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MANTRAYA OCCASIONAL PAPER #03: 06 MAY 2017

The Thai Southern Insurgency: External view of the Way Forward

Thomas A. Marks

Abstract

As insurgency continues in the Thai Southern Border Provinces (SBP), external commentary, overwhelmingly in academia, remains the primary source of suggestions for how Bangkok should proceed.  Discussion falls into three major threads, ranging from designating a special status (e.g., autonomy) to improving the efficiency of the “counterterrorism” effort, with the most relevant treatment distinguished by its specific knowledge of the insurgents themselves within the larger SBP context.  Though Thai short-term approaches have been adequate, they throw open the long-term possibility of internationalization of the conflict through institutionalizing process at the expense of a search for a viable political solution.
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MANTRAYA OCCASIONAL PAPER #02: 28 JANUARY 2017

Enduring Dilemmas: Nepali Insurgency Redux

Thomas A. Marks

Abstract

Though touted as acceptance of political reintegration, the Nepali Maoist move to end the 1996-2006 overt hostilities was at the time tactical rather than strategic. The party had no intention of supporting a parliamentary version of democracy and thus, for most of the 2006-2016 period, engaged in a covert effort to seize power. In this effort, it made ample use of terrorism. Ultimately, organizational, national, and regional circumstances caused the main Maoist movement to move decisively away from its covert approach. By that time, however, radical splinters had embraced the use of terrorism against rival political actors, creating a situation whereby local politics is yet a dangerous endeavor in circumstances and places.

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MANTRAYA OCCASIONAL PAPER #01: 27 MAY 2016

Sri Lanka: Assessment of the End-Game

Thomas A. Marks

Abstract

Much has already been written concerning the dramatic climax of three decades of war in Sri Lanka.  Still, much remains to be assessed.  This is imperative, for the conflict, one of the most complex in recent history, provides a window into the heart of 21st century “new war.” The insurgency of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) privileged terrorism as a method of action yet ultimately fielded land, air, and sea regular forces, rounded out by powerful special operations and information capabilities. LTTE grew in capacity until it was capable of forcing the government to agree to a February 2002 ceasefire and the de facto existence of a Tamil state, or Tamil Eelam. It was this victory of sorts that produced a host of unforeseen consequences and led to the July 2006 resumption of hostilities that resulted in May 2009 total victory in the field for Colombo.

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