A People’s Army During Nuclear War
I. On a Resistance Movement During an Actual Nuclear War
A people who find themselves in confrontation with an imperialist nation-state that has a created pre-emptive nuclear strike against them has no other choice but to strike back with a People’s War. A people without such an army - a People’s Army of Resistance and insurgency which can be sent into the field against an enemy - will have nothing from which to defeat the enemy in total war.
One should not fear such a nuclear war of attrition, for such a war only brings to the surface the decisive moment, when an imperialist military force must finally be contended with and defeated, even if that means a war of no quarter: a Resistance war of annihilation. Such a People’s War during a nuclear confrontation, which few wish to acknowledge, is a war which eventually will in all probability take place, unless there is a social revolution within the nation-state that is the perpetrator of such a war of nuclear holocaust.
It must be understood that a People’s War in the Western world will primarily be in the cities, but also in swaths of the countryside as well. The first battles will be fought along interior lines of defense, meaning holding the arc of defense, and then only under certain conditions, when victory is certain - Resistance units, those small combat forces known as insurgency or partisan forces, along with the traditional guerrilla forces, will create a violent and forceful attack of asymmetrical war against the enemy.
Such a war will eventually develop in the United States if the current “Cold Civil War” develops into a full scale civil war during the reactionary period of the Trump presidency. Then such a war known as People’s War will develop accordingly to the dialectical experience in the first conflicts with the various warring parties. As Lenin wrote about insurrection - which can also be translated into Wars of Resistance and Wars of Liberation - “Insurrection is a calculus with very indefinite magnitude, the value of which may change every day; the forces opposed to you have all the advantage of organization, discipline, and habitual authority; unless you bring strong odds against them you are defeated and ruined. Secondly, the insurrectionary career once entered upon, act with the greatest determination, and on the offensive. The defensive is the death of every armed rising; it is lost before it measures itself with its enemies."
The order of the day in any insurrection or War of Resistance should be Surprise on the Attack, and No Quarter to the Enemy. For the enemy will only fear you if you surprise them from an interior line of attack onto an exterior line of bold attacks and sharp maneuvers in executing the element of surprise and showing no mercy to the enemy. Only then will an enemy of an imperialist or fascist army break before you and run from their holding, exterior line of attack. As the great Resistance fighter Giovanni Pesce described how a fellow comrade summed up such a partisan conflict, “You are the Party, we are the Party, and we are all helping one another, together will all the other parties lined up against the Fascists. All of the Italian people are involved. It is a battle in which everyone’s help is need. Isolated factions are only useless, but are often dangerous. You must always bear this in mind”.
The kind of partisan battles Giovanni Pesce fought in fascist Italy during World War II will eventually take place within modern Western nation-states in Europe and among the cities, towns and the countryside of the United States as well. For what happen in Charlottesville, Virginia, where fascist and anti-fascist forces engaged in violence in the streets on August 12th 2017, reveals how the tension will rise and eventually lead to armed struggle.
II. The Perception of Sacrifice During a People's War
As in all arts and sciences there must be ongoing creative thinking and re-thinking about the art of war. What has not been written about or even discussed among many military science historians and military theorists is the idea of sacrifice in war. There are many nation-states with armies not educated about sacrifice in combat, more precisely, dying in war. Particularly in the United States the dominant culture, that being the Anglo-American culture, exposes a fear of death through a process of morbid religious ethos garbed in a manipulative patriotism as if war is a Hollywood movie where American soldiers and their citizens always endure and rarely die.
And yet, as history reveals, all sides die in conflict, whether revolutionary or reactionary military forces, with the essence of the matter how the superior political and ethical military reacts to death in war. It is my point of view as a military theorist that fear of death is normal, which does not mean one cannot develop a deeper fear of human debasement due to a repressive political system which destroys the integrity of the people. A case in point: If we are involved in a nuclear war, should we merely fear the situation and 'run scared,' or should we reassess the situation and develop a strategy to overcome personal fear and create a broader understanding of how to fight against the oppressor once a nuclear war has begun?
I am reminded a famous quote by the Marxist leader of China, Mao Zedong who once said about nuclear war and confrontation with an enemy which perpetrates such a war, “I’m not afraid of nuclear war. There are 2.7 billion people in the world; it doesn’t matter if some are killed. China has a population of 600 million; even if half of them are killed, there are still 300 million people left. I’m not afraid of anyone.”
My interpretation of this Chinese revolutionary leader and military thinker's statement: war is about causalities, war is about immense destruction and catastrophic slaughter of human beings. But he also stresses in a subtle way that the people and their army should not in the end be afraid, for they will endure despite the many deaths, and they must continue to fight back to defeat an enemy that attempts to extinguish them from history, from life itself. The victory in a protracted war goes to the side possessing the mental, physical and spiritual endurance to fight and to win.
III. Intelligence-Gathering Within a Resistance Movement
To build a strong and enduring intelligence network within an insurgency, partisan or Resistance movements require a careful and detailed recruitment of individuals who have been vetted in terms of their class, political and even personal history, so as to assess if they are mature, disciplined, and fearless in their methodology to gather intelligence and to help the leadership of a Resistance movement. For instance it would be the responsibility of such a group of men and women to gather information and to gauge on how to react against an invader or an enemy that has repressed the people from within the country.
Without the building of a intelligence network within the first days, weeks and months of an insurgency or Resistance movement, then that movement is doomed to defeat and annihilation.
Intelligence-gathering is the main organ of the body of a People’s Army, meaning it gives the leadership overall information of the enemy’s intentions, and thereby helps create strategy and tactics to counteract the enemy in various phases of the ongoing conflict. The Law of Probability in utilizing information, that is, information gathering, is the proper guide to waging war in an asymmetrical war as well as in a symmetrical war. But be forewarned: As Clausewitz succinctly noted about intelligence-gathering and war in general: “A great part of the information obtained in War is contradictory, a still greater part is false, and by far the greatest part is of a doubtful character. What is required of an officer is a certain power of discrimination, which only knowledge of men and things and good judgment can give.”
Such is a war by any means which is also the creation of an intelligence information army group that must be adopted in order to guarantee a leveling of the battle field when fighting against a larger and more disciplined and well-equipped enemy.
IV. The Body Politic of a Resistance Army
During a period of national oppression, especially during the rise of a fascist state at the beginning of a war from outside or inside the borders of a nation-state, one must create a national feeling of Resistance as a force of unity against the overall fascist threat. Much of this body politic of moral powers - both political and creative - can be generated by a military commander or military commanders. Such profound military leaders should be studied among the history of the Marshals, Generals, and Chief of Staff personnel, especially under Stalin during the Great Patriotic War. Perhaps equally important to study and learn from are the histories of Resistance or partisan armies such as Soviet Partisans in the former Soviet Union; French and Italian Resistance fighting groups who fought during the occupations of France and Italy under German fascist occupation.
The concept of war in the modern world is “a special business,” to quote Clausewitz. Not only that, “Everyone imposes his own system as far as his army can reach,” as Stalin postulated. Which is to say, an army, traditional or an asymmetrical military force, is only as good as its leadership and overall discipline. To study the morale and body politic, for instance, of the Cuban insurgency army, the Algerian insurgency, and to look further into the annuals of military history to see how Simon Bolivar raised the banner of insurgency of the South American peoples against Spanish Imperialism in his day, is to give more enrichment to an understanding of insurgency armies in military science and military history.
In nuclear war, wherein the invader seeks to totally annihilate a people’s way of life, there's the option to succumb to fear and to self-destruct as a people of a nation-state, OR to resist and fight. During the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese fascist government accepted unconditional surrender to the imperialist power, the United States of America. However, history should not be written, or rewritten, as a series of slogans.
And so, in its dialectical process, history has moved into the era of a more profound People’s War that stands as a higher form of dignity, rather than the modern imperial wars waged for ‘National Self-Interest’ or ‘Democracy and Freedom’. What we have now is the propulsive spirit of the people, directing their power like a latent volcano soon unleashed, ready to erupt against those who wish to destroy them by means of a nuclear terror attack. The people, like their army of Resistance, should not panic or manifest a mode of “sauve qui peut” as Clausewitz warned. No, it should not be “every man for himself” - but instead manifest a Resistance movement with its army growing by temperament and steady degrees into fired steel.