Mankind's only alternative 21   SEP.   18  
Mankind's only alternative
Welcome
MAIN  RUSSIA  WAR NERD   [SIC!]  BAR-DAK  THE VAULT  ABOUT US  RSS
 
 
EXILE BLOGS

The Fall of The eXile For all those wondering what the "Save The eXile Fundrasier" banner is all about, here it is as simply as it can be phrased: The eXile is shutting down.
June 11, 2008 in eXile Blog

War Nerd: War of the Babies in Taki's Magazine The War Nerd talks about babies, the greatest weapon of the 20th century.
May 28, 2008 in eXile Blog

Kids, Meet Your President A website for Russian kids to learn all about President Medvedev's passion for school, sports and family.
May 22, 2008 in eXile Blog

Cellphone Democracy Cam If this girl was exposed to Jeffersonian democracy...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Dyev Photos Yet another hot Russian babe imitating the Catpower look...
May 20, 2008 in Face Control

Proof That Genetic Memory Is Real! Sure, the Ottomans shut down the Istanbul Slavic slave markets centuries ago...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Russia's Orthodox Church Youth Outreach Program The priest is going, "Father Sansei is very impressed with grasshopper Sasha’s...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

More Classy B&W Club Photos w/Russian Dyevs We took the Pepsi Challenge here...
May 15, 2008 in Face Control

Blogs RSS feed

The War Nerd June 26, 2003
 
Sri Lanka: Terrorists with an Air Force
By Gary Brecher Browse author Email
 
Page 3 of 4
 
One more little indication that these guys don't play around: every Tamil Tiger carries a cyanide capsule into battle. You're supposed to take it if you're captured -- and these guys actually do. There's only two armies I know of in the world where they actually use cyanide capsules: the Tamil Tigers and the North Korean People's Army. That's some serious company to be keeping.

Up against the Tigers is the Sri Lankan army. It's nothing special. On paper it's bigger: 150,000 troops, 70 MBTs, 500 APCs (a weird mix of M113s and BMPs), a decent-size navy and small air force. The tanks are mostly T-55s, which means the army doesn't even have a technological edge in tank battles against the Tigers.

The air force uses a sad Argentine CI ground-attack plane called the Pucara. The Pucara had a pretty sorry record in the Falklands War: every single one the Argentines had was either shot down, destroyed on the ground, or captured. In exchange, the entire fleet of Pucara shot down...one British helicopter. I bet those Tamils are just quakin' in their boots every time they hear those heavy-duty Argentine engines getting closer.

The mainline fighter is the Kfir. This is a weird hybrid Israeli design. Basically, the Israelis stole everything they could from Mirage, then stole the rest from US designers, and called the result a new Israeli-produced fighter, the Kfir ("Lion" in Hebrew). It's the sort of big steal the Israelis seem to get away with time after time, and it's made them a lot of money in sales to third-world air forces.

But the air force can't win a CI war. Nam proved that pretty damn clearly. It's the morale of the army that makes or breaks a CI campaign, and the Sri Lankan army...well, it's not the worst, but it's not the best, either. The war was mostly fought on the Tamils' terms, with the army just trying to keep up.

The Tamils started ambushing army patrols around Jaffna, their key city, in 1983. By 1987 the Indian Army landed and pretty much forced the Tigers to sign a peace deal. The Tigers decided that they were better off not trying to fight the Indian Army, so they did. The Indians, who knew they'd gotten into a real bad mess, paddled home before the ink was dry on the peace treaty. The Tamils only waited till the Indian Army sailed home before restarting the war.

This was their high point: the early 1990s. They did a classic bit of power projection across the straits by assassinating Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 just when he was about to become Prime Minister of India, because they didn't like his anti-Tiger policies. Just to keep things fair and not show any favoritism, they also assassinated the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in 1993.

The Sri Lankan army had its best moment when it captured Jaffna in 1995. This wasn't guerrilla warfare, it was classic massed armor attack against fortified positions. The US had a hundred-odd military advisors helping the Sri Lankan army by this time, and it showed. But the Tigers are cold-blooded, flexible fighters. Once they realized they'd lost the conventional war, they went back to unconventional warfare, setting off suicide bombs in the Sinhalese cities down south and ambushing army patrols. Soon they had the army bottled up in the Jaffna peninsula and were pressuring the long supply lines all the way down the island.

In 1996 they set off what was one of the bloodiest single terrorist attack in history, a big huge truck bomb they drove right into the Central Bank in Colombo. At least a hundred people died, and 1,500 were injured. This was the kind of thing that made your ordinary Sri Lankan real tired of the whole damn war.

By 2002 even the Tigers were tired. They couldn't destroy the army, and the army sure as Hell hadn't destroyed them. The Indians were getting tired of taking care of a half-million Sri Lankan refugees, the CIA wanted the whole mess done with, and there was a new peacenik administration in power in Sri Lanka. All around the world, guerrilla ethnic armies were winding down and switching to politics. The Tamils saw the way things were going and got the best deal they could.


SHARE:  Del.icio.us  Digg  My Web  Facebook  Reddit
Gary Brecher
Browse author
Email Gary at war_nerd@exile.ru, but, more importantly, buy his book.
 
 
FROM THE VAULT

The Black-Gold’n Horde : How America Is Conquering Russia

Mother Russia Wins Again : A ringside seat at the first-ever Mrs. World pageant in Russia!

Crude: The Motherland Arises :

The Christ Cup 2002: Pregame Show! :
 

 
 
 
LATEST ARTICLES

Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
Editorial
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
[SIC!]
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...

 
 
 

    MAIN    |    RUSSIA    |    WAR NERD     |    [SIC!]    |    BAR-DAK    |    THE VAULT    |    ABOUT US    |    RSS

© "the eXile". Tel.: +7 (495) 623-3565, fax: +7 (495) 623-5442
E-mail: office@exile.ru