Defining Asymmetric Warfare

Posted: July 25, 2014 in SWIG

Warfare today has taken on a new form and grown to new levels. The type of warfare is not new, and few of the tactics are new. What is new is that this type of war has recently reached a global level—and the United States and its allies have found themselves ill prepared. Many strategists and theorists have attempted to grasp the concept of the war we are facing today, yet none have adequately given it definition and understanding.

This paper surveys some of the history and literature of asymmetric warfare, citing and critiquing some of the best attempts to define the term. The author then adds his own discussion of the term, its concepts and its implications, and proposes his own definition in an attempt to resurrect the term before it becomes completely obsolete.

America’s sole-superpower status forces us to continually engage in asymmetric warfare since no force can win a traditional war against us. Even traditional wars today—such as the first phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom—and in the future will have many asymmetric elements and implications, especially after the traditional war has been won.

Defining Asymmetric Warfare
Countering Asymmetrical Warfare in the 21st Century
Asymmetric Strategies as Strategies of the Strong
How the Weak Win Wars: A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict
Asymmetric Warfare – The Air University
Unorthodox Thoughts about Asymmetric Warfare – Strategic
Terrorism in Asymmetrical Conflict – Publications – SIPRI

Asymmetrical warfare from the perspective of humanitarian law and humanitarian action
Extreme Asymmetric Warfare of the Future

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