Monday, 23 January 2012

Communist Party of Philippines / New People's Army

Part 3 of the ongoing series on current conflicts in South-East Asia.

The Philippines vs Communist Party of Philippines / New People's Army
Note: As opswarfare will concentrate on combat operations, it will refer to the group as the New People's Army (NPA). [The NPA is the armed wing of the Communist Party of Philippines]  

A excerpt from Jane's on the current situation
"Over the years, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has launched several military campaigns, the most recent being Oplan Bantay Laya II, and declared the insurgents' irreversible decline at least twice since the end of the Cold War and the decline of communism worldwide."

The NPA's objectives are slightly different compared to the 2 groups highlighted earlier in this series. The Karen National Union and the Shan State Army - South aim to get autonomy for their respective regions.

The NPA, in contrast, seeks to overthrow the entire Philippine government. As a   result, it is active in several regions of the Philippines. It is also an ideological movement, compared to the ethnic groupings in Burma/Myanmar.

NPA has a history of attacking foreign-owned companies, targeted assassinations of Filipinos who are critical of the NPA, specifically politicians, security officials, and members of the news media.

One recent attack provides a good example.
The NPA attacked 3 mining companies. Tactically, this seems counter-intuitive, as the mining companies are not legitimate military targets. The "official" explanation of environmental concerns sound a little contrived, making the NPA look like some kind of green vigilantes, assuming that the explanation is true.

The explanation offered by the Philippine military is economic in nature, claiming that the NPA earn the bulk of their funds through extortion.

Another example highlights the usage of landmines.
The indiscriminate nature of landmines means its usage may be counter-productive in a war of hearts and minds.

While conducting research for this article, opswarfare came across a news story that warrants further analysis.

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