The techno-guerrilla

In November 2021, the Iraqi Prime Minister was attacked by a swarm of three home-made kamikaze drones. Even if he escapes unharmed, he can, today, be considered as the first head of state directly targeted by a “techno-guerrilla” action.

Far from the fantasized use of killer and autonomous drones developed by the cinema and video games, the misuse of civilian technological means by armed groups may be one of the future faces of war. Something to feed the successors of games like The Saboteur, Red Faction or the first Far Cry…


Guerrilla warfare, an ancient concept

Historically, the notion of guerrilla warfare (or “small war”, from the name given to the Spanish resistance movement to the occupation of Napoleonic troops in 1808) is as old as war itself: it consists, for an enemy inferior in numbers and means, in confronting a regular army by using reduced military means to carry out ambushes and coups de main. Creativity, mobility and the surprise effect are the determining factors..

Resistance movements were so decisive during the Second World War, particularly in Western Europe, that they were subsequently integrated into NATO doctrine, which notably imagined the Stay Behind, small clandestine units intended to harass Warsaw Pact troops after their invasion of Europe, as well as special forces units specialized in this type of operation.

Today, guerrilla warfare, in its modern version, is regaining its credentials by being fully integrated into the concept of “hydrid warfare”, developed in particular by Russia.

“Little Green Man” in Battlefield 2042: now a symbol of the Hybrid War.



A guerrilla war 2.0

A simple definition of techno-guerrilla might be the moment when an armed group acquires technical means normally reserved for a conventional army, and this by devious means..

And if it is a relatively recent notion in strategy, it is because it is concomitant with the democratization of technologies long reserved for the military, and today available to everyone, including in a few clicks on the Internet…

In fact, it is during the last 20 years that the concept has been developed, in particular on the Iraqi and Afghan battlefields. After the use of GSM networks and cell phones to set off explosive charges, we also quickly saw the use of motion sensors, car remotes and other basic electronic devices diverted. Then come GPS, thermal cameras and night vision binoculars for the general public for animal observation, and finally drones…

Call of Duty players have already innovated by sticking C4 on drones, a feature not originally planned by the game.

With the development of these devices intended for the general public and on sale over the counter, the increase in their payload, their precision and their ergonomics, the “engineers” of the Islamic State in particular are going to imagine rustic and “low-cost” death devices, but nonetheless lethal, which make it possible to target and harass their opponents.

In the 21st century, with the development of techno-guerrilla warfare, confrontations between military and armed groups are likely to be increasingly balanced. This notion of “leveling” is particularly interesting for the implementation of evolving gameplay where operational crafting would have its place…

The “Mad Max” improvised armor of the Daesh terrorist group.