A few notes
Monday, July 9, 2007
In South Asia, communist radicals (called Maoists) are becoming increasingly successful by using tactics that are likely to give them the maximum positive media coverage. For the Maoists, the most important thing is to appear invincible. Maoists are now doing this by only making attacks on security forces that are almost certain to succeed. This means assembling up to a thousand fighters, in a rural area, for an attack on a police or army base. This is called a "swarming attack." Not all the attackers will have firearms, but they will outnumber the defenders by about ten to one. Attacking at night, and on a strict schedule (so as to be gone before reinforcements show up), it almost always succeeds. This tactic is an ancient one, but was popularized by the communists during the people's war to take over China in the 1930s and 40s. Vietnamese communists later used the tactic successfully against the French in the 1950s, but less successfully against the Americans and South Vietnamese in the 1960s. The Indian Maoists are using the dozen or so swarming attack operations in the last year to obtain favorable media coverage. Favorable in the sense that the Maoists will appear invincible.
The second tactic borrowed from the Nepalese Maoists is the blockade. This involves having teams of gunmen halt truck traffic over a wide area. This involves roadblocks (where the police won't rapidly destroy them). These blockades are enforced for a few days, whatever the Maoists believe they can actually do. Again, the media reports the impact of the blockade.
The Maoists are popular in many poor, and rural, parts of India. The Maoists are something like Robin Hood, in that they attack the local gentry, for the benefit of the poor. The army considers the Maoists a police problem, and that they will apparently remain.
Maoist rebels in India are concentrating their combat operations in the eastern India states of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. There, two thirds of the 1,509 Maoist attacks in the last year occurred. The government has sent 33 additional battalions of security troops to the area, and another 29 battalions are on the way. The government is also spending half a billion dollars on infrastructure in the area, to 'address' some of the 'social ills'.
posted by Resistance 7/09/2007 08:41:00 AM,