Counterinsurgency Principles for Contemporary Internal Conflict
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For 26 years, Sri Lankan Armed Forces applied counterinsurgency principles (COIN) while fighting against LTTE terrorists, but could not achieve the aim of defeating terrorism. During this period, the LTTE was able to establish itself as a real conventional army. It expanded its capabilities to include a naval wing (sea tiger wing), and an air wing. Its cadres were well motivated to conduct three-dimensional missions (land, air and sea) as well as suicide missions. It was not until the fourth phaseEelam War IV of the Sri Lanka campaign, however, that the Sri Lankan government was able to establish peace within the country again in 2009. In this context, the researcher examines why success eluded Sri Lanka until the final phase of the campaign, since the same principles (COIN) were followed in all battles. Eelam War IV featured important changes to the Sri Lankan governments COIN strategy. Those changes incorporated into the outcomes in order to develop analysis on this topic. Further this study will offer a new approach to analyzing the Sri Lanka insurgency. As a further outcome, the paper may provide opportunity for scholarly assessment by decision makers to assess the possibility of modifying counterinsurgency principles based on the Sri Lankan experience.