Here's the thing. The locally, democratically elected govt. may be the legitimate govt., but most legitimately elected democratic govts. do not obey the rule of law anymore, ie;, most large cities, state govts. and of course our dear own FedGov. FedGov does virtually anything it wants, and the states and larger cities play right along, the Constitution and BOR be damned. They have a set of rules for US to obey, but when it comes to them following the law, or being subject to it, not so much. If you recall, Vandeboegh said that our enemies promise to negate any possibility of our using the standard methods of politics against them. I don't believe your four conditions of a successful insurgency are written in stone, either. They undoubtedly come into play, but the timing of their pre-eminence is more determined by chance, rather than design.And over at WesternRifleShooters this is the latter half of his comment.
The point being that any conflict can be dissected for its outcome, based on observation, but CHANCE determines what really happens, not formulas, not number crunching, not previous conflicts, not odds, and most assuredly not pronouncements of legitimacy. I would hazard that something else comes very much into play, but I don’t want the people here who don’t subscribe to that venue to start flaming about something that’s never been finally decided. But to give a formula for the successful outcome of an insurgency is forgetting that no battle plan survives the first five minutes of the actual battleI think that I need to address "Chance" or "Fate" or "Random Factors" when discussing the outcome of military action.
Yes it is true that the fickle hand of fate gets a vote in every operation. You can't eliminate all risk. But what you can do is minimize risk When talking about setting conditions for success we are really talking about optimizing our odds. The flip side of risk is reward. Don't do a COL Hannibal A-Team risky move to achieve something miniscule, nor would you want to bet it all on a Hail Mary when you could plan ahead and move the ball in much safer moves.
Would you conduct a deliberate attack without a support by fire position? Only if you had no other options right? Such as seizing a beach head or driving an armored task force hard through enemy defenses to get to the position you really need to occupy to block the enemy counter attack. There are very very few "hard and fast" rules when it comes to tactical deployment of forces.
But there are plenty of lessons from history by those who save lives and conserve combat power by minimizing risk. You do this first by studying your own capabilities, the enemy capabilities, and the terrain on which the conflict will take place. Then you TRAIN your forces to minimize your own weaknesses and maximize your own strengths. Then you ruthlessly plan to use every advantage at your disposal to achieve your tactical and strategic goals.
You do every damn thing in your power to minimize the fickle hand of fate. Those that say "no plan survives first contact with the enemy" as an excuse not to plan are idiotic simpletons at best, or malicious fools at worst. I believe Sean is only trying to remind people that there are no guarantees in warfare. Dwight Eisenhower even opined that "Plans are worthless, but planning is priceless." to describe the effect of planning and rehearsing prior to operations.
Never let anyone tell you that planning is worthless, that setting conditions is futile. On the flip side know when the 80% solution is achieved and you can push forward and trust your fellow warriors to figure out the remaining 20% as they go along. When I was an NCO all I wanted was an Officer to tell me "Achieve this effect at this place by this time" and let me loose. Now that I am an Officer I want to be able to give those hard charging NCOs indirect fire support, close air support, enemy comms jamming support, pre-planned combat resupply, dedicated medevac assets, easily understood sectors of fire with adjacent units to prevent fractricide, up to date and even live intel feeds to eliminate the fog of war. And all that stuff requires planning, coordination, and deconfliction.
Because if you don't plan, then you are planning to fail. You should go read John Mosby to learn how to train yourself to be fit to fight, and you should study history to train your mind how to think about minimizing risk to stay in the fight. Insurgencies are won by who stays in the fight the longest, and yes, fate has a role to play even in that. But don't be stupid about it.