General warfare and military tactics have been common aspects of war throughout history that our society seems to be infatuated with; the tactics and the results of that particular type of warfare. Those that seem to be of particular interest are guerrilla warfare, aerial warfare, nuclear warfare, and psychological warfare.
The art of guerrilla warfare can be traced all the way back to 6th century BC. Traditionally guerrilla warfare is where a small group of combatants use ambushes, sabotage, raids, and petty warfare as elements of surprise to quickly strike a vulnerable target. Typically, these combatants are armed civilians. The overall strategy of this type of warfare is to eliminate small groups of a large army in order to not exhaust supplies and this was done in the hopes that the larger army would withdraw from the war. One area of guerrilla warfare that is extremely important to the success of an operation is that they have the correct military clothing to be able to blend into their surroundings and not be seen by their enemies before they attack. If they aren’t wearing neutral military clothing than they will most likely be seen by their opponent and the mission will be a failure.
Aerial warfare is the use or any military craft or flying crafts in warfare. Aerial warfare can be traced back to the 2nd and 3rd century, at this time they used kites and hot air balloons to spy on their enemy. The American Civil War was the first war to witness a significant use of aeronautics in battle. When aircrafts were first brought into war they were mostly just used as a means to observe the opponent; it wasn’t until later that aircraft was utilized to have a more interactive role in battle. Now aerial warfare are used as bombers and some of the planes are used to supply overseas forces with supplies.
Nuclear warfare has become more of a political strategy than a military tactic and in this rare case the threat of nuclear warfare often times causes countries to withdraw from the idea of war at all. In the times that these weapons are used they are generally used to inflict damage on an enemy that is generally more destructive in the range and extent of damage in a shorter period of time. At this time there have only been 2 instances were nuclear weapons have been used and these were both by the United States at toward the end of WWII. Nuclear warfare is most often a last attempt to end a war.
Psychological warfare is the practice of targeting an audience’s values, beliefs, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behavior. This tactic has been used to induce confessions or reinforce attitudes. There are three general categories of psychological warfare these are:
- White – this is where information is presented that is truthful and not biased
- Grey – mostly truthful and contains no information that can be proven wrong
- Black – this is where the information is deceitful and not from a credible source
For the most part individuals are able to differentiate black and grey psychological warfare from the white. Psychological warfare is most effective and often mostly used on larger groups of people. Those using psychological warfare prey on the groupthink mentality where those in groups tend to change their thoughts or opinions based on what others are saying they think so as to blend in with the group.
General warfare and the military tactics that are listed above tend to be what individuals in our society are most interested in. All these methods can be effective when used in the proper situation. In the United States we are implementing the majority of these strategies in our military tactics today.