Author: Asian Peoples' Anti-Communist League, Republic of China
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Far from being an anachronism, much less a kit-bag of techniques, people’s war raises what has always been present in military history, irregular warfare, and fuses it symbiotically with what has likewise always been present politically, rebellion and the effort to seize power. The result is a strategic approach for waging revolutionary warfare, the effort “to make a revolution.” Voluntarism is wedded to the exploitation of structural contradiction through the building of a new world to challenge the existing world, through formation of a counterstate within the state in order ultimately to destroy and supplant the latter. This is a process of far greater moment than implied by the label “guerrilla warfare” so often applied to what Mao and others were about. This volume deals with the continuing importance of Maoist and post-Maoist concepts of people’s war. Drawing on a range of examples that include Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, the Caucasus, and Afghanistan, the collection shows that the study of people’s war is not just an historical curiosity but vital to the understanding of contemporary insurgent and terrorist movements. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Small Wars & Insurgencies.
The title connotes the tour of duty for a US Marine in Vietnam, for twelve months and twenty days. PFC Sean P. O’Hara embarks upon an adventure that would change his life forever. Twelve and Twenty is a riveting novel that takes place in the jungles of Southeast Asia and the quagmire of the Vietnam War. In a graphic and haunting naturalistic style, James Toomey adroitly tells the story of the madness of war and the paradox of valor in the early summer of 1968 in the Republic of Vietnam. With great skill, Colonel Toomey has created a page-turner. It reveals the arduous and sometimes horrific life of an infantry marine serving his country in a sustained and unpopular ground war. That war changed the country, and that change was not for the better. The book honestly and graphically presents the minute-to-minute, day-to-day, week-to-week dichotomy of insipid drudgery and violent combat that almost instantaneously transforms an Ivy League candidate into a highly trained, coldhearted killing machine. The psychological scars of these hellacious 385 days in 1968 and 1969 will never go away. O’Hara, during the course of his tour, is given a ribald and Mephistophelian education in life that he never would receive at Harvard. A macabre curriculum that included the sight of his fellow marines blown to bits; innocent indigenous villagers tortured by their own countrymen; commercial lust sold by adolescent prostitutes in Bangkok, Thailand. Lastly the ultimate, final examination, which is the manic-depressive phenomenon of an otherwise kind and gentle person having to kill other human beings to survive. O’Hara passed the exam physically but not mentally, and he will never be the same again! There is no glory in war, only heartache and despair.
Timothy Lomperis persuasively argues the ironic point that the lessons of American involvement in Vietnam are not to be found in any analysis of the war by itself. Rather, he proposes a comparison of the Vietnam experience with seven other cases of Western intervention in communist insurgencies during the Cold War era: China, Indochina, Greece, the Philippines, Malaya, Cambodia, and Laos. Lomperis maintains that popular insurgencies are manifestations of crises in political legitimacy, which occur as a result of the societal stresses caused by modernization. Therefore, he argues, any intervention in a 'people's war' will succeed or fail depending on how it affects this crisis. The unifying theme in the cases Lomperis discusses is the power of land reform and electoral democracy to cement political legitimacy and therefore deflect revolutionary movements. Applying this theory to the ongoing Sendero Luminoso insurgency in Peru, Lomperis makes a qualified prediction of that conflict's outcome. He concludes that a global trend toward democratization has produced a new era of 'people's rule.'
With its vast population and resources, China has far more potential to become a major world power than any other Third World nation. How, then, can it be grouped with the underdeveloped countries of the world? In this original study by outstanding Asian scholars, China's Third World identification is explored in relations to its domestic policies, ideology, strategic and economic imperatives, and positioning in world affairs.