefore, that disconcerts and disperse the enemy forces. And two negatives: to not throw the forces in an unique blow or attempt, while the enemy is on guard or in conditions to elude or resist that blow and not to repeat in the same form or direction an assault, if it has previously failed. We can synthesize all this saying that: it is necessary to apply our concentration against the enemy weakness, once his forces are dispersed, and if before they were not, by our calculated enticing deployment dispersion .

Though Napoleon commented frequently and wrote very much on the principles of the war, he did not enumerate them anywhere. In presence of the marshal Saint Cyr he once commented: «If some day I have time, I will write a book describing so precise form the principles of the war, they will be understood by all the soldiers, being able to study the war as easily as any another science». The general John Frederick Charles Fuller, from the study of Napoleon’s campaigns, deduces undoubtedly that him used the following ones: Employment of the rapidity, faith in the resolution of the offensive, the surprise, the concentration in the decisive point (not necessarily the weakest in all his battles) and a carefully projected defensive system.

There have been really done diverse collections of the Napoleon’s maxims and military rules. Considered the best and first of all, the published in Paris in 1.827 and which was almost immediately translated to the rest of the principal European languages, certainly the Spanish. It is said that Stonewall Jackson was taking a copy of this opuscule in his rucksack. The colonel G. F. R. Henderson, biographer of Napoleon, considers that this summary «contains a complete enough account, in the Napoleon’s own words, of the great universal principles of the war». In this famous edition there appear 78 maxims, which were extended in other 37 rules in the later editions. But, theMilitary Maxims» of Napoleon constitute rather atactical breviaryof approximately 35 pages, adapted to the technology of his time, similar to the expressly wrote and with bigger extension, already in the epoch of the mechanization of the war, by the Swiss colonel Frick.

For his part, Fuller analyzing Clausewitz and departing from his phrase, «the war only is a duel on a large scale», he is deducing up to seven general principles for the conduction of war, explained through a of box fight paraphrase. Those are: The conservation of the goal. The security. The mobility in the action. The utilization of the offensive. The surprise. The concentration of the forces. The economy of the forces. These Fuller’s principles were accepted and assumed by the North American military doctrine from 1.921, with the due updates in its exhibition and possibilities of application, and adding those of simplicity and unit of control.

The French traditional strategic school represented by the generalissimo Foch, victor of I World War, summarized the strategy in two principles: the economy of forces and the freedom of action. For its generality and abstraction they can be applied to all the tactics and strategies. General Beaufré summarizes them in to reach the decisive point thanks to the freedom of action, obtained by means of a good economy of forces.

The school of the North American great strategy or total strategy represented by the general Maxwell Taylor used, during its confrontation with the U. S. S. R. in the long cold war, two basic principles of performance: the adjustable dissuasion and the flexible response.

Stalin, the great victor of the II World War, whom was asking ironically, «how many divisions has the Pope? « (now we will see the reason), defined the five Soviet principles of the war, which he called «operational permanent factors»: The stability of the national civl rear, the fighting and political moral of the Army, the quantity and quality of the divisions, the armament of the Army and the organizing skill of the cadres, officials and commanders.

These are in contrast with the so calledtransitory factors, of which only one has been specified, the surprise. Surely because it was the only one that Stalin mentioned as such, in the period following its lucky use at the strategic level by the Germans, on having invaded the U. S. S. R. The Soviet exhibition of the mentioned principles, necessarily does not mean that there do not exist other principles, that are so valuable as them in the military Soviet doctrine. But only that are not mentioned as such by her.

In «The Art of the War» of Sun Tzu there are also definite the roots of the principles of the war. They are not stated explicitly as in the West, but they appear expressed with that global sense of the Chinese philosophy. Which seeks to bear in mind everything at the same time, the particular thing and the general. More as an intimate perception and an experience, than as a «check list», a prescription handbook or a vademecum.

On the principle of the offensive SunTzu says:

«The invincibility resides in the defense, the opportunities of victory, in the attack». «When you have enough means, the suitable thing is the defense; when you have more than sufficient means, the assault.» «Those who are expert in the art of defending, hide themselves under the land of the nine folds; those who are expert in the art of attacking, advance as launching from the ninth sky. Thus, they are capable of be protected and insuring themselves the total victory at a time».

(to be continued)



The Last Operational Projections opposite to the Most recent Threats.

The balance of the nuclear weapons between both great atomic hegemonic powers («guides and leaders» of their partners), is defined by the new START Treaty. This has been ratified on December 22, 2010 by the American Senate. And is hoped that the Russian Duma ratifies it, after her established by protocol study, in an only voting at the beginning of 2011. This new agreement replaces the START of 1991, which expired on Saturday, the 5th of December, 2009.

The START 2 supposes a qualitative and substantial limitation of the number of heads and nuclear strategic vectors of the USA and Russia. Far are the times in which the number of operational, stored and dismantled by pieces nuclear devices were reaching 50000 between both. By 2013, each country will deploy only 1550 strategic nuclear warheads and will have 800 carrying and multicarrying vectors for them: submarines, free flight rockets, ballistic rockets and planes. Also is established a new system of inspection of the arsenals and nuclear means.

Several are the deficiencies or topics not solved by the Treaty. One is the not limitation to developing the defense systems against the vectors. Also is kept the storage freedom of not operational warheads and of deployment of the atomic tactical weapons. Between both «models», each signatory power can have nowadays near 6000 warheads. The tactical nuclear weapon, destined to the battlefield, can be an intermediate step in a direct warlike confrontation between nuclear powers. Before using the nuclear strategic volleys against the operational or deep enemy rears. The USA claims that, at least, the last two topics been an object of a later treaty.

The rigorous limitations of the nuclear weapons do not eliminate them. No weapon has never been abolished, once acquired and extended the technology for his manufacture and use. It is necessary to learn to coexist indefinitely with them. An excessive control (very few explosive heads and vectors) does that they all are directed to attack the enemies population and industrial centers. This paradoxically goes in opposition with the pacifists aspirations. When the number of weapon systems overcomes a survival or practical threshold, it allows to follow an atomic flexible, variable and staggered strategy. In her, many of the vectors are pointed to destroy the enemy vectors in the diverse phases of his path to the goals: in and over the hostile territory or platform; in ballistic or autonomous flight towards the goal and over the own territory, both at high and very low level. This keeps limited the number of heads destined against populations and industries. Even it allows their tactical employment against profitable goals of military enemy concentrations, specially before reaching in force the forward limit of a principal defense position.

The modern communications have rushed, marking character, into the contemporary wars: the wireless or waves of wide spectrum; the road networks and the diverse engine vehicles. A special challenge, which appears in all the coercive conflicts, not necessarily armed in all his phases, is the so called cybernetic war. Made concrete in the attacks to the «enemy» across the universal wireless communications network. These aggressions are capable of penetrating the first and second levels of security lines, most known or common. And to commit an outrage against the databases and the processes of the normal computers of companies, individuals and institutions. Until a few years ago, only the developed states had access to this vanguard technology. And this also connects the 3th and 4th generations wars: the employment of the cyberattacks is not already only in hands of the big powers. As example, driving mad the computers of the hostile plants of enrichment of the uranium 235. Today, small nations and groups of fanned rebels or of conceited little rascals, with certain knowledge and lean resources, can realize successfully cybernetic assaults at certain level.

In the last decades, the wars are showing in very asymmetric levels of means and efforts confronted. So much is so, the Americans are called them wars of 4th generation or asymmetric wars. But they are nothing more than the old guerrilla wars of the History. And, often also, of national liberation. Let’s not forget that always the rebellious and insolent enemy is despised. He is judged by the laws of armed sedition and attack against the National Security. From May, 1808 Napoleon so had in consideration the Spanish. Or the European powers to the nascent nations in Africa and Asia, after the World War II, from Algeria up to Indonesia, passing to Angola (the Portuguese were saying that she was a national province) and Vietnam.

In these irregular wars many of the parameters of the previous wars are absent. There is no declaration of war by the Legislative Power of the strong or military contender. The victory is not obtained occupying the enemy territory. The military means lose a part of his leading role, in favor of the social, economic and political means, necessary to gain the will and the fervor of the societies at the stack. The treatment and the care given by the contenders to the civil population of the guerrilla infected territory is fundamental in the development and the result of the conflict. The duration of these wars is major than that of the conventional wars. The time, necessary in order that the rebels make and develop their total war effort, works, in general, in favor of the weak or irregular contender. The military means are not adapted, at first, to the type of fighting that is asked to them. Neither exist clear goals, nor territories at stake, nor front lines or enemies deployments, nor strengthened positions. If the guerrilla are it sufficient skillful and steady, to not directly and unnecessarily confront her chronic weakness to the enemy strength.

The Great Operational Lines of the Counter Guerrillas Forces.

Nowadays, in West, in Europe, the exterior leading role of the conventional armed forces seems to center in them, throughout the time and in varied theaters. The military western action opposite to their exterior irregular global threats demands an effective, light and mobile counterinsurgency forces, specialized in not orthodox tactics and technologies, as part of the conventional troops. That must always operate in conjunction with the national forces of the countries infected by irregular hostiles and supported with decision by the own economy and the diplomacy. This will strengthen their missions and compounded role, The counterguerrillas forces must not be enslaved to the strategies and tactics of the conflicts of the second and third generation or classic contemporary ones. Though these could arise punctually in the armed conflicts with the «urchin States» of each time (for example, Iran, North Korea or Venezuela).

Some of the operational characteristics of this different type of war, but not new, are:

To always avoid a protracted war. With her the enemy organizes, spreads and strengths, sometimes irreversibly. While the military men lose way, get angry and weaken. The war of Afghanistan is squarely in this long critical period.

To always attack the concentrations and the rebel bases. These are the hard and conventional goals that they offer to the military forces. To always defend and support the own communications and to attack those of the enemy. To take advantage for it of the light armored vehicles mobility and of the aircraft, which neutralize the information of the different enemy observers.

To keep the passive defenses of the war to the possible minimum. The big «protective» and costly barracks in relatively calm zones, only serve to socially and military isolate the regular forces, from the fluid and active environment of the irregular fight. If the military forces were initially not enough, is necessary to concentrate them temporarily in fewer zones and to promote between the population the self defense forces. To always use a constant, creative and energetic patrolling. So much for the exploration and the attack, as to hinder and isolate the guerrillas from the friends or neutral populations and to cut their communications. In both cases, is necessary to keep mobile, even airborne forces, to give them supports. To use the concentrations of regular military forces only to attack the guerrilla bases or to surround and chase his operational concentrations.

This will keep the initiative and the surprise, created by the regional network of small light “action units”, in hands of the military men. That by formation, training, means and vocation should clearly overcome the hostiles in the military operations. The principal goal is not to keep a “front line” or a «cultivated field» of barracks, redoubts and forts through a whole country or strategic region. But to active destroy the combat capacity and the operational movement capacity of the armed rebels.

And only the military «initial» and continued successes, will lay the foundations for a firm, irreversible and progressive pacification of the different regions of the country.

Let’s see now succinctly the possible distribution of the military bases depending on the enemy activity. In the enemy most favorable zones, the military positions must be solid and resistant, few and with a bigger garrison. In these areas must predominate the exploration of the bands and the major offensive operations against them, over their bases, concentrations, refuges and passages.

In the zones where the rebels try to settle, progress and manage to dominate the civilians, the military positions will be more numerous and with fewer troops. These are the more changing zones, of more irregular war, of combat meetings (the ambush is it) more frequent. Here is decided, first, the advance and the progress and, finally, the victory of one of both contenders. The enemy communications and the rebellious centers in these areas are the operative goals of the loyal forces, together with the defense of the populations. Resting, partly, on local self-defense forces, reinforced by highly mobile military patrols, even transported by helicopters. Assured the defense of an area in these zones, is possible to demand loyalty to the protected population. And to begin the labors of national economic support and civic rearmament.

In the most loyal or neutral and pacific areas is necessary to test the technologies and the methods of sincere and effective approximation to the population. The self-defense native forces, supported by military mobile patrols, in charge a manageable zone, must support here the weight of keeping their own security. In this zone can be located the helitransported and the mechanized sufficient reserves. To be sent to other 2 kinds of operational zones in support or assault operations. Also the brigades of economic support and of civic rearmament, can have here his stores and central big barracks.

When scanty military means are available and the enemy sustain an all-out war, is it possible to fight against armed and motivated rebels?

Let’s see a historical example of the action of military forces against insurgents, in unfavorable conditions for them. The German antipartisans forces in the USSR always tried not to be forced by the guerrillas to the passiveness of the garrison or the escort. In heir manual of «War against the Bands» they were establishing that » the initiative must be always ours. Even if the commander only has a small force at his disposition, he must not show failures in his resolution. If it is possible, every action of the bands must be replied».

The Germans not only were prevented in his operations against guerrillas by a men’s habitual inferiority. But, also, by the heterogeneous quality that they were having. His anti partisans troops were consisting of an always variable combination of forces of diverse origins and qualities: borders troops and German security troops and policemen; security troops of his allies in the East Front, specially Italians and Rumanians; and a high-colored mixture of «Russian» allied forces of security and of self-defense, sometimes insecure. The hard core of the units were the Germans. In the positions usually were not homogeneous troops. In them the qualities were intermingled, in order that the more mope or novice was encouraging by the presence of the forte. And it remove from him the thoughts of weakness or desertion. Before the inability to garrison her rear in the whole territory conquered from the USSR, at west of an imaginary line between Leningrad and Stalingrad, the Germans had to select very well the points to garrison. These rarely were possessing more than one platoon of counterguerrilla forces. In addition, it was thinking that with 4 or 5 men, the position could be defended for a time. While, the rest, in 1 or 2 patrols, were going out to chase the partisans in the nearby villages, to monitor their vital line of communications or to support other positions. When new units were created or if there was a temporary «surplus» of anti partisans forces, they were formed exploration and combat patrols. Something like a reconnaissance in force forces, to locate and to scourge the guerrillas. When it was necessary to realize an offensive major action, before a guerrilla threat or the location of an important concentration, even were temporarily brought troops from the first line (of the operational zone) for the assault and destruction of those, generally looking for his encircle and annihilation. I

It is true that the German results were limited. And also it is true that the principal operational goal of his anti partisans forces was fulfilled. The lines of supplies from Germany, Poland and Romania were kept reasonably opened up to the rears of the German forces and their allies in the East Front. And the men, armaments, equipments, supplies and goods flows that they received was constant. To allow the gigantic effort of war against the almost inexhaustible resources of the USSR. Million Soviet prisoners were sent to the Reich and to there came back countless units and men of the Wehrmatch.


The appearance of the atomic weapon at the end of the World War II supposed a milestone in the exposition, development and manifestation of the wars. The industrial modern powers, not necessarily advanced (neither China nor India were it), could develop, on having ended the World War and in a ripeness period of around 30 years, first the nuclear weapon of fission and then that of fusion. The military revolution that supposes the atomic weapon resides in the frightening concentration of fire, in time and place, of which it is capable. For example, an atomic bomb of 20 kilotons of TNT is equivalent to the simultaneous and concentrated destruction power in a few km2 of 4 million 75 mm. rounds for the Schneider rapid shooting cannon.

The Atomic Weapon as the Center of the Fires Plan.

All that overcomes qualitatively the mobile and fixed barrages and the punctual and concentrated blows of fires used by the heavy artillery. Nevertheless, that keep their usefulness in the forms of fight without atomic weapons and as tactical complement of these: inside positions, in the fighting near the outside limit of these and in urbanized zones, in the mobile war and in the guerrilla and counter guerrilla warfares. With it, also, the atomic tactical weapon is raised as the king of the fires. And to the plan atomic fires, if existed, must adapt the fires plan and the aviation support, both in the preparation and development of the battles.

In difference with other known or existing weapon, the atomic weapon does not have a proportionality or direct, sufficient and habitual correlation between the means used for it (its different vectors are a rocket, a plane, a heavy artillery round) and the destructive instantaneous effect that it develops. And let’s not believe that at the end of the World War II the fires plan of a battle was paltry or a snot of turkey. But with the atomic weapon it is necessary to mobilize neither big air fleets nor artillery divisions in support, to achieve a destructive given effect.

Let’s see a case of tactical employment of the overabundance of conventional fire means. Not looking for the neutralization of the objective, but his difficult destruction. In July, 1944 the Americans were trying the break of the German front at the west of Normandy. To operationally penetrate with the Third Army of Patton in the strategic rear of this great German rejection front. The Lehr Panzer Elite Division was spreading out in static campaign fortifications, including her scanty tanks as centers of support points of the defense, at the west of Saint Ló. She was occupying a sector of 6 km abreast and 4 km in deep. On July 24, 400 American bombardiers attacked the defense positions without causing serious hurts. The following day, approximately 1600 Flying Fortress attacked systematically them. The units that were supporting the German lines were eliminated almost at complete. The ways and roads of the zone remained impracticable. Towards the midday, the area was resembling a lunar landscape. The effect on toughen, formed and motivated men was indescribable, maddening some ones.

An effect of the atomic fires is the general decrease of the efficiency of the active and passive protections. The effect of the atomic air explosion is spherical. And on a ground surface is circular. This way, the forces must spread out in subunits, looking for the circumference that borders the area, and to realize the marches in smaller or deployed groups. Avoiding this way to offer useful goals to the atomic tactical enemy fires. The armored vehicles, for their speed, maneuverability, cross-country movement and crews protection, are useful in the atomic environment fighting. The burials, in the form of trenches or reinforced pits, and the concealments, the rear slope positions, the forests and the urban and industrial (urbanized) zones, continue having an important value in the tactical defense.

The Strategic Projection of the Nuclear Weapon.

The fission weapon has a potential limited by the characteristics of her critical mass. This is the necessary mass of explosive in order that all the neutrons issued in the fission of the atoms of uranium 235 or plutonium 239, produce in turn an atomic fission and a tremendous emission of energy at an almost instantaneous speed. From a certain size, around a dozen of kilos, the own “exogenous and centrifugal” reaction drives the garbage of the reaction and the chunks of fuel still not fissioned, towards the atmosphere and the land, as part of the radioactive cloud. The fusion weapon, by her part, needs a tremendous activation energy at a temperature of million degrees. For it, she only was achieved to have when the fission weapon was at disposal. This is used as “percussion cap” for the fusion of the «explosive».

In this case, her «size» or explosive capacity only is limited by the general considerations of conception, design and assembly. It is a beyond, fundamentally technological step, which leads the atomic weapon to the areas of the national strategy and of the human morality. This way, weapons can be created with the destruction power of millions Tm. of TNT or Megatons. So, a real barbarity. To what there adds the general, extensive and indiscriminate character of the destruction on persons, equipments, goods and households in many Km around the explosion point. It is an abominable vileness, adapted for a unfavorable and implacable Final Judgment.

The Soviets, in their zeal for the more «visible big», to compensate their real lacks, managed to design the «Tsar» bomb in the 50s. It had a destructive capacity of 100 megatons. Finally, they made exploit a minor variation with almost 60 megatons of power, to avoid failures in the operation. Premier Khrushchev cynically complained that his scientists went away the hand and the device was working out slightly more powerful that the foreseen. The device detonated on October 30, 1961, in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, around 90000 Km2, in Europa’s extreme North-East, in the Arctic Ocean. Immediately after the event, ABC Daily published a front page, where they were turning out to be superposed on our Spain, the impacts of 5 of these insanity devices. We returned to the Middle Age, without capital means or productive infrastructures.

The Trends for the Wars of the XXth and XXIst centuries.

Till now, the wars were making between big and small «nations». They were the only capable of generating a «will of defense». This .made concrete in the Armed Forces and in the economy, the diplomacy and the people support of their societies. Looking for the defense of their strategic and national interests and their survival. A procedure or protocol existed for the war declaration and for the signature of the peace agreement. The one that was not respecting the honor procedure was considered to be infamous. And if he was turning out to be defeated, could wait for a severe punishment. President Roosevelt, on Monday, the 8th of December, 1941, at 12:30 pm. hour of Washington, in his speech before the American Congress assembled in Joint Session, and transmitted by radio to the nation, was declaring: «Yesterday was a day marked by the infamy…I request you declare the existence of a State of War between the United States of America and Germany, Italy, the Japanese Empire and all their Allies». And ultimately were Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The contemporary wars lasted a few years. After which, exhausted the industrial capacity and the will of defense of the defeated nations, not necessarily invaded or occupied, these were accepting their defeat and the peace was signed. When the armistice or the peace conditions were too leonine and humiliating, they were originating new vital defense «impulses or take-offs» in the defeated people. Seeking to overcome and avenge the received damages and offenses. Those were the sure germ of a future war within a generation, measured in around 25 years. Just remember the treaty of Versailles or «Diktat» against Germany, signed on June 29, 1919, promoted by Georges Clemenceau, called the Tiger. Whose last payments referred to interests of the already liquidated principal debt, the reunified Germany has just done at the end of September, 2010, approximately 90 years after accepted.

The threat of the use of the atomic weapon in the war between the industrial powers, removed indefinitely the historical and recurrent danger of a war of interests of any class between them. The civil and military leaders of all of them, have exhibited throughout more than 65 years an exquisite tact, supported by the nationals diplomacy and economy, in the international relations and in the resolution of the raised conflicts. No «minor» relative question was deserving to assume the risk of an uncertain, costly nuclear warfare and without clear «victors». In any case, the big hegemonic powers or the principal ones in a strategic zone, were solving regionally his ideological and of interests fighting. And they were doing it by means of regionally limited sectoral wars. Where were fighting their partners and like-minded, local, not atomic and subsidiary nations, even out of their strategic natural zone. There we have the case of Angola, Cuba and South Africa, after the decolonization of the first one. Also the fight in the Horn of Africa between Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Ethiopia, Cuba and Siad Barre’s Somalia. The latter’s overthrow, after his defeat in the war for getting the Ogaden Desert in 1991, precipitated Somalia in the chaos in which still is. And we have the Israel and the Arabic bordering countries case, which threaten her from time to time with her elimination and with throwing to the sea the surviving Jews.

The International Politics alters the initial Status Quo.

But the unstoppable proliferation of the atomic weapon between nations of cultures and idiosyncrasies very different from those of the big industrial original nations, can present a new, serious and complex problem. The nuclear threat is so radical and dangerous, that already now the «confidence» does not turn out to be sufficient in the rationality, the goodness and the good perform of all the world leaders, for its exposition and launch. The weapon systems to use will determine if the wars will be or not total. And it is necessary to apply real and practical limitations to those, which guarantee the rights of the Humanity in her survival and peace.

Let’s remember, in addition, that nobody grants the personal and collective human rights. It neither gains them nor obtains any group, supposedly anticipated and activist. They are inherent in the human nature and in all those who take part of her. What can do the political and religious collectivities is to recognize them or not and to defend them or not.

The mentioned systems include the defense systems against the military conventional vectors of the nuclear weapons: ballistic and selfguided rockets and aircraft and several types of ships. But a suicidal group can be also the vector of an atomic weapon of several hundreds of kilotons. That introduces it in an enemy urban center (city, barrack, industrial center). Any rascal power, even as part of a delirious strategy, can facilitate this type of devices to radical anti Western groups, which do not lack economic resources. This would connect intimately the types of contemporary wars.

Nowadays, the Islamic radicals are those who use with profusion and diffusion the suicides. Candidates to use this type of “arm of use and throw», do not lack to any group. And even a certain market exists between the radical Islamic groups, to punctually be facilitated «voluntaries». In the last years, the followers of the Sunna are who are using the suicide in the Islamic Yihad. It is used by al-Qaida, the Afghanistan’s Taliban of the mulhas Omar and Haqqani and the Tehkrit-e-Taliban Pakistan, the members of Hamas and the Pakistani separatists in the Indian Kashmir, accused of the assault to Bombay. The shiies of the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iran do not habitually use it. Though in the assault against the barracks of the western forces in Beirut in October, 1983, which was the presentation in society of Hezbollah, the drivers of the trucks, full of explosives, thrown against those, were suicidal. Also, the Iranians used their basijs militias in frontal massive assaults against the fixed reinforced positions, supported by mine fields, of the Iraqis, during the war from 1981 to 1989. The basijs were «popular militias» of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Without organization, method, discipline, resources or too much military instruction. But they were full of religious and patriotic anxieties. They were the last to come to the Khomeini revolution. And they had to demonstrate their fervor and militancy for her. In the Iranian cities they had turned into a rebellious problem for the clerical shii authorities. That canalized his redeeming impulse towards the lay enemy front. The militias were authentic, dispensable «cannon fodders».



The small units attacking with limited aim (a deep incursion, the capture of a critical position, the rescue of a personality, an ambush) constitute a military closed «system». This condition imposes a few specific characteristics in his «interfaces of action» with the enemy. That not always are identical to those of the fight of units and big units, especially in the limitation of the available means and of the time of action.

The units so committed must impose rapidly and keep a combative superiority on the enemy. To be able to obtain the local and temporary supremacy, which allows them to obtain the above mentioned limited aims. The characteristic or the factor of the conception of his mission is the simplicity. The characteristics of their preparation are the intelligence, the security and the training. The characteristics of their action are the surprise, the speed of action and the commitment of the participants in the mission.

«The Hunt for Bin Laden» is publicly treated by sufficient profusion and diffusion, as for his advertising, political, legal, human and technical characteristics. Now we will analyze the tactical and operative particularities that characterized it.

It took to the CIA almost 9 years to find Bin Laden from his «escape» in the autumn of 2001. Though then they had him at hand, scared and gentle.

In the autumn of 2001 took place the rapid crumbling of the Taliban regime of Afghanistan. It was a precarious and bad structured State, which was giving cover and logistic support to the headquarters of al-Qaida. This, together with his «escort agents», a small group of active members and training proselytes, gathered in time, forming an extensive and lax marching deployment. And they slipped, following the narrow and steep routes that the zone was offering them, for the Afghan mountains up to Tora Bora. It began then, in December, 2001, the great operation of search and capture of the maximum leader of to al-Qaida. That was the direct and declared person in charge of the attempts of September 11 against the USA.

They met for it near 100 specialized Americans groups in «long range independent operations», in the zone in which it was supposed that Bin Laden was hiding. Why they did not got or killed him? Possibly, if they were Israeli commands, they had achieved it. In his day, according to the reports that have been appearing to the public, they said that it was by «lack of means». «We needed more soldiers there!”, declared the agent of the CIA Gary Bernstein. During his testimony, he assured that «we might have finished everything there». In a 50 pages’ report published in 2010, are mentioned the testimonies of several military American at charge. They saw how his High Commands were denying them, for example, a thousand necessary men, according to them, to turn off the entrances and exits to Pakistan, or several support bombardments, without definite goals.

Did they need more than 100 elite commands for an operation of search, circle and annihilation of an enemy irregular group? That would be limited to the approximate zone where the enemy tracks and their electronic sensors, satellites, spies and intelligence agencies, were locating the enemy. Surrounded that zone, by means of a double ring, not necessarily continuous, but effective, the commands would penetrate centripetally in the suspicious area. Acting simultaneously, patiently, methodically and secretly, like a «swarm» of small units. Where the flank and the rear of every small unit would be defended by his initiative and offensive activity. And by the «influence» radiated by a nearby unit companion. Also they imputed part of the responsibility in the flight to a “falcon” like Donald Rumsfeld. In those days, they say now, Rumsfeld declared that if the USA was so hard in Afghanistan (for cleanly capturing the person in charge of that treacherous and civil tragedy?), it would wake an anti-American major feeling up that the already existed then. And because of it, he was more in favor with a «more «light» tactics, with controlled bombardments and the collaboration with the Afghan military men. This turns out to be neither coherent nor credible.

The failure of the operation constituted a decisive strategic failure. In fact, for years there has not been trustworthy information of Osama’s whereabouts, as admitted the secretary of Defense Robert Gates, on December 7, 2008. And now Al Qaida is renewed and spread. And Bin Laden, as the dead Che, inspires a new generation of Islamic extremists, spread over numerous countries.

Justice was done, though it was not according to all the laws.

The society has two enemies: those who do not fulfill the laws and those who fulfill them strictly. Between the last, in their legalistic paroxysm, are those who generated the Inquisitions and the pursuits in the History.

The military unit chosen to carry out the «Operation Geronimo» was the US Navy Seal. This is the unit of the Navy in charge of the punctual special actions by sea, air, and land. The Seals were created at the end of the decade of the 50 of the 20th century. On having appreciated the need to possess polyvalent military men, extremely prepared and capable of acting in any area in demanding conditions. At the beginning of the 60 and for desire of the president Kennedy, they began to act in Vietnam. The general formation of a Seal extends during years of hard work. The Seal receives between 37 thousand and more than 60 thousand Euros a year. His meticulous, precise, hard and dangerous work is not compensated economically. To satisfy his love to the militia, his vocation of service (this one is taught to him), his love to the mother land and his commitment with his colleagues and the unit are his principal pay. The «unit 6» of the Seals, a group of elite of a score of men, took part in this mission, taking charge of the principal aims. It is said that the admiral in chief directed the operation. The nature of the Seals, the structure of the airborne subunits participants and of the transport and supports, were elements that contributing to the simplicity of the mission, as they were adapted perfectly to it.

The training and the test of the mission were not neglected, in spite of the enormous general experience of the men. Before the activation of the unit in Jalalabad, this was trained in a «model», which was reproducing faithfully the facilities, the extension and the characteristics of Bin Laden’s mansion and the bordering areas. «Essay model» was raised probably in one of more or less protected training bases of the Seals. And this extended for approximately 6 weeks, with intervals. During this phase the factor security of the mission was kept, because the tests and practices that the Seals realize are varied and changeable.

The attacking unit deployed in her principal operational base at least approximately 10 days before, to not increase her stress and to facilitate the final adjustment. The Taliban enemy, nearby, observant and vaporous, faithful tale-bearer to al-Qaida, was not capable of detecting her activation. The security factor was kept unscathed during the whole great phase of preparation of the mission.

In the evening of Sunday, the 1st of May, the chief of flight of the force of transport took the command of the operation and ordered the takeoff of the helicopters in their base near Jalalabad. The force of transport was coming from one of the 82 or 101 Airborne Divisions of the US Army. The flight to the objective, in a new moon night, followed up to 3 different directions, not to call the attention of observers or onlookers in land. The paths orientated East-Northeast, avoiding the nearby axis of ground communications of Islamabad-Peshawar-Khyber-Jalalabad. With it were protected the security and surprise factors of the mission, during the approximation phase. The operations force was using 4 or, possibly, 5 helicopters. They were probably of the type UH-60 Black Hawk, of the variant endowed in his knob with a pointed radar, for guided of night flights. One of them was seriously broken already in the objective and they chose to destroy it. But the remaining aircraft were sufficient to move home all the men, with their booty of information for the intelligence and the corpse of Bin Laden.

Already in the objective, the colonel chief of the assault force took the command of the operation. The crews of the helicopters, provided with means of heavy fires, took charge sealing the houses complex from the exterior. The 58 seals advanced on that from its three sides and some of them descended at the interior, over ceilings and courts, using ropes. A fraction of them formed a «ring» to isolate the complex from land. Already in the interior, most of the men took charge neutralizing the escorts and the civilians of the house complex. All they were communicated between themselves by means of a sophisticated Intranet. A special group, the «hunting team», at the command of the colonel, went for Bin Laden. The identification team was forming part of this group. Another group, the » intelligence collecting team” took charge gathering all the sensitive existing information in the great mansion. Both mission groups were dividing in subgroups, to complete rapidly their missions at the complex. Likewise, in the indicated detections all the men were collaborating inside the perimeter. Operation Geronimo culminated in around 40 minutes, the men occupied their helicopters and these departed returning home.

The operational characteristics of the «Operation Geronimo».

The simplicity allows to focus in a few critical related subaims. Using for it a limited number of men and means in an isolated «system». It is something like to look and to isolate the «limited objective» with a zoom, which crumbles and characterizes it for us. And to center in this «small giant» which occupies us. If we also manage to use, in addition, a new tactics or a new or different technology, which is original in the given situation, both the simplicity of conception and the surprise of execution will be very favored.

On September 12 of 1.943, the captain of the S. S. Otto Skorzeny realized the rescue of the Duce in his prison of the high mountain hotel in the Great Sasso, in the Apennines. The employment of gliders to assault the position, fighting against the difficult draughts (increased on having landed at the midday, for the delay in coming on) and landing in the scanty useful ground chunks, facilitated the surprise of the guarding «carabinieri». This extended, allowing Skorzeny and his team to accede to the principal building, when a General known by the «carabinieri», landed with him and he was accompanying him. The combat supremacy was achieved rapidly.

In May of 1.940, German airborne forces landed in gliders on the ceilings of Eben Emael’s Belgian fort. 78 men had to neutralize a garrison of approximately 1200 Belgian soldiers, to allow that the German ground forces should approach Albert’s channel, dominated in a great extension by the heavy artillery of the fort. Apart from the surprising disembarkation on the fort, the Germans were possessing a new weapon: the hollow load bombs. These later would find wide usefulness as antitank weapons. With them they demolished the domes and bunkers where the cannons were lodging and blocked some of the redoubts, where the soldiers that not surrendered had sheltered. The enemy remained overwhelmed and neutralized, without capacity of useful response. The arrival the following day of the German columns, specially the pioneers (engineers), precipitated the surrender of the fort Eben Emael.

The security refers principally to the stages of planning, preparation and training and, if it proceeds, to the stage of transport or insertion. It must be active and passive. Giving different information and concealing the real intentions, up to after the stage of action on the objective. The safety was supported and respected carefully along all the phases of conception, preparation and execution of the Operation Geronimo.

The necessary intelligence supposes the complete and continuously updated knowledge for the mission, in time, circumstances and characteristics that meet in it. For the characteristics of this and the exiguous specialized means of assault, the intelligence is facilitated by agencies and units foreign to those who intervene in the mission, even those of state level (singularly the CIA, the Agency of National Security, more known as NSA and the Central Security Service or CSS, which acts as link of the last one with the Pentagon).

The training must be as much generic, in the actions and different tactics, as in the specific for the planned mission. Independently of those who make the different units, it is necessary to realize the training of the coordinated actions, with the units that take part simultaneously somewhere in the mission. It is also necessary to realize a “full rehearsal” with all the characteristics of the mission, including its “foreseen duration”, with a margin of error.

The independent variable «time» introduces sometimes unexpected and unforeseeable effects in a mission like this. And not always are good. For example, a vehicle, an auxiliary machine, only present problems after X hours of severe functioning. And they do not give them in a “limited time test” or «at scale». It is good also to include some variant that represents a mistake, an unforeseen event or a loss of capacity of combat or of movement. And that the men train in correcting them or, at least, in neutralizing them with his own effort. For example, a part of the helicopters is knocked down or lands at major distance of the expected landing zone.

The surprise supposes attacking the enemy, even deployed in “prepared strengthened defense”, in an «aspect» or «flank» neglected by him in these moments. This offers to us a favorable»interface of action» to act. Always it must suppose a tactical innovation. Though also it contains technical differential or new elements, which will promote it. These were the hollow load and the flame-throwers in their moment. The surprise is the sufficient and necessary multiplier of the capacity of combat of the incursion force. That will allow her to compensate the scanty military resources that she has on the area. Together with her inconsiderate employment, carefully applied with speed. To achieve the temporary local superiority. As being an “isolated military system”, the incursion force will receive neither reinforcements, nor supplies, not any more operation time. Time is not neutral, here is her enemy.

The speed consists in consistently operating ahead the enemy in elementary successive «cycles of action», that define a full action or process. This also supposes acting with opportunity and pace (relative speed, adapted to the enemy). Let’s remember that a cycle of action has a phase of observation, other one of determination of the «situation», one of decision and that of execution. If we are «going forward» the enemy, he will be acting according to “almost instantaneous already antiquated” situations.

The speed also implies rapidly reaching the “active supremacy situation” in useful combat capacity against him. The military initial actions must be specially thoughtless, to get it. The enemy speed of reaction is always initially very slow. He will be with stupor and will try to check what happens. His phase of determination of the initial situation will get longer. A “deception action” in these moments, will lengthen the time passed up to his perceptions and determination of the real picture of the situation. For example, the utilization of the uniformity, of some equipment or the language of the enemy, by certain parts or subunits of the units involved in the action.

Once the supremacy is reached over the enemy, it must be kept always. As his loss and the scanty relative means the force locally deploys, will make its recovery very difficult. On having reached the capacity of combat supremacy, the “mission success” probabilities increase exponentially. And the vulnerability of the force will be diminished also drastically against the enemy, during her action.

The commitment of the men and commands and theirs selection qualities used will give some characteristics of moral and physical courage to their actions. These are necessary to overcome the uncertainty, the apprehension, the mistakes and the diversions, the action of the enemy, sometimes punctually critical, and to take advantage of the opportunities. The loss of comfort and the general wear does not seem that are going to have a degrading effect on the force, due to the limited action time. The commitment supposes the full knowledge of the characteristics and the transcendence of the mission and his voluntary and enthusiast assumption by all the participants. Evidently, it is presumed in advance that the chosen forces have the motivation and the necessary formation for the mission.

McChrystal, Petraeus and the Allied Strategy in Afghanistan

At the end of June, 2010, diverse analyses appeared in the written press, that brings over the possible changes that might happen in the direction of the war in Afghanistan, on the occasion of the substitution of the general in command McChrystal by the more notorius general Petraeus. The above possibility would exist if it was a question of a company, which manager or first executive had been fired. But not, it is a question of the substitution of the general in chief of a theater of operations.

The Definition of the Military Strategy for Afghanistan.

It is elaborated by the Joint Chiefs’ of High Staff (the Pentagon) and is approved by Mr. Obama. Corresponding, then, to the general in chief to develop it with his operational strategy. Where already it has a few limits his autonomy, to stamp his way and his stamp. The general of the theater of operations is a great manager, a high managerial command, of the immense means that the USA and his allies, jointed in the ISAF, put to disposition to reach the goals of the war.

The total strategy raised by the USA can be summarized in obtaining the defeat of the Taliban and the extirpation of Al-Qaeda’s extensions in Afghanistan. And in the progressive incorporation of the Afghans to the labors of public order and against insurgency, possessing a government increasingly strengthened, respected and obeyed, capable of attracting the least radical insurgency to the democracy rules. All this, intermingled with an economic support for the reconstruction, the public health, the people education and the civil infrastructures. But that reaches from the provision of the military means to the delivery of bribes, donations, incentives and sinecures to certain fighters, in order that they leave the weapons, and to civilians, in order that they facilitate information or collaborate in the multiple necessary tasks. The famous strategy against insurgency of «gaining the hearts and the minds» of the native peasantry, which dates back to the intervention in South Vietnam in the 60s, assumes in this triple aim.

The Substitution and the Loss of a Commander in chief in Operations. They had Tired and Bored up to the eyebrows the old good Stanley.

Let’s see two cases, similar but not identical, in which the loss of the commander in chief turns out to be irreparable. Sometimes the military commander constitutes a critical strategic vulnerability of his armed people, at hand of his enemies. This was the case skilfully handled by the Spaniards in the 16th century during the conquest of America. It was a question of the capture or the death of the great chief or «emperor» of the indigenous coalitions in the big countries to colonizing: Montezuma, Atahualpa. And that was possible because the «great adorned with feathers» was presiding his army in combat. This was giving a devastating blow, though temporal, at the indigenous forces. Because once turned into hostage the symbolic representation of a chief of this type was plummeting. Since the social vitality of the collectivity to which he was directing, was now demanding his renovation, as if he had died.

We have also the cases of great political military commanders, as Alejandro, Gustavo Adolfo or Napoleon. They were incorporating in them selves the essence and the virtues of a whole military style and of a political regime. That were radiating permanently to their peoples, galvanizing them for a common task of historical transcendence. His disappearance in operations had been fatal for their collective interests. As it happened in case of Sweden, with the death in combat on November 6, 1632, of his king Gustavo II Adolfo in Lützen’s battle.

Stanley McChrystal’s case was different. He was only an emphasized military man inside a professional, enormous, diversified, technical and modern army. As already he had almost 30 years of service, nearly the retirement, certain luxuries could be allowed. He was tired of interferences from the court politicians of Washington in his «way» (his kingdom was the operational strategy) of commanding the war and in the cuts that they were imposing on him to his requests of means to attend a long, unpopular and versatile war. His crime was to publicly call, in a published interview, «wimps» to some of these politicians of the rope of the “presi”, with whom it ran up in his honest way. The name defines a weak, coward, irresolute and ineffective person for the matters. His aggravating circumstances were the premeditation and the mockery that were exhibiting in the magazine.

The Coalition that General Petraeus gets.

In Afghanistan are present military forces from approximately 46 countries. Some of them are dedicated to support, garrison and rear tasks. As being a great coalition, without subordinating to it any of the interests that to each country dictate his needs and his political commitments, the coincidences between the allies are partial, have solutions of continuity and are unstable through time. This intrinsic fragility of the coalition, is born of that almost all the allies do not practice State policies. It is necessary to indicate that this owes largely to that there is not a clear perception of the Afghan problem. Not of his direct or indirect, immediate or distant nearness, to the national respective interests.

The Dutches, with approximately 2 thousand soldiers in Uruzgan’s province, at the north of that of Kandahar, have confirmed his march from Afghanistan in August of this year. By 2012 also there want to go away other 1550 Australians, which garrison this province. It is supposed that this multinational «brigade» will be replaced with efficiency with American, and especially, Afghans forces. In the province of Kandahar, the old fief of mulah Omar and the first national quarry of the Taliban, there are more than 2800 Canadian troops, joined with British and American forces. It is one of the first «fighting fronts» against the country insurgency, together with Kandahar and the eastern afghan provinces. The Canadians will move back from Afghanistan between July and December, 2011. They remain the British and the Americans.

And, which is the «vital path» (or curriculum vitae) of the British in this conflict? Of the warlike fervor of these «European technologically modern soldiers», give faith the operations carried out for 8 years in the Pashtun province of Helmand, at the south of the country. After the war of 2001, which ended with the medieval radical intransigent regime of the Taliban, around Lashkar Gal, capital of the province, approximately 8 thousand British soldiers established permanently, successively relieved by their replacements in «tours of duty». This powerful quota of professional experienced soldiers was unable in almost 8 years to fight the opium culture in Helmand. Nor to appease the province, for the effective implantation in her of the government of Kabul.

To finally achieve these goals, apparently very difficult to realize, on Friday, February 12, began the Moshtarak (United) operation in Marjah’s region, at approximately 40 km from Lashkar Gal, by approximately 15 thousand allied soldiers, from the NATO and Afghans. That had to go demonstrating that all the efforts and the money spent in the formation of his National forces, have not squandered wretchedly. The Taliban, a light irregular infantry, without aviation, with a pedestrian and insufficient logistics and without artillery, were beaten and removed from his combat positions in Marjah, dispersing finally to the bordering provinces, largely. To extend the information, see our article «Marjah’s Battle» in this Blog. Nevertheless, already the out-standing journalists (this is better than «fixed») in Afghanistan warn us, that the green outbreaks of the insurgency are appearing, as vigorous and firm renews, around Marjah and Nad Ali areas of Helmand province.

Finally, the Americans have indicated the July 1, 2011 as a deadline to initiate the retreat of his deployment. They are approximately 94 thousand soldiers in these moments and will reach 98 thousand at the end of the summer. They are spread through the whole Afghan territory, as a framework that supports and stimulates the general effort of war against insurgency and al-Qaeda. By then it is supposed that they will be enlisted, trained and equipped near 400 thousand Afghans joined the forces of Police, some regional militias and the Afghan National Army. Will they be motivated also to defend an inorganic western democracy? For the present time, the tayicos and the hazaras form most of the actual security forces of Afghanistan: there are approximately 100 thousand policemen and approximately 90 thousand native soldiers, with variable degrees of motivation, loyalty and training. In the Pashtun districts there are in general no enrollments to the national army nor to the Afghan police. A Pashtun liberation war is outlined this way inside an oppressive or neglected country towards them.

The Suicide and the Islamic Jihad II.


The principal branches of the Islam and their ideology.

The Sunnism, which follow nowadays 90 % of the Muslims, also accepts as Allah´s revelation the tradition (the Sunna) of the Prophet. These are his facts and his commentaries or hadices. The major or minor rigor in the selection and acceptance of this tradition characterize three of its theological schools, founded astride between the VIIIth and IXth centuries.

The most opened and flexible school, the Chafií, founded by the Palestinian al-Chafii, died in Cairo on 820 at the age of 53 years, opens an encouraging door for the pacific evolution of the Islam. She accepts also the consensus of the wise persons of the community and the analogical reasoning or qiijas, as correct ways for the adjustment of the Islam to all the times and places, from his “rural, illiterate, poor, medieval and surrounded of hostile peoples, origin”. For she starts from the hadiz: «Allah recognizes the Good in what the Muslims have judged as such «.

There exists a great ideological and practical difference between the Sunnism and the Chiism. The last feels pursued, in reason of the dynastic (the Chiism arises from the fourth caliph, Alí, cousin, son-in-law and companion of the Prophet) and the ideological orthodoxy (it admits fewer revelation sources), that it proclaims and defends. This way, it assumes historically a fatalistic, passive attitude, even of physical suffering for it, waiting for the return of the (caliph) Imam missing. Imam is the name that the political – religious guides take in the Chiism, not only the common mosques´ prayer. That one will return as Mahdi (the guided by Allah), in a given moment of the History, to make triumph the orthodox Umma (themselves).

But also cases of insurgent action have happened in the Chiism, even with certain success and popular implantation, as in Jomeini’s Iran, in The Lebanon with Hezbolah or Allah’s Party and his subsidiary Hamas, in Palestine.

The Suicide. Characteristics of the Suicides. Their Employment by the religious Fanatics.

It is not easy to make commit suicide to a normal, serene and prepared person. To commit an outrage against the similar one is the most violent act, less than 5 % of the population is «prepared» for that in a natural or innate way. And this does not want to say that they should be going to realize it. Only that are more qualified naturally to act as armed effective persons. If to this joins the survival instinct, powerful and innate in all the men, the induced suicide is something that turns out to be in general strange and difficult.

In general, in 90 % of the suicides there is present some mental distorted, affected component. If the difficulties, privations and opprobriums were affecting so much the men, to push them to the suicide, the Humanity had not survived all the punishment and displeasures that have constantly accompanied her in the develop of her history. Nobody had survived the gulags, fields of extermination and fields of reeducation raised against the Humanity by the off balance and wicked. When a person commits suicide for a loving disillusion, for example, behind it has a mental picture of melancholy, weakness, immaturity and anxiety, in a changeable and fatal cocktail, which disarms him and induces to it.

And it is not worth saying, in the actual relativism, that it is a «chosen option». Because the people die of infections, circulatory damages, cancers and accidents, and this death is not chosen. The modern societies have in the suicide one of the first not natural reasons of death. In Spain they already overcome the victims of the vehicles accidents. Nevertheless, except in some isolated country, the societies look for another side, avoiding the painful vision and without giving the due medical and psychological assistance to the affected and to their families.

To overcome the men natural repugnances to commit an outrage against others or against themselves, it is necessary to appease and neutralize temporarily the mentioned human instincts. Let’s see some motivations used for it.

A «negative» motivation is the chronic loss of the basic natural needs: sustenance, family, safety, refuge and cover, expectations and reasonable progress. It is an effective spur to induce the employment of the liberating violence to a part of the society, specially the idealistic young men. The «positive» motivation would be the economic prizes that different radical Islamic organizations give to the families of the martyrs. And these are so much the fallen in combat as the suicides.

Following the way towards the human psychology and soul, the religious motivation is another powerful mean of conviction and rooting. The suicides of the Jihad are methodically and intensely catechized. The Koranic verses related with the Jihad, are known by heart by them. The other suicides «example» surrounds them in their daily life. In the way of photos, manuscripts, testimonial videos and destiny companions. Their preachers, we refuse to call them imames, clarify their doubts and encourage them to prematurely reach the Paradise. That is destined specially to the martyrs of the Jihad.

The suicide must go unnoticed in the place chosen for the attack, by its age, genre, aspect and attitude. He has also to conceal perfectly his appliance and his equipment. To be able to approach his target and make exploit that one. His passport for the Garden of the Houris is to take with him the major number of dead and mutilated enemies. This way, the physical damages that are caused around the point of explosion are «not looked for, collateral damages».

The Islam, his religious Groups and the Suicide.

What his counselors and co religionists do not say to the suicide in formation, is that his stay in the mentioned Paradise is not eternal, but indefinite. Allah has not had reveal its duration or end. On the other hand, only there is a verse of the Koran that prohibits expressly the suicide, without spreading too much: Sura (chapter), 4, aleya 33 (29) «…Oh, believers…do not kill yourselves…». Probably it was for the natural repugnance that all the simple and primitive tribes have in committing it. On the hygiene recommendations, which in her origin all the written religions give their faithfuls, it was not necessary to insist very much for its prevention.

A «ideologist» of al-Qaida, Abu Yahya al-Libi, developed a theory of «religious» base on the «not looked for hurts», related to persons. According to her, it is allowed to their militants to kill Muslims when this is inevitable. And sometimes, more than when be inevitable, when it is also useful. This way, in a message where they assumed the authorship of an assault of August, 2009 in Baghdad, al-Qaida wished a rapid recovery the wounded sunníes and expressed her hope that the dead men should be accept by Allah also as “martyrs”. Due to the fact that al-Qaida has limited capacities to attack her western enemies, the organization supports her influence and reputation attacking from time to time in countries with Muslim majorities.

In these years, the followers of the Sunna are which are using the suicide in the Islamic Yihad. Al-Qaida, the Afghanistan and Pakistan Taliban and the members of Hamas uses it. The Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranians chiíes do not habitually use it. Though in the assault against the western forces barracks in Beirut in October, 1983, which was the presentation in society of Hezbollah, the drivers of the trucks full of explosives thrown against those, were suicidal.

Also the Iranians used their basijs militias in frontal massive assaults against the reinforced fixed positions, defended by mines fields, of the Iraqis during the war from 1981 to 1989. The basijs were «popular militias» of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Without organization, method, discipline or enough military instruction. But they were full of religious and patriotic anxieties. The last to come to the radical Khomeiní revolution, had to demonstrate their fervor and militancy. In the cities they had also turned into a problem for the clerical chiíes authorities, which canalized their redeeming impulse towards the enemy front.

During the Great Patriotic War of the USSR against Germany, an American general detached in the Front (a group of Armies) commanded by Georgi Zhukov, asked him how was that his infantry was thrown cross-country, running through the enemy minefields, to reach the forward limit of the of German defense position. It is of indicating that in the infantry were enlisted the worse formed and trained men of the Red Army: the peasants and the slightly qualified workers. The artillery, the engineers, the cavalry, the tanks and the scanty motorized units were taking to themselves the best scanty men who existed. Zhukov made clear to him that the losses that were suffering, were just about the same of an assault to a prepared German position … and was admitted than that was the case.

The men were in both cases authentic «cannon fodders». Two examples of how the chiefs of the countries domineer their peoples and how the big ones, oppress them. Without differences in the ideologies and the times.

So sensitive against the suicide it is the Islam, that the second major Islamic «organization» of Indonesia, called Myhammadiyah, has prohibited to smoke to her 30 million members. The reason is that the tobacco kills and that the Islam prohibe the suicide. Indonesia, with more than 220 million inhabitants, is the fourth country most populated in the world. It is the country with major Muslim population, approximately 200 millions, and also the third world consumer of cigarettes.

The possible actions against the Islamic violent Jihadists from the own Islam.

In the face of this own terrorism (war actions against general, innocent and indiscriminate targets), the Islamic world is paralyzed and do not knows what to say or do. The spokesmen and intellectuals affirm that the Islam is peace and tolerance. But this is not totally true, as we saw before. The majority of the Muslims take away from the attacks for opportunism, to protect the Islam, worried by the increasing rejection that it suffers in Western countries. But, when do the ulemas or the muftís intervene in the polemic? Almost never.

Never was carried out inside the Islam a deep reflection on the political and religious opportunity of the violence. Does someone know Islamic active pacifists? It is not the case that the intellectual laymen Moslem react. These are not operative in the way that we know in the West, since for a good Muslim the politics, the society and the religion form the only, exclusive and inseparable trinity established by Allah. Besides, the social and political failure of the intellectual laymen Arabs remains tied with that of the nationalistic, leftist and Europeanized elite, that stimulated the independence of the different Arabic nations after the World War II.

The Islam has to assume that the Jihad was necessary for the establishment and the defense of the believers’ primitive community, the Prophet establishing the Islamic state from the violent destruction of the jahiliyya (the existing barbarism previous to the Islam Arabic). And even the Jihad could be useful for its RAPID extension through the world, according with the existing condition of culture and development of the medieval civilizations. But its historical opportunity does not exist nowadays and then it must be replaced for «another type of EFFORT in Allah’s path». A concept that already exists in the Sunna and that might be recaptured and proclaimed by the ulemas and the pious muftis, which are the ideologists of the real and everlasting Islam. And, certainly, those enjoy the most ample political, social and economic independence: they are respected and / or fearsome by the governments in their respective countries, and are usually those who administer the Zakat or the canonical alms.

Since the emergence of 4 principal theological Sunnis schools before mentioned, the principle of the personal reflection effort, the ichtihad, got power in the Islam. The ichtihad is going to allow the development of the Arabic culture, so much for the civil aspects (sciences, trade, literature, art), as for the enrichment of its ideology. It is the base of Islamic lawyers as al-Chafii. The ichtihad is a source of brilliancy, creativity, enrichment, progress and peace in the way of the personal and collective effort towards God (this is the nucleus and the reason of the Islam), when already the Umma has spread and multiplied enormously through the world.

But, circa the XIth century (V century from the hégira or march to Medina), the theologians close the door to the ichtihad. The methodological Islamic approach alters: from then, it is imitating, repeating and following itself and abusing of the compendiums.

The Islamic Jihad and the Suicide.

The suicide is a favorite weapon of the Islamic Jihad. The suicide is for the Islamic Jihad a cheap, sufficiently abundant, effective and very asymmetric, technical and economically, weapon. The sophisticated enemy sensors are of little use against her. The protective jackets also are of little use. The armored vehicles and the buildings are of little use to protect from her. If the explosive load, her characteristics and the vector are the suitable ones. The starting carrying agent can be man or woman and adult or child. A donkey, a bicycle or a motor vehicle can cooperate in his suicidal assault. It is not necessary to militarily train too much (basic, technical and tactical trainings) a suicide.

The modern violent Muslim Radicalism.

The radical Islamic insurgents devoted themselves between the 60s and 80s in last century, to attack those that they were qualifying of corrupt and false Muslim, socialistic or liberal pro occidental, governments. Their fortune was small for all the effort done: the retreat of the Soviets from Afghanistan, with the logistic western support, and the capture of the power in Sudan, guided by al-Turabi, after they infiltrated and got strong in his Army, which is still a unique case. From 90, their terrorist aims are Western developed countries.

Their present operative characteristics are:

1) Their unnecessary and indiscriminate brutality, which discredits them before their religion.

Sura 2, aleya 10 «When it is said to them: Do not commit disorders (voice with which the crimes are defined) in the Earth, they answer: Far from it, we introduce in it the good order (the Good)».

2, 11 (12) «Alas!, they commit disorders, but they do not understand it».

28, 77 «Like Allah does the Good, also make you the good and do not foment the corruption (the Evil)» (murder of innocent and of peoples that receive you- the lands of dar-el-Ahd-, drunkenness, drugs, unnecessary damages of the things).

This way they despise and not comply with important moral aleyas, without Allah had changed these for them. Sura 2, aleya 100 «We do not abrogate any verse of this Book, nor we will make erase any one of your memory, without replacing it by other one equal or better».

2) The absolute absence of venerable and pious ulemas and muftíes in their side.

3) Their great operative decentralization owing to the universality of the Umma, which goes beyond the idea of nation or race. But that prevents them from obtaining strategic aims, though their punctual actions are important, painful and fearsome.

4) Their failure in joining actively and firmly to a social wide group, which gives coverage and permanent impulse to their movement. The most mentally ill activists are in the habit of being isolating progressively of the society (at least, emotional and ideologically) though they «live» inside it, for the sake of their violent methods, to which they sacrifice everything for the efficiency. They follow a process of segregation, purification (in their improvised and not orthodox rites, they fast, use water from Islam´s sacred places and green banners with inscriptions of the aleyas that favor their cause), consecration and radicalization. Up to coming to the death and even to the suicide in their limited actions. And then they become extinct, as weak, sterile and deviant that are, far from the Umma and her real interests.

5) The Islamic terrorists are in many places deeply ideologically and strategically divided. Though the rivals bands could occasionally offer between themselves, support, refuge, information or supplies. The Gaza strip is dominated for years by Hamas, radical fundamentalist Palestinian group of sunní orientation, in direct and violent rivalry with the Palestinian government of al-Fatah in the Jordan West Bank. In Gaza, two branches organizations of al-Qaida, Ansar al-Sunna and Ansar al-Islam, a few derisory groups, face also violently Hamas for the influence on her habitants. The Pakistani Taliban, principally the Tehrik e-Taliban group, and the independence cachemirs, periodically realize attempts against the chií minority of the country. In Iraq, al-Qaida dedicates to attack the chiís that come in peregrination from the country and Iran, to the annual acts of this religion in their sacred places of Samarra, Nayaf and Kherbala. Also did that the sunníes radical Iraqi (former public officials of the Baas and ex-members of the armed forces, generally purged without neither processes nor judgments, and regional tribal groups). That were in rebelliousness against the majority chií governments, before the so called «the sunní wake up», promoted by the general David Petraeus, who transformed them into self-defense national militias.

6) Their zeal of publicity, to which the West contributes insensitively, stupid (is not to know what should be known) and glad.

7) Their present aim is to strike any government, since the radical and aggressive caliphate in dar-el-Islam does not exist nowadays.

What is and what does mean the Jihad in the context of the Muslim revelation?

The Islam is the submission of the men to God. In its simpler meaning, is a simple faith, with external and social well definite, easy to follow and fulfill rites. The rites are canonize actions by a religion and necessary in order that it imbues in the personal and collective soul of its believers. In the Islam there exist 5 great rites, which are symbolized in its iconography by an opened hand:

The faith profession, short declaration that opens anyone the entry to the Islam. The 5 daily invocations (the Salat) to Allah. The fasting during the Ramadan´s month (the Roza). The charity (the Zakat) with the helpless, disabled and poor (in this order) of the Umma (Muslim universal community). And the peregrination to Mecca or the Hajj at least once in the life, if there are possessed enough resources, which is realized in community, congregating nowadays simultaneously several million persons, between the seventh and the tenth day of last month of the lunar calendar, Dhul i Hijja.

The Jihad, as holy war, the blooding effort in Allah’s path, is directed against those that threaten the Umma. These can be whether the hostile external unfaithful persons, as the not Muslims which coexist in dar-el-Islam, the lands where the Umma rules politically, and that have broken their «protection agreement» with it. The Jews and the Christians have theoretical right to it, as peoples mentioned in the Koran and that hold some of the books considered also as prophetic by the Islam. The Jihad is considered to be a practically equal obligation to one of the so called Five Pillars of the Islam, already mentioned.

The religious Hierarchies in the Islam. Their principal activities and roles.

In the Islam does not exist an institutionalized, universal and rigorous clergy, formed in a same way and equal in the whole Umma. To be responsible of the orthodoxy and homogeneity of the ideas, procedure and dogmas. So much it is, the official belonging to the Islam is achieved by the pronunciation of the faith profession: «there is no any more God (in Arab, Allah) that God and Mahoma is his Prophet».

As for the prominent figures, we have the ulemas or studious experts in the law of the Islam and the muftíes or lawyers entrusted to interpret the sharia or Islamic civil and penal law. Though both are totally imbricated, since the Prophet, with his hadices and other traditions or Sunna, took charge for divine inspiration giving procedure for almost all the occasions in the daily Arabic life of the 7th century.

The ulemas council, that is something like an episcopal conference, would be in every country or region the maximum Muslim authority. The most prestigious, by their formation, would come from the University of Al Azhar, in Cairo.

Next, the imames or chaplains would be entrusted in presiding the prayers in the mosques. They place for it opposite to the indicative niche, placed in the west (Mecca) wall and looking at their public. Finally there would be the muezzin or sacristans, who call five times a day, from before the dawn up to well entered the night, in order that the Muslims do their prayers of adoration and of acceptance of God’s will. The formation of the imames is totally different inside a country and not necessarily deep. Their principal skills are a good empathy with their public and a certain speech faculty. Let’s remember that the terrorist of March 11, 2004 so called The Chinese presided, as was said then, several times the prayer in the mosque of Madrid in the 30 (before M-30) street …

The fatawa (plural of fatwa) are properly the juridical decisions expressed by the mufties, in interpretation of the different situations or cases came up in the Umma. And not necessarily presented to them, as they can be dictated them on their own initiative. They would acquire this way a sense of jurisprudence body of the sharia, if really they depart from religious authorities recognized by their doctrine and knowledge sound.

This way, directly, Jomeini’s fatwa against Salman Rushdie lacked legal value, since England or France were not lands where it was possible to apply the sharia, on not having been a part of dar el islam. This improper extension supposed a dangerous and shameless interference in the political and civil matters of countries that were receiving in peace the Muslims, a part of dar el ‘ahd. Another thing is that some Muslims were ready to argue in this way and to defending it. Especially between peoples who do not know nothing about their schemes, parameters and interests.

A very serious accusation exists likewise in the Islamic doctrine, the takfir, which stems from kfur or ungodliness. With this term is designated unbeliever someone who is or tries to be a Muslim and is to be exiled of the Umma. This term is related to other one, the jahiliyya, which designates the existing barbarism previous to the Islam. On the violent destruction of the Arabic jahiliyya, the Prophet built the incipient Islamic state.

The ulemas, the law doctors, would be the ones to employ the institution of the takfir. To defining those who incur this disgrace and anathema. But the great dispersion of schools and the absence of a common universal orthodoxy (for a religion, the not negotiable only thing is the dogma), have advised that its use should be restricted. Since it might lead, in specially virulent epochs, to an extreme situation of mutual and extensive anathema, which would damage seriously the Umma.

Nevertheless, the Islamic violent fundamentalists, when it has been convenient for them, have not doubted of use the takfir. It happened in the decade of the nineties, in Algeria, between the different fundamentalist groups of the FIS, the GIA and other minor sub trends, that sometimes lasted only while their crazy guide was living. A curious thing was that the origin of many of impassioned were generally the urban poor classes, heiresses of the rural emigration. For whom the religion could have very earthly goals, and not the pious Muslims classic classes and the merchants.

The Koran and the Jihad.

We give a selection of the aleyas of the Noble Koran that treat on the Jihad. We don not use the sunna (tradition) of the Prophet, which can be an object of controversy, about its legal legitimacy, with the Chiís and other minor Islamic groups.

Sura 2, aleya 186 «Do the Holy war for Allah’s reason against those who make the war to you».

2, 187 «Kill them anywhere that you find them and expel them wherefrom they have expelled you (Andalusia, Sicily, the Balkans? But, perhaps did they come first there?)».

2, 189 «Attack them (the unfaithful persons) until there is not presently idolatry and all adoration is given to Allah». It repeats almost exactly in 8, 40 (39).

2, 212 «The war has been prescribed to you and you have taken distaste of it».

2, 214 «The temptation of the idolatry is worse than the slaughter. The unfaithful persons will not stop doing the war to you, while they have not made you resign your religion, if they can».

2, 215 «Those who leave their country and fight in Allah’s path (the Jihad) can wait for His mercy».

4, 7 «Those who obey Allah and to His Messenger will enter in the society of the righteous, of the martyrs, of the virtuosos, whom Allah has filled with His benefits».

4, 74 «That fight in Allah’s way those that change the life in this world, for that in the Last one. And that who fights in Allah’s path, as dies or turns out to be victorious, We will give him an enormous remuneration».

4, 79 «…have exclaimed: Lord, why do you order us the war? …Answer them: The possession of the life here below is small thing; the future life is the real good for those who fear Allah. Here they will not cheat you even in a filament».

4, 105 «And do not weaken in chasing these people. If you feel sorry, also they feel sorry, but you expect from Allah what they cannot hope».

9, 39 «If you do not go to the battle, Allah will punish you with a painful punishment: He will replace you by another people».

9, 92 «The weak persons, the patients, those who do not have means, will not be forced to go to the war, provided that are sincere respect of Allah and His Messenger». (This makes fall practically the obligation of the Jihad in the Umma, which must contribute this way a suitable number of muhaydins).

9, 124 «Oh, believers!, attack the unfaithful persons who surround you: that they always find in you a rough reception».

47, 4 «When you find unfaithful persons, kill them up to the point of doing with them a slaughter and put chains strongly on the captive ones to prevent them from fleeing».

47, 37 «Do not show cowardice and do not call the unfaithful persons to make the peace, when you are the strongest».

All those verses that prescribe and encourage the armed struggle in Allah’s path can be used as absolute, direct and repeated religious “indications” or orders. That employed by an “imam” or preacher, which directs the prayers and Koran readings in the mosque, and which credentials are not so much an exquisite Islamic formation of several years in a credited madrassa (Koran school), but rather to possess an empathy with his community and a certain oratory gift, can turn out to be subversive and incendiary.




Bin Laden is the principal responsible for the attempts of September 11, 2001. And also probably those of March 11, 2004. But in a lax way, of ideological religious sponsorship. As he was in these dates, first sheltered in Afghanistan, and later hidden in its inaccessible and intricate Eastern mountains.

Al-Qaida is the principal reference franchisor of the radical Islamic, at level of the Umma, or Islamic universal community. And this is very important, because the Islam is a very socialized religion. Neither Hezbolla, nor Hamas, nor Iran, nor the Moslem Brothers, nor Tehkrit el Taliban have Bin Laden’s or al-Qaeda’s global ascendancy in the modern radical Islam.

His strategic principal aim is to implant a universal Caliphate. And neither of the Moslem actual states serve them. Because they are heretics, as the chií Iran. Because they are «corrupt», in spite of her religious radicalism, as Saudi Arabia, in hands of the thousand (or are they seven thousand?) «princes» of the family of Ibn Saud, the State founder at the beginning of last century. Or because they are «westernized», as almost all the remaining ones, Egypt, Jordan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Yemen, Algeria, Morocco, Tunis, etc.

It seems to be necessary, then, to capture Bin Laden or the high command of al-Qaida. Some looking for revenge for the received attacks, as Spain and Great Britain. Others, as the USA, to eradicate an islamist violent extremism. That extends his influence through the world and that from time to time commits an outrage against his country or against his allies.

Is it possible to do it? Which will be the difficulties? The direct actions against al-Qaeda, will turn out to be quite effective as are glimpsed?

The «last» Occurrence of the Military American Strategy in Afghanistan.

The general Stanley McChrystal closes the «Infernal Circle» of searching and apprehension of Osama Bin Laden. At the beginning of December, 2009, the general McChrystal, chief of the American Forces in the theater of Afghanistan, in one of his appearances in the Congress to explain and to defend the need of the intensification of the military operations in Afghanistan, has revealed his new find, after a «well-considered» reflexion. The general has conditioned directly the success of the fight against al-Qaeda to Bin Laden’s elimination. Is it certain this, operationally speaking?

Introduction. The Situation of the «Problem».

The Taliban and al-Qaeda form two vertically organized movements and from below to up, same in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That does that its cells do not know exactly which are the top chiefs. They only know where they have to go to receive support or to send or to receive information or to communicate with another «peer» cell. The ideological and geographical nearness allows them to collaborate tactically. The commands of these movements act by exception, not by presence or by deliberate action. This way, they give doctrinal orientations, establish essential lines of military and proselytizing action for the different territories and areas, they throw threats and warnings to the enemy governments and indicate punctual important (strategic) aims at the level of the set of the organization. This allows them to operate well, without the intervention of its high commands. The death of the mullah Omar or mullah Haqqani and two or three chiefs in an American bombardment, would concern little its efficiency, at its real military irregular levels of action. The «martyrdom» of the aforesaid or Bin Laden or his «managing director» al-Zawahiri would perform almost equal importance as their existence.

The operative key of the Taliban resides in their innumerable local chiefs, with their small guerrillas bands. They are the persons in charge of intimidating, teaching, scaring, attacking and occupying more or less temporarily some of the numerous settlements and hamlets, at both side of the frontier. According to the pressure degree that they should exercise on the villagers in order that they inform them, hide them and support them. Evidently its elementary degree of operative development keeps the movement at the defensive. Without being able to dispute to any of the present Armies in these areas, any territory or village. Without being able to realize other attack actions beyond ambushes, assaults to very small enemy isolated units, harassment by medium range fire, kidnapping, short duration isolated incursions and ways and paths mining. Ideologically concentrated in the conversion to their movement, to their semi nomadic cells, of the most related or nearby Pashtuns. In a minor and less extensive degree, operate the cells of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The First great Attempt of Capturing Bin Laden and his direct close Friends.

In the autumn of 2001 took place the rapid crumbling of the Taliban regime of Afghanistan, seated in a precarious and bad constructed state, which was giving cover and logistic support to the headquarters of al-Qaeda. This one, together with his «escort agents», a small group of active members and of training proselytes, gathered with time, forming an extensive and lax march deployment. And they slipped, following the narrow and steep routes that the zone was offering them, through the Afghan mountains up to Torah Bora. It began then, in December, 2001, the great operation of search and apprehension of the maximum leader of al-Qaeda. That was the direct and declared responsible person of the attempts of September 11 against the USA. Americans met for it near 100 groups specialized in «Long Range Independent Operations», in the zone in which it was supposed that Bin Laden was hiding. Why they did not catch or killed him? Possibly, if they were Israeli commands, they had achieved it.

In its day, according to the reports that are appearing to the public light, they said that it was for «lack of means». «We needed more soldiers there!, there declared recently the agent of the CIA Gary Bernstein. During his testimony, he assured that «we might have finished everything there». In 50 pages of a report published this year, are mentioned the testimonies of several military persons in charge. That saw how their High Commands were denying to them, for example, the thousand necessary men, according to them, to stop up the entrances and exits to Pakistan, or several bombardments.

Did they needed more than 100 elite commands for an operation of circle and annihilation of a band of irregular in fugue, terrified by the typical vague and nearby bombardments? Operation that would be limited to the zone where the enemy tracks and their electronic sensors, satellites, spies and intelligence agencies, were locating approximately the enemy. Surrounded the zone, by means of a double ring, not necessarily unbroken, but effective, the commands would penetrate centripetally in the suspicious area. Acting simultaneously, patiently, methodically and secretly, like a «swarm» of small units. Where the flank and the rear of every small unit would be defended by his initiative and offensive activity. And by the «influence» radiated by a nearby companion unit.

Also they imputed part of the responsibility in the escape to a “falcon” like Donald Rumsfeld. In those days, they say now, that Rumsfeld declared that if the USA was so hard in Afghanistan (for cleanly capturing the responsible person of that treacherous and civil tragedy?), it would wake up an anti-American feeling, bigger than that already existed. And because of it, he was supporter of a more «light» tactics, using controlled bombardments and with the collaboration with the Afghan Army.

The failure of an operation constituted a decisive strategic failure. In fact, for years there has not been trustworthy information of Osama’s whereabouts. As has just admitted the secretary of Defense Robert Gates, last December 7. And now, in 2009, al-Qaeda is renewed and spread. And Bin Laden, as the dead Che, inspires but does not command, a new generation of Islamic extremists, spread over numerous countries.

The Historical Precedents. The Geostrategic Present Stage.

Abdur Rahman, proclaimed Emir of Kabul in 1883, saw his sovereignty progressively reinforced on the totality of Afghanistan, immediately after the crushing by the British of the uprising, the same year, of Ayub Khan in Kandahar. In November, 1893, Abdur Rahman signed a “formal agreement” in Kabul with sir Mortimer Durand, secretary of Foreign Affairs of the British general governor in the India, Lord Lansdowne. That one fixed and established the political border between the India and Afghanistan. It was known since then as the line or the frontier tracing Durand.

The problem generated by this tracing was that the pashtunes, as definite and different race, remained divided geographically in 2 parts, placed in 2 territories of different sovereignties. The pashtunes lands of Chitral, Bajaur, Swat, Buner, Dhir, Khyber (with its gorge between Pesahwar and Kabul), Kuram and two Waziristans, stayed inside the British India. After the independence of the India, all these territories were incorporated to Pakistan. The Islamic state created at the time to satisfy and shelter the most part of the Indian Muslims. And that was including originally Bangladesh, at the far end of the Indian subcontinent, where the Bengali Muslims were living.

The pashtunes are nowadays 12-15 % of the Pakistani population. They are a poor minority, placed in zones with insufficient ground networks and of difficult development. But 25 % of the officers of the Pakistani army are pashtunes. As well as also about 40 % of officers of ISI (the Pakistani secret information service). The individuals of pashtún race are approximately 25 millions in the country.

In the northern part of Baluchistan live tribes of pashtún race. In the South and North Waziristan’s regions the Pashtuns are more concentrated, forming a real Pakistani Pashtunistan. Within the great pashtun race, the Mahsuds (these specially inclined to breaking the agreements and treaties) are in the Waziristan central zone, the Wasirs and the Afridis live in the zone of Tirah and the Mohmands, at the north of Tirah. The great zone of Chitral, at the north of the border, is formed by the Bajaur, Dhir and Swat districts. The Waziristans are the most problematic, independent and turbulent tribes.

In Afghanistan, the Pashtuns are at the south and south-east, reaching 35% of the population and around 12,5 millions persons. Another important Afghan races are the Uzbecs (10%) and the Tajiks (25%), which live in the north of the country, bordering the Tajikistan and Uzbekistan independent republics. In the center live the Hazaras (20 % of the population), related with the Persian and in the south are the Baluchis (10 %), related, in turn, with the Pakistani Baluchistan tribes. The flow of Afghans, specially Pashtuns, towards Pakistan or coming back home, when the military conditions are smoothed, does that the figures, lacking for decades of an official census, are variable and vague.

After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, the dispute arose with Afghanistan, which was looking for an exit to the sea, for the possession of the wide frontier tribal zones. Both countries almost came to the armed conflict, until they signed in 1963 an agreement of borders determination. The borders existing during the British domain were ratified in it. And Afghanistan stayed as an interior country, without access to the sea routes.

A pashtún independent and sovereign state does not exist. Their nation is divided between two Islamic states, not rivals and complementary. In none of them the pashtunes can impose their social and economic demands. Till now the Afghan Taliban revolt realizes her ambushes and assaults with limited aim mainly in the districts of pashtún majority. The tayicos and the hazaras form great part of the current security forces that get up slow, painfully and with reluctance in Afghanistan: approximately 90 thousand policemen and approximately 80 thousand native soldiers, with variable degrees of motivation, loyalty and training. In the pashtunes districts neither are enrollments to the national army nor to the Afghan police. Sometimes It looks like a pashtún war of liberation inside a country oppressive or neglected towards them.

These administrative colonialist policies were a frequent practice of all the imperial metropolis. To distribute the sovereignty of the territories, following geographical considerations. As a child would do it, drawing vaguely a map in his games. And leaving the different «regional races», separated and distributed between the forced resultant states. So creating permanent instability and, therefore, dependence and intervention need or foreign guardianship from the superpowers. There we have the cases of Moldavia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, North Ossetia, etc.

Barack Obama wants to reach 400 thousand operational and effective men in the Afghan security forces. To be able to leave them the defense of Afghanistan. Will he be able to motivate and to achieve that they enlist? Will they be loyal to a staggering and slightly representative democracy? Will they be effective in the hard fighting against the Taliban and al-Qaeda insurrections?

How is it Necessary to Attack in the Pashtunes mountainous tribal Zones?

We can say that, inside a partial area of these, the gravity center of the fight resides in the control of the passages and in the dominant heights of these. The military deployments must be long and narrow, as is required by orography. And in the marches, they must take advantage simultaneously of the whole net of paths, gorges and ways of a zone. This offers to them a certain previous deployment for the combat. It is not easy to rely on the support of air fire, for the requirements of maneuverability of the aircrafts. Punctual bombardments of saturation can be realized on an enemy reinforced position, which he has decided to defend. There must be avoided the heavy fires on the settlements, even suspicious, which do not answer to the unquestionable safety of the own expeditionary forces. The units to employ in the «interfaces of action» with the enemy in these hostile zones, are the small units of elite light infantry with high mountain training. No principal «mother» column, methodically advancing through these areas, can survive without deploying a combat advance guard, which should be occupying temporarily and successively the dominant points at the flanks of the advance path, and a rear guard that goes forward by successive observed bounds.

The advantage of the pashtunes over the regular forces, specially the foreigners, resides in the knowledge of their own area, on it they can move at great speed. They have a tactical elementary natural skill and a special trickery incorporated into their survival sense. They are capable of waiting patiently for a favorable opportunity for action, choosing generally when and where to do it. And they do not have shame in moving back when they can not realize their plans and can be threatened or cornered by the infidel modern enemy.

In addition, nowadays, the Taliban enjoy a complicated system of natural caves at several levels, in some frontier zones. That is reinforced by tunnels of communication, provided with zones extended for the waiting and the storage of goods of all classes. This system is used to facilitate the traffic between both countries, without having to use the frontier passages or the most habitual and known gorges, as «stages» of the complete journey. And as temporary refuge when the allies carry out operations at battalion or regiment levels, of search of rebels or of reprisal, on the pashtunes zones where they have been more active. The highland villages are numerous, small and spread for both zones in the Pakistani Afghan border. In them also a small group of Taliban can be camouflaged, waiting for the passing through of a military “flood”, as the mentioned ones.

The pashtunes have small military collective discipline and the enemy heavy fires air and ordnance affect their spirit and decision. Also, it affects them very much to see threatened or occupied their line of retreat and the light and medium enemy fires, when they receive them from heights superior to those that they occupy. The pashtunes can attack at night some aims that worth it, but they are not natural night fighters.


The global, polyvalent, integrator knowledge that needs the approximation to an armed religious politician revolt, is diverse and multiple. We recommend our readers, as complement, the reading of the different articles that, on the Taliban and al-Qaeda revolts we are publishing in the last months. With it, they will acquire a «prism» to observe, to discern and to predict the development of those «modern conflicts».

A Theory for the Modern Warfare

Her Historical Context

Her Theory and Evolution


The theory of the maneuver warfare tried to give a practical solution to the predisposition of the North American ground military forces of using exaggerated or inopportunely the heavy fire support. As their principal «argument» or action over the enemy, in the combats or in their preparation. Also she was seeking to consolidate the concept of operational strategy in the ground military operations. As new and precise level of action placed between the military strategy and the tactics.

The Principal Theoreticians and the Developed Situation.

Several are the theoreticians, both civilians and military, who helped to create a coherent, sufficient, practical and effective “doctrine body” for this new theory. We will point out the analyst and lecturer William S. Lind. Another fundamental personage was the colonel John Boyd, who was a former fighter pilot of the USAF. Also is important the contribution of the colonel professor of the Marines Corps Michael Wyly. Chronologically in a second row, stands out strongly, expanding the torrent of ideas of the theory in march, the colonel of the US Army Robert Leonhard.

The renowned Israeli military analyst Martin van Creveld was saying that «the Armies» were turning throughout the time in «paralyzed bureaucracies», losing in this process great part of their efficiency. They could continue killing, but they were doing it badly, slowly and expensively. Probably their excessive endogamy demands and forces them to allow that, from outside of the organization, renovating ideas are given them. At least, the North Americans did it and accepted them. And they tried to incorporate them into their doctrine, regulations and manuals. And, even they tried to put them into practice in their conventional following wars. They did not this way in their counterinsurgency wars, the lifelong guerrilla wars. To which now they call pompously “asymmetric wars” or wars of fourth generation.

In this introduction to a theory of the modern warfare we want to give a joint vision, holistic and applied of the developed ideas. And, sometimes, implemented, by those men,throughout a decade in last century: from first of the 80′ up to first of the 90′. Also we will permit to develop or to extend the concepts or the explanations. When the own development or account of the theory asks for it, for her better comprehension. And their authors and theoreticians have not been so explicit or prolific on having presented it.

The Fundamental Ideas of the Theory of the Modern Warfare.

The definition of tactics in this theory is important. Because from her firmly stems almost all her later development and applications. Tactic is the harmonic and sufficient combination of specific knowledge, experiences and military skills, to produce a surprising, sufficient, effective and powerful action on the enemy, in these given conditions of time, climate and opportunity. This «combination» must be tinged and modulated by the principal struggle and the “mission type” orders of the chief. And by the “resistances” and the “emptinesses” of the “combat capacity” that the enemy presents, in his tactical deployment and according to his intention.

«Combat capacity» are not only the present soldiers or military specialists. But also their equipment, their arms systems, the logistical support and their motivation, training, combat readiness and resting or existing combat deployment. She is the combined result of men, means, full situation and commands «cocktail». That usefully qualify the units for fullfilling their combat military operations. 

In the battle, in the combat one seeks to introduce the enemy in successive cycles of «observation, situation, decision and action». That are more rapid than his capacities of action. In such a way, that the enemy successive «elementary» tactical actions, turn out to be progressive and fatally increasingly inadequate and ineffective, to offset, to overcome or to be opposed to ours. This must tend to destroy his unit structural operational cohesion and to foment and to extend the panic between his men, before the manifest military uselessness of the actions that he tackles.

The basic skills of how to shoot the weapons, the physical training or the reading of the maps and the ground orientation, etc. Or the advanced skills of how to realize the different operations of march, advances cross-country running, defense, the employment of a system of combined arms, some special type of assault, etc. Those will be given at their moment in the schools, the academies and the destinies.

You can see that we have not touched yet the «foundations» of the theory. The important thing in this theory is the acceptance and the assumption of her new approach, which highlights the qualities of initiative and creativity in the commands. To save physical military and economic means, the lives and the invaluable time, being thus much more effective.

The Functioning of the New Style of Action.

If we want to be more rapid and effective than the enemy, we have to have a sufficiently decentralized military organization, acting on him. Let’s remember the “cycle of action” with his four phases. If the observations of the subunits in contact with the enemy must be passed up, following a chain of control. With the definition of the situation made and the decision taken at a high command level. And then, the order for action transmitted downwards, across the mentioned command chain, and, then, executed the action. You can deduce that the cycle of action is going to be slow. And, even, it can turn out to be late and unproductive, in a tactical very fluid and changeable environment, far from the outdated combat linear fronts.

But we do not want that the military subunits in contact with the enemy at the tactical “interfaces of action” wander senseless thorough the combat field. Without our command superior sense or without efficiency. To guide them profitably in their activity, their orders would be “mission type”. In them the chief shares, entrusts, a part of his military intention to the subunit. And he gives her freedom of action (the how to do her job). In return for the fact that she realizes this part of his intention (the what to do). Also the command establishes a principal

centripetal combined effort on the enemy. And the subunit that acts in the principal effort receives the cooperation of the actions of her companions and the majority of the supports of the unit. That the unit command receives of his Superior in tactical or of war subordination.

But battle matters are fluid and highly unpredictable. Because we do not have all the factors, decisions, actions and circumstances that concur, perfectly known and controlled. The subunit acting in the unit principal effort can be going, without entering, to an enemy hasty prepared bag of fire or to an obstacle covered by the fire, not detected by the exploration, or to a defense position, reinforced with campaign fortifications. And a subunit companion could have flanked the not continue positions of the enemy. And being in conditions to accede easily to a park of trucks or to a position of mortars, deployed in the enemy tactical rearward. Then the chief would name to this another unit his principal effort and would stimulate his new promising action, giving her heavy fire supports and the cooperation of others. With this way of undertaking the actions, if a subunit remains isolated or get lost temporarily, she will know what to do during enough time. To be able to be surprising, unbalancing and going forward the enemy, the command must observe and feel the combat from enough ahead. But without taking part or been mentally trapped in it. And to be hearing (through his forward HHQQ) in the network of communications of the unit.

Except the known and evident cases, the indications about the battle ground should be that, explanatory indications of his intention, limits of the sectors of advance, points of control, and not direct units goals. It is better to order a subunit: » prevent that the enemy crosses the “Blue, 32 height, Red, beeches groups line». That to say her «you should occupy and defend the 63 height» (the dominant height over that line in her sector). This last does not guarantee that the enemy does not infiltrate, working at the micro ground area, taking his time. Or finds a no enfilade line of advance (a waviness of the ground of 2,5 or 3 m. can conceal main battle tank to the horizontal enemy sight), up to the other side of the front «line». The command has to split hairs, thinking, making concrete in words, briefing well, always observing and taking responsibility for everything. And his secondary commands have to be active and creative and taking responsibility of his actions.

The Consequences, Responsibilities and Results.

There start appearing some fundamental characteristics of the military organization, in order that this works well. A double and high responsibility of the commands and commands of the subunits. And an indispensable reciprocal confidence between them, created by the experience and the cooperation shared before. A major implication of the NCO in the bureaucratic and routine tasks of the administration of the unit and a better and intense dedication of the officials in conceptualizing the combat: looking in the decision or in the exploitation for his operational transcendence.

As inevitable consequence of this form of decentralized, fluid, surprising and rapid resilience action, mistakes will always arise in the realized actions. These will add to the inevitable «friction» generated by all the tactical and operational actions. And because the almost countless number of «individual and collective actions», that meet to shaping a warlike action and the inevitable absence of “total complete” information. It is necessary in general to agree and assume the mistakes as a minor, surmountable evil. And whose ballast is more than enough compensated by the goodness inherent to the followed operational method. But never accepted, not tolerated, as result of a previous incompetence, of the passiveness, of the negligence or of the lack of active commitment with the goal intention of the unit. You can enlarge these ideas in my book “On the Nature of War”, chapter 2, “Chaos and Error as Practical and Conceptual Spaces of War”.

Finally, there is a general approach towards the decisive and transcendent action in the operative level. Guided by the superior command intention, transmitted and entrusted to the chief of the unit. And for this to his subunits and supports units, with the cited direct and resilience methods.

Situations and Tactical Favorite Means of the Theory.

In the modern warfare is necessary a great activity of the combat reconnaissance, to generate the sufficient information to create the intelligence for the application of the appropriate skills and the definition of the general situation and the enemy situation, means and intentions (the first phase of the cited “cycle of action”). The deployment of the subunits in the “interfaces of tactical contact” might be in the shape of “snub reversed wedge”, when the enemy situation is not clarified at all. Or, at the other end, to take the approximate form of the “sharp long wedge”, when we are working in the micro emptinesses of the enemy deployment “combat capacity”. To cleanly burst in the rearward of the enemy defense zone (its first lower belly).

The means of the command emphasized in the maneuvers war are the reserve, the counterattack and the intelligent use of the supporting heavy fires. The reserve must always exist and, at least initially, must be in the hands of a capable, experienced and energetic subordinate. The reserve is the bet of the chief for his tactical transcendent victory. She must not be used to reinforce an effort or to compensate, without further ado, a mistake. For this various tasks, there are the bigger heavy fires, or the tanks and engineers, used in cooperation. Or the tightening of the units advance sectors or the units deployment in depth. Or to realize a secondary assault or a diversion. Therefore, the modern reserve is not a secondary subunit. Nor one that is reorganizing and having scanty means, poor in combat disposition and moral.

The counterattack offers initiative and tactical mobility to a more or less looked temporary or necessary defense. He must be opportune, powerful and launched when the enemy has passed the climax of his assault, has suffered losses and the situation can be recovered by us. The support heavy fires must seek to stimulate the maneuver of the unit. Their tasks must be blind, disturb or neutralize the enemy forces, more than destroy them. Because the last mentioned turns out to be costlier, very difficult to obtain and needs much more time to be gotten. And time is a precious tactical and operational independent and essential factor. Finally, the combined weapons or inter arms systems and the engineers or pioneers are used constantly in the war of maneuvers. And the last ones, in the principal effort, though also they supply his specialized means to all the subunits of their parent unit.

Something on the more Common, Dangerous and Frequent Guerrilla Warfare.

Nothing says specifically the new military theory about the guerrilla warfare. It is a shame. Because the Western countries face more frequently the danger or the challenge of a war of “fourth generation” or “asymmetrical”. That one of “third generation” or conventional modern mechanized war. And not by changing her name to the guerrilla war, the “prism and our knowledge”, with which we can «observe, analyze and define, decide the procedures and actions and put them into practice «, they change or improve.

We must indicate that this is an eminently mobile, subterranean and active war. With multiples objectives to reach. But highly different from those of the wars of the three first generations. Objectives subtle, but fruitful; more difficult to determine, but forceful in their results; more politicians and social that pure military and always compounded by these tree branches. But, as always, the goals must be confronted or defended or converted or taken. Like it is necessary to defend a strengthened position or to take a hill. But, the means and the ways are different and more various. Here the “meat mincer” of the modern supposed highly precise “heavy fire” of support, does not serve either.

The propaganda constitutes a strategic basic aim of all the taliban and al-Qaida rebels, with which the agencies and the western communications means collaborate filled with enthusiasm. Any successful and showy rebellious attack or ambush is immediately broadcast to the world. This always debilitates the will of permanency of the USA and his ISAF allies. His legions called by his families, want to return, to enjoy the varied and superfluous consumption goods and the exotic vacations. The Spartan mothers, something unthinkable nowadays, were saying to her children when they were going out in campaign, when the benign station came and they leave the winter barracks: «you shall return with the shield or on the shield». When they were fleeing, the big and heavy shield of the Greek hoplite, capable of resisting the tremendous blows of the Sarisas or long lances of 5 m., principal weapon of their phalanxes, was a hindrance and they were rejecting it.

The insurgents taliban and al-Qaida nets are secret or latent and operate aggressively only against the mobility of the army and the police, which they surprise, are a nuisance, cause damages, kill and mutilate. The attacks from several directions creates bags of fire and enfilade zones on the enemy. This produces besides a synergistic and enervating effect in the attacked forces. That is similar to the result of multi traumatize or to that of multiple nº 8 or 9 pellets in a minor hunting piece. They lack of enough punch to give decisive blows or to finish off an important enemy. They erode a military unit (not a small unit or isolated elements), but they do not annihilate it.

Against the prepared military positions established in depth they are not effective, though it exists afraid of the guerrillas and a lot of money is expended protecting them. Their bands lack important combat capacity and are also easily canalized towards approximation avenues with registered heavy fire and medium grazing fire. For the moment, they lack engineers’ training, which would allows them the punctual break of the static protector barriers. And of superior training, to use the crawling individual approximation, without time limitation, in their diverse missions out and inside the military and police camps and facilities. The big and large military forces bases only serves as refuge and rest for them. But removing them from their guerrillas civil and military goals. And isolating them from the Afghan people.

The logistics is a great disadvantage, especially the supply of equipment and no handmade goods. They possess many small active rears or bases, many full surrounded by their enemies, which activities can be detected always. The supply of the bands is provided by the support organization.

The patience must be a characteristic of all the implied in this irregular war. Also it is necessary for to be effective, to reach a minimum of trade and seniority. In the zones most favorable to the bands, it is very easy that the operations of search and siege are initially closed in emptiness. It is necessary to go gaining and selecting their zone population, as we have said before, in order that the military trade and the people loyalty combined should produce its military and social incomes. The successive victories of the Afghan National Army and Police will be gaining to them the favor of the people. Because all they want to be emotionally with the winning side. And because the interests of the Afghans are volatile, unlike and yet contradictory, based on the loyalty to the family, to the clan and to the tribe.

In this type of war the armed forces cannot defend from the enemy all its possible targets. Besides, never there would be enough remaining troops to keep the initiative and to carry out a multiple, flexible and mobile offensive action against the armed rebels. Here there are no linear fronts to establishing and cozy, protective and supplying operative rears. What exists are armed enemies groups, their logistic support and information groups and many groups of sympathizers with and surrounding them. That are integrated all according to the different personal courage of their different members. And all of them widespread and established through a big territory without limits or classic rears.

You can see more on military strategy, operational strategy, tactics and skills on guerrilla warfare, in its “Appendix” in my book “On the Nature of War”.

Recommended Books on Guerrilla Warfare.

In this «blog» I present since a long time ago, a list of «recommended books on military theory «, that is very visited. I have to admit, as a deficiency, that in it I have not included any book on the guerrilla warfare. The actual, historical and social importance of the irregular war phenomenon is unquestionable. And, nowadays, almost all the «guerrillas» are easily called «terrorist». It was what the colonial powers were doing with the national movements of liberation in the 40s, 50s and 60s of last century. It was what Napoleon’s Frenchmen did in Spain since 1808. Spoiling with it the objective and theoretical approach that must preside any serious approximation for the liquidation and popular eradication of the rebellious armed «outbreak». I want to correct now the mistake and to specially extend my commentary on the topic.


The guerrilla warfare is so ancient as the humanity. Probably it arose simultaneously and successively in numerous human primitive dispersed settlements. In those somebody, not necessarily a coward or a weakling, decided not to risk being suffered wounds and mutilations, so frequent and shared, in the so called «singular fights». So he attacked his enemy, waiting for him ambushed and by means of an unexpected cudgel blow.

These intelligent actions were also the first stammering applications of the so called «maneuver warfare«. In which we try to surprise and to overcome the enemy from a «position» or «attitude» of advantage. For, finally and achieving the decision, to finish off him or, at least, to give him in to our will. This latter inevitable part is the one that sometimes neglects too much the «theory» of the «maneuvers warfare». Without accepting clearly and completely that both expressions are opposite and complementary, but not antagonistic, «forms», as both reins of a horse cart, of the better called «modern warfare«.

During the World War II and in the following stage called of «decolonization of the peoples», the guerrillas had a spectacular bloom, through all the continents and in almost all the types of political systems. It turned into the fighting way of the weakest militarily speaking. And it turned out to be often effective. This established its freedom fighting «halo», a bar and armchair romanticism and a mirror of a certain generational unconformity. Nowadays, at the ever present guerrilla war, some overseas theoretic call it pompously and pedantically «asymmetric warfare». They are the same experts who also call it the «fourth generation warfare«. As if they had discovered the phenomenon of the «social political irregular military warfare». And they return to put in the side of the villains, without any exception, as the colonialist nations did in the 40s, 50s and 60s of last century, to whom tackle it.

The Terrorists and Legitimate Belligerents in the Guerrilla Warfare.

Terrorist is who systematic and deliberately uses the physical violence against non military or non fighters enemy personal targets. Looking with it to extend the fear, the discouragement, the paralysis or the ruin to a whole society, an ethnic group, a social national demarcation. The terrorist makes of the enemy unarmed civilians his principal goals. For the high benefit that he obtains this way for his interests, in hurts, mutilations and deaths, and the high safety that these actions carry to him during their execution. The terrorist is usually a religious or ideological fanatic. The cognitive twisting that suffers, derived from his amoral perversion, makes him to perceive in a very special, subjective and faulty way, the facts and the objective elements that define and frame, the always complex conflicts and sociological realities of the countries, religions and races.

It appears immediately in the irregular political military revolt, the problem of the legitimacy of the armed belligerency. Not everyone that rise up in arms, to defend some ideas or to protect some rights or some people, makes it legal and legitimately. The Conventions of Geneva and of The Hague establish some juridical procedures that frame the legal legitimacy of the armed fighting.

The irregular forces must go uniformed, carrying their weapons at sight and commanded by their chiefs. Is this sufficient? Well, no. Some groups of armed drug-traffickers also go this way. It is necessary also that the guerrillas, the national guard, the Home Guard, the self-defense forces of the people or of the territory, etc. do it in name and authorized by a established state. That occupies with sovereignty, at least, a part of his national territory. This condition is so restrictive that, during the Second World War, only the partisans or Soviet guerrillas fulfilled this requirement.

On the other hand, the fact that they are illegal fighters or not legally recognized, does not directly and socially assimilate them to bandits or criminals. This way, often, in altars of the social peace and of not enraging the civil protracted armed fighting, the governments agree to carry out their counter guerrilla campaign, without exasperate the used military methods and the spirits of the persecuted ones.

The more recommended books.

The «Partisan Warfare» book of the academician Otto Heilbrunn treats extensively the complex phenomenon of the guerrilla war, up to reaching the depth of an Treaty on the topic. It is based on the Communist model and, more particularly, on its Asian outbreaks in the middle of the last century: Mao’s China and the experience of the Vietminh of Nguyen Giap against the Frenchmen, the Americans and his compatriots.

This is profitably completed with the two volumes’ work «War in the Shadows» by Robert Asprey. That treats through not very long chapters the guerrilla war along the numerous and different historical stages. And that dedicates a big enough extension to the Chinese and Vietnamese experiences. Probably because they are more contemporary and there exists on them more material.

I, in my military theory book «On the Nature of War», dedicate a sufficient annex to expound out the tactical, operative and strategic aspects of the guerrilla warfare. And those of the effective counterguerrilla multiple and diverse fighting. Basing on the facts described by these and other authors.

With all this, we will have a rich theoretical base of the social, political and military mechanisms of the guerrilla warfare. And of the war sustained in multiple fronts against this kind of irregular armed fight. And a sufficient, but very wealth-producing reference, by its brushstrokes and specific circumstances, of the path of the phenomenon that we treat. With its intermittent and recurrent appearance along the History.

In another level, it is also very interesting the book «Guerrilla Warfare» by the general Georgios Grivas (alias, Dighemis, name of war). Why? For several reasons. The National Organization of the Cypriot Fighting or Ethniki Organosis Kipriahou Agonos (more known between ourselves as E. O. K. A.), organized and carried out for forty six and a half months, an independent nationalist guerrilla campaign. That was alien to the numerous communist experiences «of national liberation» of the epoch. These last very rarely were appearing before their peoples, precisely and openly, as «Marxists Leninist». They did so in Greece between 1946 and 1949 and in Malaysia between 1947 and 1960. And, in both cases, they were defeated and liquidated. And, precisely, by the British Army.

The Cypriot guerrilla was a guerrilla limited to a small, too small country, with an extension of only 9300 Km2. One of the initial conditions that Mao Zedong was claiming for the beginning and later strengthening of the guerrillas, was that their country had depth, extension. That allowed the guerrillas to establish thier first refuge bases, in zones protected by its inaccessibility. The Cypriots carried out a difficult guerrilla war, for the scanty of the countryside, their limited resources (approximately 600 thousand inhabitants, and a part was the Turkish community), the force of the enemy and the lack of good hiding places, circumscribed principally to Troodos’s volcanic clump, at the south of the island and with great mining wealth, crowned by the mount Olympus of 1953 m. of altitude. The daily Londoner «Daily Herald» published that a marshall, three generals and forty thousand British soldiers were not capable of defeating the EOKA. It seems that the marshal Montgomery declared that «the EOKA was strategically unbeatable». Finally, the Greek Cypriots did not obtain the Enosis, or political union with Greece, but the independence of their island from Great Britain.

Why did Cypriots triumph? Because the Greek Cypriot people was firmily and culturaly tied and melted (in this help the undubitable support of the Ortodoxian Church, directed by Nicosia’s Archbishop Macarius, later the first President of the Pepublic of Cyprius) to his scanty, effective, motivated and long-suffering guerrillas. And so, in spite of the fact that the Turkish Cypriots collaborated with the British and that the EOKA had to distract in several moments part of her scanty resources to neutralize them. The guerrilla elementary action groups were formed by 4 to 6 men; those who could hide together and without cohesion loses in the group. For the major actions 2 or 3 guerrilla groups were meeting for and coordinating by a superior operational command. Because their guerrilla organization was sufficient, well constructed and very flexible. Because their commands knew their weaknesses, which were great, and so defined a strategic sufficient goal: To get and keep a military suitable and indefinite pressure, by means of military actions, sabotages, propaganda and popular actions, destined to tire and discourage the British and their Government. Grivas, in his «General Plan for the Revolutionary Action in Cyprus» was emphasizing, «it is not necessary to believe that we, by means of this way and procedures could get a material and total defeat of the English forces in Cyprus. We rather look for their moral defeat, harassing and upsetting them in such a way that, ultimately, we obtain the objective of the fighting. That was until the end our strategic goal. We owe the success to the fact of having stuck firmly to it».