Defeating the Modern Asymmetric Threat   [open pdf - 786KB]

On February 24th, 2002 the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka entered into a Peace Agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ending a horrific 19 year-old low-intensity conflict. Over the course of nearly two decades, the LTTE came to exemplify the modern asymmetric threat as they battled the Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) and for a period an Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF). The anthropology in Chapter II, history in Chapter III, and explanation of the Tigers in Chapter IV, describes most of the intricacies of the struggle. In particular, Chapter IV offers four explanations for the prolific use of suicide bombers by the LTTE: one operational, one operational, one psychological and one religious. Chapter V conducts an analysis of the conflict to garner what lessons can be learned from the successes and failures of the SLAF and IPKF so that U.S. commanders can better prepare their troops for future battles against organizations employing similar tactics as the LTTE. Chapter V further tests my hypothesis that the four hypothesis of that the four principles of Internal Defense and Development (IDAD) as currently defined in U.S. Joint Doctrine (maximum intelligence, minimum violence, unity of effort, and responsive government) are the applicable variables in defeating the modern asymmetric threat, even those that employ suicide bombers.

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