Just In Case: How to Fight a Revolution

By James Sweet III | United States

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution was added to the Bill of Rights to give the people of this nation the ability to fight against the government in the circumstance that our civil servants turned into tyrannical takers of rights.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

In a 2013 Gallup poll, 60% of gun owners surveyed stated they had guns for self-defense purposes. It would be nice if we had that statistic up to 100%. Why? Well, we all need to understand that the state needs to take away your guns before mass infringement of rights can occur. Self-defense applies to all aggressors, including the state. It is not hypothetical, but a reality, as a town in Illinois has banned “assault weapons”. While weapons beyond a handgun may not be needed for self-defense against petty thieves, they are needed for situations like the Battle of Athens, an instance of Americans fighting to abolish a corrupt government. What if tyranny and corruption were on a much larger scale? We can’t just storm a couple of buildings in a county and expect to win. It’s complicated and extensive, but can be boiled down to three words.

Hit and run.

Revolutions and wars have been fought through various methods, a common one being guerrilla warfare. The Risorgimento, American War of Independence, and Irish War of Independence are just three examples of wars fought through guerrilla warfare. In 1990, Major Johnie Gombo of the USMC wrote an essay titled “Understanding Guerrilla Warfare”. The first three paragraphs of the thesis interesting. It states,

Unless a Marine Air Ground Task Force Commander understands guerrilla warfare, conflict with a belligerent who uses guerrilla warfare will cause a problem.

In 1973, the United States left South Vietnam, ending eighteen years of military support. One reason for the pull- out was the United States’ inability to stop the guerrilla war being conducted by the Viet Cong. To prevent future problems, an understanding of guerrilla warfare is necessary.

Guerrilla warfare is an unconventional type of warfare involving limited combat against military targets. It consists of three phases: Phase I is the development of local support; Phase II is organizational growth, and combat against the enemy; and Phase III is the transition of the guerrilla organization into a conventional force, and the defeat of the enemy.

The United States Marine Corps understands the fierce power a guerrilla fighting force could yield, and the damage that could be inflicted against conventional fighting forces could lead to the worst thing possible for that force: a military defeat. The Vietnam War is the best example of a superpower’s army being defeated by a guerrilla fighting force. The United States had chemicals like Agent Orange, machine guns, helicopters, bombers, tanks, and artillery, yet still couldn’t win the war.

If a revolution against the United States did occur, the power of the United States Armed Forces would be weaker than it’s power overseas, due to the fact that they would be damaging their own infrastructure, as well as possibly killing non-combatants. Just like in Vietnam with the Viet Cong, it would be hard for the military to differentiate non-combatants against guerrilla fighters, so accidentally killing American civilians could stir more resistance against the government forces. Major Johnie Gombo also states in his essay, “Therefore, the guerrillas attempt to win the support of the masses by attacking an oppressive government or occupying force. In addition, the guerrillas treat the masses with respect and dignity, and capitalize on the oppressive behavior of the enemy.” Furthermore, it would be illogical to damage cities with mass importance, like New York,  whose economic influence is too crucial for the United States to get rid of or damage.

The war would have to be fought carefully against the revolutionaries, yet the revolutionaries wouldn’t have to be as careful. That is mainly due to the fact that government soldiers and equipment is marked, or at least distinguishable from ordinary people and objects. In a crowd of people, you could distinguish an Army soldier in his gear from ordinary citizens. In that same crowd, could you distinguish a civilian fighter from a non-combatant civilian? It’s not as likely. Color coordination may be one thing that guerrilla fighters may use to identify themselves to other fighters, but if the color or other forms of identification changes every time, it would be much harder for the government forces to identify who is who.

In terms of fighting a revolution, we should look at the insurgents in the Middle East or American Patriots like Francis Marion. Insurgents in the Middle East have been able to put fear into soldiers due to their methods. From hiding explosives near roads to disguising themselves in cities, actions are taken to instill fear into the hearts of the enemy. By creating fear, you can intimidate the enemy and wear down their morale.  Men like Francis Marion will lead the enemy into terrain that is hard to traverse, like swamps. Marion gained the name “The Swamp Fox” for losing his enemies in the swamps of the Carolinas.

Winning a war must result in the guerrilla force turning into a conventional force. For this to happen, the guerrilla fighters must bleed the enemy of resources and supplies. By doing so, they can tilt the war into their favor by bringing the enemy down to their level. This can be down by blowing up military supply routes, and bridges crucial to the enemies resupply effort.

Avoiding combat in cities is preferable. Crowded cities can make guerrilla fighters be lost if they do not know the placements of enemies. It is better to lure the enemy into areas like forests and swamps that are easy for the insurgents to map out. By having this advantage, it becomes easier for one to bleed the enemy dry.

Guerrilla warfare and insurgency requires proper strategy, but it is feared by armed forces for its unpredictability. If you are ever confronted with the opportunity to stop tyranny at home, remember that revolutionary tactics are on your side.

To learn more about insurgency and counterinsurgency, you can access a 2014 Department of the Army document here.

Featured image source.