Monday, June 26, 2017

Killing more people makes the Mindanao war rage even more

Many people are asking me why the hell is the Philippine military sweating profusely fighting a handful of ex-OFWs and ordinary citizens cum Islamic preachers? Equipped with the most sophisticated military equipment, our military is supposed to be at the upper hand but as things stand right now, our AFP is still working very hard trying to get the city back to civilian hands.

The AFP spokesperson said these terrorists have the upper hand due to their knowledge of the terrain. Crap. Bull.

Don't tell me you don't have ultra modern surveillance drones and sophisticated maps? The US is helping our military deal with the situation. That means, access maybe to armed drones which had combat experience dealing with the Talibans and the ISIS at those sandy battlefields out there in the Middle East. We are talking about a very small area where our military said the rebels are still holed up. About a month had past and surely, these terrorists are as weak as Palito for lack of provisions. The President is even asking and probably wondering what the hell is going on? Battalions being beaten by a handful of inexperienced terrorists?

There is a problem, somewhere. And the end of this war depends on that very day when our military and civilian leaders admit their mistakes and re-assess their situation and re-focus their minds. Let's help them.

1. An insurgent can only be defeated by another insurgent. You cannot fight speed with might. That's the advantage of an insurgent--their mobility. Conventional military analysts would definitely say that  the best thing is to limit their mobility by outflanking the enemy. How would you outflank an enemy which does not occupy a territory? You first give them space then you hit them there.

You defeat speed by becoming a faster, more mobile force. That's why, special forces teams are most effective against insurgents in the first place because you are not dealing with a conventional force.

2. Don't set a deadline. There is simply no set date for an insurgency to end. It ends when the Cause of its existence is extinguished in the minds of its supporters and sympathizers. Some believe that if you kill the leaders, you practically kill the insurgency. Wrong.  Doing so weakens the terrorists but it does not mean the war is near its end. Due to its impermanence, insurgent groups continue waging wars until its strategic objective is met.

3. What's so wrong with shifting into a communication-led or based one rather than mortal combat? This president is so blood thirsty. Better to set up a platform for debates rather than go to the battlefield where both combatants and innocents are affected. Opening the lines of communication is better than spending bullets killing people. The more people killed, the more an insurgent war rages. When you unleash hell, it comes back at you. Unleashing the dogs of war will result to you eventually being bitten by more ferocious canines by your enemy.

Remember---dead people are like fodders of wars. The more people killed in conflicts, the longer the war goes. And this is precisely why many people don't want to trigger a war in that part of the Philippines because such a war might outlive those who sparked it.

Duterte is happy. He goes down in history as the second man in Philippine history to spark a long-term war in Mindanao by ordering those carpet bombings. Of course, Duterte knows what he is doing. Yet, I fear that the war he dipped his hands into, will probably outlive him like what had happened to his idol and predecessor.

Mayor--are you happy now?