- Feb 13, 2014
Perhaps you could define what a terrorist is.Perhaps the definition has been changed?
My understanding is that irregulars were originally recruited ad hoc by the state apparatus. The distinction between irregulars and regulars is blindingly obvious (not being smart btw).
Terrorists/Insurgents use irregular tactics, but they fight to undermine the state, and target non combatants within, although not restricted to, the state they are attempting to undermine. Urban terrorism is a purely modern thing, invented in Russia in the late 19th century. I can't think of any systematic urban terrorism that existed before it. Can you?
I believe that an irregular unit fighting for the state is subject to the same rules and punishment as regular units.
There is of course the argument that the State behaves like a terrorist. So, in Uruguay, and Argentina during the 70s, the state apparatus used terrorist tactics to counter insurgencies.
Uncle Sam/Ivan both have histories of using proxy tactics to fight one another. Proxy tactics often involve the use of terrorist organisations.
I guess the lines of battle are blurred today. As Breaker Morant said,
" It's a new kind of war, George. A new war for a new century. I suppose this is the first time the enemy hasn't been in uniform. They're farmers. They come from small villages, and they shoot at from behind walls and from farmhouses. Some of them are women, some of them are children, and some of them... are missionaries, George."
Interestingly the Selous Scouts, whom I mentioned earlier struck terror into the hearts of Mugabe's insurgents. Yet they rarely if ever engaged the enemy. Their objective? To disseminate misinformation amongst ZANLA (or ZAPU, whatever the feck it was called).