Wednesday, January 7, 2009

End Game

(strategy page)January 7, 2009: The government lost control of most of northern Sri Lanka in the late 1990s, during a series of embarrassing defeats. Since then, the army has become better trained, equipped and led, while the LTTE has suffered morale and leadership problems. A civil war within the LTTE three years ago cost the organization over a third of its combat forces. The Tamil population became disheartened by over a decade of sacrifice, and not much to show for it.

In the north, the army has about 50,000 troops closing in on the remaining LTTE held territory. It is believed that the LTTE have 10,000 armed followers in the area. But many of these are recent conscripts, who lack training, experience or motivation. The most dangerous force is the few thousand veteran LTTE fighters. The government believes it has killed 4,073 LTTE fighters in the last 14 months. Intercepts of LTTE communications indicate that the LTTE puts their losses during that period at 3,447 dead and 2,197 seriously wounded. Full Text