Three days after the ‘Great War’ was declared at midnight on the 4–5 August 1914, mobilisation orders were issued to marshal what would become the largest expeditionary force of that war and, arguably, of all wars till date. These instructions were issued by Lord Hardinge— the then Viceroy of India—resulting in Expeditionary Force ‘A’ that embarked for France within the month.
Counter-insurgency, referred to as COIN with the usual military fondness for abbreviations, is commonly understood as a military-centric effort that seeks to overwhelm the insurgents with superior numbers, firepower, technology, and funds. In countries like India, central paramilitary forces are enjoined to do so. The central premise in traditional COIN discourse is that insurgency is a military problem requiring a military solution.
The events of the last ten days have once again focussed international attention on the DRC and lent support to voices clamouring for a review of the existing mandate of MONUSCO and the larger process by which these mandates are concretized.
Despite focused efforts undertaken by China in the aftermath of the 2009 riots, it has not been able to and, perhaps may never be able to, answer the structural problems of the Uighur discontent in Xinjiang.