Causes And Disadvantages Of Asymmetric Warfare

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Before diving too deep into the idea of offset strategies, you must first understand the concept of asymmetric warfare. As defined by the Encyclopedia of Military Science, asymmetric warfare is “an inferior power fighting a superior power as each side strives to exploit the other’s disadvantages”. The inferior power is referred to as the insurgency, and the superior power’s efforts to shut down the insurgency is called counterinsurgency. Insurgents generally attempt to take advantage of the greater powers’ weaknesses or vulnerabilities as well as try to break the control they have over the state whether institutionally or morally. In this paper, I will primarily be focusing on how insurgents have responded to American aggression. While Americans …show more content…
An example of this relating to the United States would be the Vietnam War, for instance. Vietnam used guerilla war tactics and were able to withstand massive amounts of firepower. This resulted in a long, tedious war which led to civil unrest back in the US to the advantage of Viet Cong. My next, better known example is 9/11. The terrorist group al Qaeda focused on destroying not only very visible and physical objects of the United States but objects they knew would hold an emotional value to the American people as well. This ploy worked in that it scared the nation but instead of dividing our state, it brought us closer together; we were able to retaliate quickly and effectively (Tucker). While the United States is usually the superior power in asymmetric warfare, our government and, more importantly, our military know …show more content…
Asymmetrical warfare refers to a difference in existing power two conflicting states have such as manpower, global influence, or even literal size, and an offset strategy is a difference in technological or military power between two conflicting states. A state will create an offset strategy in order to be ahead of its adversaries militarily rather than going into a conflict with a level playing field (Robinson). An offset strategy is an intelligent way to insure future successes as well as to assure the nation that it can defend itself if the need were to arise. By taking control of a situation before it is a huge issue, a state can drastically change the probability of a negative outcome. In asymmetric warfare, the insurgents try to attack the opponent’s vulnerabilities so, by having an offset strategy, the superior nation can not only protect itself to avoid even needing a counterinsurgency plan but also move the issue to more favorable conditions where they will be better equipped to handle the insurgents. Also, creating an offset strategy a state has another advantage of possibly preventing an altercation altogether by creating such a situation that the adversary, whether insurgent or not, would be discouraged by the poor odds in their favor (Robinson). To understand the effects of America’s newest offset strategy, a brief summary of the United States’ history with offset strategies is

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