The past week has been dominated by insurgent of ISIS in Iraq. I came across one interesting articles (http://www.vox.com/2014/6/13/5803712/11-things-iraq-crisis-isis) providing the background information about the Group and how it operates. Immediately I was struck by similarities in operation of this group and various insurgent groups operating in India especially Maoist groups which has now spread to about 200 districts (the infamous red-corridor).
Based on facts provided in articles I propose a short security strategy which could be employed to solve the insurgency and prevent them from further expansion. The basic of this strategy is to understand their modus operandi and then cut the roots of their bases. The correct diagnosis is first step towards the solution of any problem.
- The articles mention that “ISIS raises money like a government”. The same applies to Maoist operating in most intensive areas of Red corridor. (Same goes for insurgents operating in north east region of country). So how do we tackle this?
As articles state
“This money goes a long way: it pays better salaries than moderate Syrian rebels or the Syrian and Iraqi professional militaries, both of which have suffered mass desertions.”
Sustained revenue source allows insurgents like Maoist to pay better salaries (in relatively underdeveloped areas where employment opportunities are few, insurgent recruitment become a lucrative professions/vocation in absence of alternatives), provide rudimentary public services to people in local areas (off course lack of government apparatus is fertile ground and provides the base for start of their activities) and procure modern weapons and machinery besides spending a chunk on spreading the propaganda and logistics.
So basic and starting point need to be cutting the financial nerve. Without sustained finance no one would be able to operate such a huge operation against the state.
Chock the funding and constant revenue stream and they will die natural death. While it need the analysis (probably various govt agencies already have information about different revenue streams) of source and then their modus operandi to cut the linkage. One of starting point can be cutting the extortion racket these rebels run with help (or helplessness) of corporate operating in these areas (Hafta Vasuli from businesses operating in mining areas and other industries). Beside it they operate various kind of illegal activates ranging from selling the forest timbers, illegal mining operation and taking share of vast amount of development expenditure in region ends up in pockets of rebels.
One way to secure that no development money end up in Maoist hand is giving the Military and Paramilitary Forces (Organisations like BRO, Military Engineers Corps.) the power to execute the Infrastructure work. This would end the practice of involving (almost compulsorily) local contractor who are no on but their sympathisers or local cadres themselves. Can we, say for 5-yr, not involves any private contractor in developing local infrastructure work in these areas. Recent Govt of Chhattisgarh’s decision to hire the services of Technical Personals with central support for this cause is step in right direction.
2. Article also states that
“it’s also hugely important as a safe zone. When fighting Syrian troops, ISIS can safely retreat to Iraq; when fighting Iraqis it can go to Syria. Statistical evidence says these safe “rear areas” help insurgents win: one of the best predictors of insurgent success that we have to date is the presence of a rear area,”
The same factor is one of main reason for continued existence of Maoist rebels in border areas or in proximity to interstate borders. This is where the Effective Inter State Coordination could play a crucial role. So far centre has been reluctant player in whole security strategy. Central government has limited its roles to providing the financial and manpower support with not much focus on hand-on approach which involve ensure effective inter-state coordination (i.e. national Strategy). The Central Forces operating in these areas need to be provided the mandate to operate in inter-state region without any procedural hindrance in pursuance of their goal. Also there is need for better coordination among the various ‘special Anti-Naxal Squads’ to work across the border and make their operational collaboration effective.
Failure of lack of coordinated approach was most visible when ‘effective action in AP leads to shift of their base in other bordering areas’. Today Andhra based cadre is providing the main central leadership to Maoist movement.
A coherent integrated national strategy to tackle the issue of inter-state coordination at conceptual & operational is urgently required.
3. Article further states that
“Yet Iraqi troops ran because they simply didn’t want to fight and die for this government.”
The morale of forces plays a very important role in any combat operation.The psychological war fare is big part of actual warfare whether it is conventional or sub-conventional /guerrilla warfare. The forces need to provide comfortable living conditions along with financial and logistic support. Since these serve in high risk zone and difficult terrain, extra remuneration needs to be provided for those serving in hard territories. It is a open fact that forces need to fight battle simultaneously on two fronts- one fighting the local conditions (lack of logistics , basic health services, danger of diseases like malaria) and other with the rebels operating in familiar terrain. We need to avoid this double combat by provide better logistics, finance , equipment , technology to make their life comfortable and a assurance that people of country are with them if something happens to them. They need to be assured to financial security.
Providing basic facilities to security forces along with extra remuneration would help to raise the morale of forces, which play a crucial role in their performance.
I have restricted myself to providing some of points of possible security strategy which need urgent attention to tackle the previous Prime Minister has descried as ‘Biggest threat to National Security’. It is not a exhaustic and nor it includes the developmental strategy which need to be at core to address the issue of underdevelopment (which hopefully present government would focus on if manifesto and campaign is yardstick to measure)