Urban Battle Fields of South Asia

Urban Battle Fields of South Asia: Lessons Learned from Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan

C. Christine Fair
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 172
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg210a
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  • Book Info
    Urban Battle Fields of South Asia
    Book Description:

    Military operations in urban areas are among the most complex challenges confronting the U.S. Army. Compared to a number of other nations, the Army has relatively less experience operating in this environment. To that end, this monograph analyzes sustained campaigns of urban terrorism in Sri Lanka, India, and Pakistan, identifying key innovations of the militant organizations. It also details the three states' responses to the threats, noting successful as well as unsuccessful efforts.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4058-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Glossary
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka comprise three important states of South Asia. All have extensive experience with confronting civilian militant groups and criminal organizations that employ violence for various political, economic, and organizational ends. These states, particularly India and Sri Lanka, have contended, to varying degrees, with organized campaigns of violence in rural and jungle areas. For example, India has been struggling with insurgency in the dense jungle terrain of its northeast. Sri Lanka has also fought the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers) in the jungle terrain of the Jaffna Peninsula that forms...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Sri Lanka
    (pp. 11-68)

    This chapter focuses on the Tamil militancy and in particular on the efforts of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), also known as the Tamil Tigers. The Tigers, through the course of their some 20 years of operating, have evolved in substantial ways. The LTTE has developed a diverse organizational structure that in many ways resembles a conventional army; it includes several special functions, e.g., an amphibious element (Sea Tigers), a putative airborne group (the Air Tigers), and a suicide force (the Black Tigers). The LTTE also has a specialized intelligence unit as well as a subordinate political wing....

  11. CHAPTER THREE India
    (pp. 69-100)

    This chapter takes as its subject the militancy waged by Sikh separatists seeking an independent state, Khalistan, to be carved out of the north Indian state of the Punjab. This chapter focuses explicitly on developments within the movement following the 1984 Indian army raid on the Sikhs’ most sacred shrine: the Golden Temple. (This action was called Operation Bluestar.) Analysis of the post–Operation Bluestar militancy identified several innovations made by the Khalistani activists, which are detailed herein.

    Following Operation Bluestar, the militancy morphed into a distinctively more urban phenomenon. Operation Bluestar, perceived by many as a mass insult to...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Pakistan
    (pp. 101-132)

    This chapter examines two campaigns of urban violence in Pakistan: the anti-state violence of the Muttehida (formerly Muhajir) Qaumi Movement (MQM), and the sectarian violence perpetrated mostly by militant Sunni outfits against Pakistan’s minority Shi’a population. Examination of these case studies generally found that innovation among these militant groups was relatively flat. In many ways, the process of urbanization itself and the various social and economic changes that accompanied this wide-scale movement to Pakistan’s cities precipitated these forms of violence. Because those forms were generally urban in conception, the various movements learned to exploit the terrain of the city. For...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions
    (pp. 133-138)

    A number of common features emerge across these varied cases. Nearly every group discussed operates on a transnational scale to varying degrees. Even Pakistan’s sectarian and anti-state groups with limited political objectives obtain funding and support from states in the Gulf region or from their expatriate communities throughout the world. These transnational networks are effective for the movement of money, persons, and a host of other resources around the globe. These financial networks have become, justifiably, a major focus in the war on terrorism, and degrading them is understood to be critical to disrupting the ability of organizations to finance,...

  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 139-150)