Counter Insurgency

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  • Trends in Thinking about Warfare

    Militaries the world over need to study and understand lessons from the ongoing military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon, and the new knowledge needs to be placed in context. Neglected military history itself provides enduring lessons. This article attempts to capture the trends and debates in the understanding of current warfare and outlines how lessons of war are interpreted with a focus on future trends in war-fighting. The article concludes with some policy suggestions and areas for further inquiry.

    November 2009

    US-Induced Privatization of Security in Pakistan

    Pakistan faces a new challenge with the United States advocating privatization of security to deal with the country’s internal security challenges, a move that would also increase the level of American monitoring and supervisory capabilities.

    October 13, 2009

    The Indian Experience of Conflict Resolution in Mizoram

    The case of Mizoram in India provides informative lessons for conflict resolution. Factors such as addressing the root causes of the conflict, de-escalation in violence, empathizing with the conflicting actor, surrender policy for insurgents, indigenous mediators, absence of peace-spoilers, strengthening of local institutions, formation of a pan-Mizo identity and limited 'use of force' policy all played a role in establishing peace in Mizoram.

    July 2009

    Lawlessness in the Hills of Assam

    Following the arrest of one of the most wanted insurgent leaders of Assam, the state government must immediately act tough against other insurgent groups operating in the hill districts of the state.

    June 12, 2009

    The Case for Employing Non-Lethal Weapons

    At first glance, ‘Non-Lethal’ and ‘armed forces’ do not seem to go along, considering that the primary role of the military is to preserve national interests and safeguard territorial integrity, sovereignty and unity of India against external threats. However, changes in the security dynamics have embroiled the Indian Army more and more in the secondary task of providing assistance to government agencies to cope with internal threats as part of ‘Aid to Civil Authority’ when requisitioned for the purpose.

    June 03, 2009

    Learning the right lessons on the just concluded counter insurgency operations in Sri Lanka

    The death of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eeelam (LTTE) leader Prabhakran closes a chapter in the first counter insurgency success of the 21st century by military means. A greater challenge in nation building now faces the Sri Lankan people - integrating the Tamils in their society dominated by Sinhala Buddhists.

    Purely from a military point of view some important lessons and some areas of further inquiry emerge. In brief they are:

    May 22, 2009

    Talking to the Taliban: Will it Ensure 'Peace' in Afghanistan?

    The raging Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan underlines the limits of the use of military force. The lack of visible progress on the reconstruction activity and prevailing insecurity has alienated the Afghan populace in the remote villages of South and East Afghanistan. Given that the military option alone has limited utility in Counter-insurgency (COIN), there is a need to exercise an 'out-of-the-box' option to address the present stalemate.

    March 2009

    'Unity of Effort': The Missing Link in the Afghan Counter-insurgency Campaign

    More than six years after the initiation of Operation Enduring Freedom the Taliban and its affiliates are back, wreaking havoc on the fragile security situation and impeding development activity in Afghanistan. The Taliban-led insurgency is spreading its tentacles to new areas, with the relatively stable north swinging towards instability. This paper takes stock of the deteriorating security situation and singles out the lack of 'unity of effort' as a missing link in the international community's counter-insurgency campaign, contributing to its ineffectiveness in establishing security.

    September 2008

    Cracks in the ULFA

    The central leadership of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is under pressure following the announcement of a unilateral ceasefire by a section of its cadres. ULFA’s top leaders are likely to have a tough time ahead in keeping their outfit together. However, for the sake of peace and security of Assam, it is advisable for the Government of India to pursue the peace dialogue with a united ULFA rather than with a breakaway faction.

    July 02, 2008

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