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Thread: Managing COIN: Lessons from Malaya

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  1. #1
    Council Member sullygoarmy's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Fort Stewart


    Ladwig's article was interesting. I have an article coming out in a few months in Military Review on General Templars' leadership in the Malayan Emergency. A few key points that I missed in Ladwing's article, however. Although the Malayan Emergency does provide some valuable COIN lessons, there were two big factors which makes this insurgency different than most other. First, the population the insurgency was trying to influence (ethnic Chinese) were the minority in Malaya. Right from the start, even if you win over every single ethnic Chinese in Malaya, you're still outnumbered. Second, the insurgent's stated objective of an independent (albeit communist) Malaya was actually in the British hands. They alone held the key to grant Malaya its indepedence, and on their terms. When they finally did grant Malaya its independance in 1957, the insurgents no longer had their main theme to fight independant Malaya.

    Some lessons learned from the British experience in Malaya that I find relevant to today's fight include the use of small patrols versus large battalion "jungle sweeps", turning former insurgents against their peers, the extensive use of psyops operations in the conflict, the continuing goal to train and update TTPs for ALL security forces operating in Malaya by way of the ATOM book (there's good reprint available from Hailer Publishing) and training schools. Additionally, leadership lessons are abundant especially with GEN Templar took command. His personal leadership, IMHO, turned the tide against the insurgents.
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 05-14-2007 at 08:27 PM. Reason: Created new Malaya thread.
    "But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet withstanding, go out to meet it."


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