Outweighing Communism: The Role of the Military in Land Reform
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In this episode of the Urban Warfare Project Podcast, John Spencer is joined by Dr. Charles Knight. He is a senior lecturer in terrorism, asymmetric conflict, and urban operations at Charles Sturt University and a senior researcher at the University of New South Wales.
Dr. Knight has researched and and written about the 2017 Battle of Marawi, in which the Philippine Army fought against Islamic State fighters over the course of five months. With the two sides fighting through the streets, alleys, and buildings of Marawi, it was one of the biggest and most high-intensity urban battles of the modern era. In the conversation, Dr. Knight explains the context in which the battle must be understood, the phases through which the fighting progressed, and the types of tactics that characterized the battle.
The U.S. military resumed its counterterrorism mission in the Philippines in September 2017. This new operation comes on the heels of the rise of ISIS-linked groups.
Considered the “Islamic Fringe” by Muslim coreligionists, S.E. Asian Muslims embraced secular pursuits and have shunned the radical variants of Islam common in the Middle East.
U.S. vital interests need to be addressed through strong relationships and alliances. The U.S. cannot be content to rely on past goodwill and must actively build and nurture its ties within the region.
The Army has an unfortunate tradition of considering insurgent conflict a sideshow effort and relegating the study of insurgencies to the fringes of military science. The Philippines campaign is a prime example.
If we ignore village life – or try to bend it to our view of what it should be – we will fail in Afghanistan as we did in Vietnam.
One consistently wrong—but always convenient—prediction has been the improbability of ground wars and the declining utility of ground forces.