Dynamics and cost of insurgency: the Maoist insurgency in Nepal
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Nepal faced a ten year long Maoist insurgency problem when the Communist Party of Nepal, CPN (Maoist) declared war in 1996 by rejecting the fundamental premises of Nepal's constitutional monarchy and parliamentary system established in 1990 and ended with a comprehensive peace agreement in 2006. A decade-long insurgency and counterinsurgency claimed many lives, destruction of infrastructure, internally displacement of people, and crossing over to India. Insurgency compelled to bear direct, indirect and hidden cost to the nation. The purpose of this study is to develop a computer simulation model to yield valuable insights into dynamics of insurgency evolution, determine insurgency mitigating conditions and estimate cost of the insurgency. The main hypothesis of this research is that the lack of understanding of the dynamics of insurgency development and mitigation has contributed to the cost of the conflict. The study aims to apply system Dynamics (SD) methodology with conflict transformation theory to examine the development, management and cost of conflict. The fundamental proposition of this study is that an insurgency must be analyzed within a system in which all behavior is produced related to the insurgency. The utility of the model designed in this study is not limited to insurgency in Nepal, rather the implication of understanding and analyzing the war on terrorism as a global insurgency. It indicates a shift in the main emphasis for the conduct of the insurgency or counterinsurgency activities. The primary emphasis must shift to, and remain on the population. Instead of applying the majority of the resources to answering the insurgency with the military response, the insurgency analysis suggests that focusing on the insurgent's support base and resources is a more effective method of defeating them. Achieving popular support strengthens the security force ability to combat the insurgent while at the same time drain the insurgent's ability to commit violent incident. The study finds that fully reliance on armed solution might not be a good answer for any conflict. The cost of armed conflict might always be greater than its benefit. The core insight gained from this study, the most powerful instrument that shapes the future of peace and security, is the self-examination of costs and dynamics of the insurgency. The major recommendations of this study on the basis of findings are: First, the insurgency should not be thought of in military terms only, but it should be scrutinized in light of the national strategy and the implementation of state capacity elements. Military, diplomatic, socio-economic, governance and legislative efforts all must be synchronized and united toward achieving the common principal objective, the defeat of the insurgent and its underlying causes. Addressing transitional security requires improving the elements of national power including democracy and governance. Second, the effort for the state must be to gain popular support, which gives legitimacy to the security force operation. It provides the necessary intelligence to locate the insurgent members and removes the recruitment base from the potential insurgent. Insurgents do also rely on public support, without public support to them; the resources needed for their survival and actions are no longer available. Third, the security force must limit the use of direct action against the insurgent without...
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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