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U.S. Troops May Have To Prepare For New Type Of Conflict -- Guerrilla Warfare

Posted November 16, 2001

— As Afghan opposition forces take over parts of the country, Taliban troops are likely preparing for a different kind of war -- guerrilla warfare.

Guerrilla warfare is a way to use small forces to defeat a large foreign army power. Many believe the Taliban is now preparing to wage a guerilla war from the mountains.

Dr. John Duvall, director of education at Fayetteville's Airborne and Special Operations Museum, said the Afghanis have used this strategy for 170 years.

"They are a surprise force. They know the terrain, they can fire on the enemy moving down the road," he said. "They can be where the enemy doesn't want them to be, cut their supply lines, pop up where they are not expected to be. They are ideal at that."

Retired military expert Lt. Gen. Robert Springer says special forces will be key in this type of conflict.

"Now, you are down to fighting onesies and twosies or handfuls. As a consequence, it's difficult to force out," he said.

The word guerrilla is of Spanish origin and means "little war."


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