I remember hearing in a discussion about modern geopolitics and military strategy how modern terrorist groups for a Western liberal democracy. The technological advantage most modern militaries have over terrorist groups (who are often civilians or from poorer countries, or both) is completely nullified because terrorists don't fight face-to-face battles. Additionally, there is no clear path to victory, there is no singular leader of a nation-state that can be toppled for the war to end and the terrorists don't fight like a conventional military, eschewing uniforms and hiding among civilians. Globalization and widespread mass media makes it a lot easier for terrorists to spread an atmosphere of terror, because news travels a lot more widely than in the past. And because most Western countries have lines they are reluctant to cross due to either humanitarian concerns or sanctions from other nations, they can't employ the brutal tactics that ancient empires used to handle armed guerilla resistance (which was mostly either lock down the province through military rule or if all else failed just kill everyone until the attacks stopped).
That got me thinking. From a fictional perspective, wouldn't an uprising by a group of organized werewolves be even worse than an IRL terrorist group, because the same factors that make terrorist groups so effective against modern militaries are also present in werewolves but on steroids.
- The main danger from werewolves is that they could strike anywhere with very little warning and overwhelming force before anyone arrives, and then retreat before organized retaliation comes. Basic asymmetric warfare you see in any terrorist or resistance group. And unlike IRL terrorists, who usually have the same handicaps soldiers have in being slow bipeds with little ability to see in the dark, werewolves have a huge advantage in mobility, night vision, and senses (hearing, smell) in wolf form, which means they can more easily single out targets or attack in conditions humans couldn't. E.g., you can't spot an incoming werewolf by looking for their flashlight.
- Werewolves could be anyone. Much like how modern militaries struggle with terrorist groups because the terrorists spend most of their time hiding among civilians, werewolves spend most of their time blending in with the local people. It's even worse than IRL terrorists because it would be hard to link a wolf to their human form. About the only way you could easily identify them is if the werewolves follow the old rule that injuries in wolf form carry over to human form.
- Werewolves can bypass a lot of the retaliation from humans. Werewolf packs are basically akin to man-eating tigers but organized. Man-eating tigers will win when they attack an unsuspecting human nine times out of ten. But usually what happens is the humans create a hunting party, hunt it down, and kill it. By contrast, werewolves can avoid hunting parties by blending in with the populace, but if the military tries to flush them out by instituting military curfew the werewolves can just go run off into the wilderness and eat deer until the heat dies down. They would basically form one of those survivalist communes which are notoriously difficult to track down.
- The werewolves can abuse the socio-political situation to their advantage. I can see two major ways this could happen:
1. The werewolves could organize their uprising to incite harsh military retaliation on the civilian populace. Because the military can't easily identify the werewolves, the easiest thing to do would be impose harsh martial law so nobody can slip around unnoticed, and that might get harsher as werewolf attacks get more brazen. Avoiding targeting civilian targets could sway the locals to be more sympathetic to the werewolves than the occupying military force. Eventually the civilians might get so fed up with the military they revolt against them, their line of thought being "at least the werewolves don't oppress us". Overall it would be a planned campaign to turn public opinion against military action due to war weariness and harsh actions, akin to what the North Vietnamese did to win in Vietnam. Either that or an outright false flag operation to get people at each other's throats by making them believe the other group are werewolves.
2. They can frame the narrative to put them in a good light, framing it as a marginalized people being brutally oppressed by the local government to win support from people outside the war zone. Whether or not the setting is one where the werewolves genuinely are an oppressed people seeking public support for their plight or if they are monsters with a fake sob story trying to manipulate humanity doesn't matter, what matters is that in the present society this would most likely work as long as the werewolves don't blow it.
EDIT: @user535733's answer highlighted that I wasn't really clear about the werewolves' overall methodology, so I thought I should clarify it. I wasn't really thinking of the precise strategy in order to avoid making the question story based, but I was more thinking of a situation where you have left-hand versus right-hand shenanigans where some werewolf groups want a peaceful resolution to the conflict by exploiting war weariness (but decidedly not engaging in terrorism) and others want a violent solution by force of arms. The only thing the groups can agree on is they want some kind of territorial sovereignty. Pretty much like every revolutionary movement throughout history.
However, I can see the werewolves having some weaknesses.
- The werewolves can't really hold territory. Doing so would negate their entire advantages over the human military, in that the military can't pin them down in one place to wipe them out. I'm reminded of what a historian once said about the Battle of Little Bighorn, where even though the Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho won territory against the U.S. cavalry, they couldn't hold it because they lacked the industrial base necessary to equip soldiers to where they could contest territory on even ground. Which basically meant they were forced to rely on asymmetrical warfare.
- I'm probably missing some more weaknesses, but for the sake of the argument lets say these werewolves aren't restricted to transforming on the full moon. This has become a common enough depiction in fiction, and if werewolves could only transform on the full moon it would mean they would pretty much not fight any different than a human army (and in fact would be weaker because they would be more predictable).
- Silver wouldn't be too much of an issue for the military, once the military found out that werewolves are hurt by silver it wouldn't take long for them to start equipping their soldiers with silver-tipped bullets. In my setting silver isn't an insta-kill for werewolves (though at the same time they can still be killed with regular firearms, it's just harder), but it shouldn't affect the question that much since eventually everyone would be wielding silver weaponry.
So given this, how would a modern military deal with an organized uprising from a group of werewolves? By this, I don't mean a small group of a dozen or so individuals like a single werewolf pack, but a more organized group composed of many packs in the high hundreds to low thousands, if not more, banding together and trying establish themselves as the sovereign power in control over somewhere like the Pacific Northwest or Rocky Mountain West of the U.S. or Canada, where they could really abuse the terrain to their advantage.
EDIT: @Mary suggested that I should update this question giving more detail as to the werewolves' goals, as that will affect how the werewolves' act and how the military responds. I would say the goals of the werewolves are the same as any other group who engages in asymmetric warfare: expelling the occupying/nominally ruling powers from their borders and having other nation-states recognize their territorial claims. They basically want to topple the local government and set up a werewolf-ruled state in…wherever this is set. The general plot idea was you had a bunch of werewolf packs get together in the Rocky Mountain west and go "Why are we in hiding from humans? Why don't we just set up our own nation where we're in charge if we have this supernatural power?"
To be clear, this is not intended to be a story-driven question. This is more a question of how the military would try to combat such a situation given current technology and tactics, not what the plot requires. I realize however the military does respond will be influenced heavily by the situation on the ground and the disposition of the commanders on both sides, but this is the case for any history or warfare-related question on this stack.