insurgent state

INSURGENT STATE is a term that refers to the creation of a geographic area that not only claims independence from the larger state, but whose leaders and policies also seek to replace the existing political order and state, or to become independent. It is not a segment of the country that seeks independence (civil war). It is a state within a state whose leaders seek total control of the existing state. It is not an ENCLAVE, as it is not a base or colony of another external, state or power.

While not a new phenomenon, the conscious use of GUERRILLA BASES to form a proto-state is largely the product of Mao Zedong in his war to become ruler of all CHINA in the 1920s. Since then, the practice of creating distinct geographic areas that are beyond the control of the central government, and which also seek to replace that government or become wholly separate, has become widespread. The Sendero Luminoso in PERU, Che Guevara’s foco model for BOLIVIA, the current creation and recognition of separate political areas in COLOMBIA, and the numerous rebel-controlled areas in Africa, all provide examples of this process.

It is a case of using geography to change politics (the geography behind politics). It is not the same as creating colonies and thus colonialism. If the base should seek only regional autonomy or a redress of local grievance, then it is not an insurgent state. It would be a guerrilla base or bandit area.

In the 21st century, the al Qaeda movement created by Osama bin Laden has changed the scale for the creation of a politically focused insurgent state from local to global. This movement seeks to establish insurgent states among conservative Muslims, and then to use these bases (insurgent states) to change regional and perhaps global governments. However, this is not the first such movement to seek a global change using small enclaves. The early Christians and later the Roman Catholic Church have used similar techniques in pursuit of their goals.