War in Shangri-La the information dimension of Nepal's Maoist insurgency & counterinsurgency
Letch, Steven R.
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This analysis examines the information dimension of the ongoing Maoist insurgency and counterinsurgency in Nepal. The paper follows two lines of research: first, it presents an analytic framework that properly conceives the challenge of counterinsurgency and calibrates government actions through the use of information systems and operations; then, it applies this framework to the contemporary crisis in Nepal to postulate effective counterinsurgency strategies for the Nepalese government and its supporters. The paper analyzes the environment, structure, and dynamics of the insurgent and counterinsurgent systems in Nepal to determine the extent to which information is or could be employed in the fight. Based on the conditions identified in the research, the paper proposes information-based strategies and tactics that favorably affect conflict dynamics on behalf of the Nepalese government. Finally, the paper offers constructive and appropriate ways for the United States to support Nepalese information operations efforts in the counterinsurgency. This research focuses primarily on the use of information in insurgencies, but it also realizes that information strategies must be balanced and blended with other important dimensions of insurgent conflict. Thus, the insights gained here are intended to support further analysis of the larger set of dynamics that shape the conflict in Nepal.
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