Accession Number : ADA491010


Title :   Draining the Swamp: The British Strategy of Population Control


Descriptive Note : Journal article


Corporate Author : ARMY TRAINING AND DOCTRINE COMMAND FORT MONROE VA FUTURES CENTER


Personal Author(s) : Markel, Wade


Full Text : http://www.dtic.mil/get-tr-doc/pdf?AD=ADA491010


Report Date : 2006


Pagination or Media Count : 15


Abstract : Thirty years after the end of the Vietnam War, the United States and its Army again find themselves confronted with a tenacious insurgency, this time in Iraq. Given our decidedly mixed record in counterinsurgency operations, we tend to look elsewhere for successful models. Many look to the British, especially their exemplary and thorough victory in Malaya, to provide such a model. Commentators cite the British Army's superior organizational flexibility, strategic patience, their use of the minimum force necessary, their ability to integrate civil and military aspects of national power, and the facility with which they adapted their strategies to local circumstances of geography and culture. We would do well to emulate the aforementioned characteristics of British counterinsurgency practice, but there was more to British success in Malaya than a good attitude. The key element of their success was the effective internment of the Chinese "squatter" population, the segment of Malayan society from which the insurgents almost entirely drew their strength. By interning the "squatters" in fortified "New Villages," the British and their Malayan allies were able to deny the communist insurgents access to recruits, food, and military supplies. This strategy was liable to abuse. In Kenya, against the contemporary Mau Mau rebellion, the British employed the same strategy as they had in Malaya, in this case interning basically all of the ethnic Kikuyu. The system of detention camps and fortified villages quickly degenerated into "Britain's Gulag in Kenya," but it was successful. A strategy of population control was not invariably effective, however. In Vietnam, the Diem regime's British-advised and American-supported attempt to implement the Strategic Hamlet program not only failed to weaken the insurgency, but actually exacerbated popular resistance. The author applies the British model of counterinsurgency and lessons learned from them to Iraq.


Descriptors :   *VIETNAM WAR , *UNITED KINGDOM , *MALAYA , *COUNTERINSURGENCY , *STRATEGY , *KENYA , *CONTROL , *POPULATION , COMMUNISM , GUERRILLA WARFARE , VILLAGES , COMMUNISTS , INSURGENCY , ETHNIC GROUPS , ISOLATION , MINORITIES , MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN) , GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , LESSONS LEARNED , MILITARY HISTORY , IRAQI WAR , REPRINTS


Subject Categories : HUMANITIES AND HISTORY
      MILITARY FORCES AND ORGANIZATIONS
      UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE