Insurgent Tactics is a new series of articles that will dive deep into the tactics American forces face in various insurgencies across the globe. The purpose of these articles is to give the American people an idea of what Joe faces on the asymmetric battlefield. Today’s article will cover an insurgent tactic known as the complex ambush.

The Complex Ambush

Ambushes are the most common insurgent Opposing Force (OPFOR) tactic and are common in any guerilla playbook. The element of surprise is immensely valuable on the battlefield and any half-wit insurgent understands that.

A complex ambush will often involve skilled and intelligent insurgents that show a high degree of planning and frequently several moving parts, as well as disciplined troops. Complex ambushes often aim to maximize casualties as quickly as possible to undermine the ability of coalition forces to receive quick reaction force (QRF) and air support.

Throughout the Global War on Terror, insurgent forces have used countless means to initiate an ambush. The two most common are explosive- and small arms-initiated ambushes. A complex ambush will often involve a mixture of small arms and explosives to both maximize casualties, instill chaos and confusion, and cover the retreat of insurgent forces.