RE: Counter-insurgency and Guerilla

From: Richard, Jeff <jeff.richard_at_...>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 2001 14:37:40 -0800

Greg wrote:

>My main point here is that guerilla warfare can be and often has
been a

>very successful form of warfare for a weaker force against a
stronger one.

>As it is in Sartar.

This is the key point - warfare consisting of conflict other than set-piece battle - can be a very successful form of warfare.

The entire Southern Pelorian bowl, with the notable exception of the Oslira floodplain, is a hilly region inhabited by peoples that use the Barntar plow and whose kinship groups (corporate clans, extended families, etc.) are the basic unit of social AND political organization. These groups have rarely mustered large armies of professional soldiers that fight set-piece battles (although some leaders have managed to accomplish this difficult deed) - but they have a grand tradition of low-intensity skirmishing. These peoples are a extremely difficult to unify (i.e. through a single leadership group such as the High Kings of the Heortlings) or to conquer - for the same reasons.

It is far easier for foreigners to nullify any threat posed by these Orlanthi peoples by offering gifts and honors to their leaders and playing them off each other (and ruthlessly attacking those few who then cause problems) - than it is to try and pacify their lands. Indeed, the success of Sylilla and the Lunar Provinces has been based on precisely that - Tarsh was hardly "conquered" by Dara Happans!

Indeed, I've occasionally dabbled in the conspiracy theory that the great Imperial invasion of Sartar was a deliberate "mistake". The Emperor, for reasons both political and religious, determined that it would be advantageous to create a "Land of War" to the South. He gathered a mammothly oversized force, supplemented it with chaos monstrosities (not just the Crimson Bat, but also Delecti's undead horde) guaranteed to permanently offend the Orlanthi, and, after a ridiculously and strategically pointlessly costly war, gave the Tarshites and the Provinicial Government the burden of trying to pacify the now-enraged barbarians. The Emperor works in mysterious ways...


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