Saturday, November 9, 2013

Asymmetric warfare

Asymmetric Warfare (AW) is the conflict between 2 groups whose resources differ in nature. As a consequence, the strategies employed by both parties will necessarily differ greatly, and the outcome of such conflicts is probably less predictable than that of Symmetric Warfare (SW). In SW, you merely have to count the resources on both sides and the side with more resources should obtain the victory more than 50% of the time.

An example of this is the Vietnam war. On one side, US troops had plenty of equipment, and heavy firepower. On the other side, Vietnam had plenty of people but little equipment. The US were using military tactics, while Vietnam was using guerrilla tactics. The US attempted physical domination of Vietnam's cities, facilities and infrastructures, while the Vietnamese were wearing out the morale of US troops and the economy of the USA which was spending tons of money to sustain the war effort.

AW is a notion that can describe many different struggles.

  • Activists vs. Corporations/Countries (Sea Shepherd vs. Japan)
  • Resistance movements vs. State (Syria)
  • Fighting video games (strong vs. fast)
  • Socioeconomic changes (Israel's Jewish domination vs. Muslim demographics)
  • Family dynamics (Male personality vs. Female personality)
  • etc.

I wanted to have this article written before moving on to other topics that make reference to asymmetric warfare. So there's no real conclusion here, but just like a house: foundations may look boring but they're useful.

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