I originally started out the "Sam's Story/FC7" series to paint a picture of what a successful insurgency in the first world might look like from various perspectives. I specifically wanted to highlight principles of electronic warfare in an first world environment (something that I think has been largely overlooked by ground forces the world over). In the realm of a "thought experiment" fiction became a useful tool for framing a smaller part of a much bigger whole.
The truth is that Special Forces don't win wars (but don't tell them that). Neither do Partizans
or Guerillas. From Francis Marion's successful campaign in the
Revolutionary War many people mistakenly believe that hiding out in the
woods and swamps is enough to win. It is not. At best the "irregular
insurgent" can do is tie down a much larger conventional force. The
revolutionaries win by staying in the field after the empire has decided
to take their ball and go home, and when that happens the
revolutionaries need to have a functioning governing body to take
advantage of the "power vacuum" or someone else will (hence the need for
regular forces). Even Disciple of Night's essay on General
Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck over at John Mosby's blog reinforces my point,
it is regulars who win wars on politically decisive terrain (something
Lettow-Vorbeck utterly lacked).
Successful Revolutions as a rule have a Regular fighting
force of some kind. From the Continental Army, Navy, and Marine Corps
to the Peoples Liberation Army to the NVA, at some point the
revolutionaries have to transition from irregulars to regulars or you
end up with the Northern Ireland fiasco, a stalemate that lingers on and
on. The political situation is that Northern Ireland can hold a
referendum any time it wants to reunite with the rest of the Emerald
Isle, and the IRA has basically become yet another crime syndicate.
The untold parts of the story are what is really interesting. Ask a
Soldier who the greatest Teachers in the military are, and you'll
either hear "Green Berets" or "Drill Sergeants" depending on the
experience level of the Soldier you ask. When you look at the function
of a Drill Sergeant or a Green Beret, they are essentially the same,
take a green recruit, or someone with a "school of hard knocks"
education, and turn them into a fighting force to be feared. Turning a
volunteer into a trained fighter (or engineer, logistics expert, medic,
etc) is how you grow the force, replace your losses, and generally go
from a rabble into an Army. And so FC7 became the setting where I wanted to explore how such a thing could be accomplished.
From Sam's perspective I wanted to make the point that even if you are functionally isolated and alone that your actions can still have positive consequences and repercussions on other people, even if you never meet them. His lone wolf actions were the classic "partizan helping the regulars" that is in my opinion the most useful act of irregular forces in a "hybrid" fight.
From Julie's perspective I wanted to demonstrate an awareness of the electromagnetic spectrum, with things you can buy at WalMart or Radio Shack for pennies compared to some of the higher end commercial, industrial, or government spectrum awareness solutions. The simple concepts of pulling batteries from electronic devices that
emit radiation, using multiple commercial receivers to monitor for
jamming, using frequencies that are unlikely to be jammed (such as
commercial FM, who cares if you violate someones commercial rights if
you are in open rebellion?), and placing them into a tactical setting
where they made sense was really my only goal.
That I chose to make Julie a female generated more controversy than I ever expected. I've gone to war with women who were smart, brave, and tough, and in any organization worth belonging to, talent matters more than rank. If you won't follow a woman who knows what she's doing, but will follow a man who doesn't, that means you suck at following and should probably die of ass cancer. On the flip side I've gone to war with women who were completely worthless oxygen thieves who were rightly drummed out of the service as quickly as possible (and more than a few men fell into that category too). Just like only a few men become an Alexander (or a Patton), only a few women can become a Joan of Arc.
The FC7 class vignettes were meant to portray some of what is necessary to grow an insurgency. Having a noble band of a few at the beginning is completely wasted if the spark of freedom dies with them. The networking, training, logistic support, all of it is useful. The easy part of an insurgency is tearing things down, the hard part of any endeavor is building things up. Where would we be as a nation without the drilling and military expertise of Baron Von Steuben?
The one post in the series that elicited absolutely zero comments was the IRC log of insurgent leaders meeting. The main purpose was to explain TOR anonymity and show that there was a large scale structure in place to coordinate operations and lines of effort across geography. To be very honest I've been very surprised that a certain regional HQ in the middle east very far south of Afghanistan hasn't been repeatedly targeted by Al Qaeda (which is probably a hint that they aren't as big of an international terror organization as we have been lead to believe). Anyways, a whole post of fake IRC traffic might have been just a bridge too far.
To top it all off, I could be wrong about everything. History doesn't repeat itself, but it generally rhymes. I think that it is more important to get those interested in thinking about the bigger picture than "stockpiling ammo, food, and medicine" and looking at organizational structure, training, communication and coordination. If you are going to tear something down, you better have something standing by to replace it.