"This pamphlet contains key definitions and analytic guides applicable to any insurgency. Analysts with knowledge of the political, military, and socioeconomic characteristics of a specific insurgency will find these definitions and frameworks helpful in evaluating the major components of the conflict. Among other things, this guide is designed to assist in conducting a net assessment of the overall status or progress of a specific conflict. Insurgency is a protracted political-military activity directed toward completely or partially controlling the resources of a country through the use of irregular military forces and illegal political organizations. Insurgent activity-including guerrilla warfare, terrorism, and political mobilization, for example, propaganda, recruitment, front and covert party organization, and international activity-is designed to weaken government control and legitimacy while increasing insurgent control and legitimacy. The common denominator of most insurgent groups is their desire to control a particular area. This objective differentiates insurgent groups from purely terrorist organizations, whose objectives do not include the creation of an alternative government capable of controlling a given area or country."
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/