Guerilla warfare was first referred as a war of revolutionary nature by Mao Zedong who used it widely in his operations in China1. However it is used in modern insurgencies as a part of an integrated process with all the sophistications associated with an organized operation including propaganda capabilities, doctrines and specialist skills.
2 Kennedy Hickman, Fabian Strategy : Wearing Down the Enemy , 2007, About.com: Military History, < http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/militarystrategies/p/fabian.htm> The Medieval myth of Roland borne out of the Battle of Roncevaux Pass was won by the Basque due to the effective utilization of guerilla tactics3. 15th century saw the Vietnamese insurgency against the Chinese where as the 19th century saw the Balkan people using the same tactics to fight against the Ottoman Empire4.
World War I and World War II also saw a number of guerilla warfare in the name of resistance movements and other insurgent activities. Guerilla warfare continues in many parts of the world post the II World War as well. However, the most common feature associated with unconventional warfare is its nationalist fighting nature which was evident in the rebellions. One key exception was the Columbian FARC which gave up armed rebellion following its electoral defeat only to resume it later and associate with the drug lobby against the traditions it followed6.
3Kennedy Hickman, Charlemagne: Battle of Roncevaux Pass, 2007, About.com: Military History, < http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/militarystrategies/p/fabian.htm>
4Walter Laqueur, Guerrilla Warfare - A Historical & Critical Study, 1998, (Transaction Books) 239-277
5 Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Warfare Conduct Of, Guerrilla Warfare," 1984 ed, p. 584
6Walter Laqueur, Guerrilla Warfare - A Historical & Critical Study, 1998, (Transaction Books) xi
Two of the major victories of the guerilla warfare happened in Afghanistan and Chechnya, both of which coincided with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The victory is mainly attributed to the fact that though the enemy was powerful, lacked the political will. Afghanistan war also gave a topographical advantage to the rebels which led to the evacuation of the Soviet troops in 1989. Guerillas failed to achieve decisive victories in a number of countries like Turkey, Algeria, Israel, Sri Lanka and Sudan, though they succeeded in causing sizeable harm to their enemies. Considerable help has been provided to the guerillas from abroad to keep the momentum going in the operation as in the Arab countries support given to the Palestinians and Afghans and the Indian Tamil support to the Sri Lankan Tamils7.
The key forms of insurgency that is expected to control the modern era are likely to be driven by problems caused due to the increasingly commercialized and modernized world. This is expected to dominate the Third World countries with