The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam : a revolution in military affairs
Thesis (M.A.)--Georgetown University, 2011.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. For twenty-six years, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) waged a protracted secessionist insurgency against the government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) with the aim of creating an independent homeland for the country's minority Sri Lankan Tamil population. In addition to mastering guerrilla warfare, the LTTE fielded a formidable conventional force including a maritime arm capable of challenging the Sri Lankan Navy and a nascent air wing capable of striking targets inside government-held territory. Yet despite its military prowess, the LTTE suffered a crushing military defeat by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces in May 2009. This thesis aims to investigate the factors that led to demise of the LTTE during the final phase of the conflict, Eelam War IV. Towards this end, this paper applies a theory of warfare, the "revolutions in military affairs" (RMAs), as a framework within which to analyze the actions of the LTTE and the GoSL. In doing so, I show that the LTTE's military defeat is a direct consequence of Velupillai Prabhakaran's fixation with achieving the group's original aim - creating an independent Tamil Eelam homeland - through a military solution while largely discounting the political implications of changes in the conflict environment.
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