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Are insurgencies easier nowadays ?


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Think the quiescence of the PKK these days might be connected?

 

Watched a police parade in town today - we were well covered by sniper teams - sad

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I'm going to be contrarian and say "No". They are not IMHO easier, but harder and less likely to be successful. I think lately, they have been doomed without significant third party support. It may seem the opposite, but this is because of the distortion of mass media that magnifies the smallest gesture into a world event. Also, it's the only game in town. Large scale warfare is completely impractical.

 

Throughout most of history many areas were in a state of near continous insurgency that was checked by the powers that be every so often, but never truly beaten. How long was Wales in an insurgency? How about Scotland? Technology cuts both ways and I think has benefitted the state more than the insurgent at the final accounting. Ideology works more for the state also. Democracy is a powerful ideological weapon and has probably averted many insurgencies that never got past the band of screwballs stage. They never get any traction. How many insurgencies has the US suffered? (Was the revolt of the South an insurgency? It's a slippery concept anyway) There's been a lot of anti-government groups (KKK, Militias, Black Panthers) that never even make it to the insurgency level.

 

Here's a partial and incomplete ledger - maybe others can fill in the gaps:

 

Pre - 18th Cen:

Goths vs. Rome - succeeded

Scotland, Wales, etc. Not my strong area.

 

18th Cen:

US Revolution - succeeded

French Revolution - succeeded

 

19th Cen:

US South - defeated

US Native Americans - defeated

 

20th Cen:

Bolsheviks vs Russia - succeeded

French vs. Nazi Germany - on it's way to defeat AIUI

Vietnamese vs. France - succeeded

Vietnamese vs. US - defeated (Say again? The Viet Cong were destroyed as a force by Tet '68 - the war continued as a covert invasion by the North - not an insurgency - even so heavily backed by USSR and PRC)

Mujadeen vs. USSR - succeeded (with a lot of help from US)

Irish Catholics vs UK - defeated

Kurds vs. Iraq - defeated

Shiites vs. Iraq - defeated

Eritrea vs. Somalia - succeeded

 

Ongoing:

Sunnis vs. Iraq - They are doomed in the sense they will never rule Iraq again IMO. Making the US leave does not ensure their ultimate goals.

Basques vs. Spain - doomed to fail

Kurds vs. Turkey - They lost, but the Iraq situation has reopened the possibility it restarting. Would probably lose again.

Palestinians vs. Israel - I don't see them having a chance of defeating Israel or dictating terms. Will eventually have to take what Israel offers so it's going to be a loss. (They certainly will never get the country back)

Tamils vs. Sri Lanka - ?

Taliban vs. Afganistan - ?

Darfur vs. Sudan - losing

 

Kind of inconclusive so far, but I see no trend that says it's easier.

 

Regards,

 

Matt

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Watched a police parade in town today - we were well covered by sniper teams - sad

 

Say, WRW, I'm curious, where are you posting from? Your previous posted mentioned a 'PKK' so I was wondering....

 

TIA

 

NickM

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The French?

 

You weren't aware of this? The American Revolution was a direct cause of the French Revolution, and not because it was an "inspiration" to French revolutionaries.

 

France was already hurting economically from the French & Indian War (7 Years' War), when the American Revolution came along. Recognizing an opportunity to stick her thumb in the eye of the British, France gave financial support, and later direct military support to the Americans. Without French military aid and then direct participation, we'd not have won the war (Battle of the Grand Banks alone caused the surrender of the British under Cornwallis, never mind that a large portion of the troops besieging Yorktown were French as well).

 

So, the US wins the Revolution, France is bankrupt. Taxes are raised to pay off the debt, and meanwhile a succession of poor harvests leave a starving populace crying out for relief, which is not forthcoming from a bankrupt government. "Voila!" as the French would say, "La Revolucion!"

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Say, WRW, I'm curious, where are you posting from? Your previous posted mentioned a 'PKK' so I was wondering....

 

TIA

 

NickM

 

Greetings from Siirt in east Turkey

a bit like Connemara with bigger fields and less trees

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How many insurgencies has the US suffered? (Was the revolt of the South an insurgency? It's a slippery concept anyway) There's been a lot of anti-government groups (KKK, Militias, Black Panthers) that never even make it to the insurgency level.

 

I wouldn't classify the Civil war as an insurgency- it wasn't generally asymmetrical, which is what I think we're talking about here, not just rebellions against established powers. However, the resistance of the white South to Reconstruction was definitely an insurgency, and it was successful.

 

Others to add:

 

20th Century: Mexican Revolution- successful(but with significant US support).

 

Cristero War(Mexican Catholics vs. federal government)- military unsuccessful, although some political concessions were gained

 

Cuban Revolution(Castro vs. Batista)- successful

 

Cuba's "Foco Wars"(attempts to export the Cuban Revolution to the rest of Latin America): Unsuccessful

 

Shining Path vs. Peru- unsuccessful

Edited by Grant Whitley
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Here's a definition or two that might have some relevance:

 

Neo-Conservatism is an ideology associated with disenchanted US "liberals" (q.v.) who became influential within the Republican Party during the latter part of the twentieth century, based on faith in the power of markets and prices to order human affairs, irrespective of culture, politics and institutions. Unlike true Conservatism, it favours the selective use of big government in the pursuit of a Messianic ofreign policy and a re-moralizing domestic agenda.

 

Liberalism in the classical definition stands for limited government by consent, individual autonomy, economic freedom and religious toleration - thus strongly associated with anti-clericalism in mainland Europe. In the USA the term has become one of abuse directed at those espousing policies roughly corresponding to European Social Democracy.

 

These are from "Razor's Edge" Appendix A: Ideologies, by Hugh Bicheno.

 

I imagine that the quotation around liberals in the first definition is because the classical definition is being used, not the abusive one.

 

I find it mildly diverting that the ideology most closely aligned with the American Way has been turned into an insult by many Americans would like claim to follow many of its principles, but that's language creep for you :)

 

David

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Greetings from Siirt in east Turkey

a bit like Connemara with bigger fields and less trees

 

And a lot poorer -

 

Gross Domestic Product per capita

Year Region Code Region Name Gross Domestic Product per capita (YTL)

2001 TR Türkiye 2600

2001 TRC34 Siirt 1346

 

From - http://www.tuik.gov.tr/BolgeselIstatistik/tabloOlustur.do

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Greetings from Siirt in east Turkey

a bit like Connemara with bigger fields and less trees

 

 

Thanks...so it IS THAT PKK....Abdulla Ocalan's old bunch! Man are THEY still around?

 

NM

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Thanks...so it IS THAT PKK....Abdulla Ocalan's old bunch! Man are THEY still around?

 

NM

 

Never went away. Just went dormant for a time due to a number of reasons including the sense that Turkey might be slowly loosening. However the Government has been tightening the noose on "Kurdishness" again (or better said the hard right security establishment has been winning back influence) so it seems the fight is back on.

 

Interesting times :o

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Thanks...so it IS THAT PKK....Abdulla Ocalan's old bunch! Man are THEY still around?

 

NM

 

killed 9 security and lost 20 over easter, not 100 k from here

 

have so much routine chopper activity here I do not notice it anymore

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