“Economic Chaos and the Fragility of Democratic Transition in Former Communist Regimes,” by Raymond M. Duch, The Journal of Politics, Vol. 57, No. 1. (Feb., 1995), pp. 121-158, http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-3816%28199502%2957%3A1%3C121%3AECATFO%3E2.0.CO%3B2-5.
Under the rubric of systempunkt, John Robb has been pushing the idea that successful guerrillas will go after the schwerpunkt (center of gravity) of Western countries and their allies: money.
The combination of a bad weather and a storm have halted all Iraqi oil exports. Guerrillas hit a systempunkt — a pipeline gathering point for four fields — of the northern Iraqi oil network today with four bombs. This has totally shut down production from northern Iraq and the repairs will likely take a month to accomplish. In parallel, bad weather has shut down loading at the Basra offshore oil terminal completely shutting down the only remaining export point for Iraqi oil. It is important to note that not all damage from system disruption occurs as a direct result of attacks. Much of it happens when a stressed system is confronted with additional system perturbations. This incident a classic example of this (so was Katrina on a stressed US oil system).
Not only is this bad strategy generally: wise leaders go after their enemies’ weaknesses, not their strength, it is statistically unlikely to produce regime change (bold mine, italics the author’s, footnotes removed for clarity):
In the early reform period, perceptions of a declining economy promoted support for both free markets and Democracy in the former Soviet Union. And while there is some evidence in Latin America supporting the association of economic crisis and coups d’etat, the recent wave of democratization in Latin America during a period of economic crisis challenges this economic determinism argument). Political experience of the 1980s indicates that, even in Latin American countries facing serious economic and political crises, citizen attachments to democracy institutions are not undermined by acute economic crisis. Also challenging conventional wisdom, Zimmerman in Sallfeld present European historical evidence for the 1930s suggesting that economic chaos had little direct or indirect effect on the survival of democratic regimes in that period. And while many students of Eastern and Central European democratization have argued that political and economic reforms are seriously threatened by the economic chaos that has accompanied the reform process, the reforms are proving resilient.
Certainly countries with corrupt governments that do not reform might see their public turn against them, but “systempunkt”-style attacks would not be the cause: pre-existing general government paralyze would be.
Global Guerrillaism is the application of 3G ideology to guerrilla wars. It is built to fail.