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Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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TAMIL NATION LIBRARY: War & Armed Conflict
- a continuation of politics by other means -

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Ann, Adele Women Fighters of Liberation Tigers, LTTE International Secretariat, London, 1993

This work provides a brief historical sketch of the birth, growth and development of the Women�s Military Unit of the LTTE. It documents, m some detail, the engagement of the women fighters in various armed combats in the liberation war.

* M. Cherif BassiouniInternational Terrorism: Multilateral Conventions (1937-2001)

*Blodgett, Brian : Sri Lanka�s military: The Search For A Mission, July 2004

"This book explores the change of Sri Lanka's military's mission from protecting the country from external threats to countering insurgencies. From 1947 to 2004, Sri Lanka's military has searched for a mission. When its initial worry of an invasion by India did not materialize, the military turned its focus on internal insurrection. With an expected end to the 20-year conflict between the Jaffna Tamils and the Sinhalese government, the military's mission will return to external defense. However, without significant external or internal threats, the government will neglect the military and it will again become incapable of defending against any threat. This book exams all aspects of the three services (army, navy, and air force). Each chapter covers a decade of history and includes each service's mission, operations, doctrine and tactics, command and organization, weapon procurement and existing weapons, personnel, retention, recruitment, training, and summaries of each decade."

* Fredric Boyce SOE's Ultimate Deception: Operation Periwig

"We should redouble our efforts to find a solution to the problem of reducing the German will to resist and then bring every appropriate weapon to bear to achieve this end." -  General Dwight D.Eisenhower to Combined Chiefs of Staff, 20 November 1944

From the backflap: "In the closing months of the Second  World War in Europe, General Dwight D. Eisenhower exhorted the Western Allied forces to redouble their efforts to break the German will to resist. In considering this appeal, General Gubbins, whose Special Operations Executive (SOE) had accomplished much in the liberation of occupied territory, was faced with a fundamental difficulty in the case of Germany. Although some opposition to Nazism existed, it was neither organised nor pro-Allied. He could not see how he could foment administrative breakdown within the Reich to assist the Allied forces in overrunning Germany. Then someone had the idea of creating an entirely fictional German resistance movement and `selling' it to the Nazi security authorities. Thus Operation Periwig - SOE's enterprising plan to destabilise the Third Reich from within - was born.  From January until April 1945 the Allies rained propaganda leaflets on the retreating German troops and displaced civilians fleeing the oncoming Allied ground forces; they broadcast messages to the (imaginary) `resistance'; they planted the most scandalous lies about eminent Nazis; and at the end they even dropped four agents on fictitious missions.
In this, the first book dedicated solely to Periwig, Fredric Boyce sheds new light on the vested interests and infighting between Britain's secret organisations in the final stages of the Second World War..."

*Ernesto Che Guevara, Marc Becker (Introduction) - Guerrilla Warfare Paperback - December 1998 ** [also at  amazon.co.uk]

**Ernesto Che Guevara, et al - The African Dream, Harvill Press, Paperback, August, 2000

The book contains the complete text of the campaign diaries kept by Guevara in the Congo in 1965-1966. In January 1965 Ernesto Guevara, one of the heroes of the Cuban Revolutionary War and a minister in Fidel Castro's government, vanished. His sudden disappearance was a subject for conjecture all over the world. He eventually surfaced in the heart of Africa where, with 100 Cuban guerilla fighters to assist him, he put into action his theories of how to help the oppressed peoples of Africa throw of the yoke of colonial imperialism...

From the Conclusion: "...It is important for us to discover what are the demands we can place on a militant, so that he can overcome the violent traumas of a reality with which he must do battle. I think that candidates should first pass through a very rigorous process of selection, as well as being subjected to prior warnings. As I have said before, no one believed the admonition that the revolution would require three to five years to achieve success; when the reality confirmed this, they suffered an internal collapse, the collapse of a dream. Revolutionary militants who go off to take part in a similar experience must begin without dreams, abandoning everything that used to constitute their lives and exertions. The only ones who should do it are those with a revolutionary strength of mind much greater than the average (even the average in a revolutionary country), with practical experience gained in struggle, with a high level of political development, and with solid discipline. The incorporation process should be gradual and built around a small but tempered group, so that the selection of new combatants can proceed directly and anyone who does not meet the requirements can be removed. In other words, a cadre policy should be pursued. This will allow a steady increase in numbers without weakening the nucleus..."

* Clausewitz, Karl Von  - On War (Penguin Classics)

The classic treatise that details war as the exercise of force for the attainment of a political object, unrestrained by any law save that of expediency

* Regis Debray - Revolution in the Revolution?, 1967 [see also excerpts from Revolution in the Revolution? in the Strenghth of an Idea]

From the Preface by Leo Huberman and Paul M.Sweezy: ".... In April 1967, Debray went as a journalist.. (to) Bolivia. He was arrested by the Bolivian police..... reports - credible in view of what is known of present day Latin American realities - have circulated that Debray has been tortured and starved in prison and that he has been subject to lengthy interrogation by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Why such barbarous treatment for a mere journalist? We believe that Jean Paul-Sartre, the illustrious French philosopher, stated the simple truth when he told a mass meeting in Paris on 30 May 1967 (according to a report in Le Monde): 'Regis Debray has been arrested by the Bolivian authorities, not for having participated in guerrilla activities but for having written a book - Revolution in the Revolution? - which 'removes all the brakes from guerrilla activities.'"

"...The guerrilla force is independent of the civilian population, in action as well as in military organisation; consequently it need not assume the direct defence of the peasant population. The protection of the population depends on the progressive destruction of the enemy's military potential. It is relative to the overall balance of forces: the populace will be completely safe when the opposing forces are completely defeated....... the political and the military are not separate, but form one organic whole, consisting of the people's army, whose nucleus is the guerrilla army... the guerrilla force is the party in embryo...."

* Dyer, Gwynne - War: The New Edition, 2005

*Gallie, W. B. - Philosophers of Peace and War : Kant, Clausewitz, Marx, Engels and Tolstoy (The Wiles Lectures)

* Latimer, Jon - Deception in War: The Art of the Bluff, the Value of Deceit, and the Most Thrilling Episodes of Cunning in Military History, from the Trojan Horse to the Gulf War

* Liddell, Hart B. H.-  Strategy : Second Revised Edition, 1991

"Fools say that they learn by experience I prefer to profit by others experience..." Bismarck

* Alfred Thayer Mahan - The Influence of Sea Power upon History, 1660-1783 Alfred Thayar MahanFrom the Review by  Harold Y. Grooms at Amazon.com "...Mahan's book has had a tremendous impact on history. It unquestionably shaped the imperialistic policies of pre-World War I and pre-World War II Germany and Japan respectively. Students trying to ascertain why leaders of those nations acted as they did should read this work.  The elements of sea power are the same today as in 1900 when this book was first published. With a world economy as interdependent as today's, Mahan's principles are as valid as they were in the 1600's and 1700's, perhaps even more so. German war philosopher, Carl von Clausewitz's classic treatise, "On War," is considered a must read for every Army officer. Mahan's work is to the sea-battle as von Clausewitz's is to the land. Historians, military strategists, and architects of America's foreign, economic and national security policies should read this important work to gain insights on the necessity of protecting vital and vulnerable sea lines of communications worldwide. "

* Alfred Thayer Mahan - The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future* Leo Marks -  Between Silk and Cyanide: A Codemaker's War, 1941-1945

* Lieutenant Colonel John Nagl - Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam

* William R. Polk - Violent Politics: A History of Insurgency, Terrorism, and Guerrilla War, from the American Revolution to Iraq

* Lawrence Paterson - Hitler's Grey Wolves: U-Boats in the Indian Ocean, 2006

Hitlers Grey Wolves"...Next to nothing has been written about the U-boat war in the Indian Ocean. This is the story of a forgotten campaign. The battle began in August 1943, when a German submarine arrived in the Malaysian harbour of Georgetown. In total, nearly fourty U-boats were assigned to penetrate the Indian Ocean, serving alongside troops of the occupying Imperial Japanese forces. The Japanese allowed U-boats to use Malaysia as an operational station. From that base, they mixed with Japanese forces on a hitherto unseen scale: a move which spread the U-boat war throughout the vast Indian Ocean and into the Pacific. Success in this theatre of war held a real chance to swing the tide of battle in North Africa in favour of Rommel, but the Germans essentially did too little too late. The joint action also gave U-boats the opportunity to penetrate the Pacific Ocean for the first time, attacking shipping off the Australian coast and hunting off New Zealand. Plans were even afoot for an assault on American supply lines. The cooperation' also brought into stark relief the fundamental differences of German and Japanese war aims. After the crews of Italian supply submarines joined the Germans and Japanese, relations between the fighting men of the three main Axis powers were often brutal and almost constantly turbulent. Stories of U-boats laden with gold and treasure stem almost exlusively from boats destined to and returning from Japanese-controlled Malaysia, laden with material exchanged between the two major partners of the Triple Axis Alliance."

*Ramamurti, P - The Freedom Struggle and the Dravidian Movement - Orient Longman, 1987

* Alex P. Schmid  and A.J. Jongman - Political Terrorism: A New Guide to Actors, Authors, Concepts, Data Bases, Theories, and Literature 

*Sun-Tzu, et al The Complete Art of War (History and Warfare) translated by Ralph D. Sawyer [see also Sun Tzu on the Art of War]

"The only single-volume edition of the classic essays on strategy by the great Sun Tzu and his descendant, Sun Pin, translated by the world's foremost authority on ancient Chinese strategic thought. The Complete Art of War includes a unique index to the essential principles of strategy and Sawyer's thoughtful chapter-by-chapter commentaries."

* Albert Speer, Inside the Third Reich 1970

"...We must never forget, that under modern conditions of life, science and technology, all war has become greatly brutalized and that no one who joins in it, even in self-defense, can escape becoming also in a measure brutalized. Modern war cannot be limited in its destructive method and the inevitable debasement of all participants... we as well as our enemies have contributed to the proof that the central moral problem is war and not its methods..."

* Robert Thompson, First published in the mid-60s, this book is still the one by which all other counterinsurgency books are judged. Based on the author's successful experience in Malaya, and his subsequent advisory work for the Americans in Vietnam, his keys to victory and success have not changed with time:  "It is a persistently methodical approach and steady pressure which will gradually wear the insurgent down. The government must not allow itself to be diverted either by countermoves on the part of the insurgent or by the critics on its own side who will be seeking a simpler and quicker solution. There are no shortcuts or gimmicks."

* David Tucker - Skirmishes at the Edge of Empire: The United States and International Terrorism*Clive Walker - The Prevention of Terrorism in British Law, 1992

"... terrorism is ... frequently undertaken as a military strategy, usually when two conditions prevail: first, there is no chance of attaining the group�s objectives by direct military force, and second, the group sees no point in pursuing constitutional means. In short, terrorism is said to be the weapon of the weak ...Assuming these conditions apply, terrorism will be employed as one strategy within a wider enterprise. For instance, in Maoist theory, terrorism is an early stage in guerrilla warfare and becomes increasingly irrelevant as rebel forces grow. Alternatively, terrorism may be a constant military tactic but is combined with guerrilla operations and political agitation... Either way, the weakness of the rebels dictates their modus operandi. Most obvious of all, they must avoid open conflict with the government�s military forces, which are overwhelmingly stronger.

Hence �... the central task of the guerrilla fighter is to keep himself from being destroyed�. Next, terrorists must have good intelligence in order to undertake effective operations without detection. Finally, since constitutional methods are rejected, there must be some compensating public emphasis on the motives for their attacks in order to distance themselves from criminal banditry. This is often secured through links with overt political factions. There are two contexts in which the weak commonly resort to revolutionary terrorism. First, it may be utilised within independent States to achieve political change. The rebels envisage that terrorism will trigger a spiral of governmental repression and consequent loss of popularity and authority. Thus: [The terrorists�] object is to shake the faith of the man in the street in the government and its local representatives, especially the police, so that in the end a desperate population will seek security, not from authorities, but from the terrorist and his political allies. There are two substantial impediments to this theoretical blueprint.

First, terrorism is unlikely to succeed in the many countries where governments have no obligation to heed public fears or desires. Second, even if terrorism does provoke a reaction, that repression may secure the military defeat of the perpetrators. As a result, outright success has rarely been achieved by this path, the only exceptions perhaps being Cuba and Rhodesia, where terrorism was only one facet of the insurgency. However, it may be counted as a partial terrorist success if governmental victory is achieved at the expense of political fragmentation or deep unpopularity, since they pave the way for renewed conflict in the future. So �... the issue is not merely survival, but the way in which society chooses to survive.' Revolutionary terrorism, is, secondly, undertaken during campaigns for decolonisation or for the separation of a distinct territory from within an independent country.

Here the terrorists again seek to induce repression, which, they hope, will cause the �parent� population to weary of the conflict and to calculate that the costs of retaining the territory outweigh its benefits. This has been more successful than terrorism in the first situation, probably because it does not require governments to vacate their central seats of power and therefore demands less painful concessions. In the case of the United Kingdom terrorism of this kind was a precipitating factor in its withdrawal from Ireland, Palestine, Malaya and South Arabia. In conclusion, terrorism in both contexts is designed to win acceptance for a political aim by a significant section of the population. Therefore, in liberal democracies at least, the increase or decrease in popular support may be taken to be the ultimate measure of success or failure for terrorists or governments..."

* International Law and the Use of Force by National Liberation Movements - Heather A Wilson, Oxford University Press, 1990


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