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Old 07-15-2012   #121
Bob's World
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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.
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"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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Old 07-15-2012   #122
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Default Reconciliation via sports?

In a bizarre twist and undoubtedly some Sri Lankan "spin" here:
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Former Tamil Tiger snipers have been selected to represent Sri Lanka in shooting sports at national level. They are among 16 picked at a talent-spotting camp held for ex-fighters last month. Others will represent Sri Lanka in swimming, athletics and cricket.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18831958
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Old 07-16-2012   #123
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Bob,

It is hard to tell based on media bias, but the government is reaching out to the Tamils to resolve the underlying issues. Whether they're successful or not is yet to be seen. Understandably they're frustrated with illegitimate reporting and spin, and while that doesn't excuse disappearing reporters, it does point out that the media is in capable of professional, non-bias reporting, and simply continues to beat up the government. Some of it deserved, some of it not so much. The government also needs to maintain legitimacy with the Singhalese, and the racial divide and hatred after decades of war will not make easy for the government to come up with solutions that are acceptable to all.

Dave, saw that report earlier, it is a small step in the right direction. If Tamils accept a Sri Lankan identity and the Singhalese accept the Tamils as equal citizens, then a lasting peace may be obtainable. Sports may be a viable venue to provide that identity.
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Old 11-13-2012   #124
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Default R2P by the UN: not here thank you!

A BBC report on an issue that appears to have been swept off the agenda:
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The United Nations failed in its mandate to protect civilians in the last months of Sri Lanka's bloody civil war, a leaked draft of a highly critical internal UN report says. "Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN," it concludes. The government and Tamil rebels are accused of war crimes in the brutal conflict which ended in May 2009.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20308610

Interesting tactic by the Sri Lankan state:
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It also points to the Sri Lankan government's "stratagem of intimidation", including "control of visas to sanction staff critical of the state". The result was a UN system dominated by "a culture of trade-offs" - UN staff chose not to speak out against the government in an effort to try to improve humanitarian access.
Certainly not unique.
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Old 11-13-2012   #125
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Any idea of what the so called 'leaked' UN report on the Sri Lankan 'victory' is all about?

I was listening to the BBC World but since I joined at the end I could not get the essence.

Any links to this UN report?

Last edited by Ray; 11-13-2012 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 11-13-2012   #126
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Default UN Report available?

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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Any idea of what the so called 'leaked' UN report on the Sri Lankan 'victory' is all about?..... Any links to this UN report?
Ray,

My reading is that the official UN report has yet to be published, partly as the Secretary-General has to read it.
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Old 08-28-2013   #127
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Default Book Review

From the book review section of 'Perspectives on Terrorism', an e-academic journal:
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Ahmed S. Hashim, When Counterinsurgency Wins: Sri Lanka’s Defeat of the Tamil Tigers. (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 280 pages, US $59.95 [Hardcover],
ISBN: 978-0-8122-4452-6.

A highly authoritative and up-to-date study about the protracted civil war in Sri Lanka, which was terminated with the military defeat by government forces of the separatist Tamil Tigers in 2009. The author discusses the evolution of the military measures that ultimately won the intractable insurgency - a conflict which for many years was viewed as unwinnable by the Sinhalese government’s forces - although its military victory came at the cost of human rights violations (and the Tamil insurgents engaged in such violations as well). Also discussed are lessons learned about terrorist tactics by the Tamil Tigers that have been emulated by terrorist groups such as Hizballah, Hamas, as well as al Qaida-affiliated groups in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. The author also discusses whether the Sri Lankan government’s counterinsurgency tactics are worthy of being implemented by other governments facing their own protracted terrorist insurgencies.
Link:http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/...e/view/285/576

The book on Amazon, with no reviews:http://www.amazon.com/When-Counterin...e+Tamil+Tigers
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Old 09-03-2013   #128
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A piece from last Friday at Salon.com about the Sri Lankan military’s role in the country’s economy. [LINK]
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Old 06-27-2014   #129
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Elsewhere on SWC and SWJ Blog the Sri Lankan option, the final or most recent stage in the conflict have been discussed. It maybe worth checking in.

First 'Nigeria Military Studies Sri Lankan Tactics for Use Against Boko Haram', with an exchange:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/nig...nst-boko-haram

Second 'Can the Sri Lanka Army be Described as a Counterinsurgency Force?', a SWJ article:http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art...surgency-force
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Old 07-01-2014   #130
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Much of what is stated is from the military standpoint.

A conflict is not purely military. It has it historical and sociological issues that make it a military issue.

The LTTE case is unique and one has to understand.

The animosity of the Buddhist majority towards the Tamil is historical and they don't honestly recognise that Tamils belong to Sri Lanka. Therefore, there is no love lost if the Tamils exist or they are wiped out.

The animosity is more intense because the Tamils flourished under the British since they learnt English and were in positions of influence that were open to the 'natives'.

On the other hand, the majority Buddhist Sri Lankans looked upon the British as interlopers who came to subjugate them. They boycotted the British and did not learn English and so were left out in the blue whereas the Tamils (who in the first place the Buddhists did not feel belonged to Sri Lanka or Ceylon then) were ruling the roost, after the British.

One of the thing the Sri Lanka Govt did was abolish English and adopted Singhalese Only (the majority Buddhist's language) so that the Tamils did not have the advantage. Then more restrictions were placed. This cause the Tamil heartburn and the LTTE was born.

Therefore, given the equation, wiping out the Tamils ruthlessly and without a care for Human Rights, was not taken to be a crime, and instead applauded.
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Old 07-01-2014   #131
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Well put...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray View Post
Therefore, given the equation, wiping out the Tamils ruthlessly and without a care for Human Rights, was not taken to be a crime, and instead applauded.
Indeed, and as I have said before, this approach to any conflict can not be adopted by any western country directly or even through proxies.

Last edited by JMA; 07-01-2014 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 02-13-2017   #132
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Default Looking back to Sri Lanka's war

Just discovered an old, 2013 review of 'Total Destruction of the Tamil Tigers: The Rare Victory of Sri Lanka's Long War' by Paul Moorcraft; it was in The Spectator, but the only complete online review is elsewhere and is an exact copy:http://sangam.org/review-total-destruction-tigers/

Amazon USA:https://www.amazon.com/Total-Destruc...0%99s+Long+War

Amazon UK:https://www.amazon.co.uk/Total-Destr...paul+moorcraft

Two quotes from the review:
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The simmering idea that permeates this book, that ultra-violence is a way, albeit a bloody one, effectively to conquer insurgency, is therefore predicated on a false idea that the Tamil issue is now resolved.
Then a list of the 'Colombo's approach' from an Indian expert:
Quote:
Political will
Go to hell (Ignore domestic and international criticism)
But keep important neighbours in the loop
No negotiations
Control the media
No ceasefire
Complete operational freedom
Promote young and able commanders
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-13-2017 at 10:46 AM. Reason: 46,455v when re-opeened to add this post
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