The theory of unconventional warfare win, lose, and draw
Driver, William "Dave"
DeFeyter, Bruce E.
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Clausewitz states that "The defensive form of warfare is intrinsically stronger than the offense" and to defeat 'the stronger form of warfare' "an army's best weapon is superior numbers." Given these two facts, how do special operations forces defeat numerically superior forces fighting in the defense? William H. McRaven's book, Spec Ops, lays out a theory of special operations and six principles that are "applicable across the spectrum of special operations" (McRaven, 1995, p. 3). McRaven's thesis postulates that numerically inferior forces can obtain Relative Superiority for short duration through the use of the six principles of special operations. McRaven's thesis is focused on the direct component of special operations. The theory, arguably, does not cover the full range of special operations; specifically it fails to address the indirect component of special operations, Unconventional Warfare. Given that the defense is the superior form of warfare and numbers count, the question emerges, how can a sponsored insurgent organization or resistance movement defeat the state, which begins with an opening advantage of vastly superior numbers and already in the defense posture? The answer may be found on the flip side of McRaven's Theory of Relative Superiority, or more accurately, the Indirect Theory of Relative Superiority. Indirect Relative Superiority is achieved when a counter state gains and maintains a decisive advantage over a state in an armed political struggle. We hypothesize that numerically inferior forces can obtain Relative Superiority over time through the use of six principles of Indirect Offensive Operations: Security, Networking, Purpose, Indoctrination, Influence, and Agility.
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Johnson, James O. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1995-12);Special operations, which generally employ small units against numerically superior forces, are exceptionally vulnerable to the frictions of war. Because the success of special operations is often of critical political or ...
McRaven, William H. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1993-06);This thesis develops a theory that explains why special operations succeed. The theory is important because successful special operations defy conventional wisdom. Special operations forces are usually numerically inferior ...
Lenart, Harley J. (Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School, 2019-09);The past three decades have seen a significant increase in suspects using weapons, which had not been readily available to the public, and which are more lethal. When suspects are better armed and more skilled with their ...