The Malay-Muslim Insurgency in Southern Thailand--Understanding the Conflict's Evolving Dynamic

The Malay-Muslim Insurgency in Southern Thailand--Understanding the Conflict's Evolving Dynamic: RAND Counterinsurgency Study--Paper 5

Peter Chalk
Copyright Date: 2008
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 38
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/op198osd
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  • Book Info
    The Malay-Muslim Insurgency in Southern Thailand--Understanding the Conflict's Evolving Dynamic
    Book Description:

    Current unrest in the Malay-Muslim provinces of southern Thailand hascaptured growing national, regional, and international attention due to theheightened tempo and scale of rebel attacks, the increasingly jihadistundertone that has come to characterize insurgent actions, and the centralgovernment's often brutal handling of the situation on the ground. Thispaper assesses the current situation and its probable direction.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4534-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Summary
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    Separatist violence in the Malay-Muslim provinces of Yala, Narathiwat, and Pattani is not new, with a history that goes back nearly half a century. However, unrest in this part of Thailand has captured growing national, regional, and international attention during the past several years due to the heightened tempo and scale of rebel attacks, the increasingly jihadist undertone that has come to characterize insurgent actions, and the central government’s often brutal handling of the situation on the ground. In addition, there are growing concerns that the conflict is no longer purely local and at risk of being hijacked by outside...

  7. CHAPTER TWO The Insurgency
    (pp. 5-12)

    The insurgency can be divided into three broad phases: 1960–1998, 1998–2004, and 2004 to the present.

    Between 1960 and 1998, a variety of militant separatist movements operated in the southern Thai provinces. While different ideological and operational outlooks characterized these groups, they were all motivated by a common desire to carve out an independent Muslim state with Pattani as the center. Violent action in pursuit of this objective typically fell into the classic pattern of low-intensity conflict, generally involving ambushes, kidnappings, assassinations, extortion, sabotage, and bomb attacks. The main aims were to present the southern provinces as an...

  8. CHAPTER THREE A New Front in the Global Jihad?
    (pp. 13-20)

    Several Western and regional commentators have expressed concern that the altered and more acute nature of post-2004 unrest in the Malay-Muslim provinces is indicative of a growing penetration involving radicals with links to (the Indonesia-based) Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and, through this movement, to the broader global jihadist network. In particular, a fear remains that a process of fanatical Arabization, similar to that which has occurred in the outlying areas of the Philippine archipelago, may now be taking place in Thailand’s deep south, possibly heralding the emergence of a new tactical center for anti-Western attacks in Southeast Asia.¹

    Compounding these fears...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Conclusion: Future Prospects
    (pp. 21-22)

    It remains to be seen how the new political environment that has been brought about in Thailand as a result of the September 2006 army coup and subsequent institution of a civilian-led government under the People’s Power Party (PPP) will affect Bangkok’s overall response to the insurgency. Encouragingly, General Sonthi Boonyaratkalin, who orchestrated the military takeover and who was instrumental in appointing new members of an interim administration, immediately signaled that he was ready to negotiate with rebels in the south. Just as significant, his designated prime minister, Surayud Chulanont, issued a public apology for past hard-line government policies and,...

  10. Bibliography
    (pp. 23-28)