Guerilla Warfare Law and Legal Definition

Guerilla Warfare refers to an irregular warfare. Guerilla warfare is usually conducted by individuals or small groups who are not part of any organized military group. The term guerilla is derived from Spanish meaning, “little war”. Generally, in guerilla warfare, these small groups of combatants resort to military tactics such as ambushes and sabotage to harass larger organized army.[Cummings v. Mo., 71 U.S. 277 (U.S. 1867)]

In many areas of the world, guerilla warfare is practiced by local groups against government forces. It is effective in areas with rugged geographical conditions or areas of dense vegetation such as forest that provide natural hiding places which helps to make guerilla operations. Guerilla warfare is also known as asymmetric warfare.

Some of the guidelines propounded by various counter-insurgency experts to combat guerilla warfare are the following:

1. A viable political counter-vision that can overshadow, match or neutralize the guerrilla vision;

2. A big unit action may sometimes be necessary ;

3. An aggressive mobility may be required;

4. A requirement of systematic intelligence effort;

5.A careful deployment of mass popular forces and special units;

6. A requirement of foreign assistance which is to be utilized carefully.