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Treading on Hallowed GroundCounterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces$
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C. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342048.001.0001

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Iron Fists without Velvet Gloves

Iron Fists without Velvet Gloves

The Krue Se Mosque Incident and Lessons in Counterinsurgency for the Southern Thai Conflict

(p.177) 7 Iron Fists without Velvet Gloves
Treading on Hallowed Ground

Joseph Chinyong Liow

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the Thai military's complete mishandling of a counterinsurgency operation at the Krue Se Mosque in southern Thailand. It argues that the military violated some of the most basic principles of counterinsurgency operations and demonstrated a profound lack of both tactical and strategic awareness. Specifically, their security forces had lacked adequate intelligence on the insurgents operating in the region where the mosque was located, there were problems in the chain of command, and there was no clear blueprint for the operation barring the use of force. Not surprisingly, this operation ended in considerable bloodshed at a mosque that was fraught with a history and myth of local resistance. As a consequence of this botched operation, the insurgency received a substantial boost because the harshness of the military's tactics alienated much of the local population.

Keywords:   Thailand, counterinsurgency, insurgents, Thai military

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