Join Date: Nov 2008
Like most militant arms of an active insurgency, it is probably true to say that the LTTE did not represent the majority of the Tamil populace.
Equally true, I suspect, that the major reasons that led Tamils to join the LTTE and to fight the government were largely shared throughout the populace, and that those reasons are stronger now than ever before. Just because a group does not represent the populace does not means its reasons for fighting are not widely shared.
The government has imposed an artificial state of stability through force of arms, and now sustains it in the same manner. The government of Sri Lanka waged counterinsurgent or counter guerrilla operations, not COIN. A defeated insurgent organization is in no way a resolved insurgency - regardless of what our history books say.
My advice to the government of Sri Lanka is to reconcile with the Tamil populace and to work to fully integrate them into the nation with the same equity, respect and justice offered to all. And to ensure that the entire Sri Lanken populace perceives they possess trusted, certain and legal means to shape their governance. Once they work to do this they will be conducting COIN. States that do this enjoy a true stability, states that do not are either unstable or artificially stable.
What is the role for the US military in engaging with states in any of these three forms of stability? Well first, don't follow US military Stability doctrine, as that is simply about imposing a system of artificial stability. Stability is not a "phase" or an "operation", it is in truth the ultimate goal. Once we gain a clear sense of that fact, then we can tailor our approaches so as to help someone else in their efforts to attain natural stability, but in large part it isn't a mission demanding a great deal of US military activity. Military forces are not very good at creating natural stability (though are necessary to protect such stabile societiies from those internal and external parties who would seek to destroy the systems and trust that make such stability possible)
The path to true stability is not all that difficult, the problem is that so many governments pointedly refuse to take it. Such governments (and many of these are ones we are supporting vigorously in our little war on terrorism) simply prefer the status quo and accept the associated friction and violence as a cost of holding onto what they have.
Robert C. Jones
Intellectus Supra Scientia
"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
Last edited by Bob's World; 07-15-2012 at 06:45 PM.
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