Analyzing Asymmetric Opponents through Deconstruction of Asymmetric Engagements

Phillip N. Jones, Thomas W. Mastaglio, John Sokolowski

This presentation reviews the results of an investigation into a process for developing asymmetric tactics in support for small unit training. Some have argued that asymmetric tactics are something outside of our normal understanding. This work disagrees with that assertion. We postulated that any force would prefer to achieve their strategic objectives through quick, decisive operations. Forces resort to asymmetric warfare when they realize that they cannot successfully conduct decisive operations, usually because of a capability discrepancy with a more capable force such as the US. The presentation supports this supposition by historical examples of when Americans resorted to asymmetric tactics.

Submitted: Sep 12, 2008