Irregular warfare is far from traditional warfare and can have several different outcomes when planned/not planned properly.
When dealing with this type of complexity,some factors will need to be considered when developing a plan and coordinating action. Specific applications like understanding the operational environment, civil considerations, intuitive decision making and Winning the Hearts and Minds are the key to success in this type of warfare. With Irregular Warfare understanding what your up against will be advantageous and will better the outcome in your favor.
Understanding the operational environment of your opponent is a very important factor to have readily available. This gives you an understanding of your surroundings and what you will be up against from weather, terrain and even the enemy themselves. Weather can not only impact your ability to deploy your forces but it also can dictate what the local populous will be doing that day. For instance a sandstorm can stop a convoy from deploying but it also allows cover for the enemy to set booby-traps. Knowing the terrain can allow you to plan your routes and avoid routes that can be possibly compromised by the enemy. Knowing this information can allow you to differentiate good and bad neighborhoods and areas where you’re actually capable to commute from point A to B. Civil Considerations is not only focusing on the peoples “needs and desires”, but on their culture, ways of living, how they trade (create capital), political boundaries, organizations, etc.
Civil Considerations are on how and what the enemy does to effect the general populous and how the populous reacts to those situations. Understanding the culture is a vital part of civil considerations, knowing the background on how the people of that country lives, the history of that effected area, what’s normal to see and what’s a normal thing to do. This cantell you if an action is threatening or if it’s a “normal” day-to-day thing. Forexample, being in country where they wield machetes on a day to day bases my not mean that its used for protection or to causebodily harm, but my just be a tool in their day to day usage or occupation. Another example are suicide attacks, to us it seems ridiculous, but for that culture in the in Middle East it is believe that they are self sacrificing their bodies to show true commitment to their god and beliefs. Intuitive decision making is the act of acting on instinct vice having to go through a step by a step motion. Intuitive decision making takes place in the key to success by involving the flow of critical thinking skills that we have from what we have learned or know without hesitation. Depending on the situation thinking out of the box may the best route to go.
Example if your directed to go straight and you see enemy forces ahead, which was not planned, due to the lack of ammunition and support going though them is not an option. Choosing a left or right to maneuver around the enemy may get you caught. So you decide to craw through the brush when the enemy walks away to make his rounds. When you get thought you may proceed to your destination. Intuitive decision making is what some may call the “sixth-sense” or gut feeling.
Listening to the little whispers and nagging doubts may be worth listening to in most circumstances. Winning the hearts and minds is the understanding of the “needs and desires” of the local populace and utilizing it to negatively effect the divers of insurgency. Basically when we deploy we are showing the people that we care and are not there to harm those that are in need. We are there to stop the threats and extortion of terrorists and seize all violence in their communities. This is a key factor because once we have the locals on our side they will be more willing to assist in apprehending radicals and terrorists. In conclusion, there are several factors involved in the “key to success” to irregular warfare.
Those stated above, if used collectively can alleviate most issues with any situation within this type of warfare. For instance winning the hearts and minds requires the knowledge of the operational environment to include civil considerations. Knowing who are the people and how they live can begin the process, with a little intuitive decision making on what to say and going about getting the info you need may result in mission accomplishment. 1