GUERRILLA by Charles W. Thayer


Email this review


A new idea is presented here with much conviction and authority. Since, Mr. Thayer asserts (along with the great military theoretician Clausewitz), war is ""nothing but a continuation of political intercourse"", what the United States needs in its military today is a guided, heavy admixture of political know-how down at the grass-roots level where the battles are fought. Wars are fought today, as in South Vietnam and in the Bay of Pigs, in an irregular, guerrilla manner which attempts to enlist the aid of civilians and peasantry. To get that aid, a military eader must know what the people really want and not what he thinks they want. Thus, Mr. Thayer calls for formation of an Irregular War Command for the setting up of political strategy in the field, (which perhaps sounds like what the Reds already o). Americans traditionally fight ""moral"" wars rather than political wars, and entrust their military to win ""unconditional surrender"". This is outmoded. Today we fight irregular wars for irregular purposes, so let's create a corps of ""political irregulars"" among the military. Mr. Thayer analyzes guerrilla warfare in Indo-China, Greece, Malaya, Vietnam, Poland and Russia to support his views. Its ramifications are ugly but he makes a good case. Our failures are political.

Publisher: Harper & Row