Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

War Without End

February 12th, 2009 · No Comments

From Foreign Policy, a list of insurgencies that refuse to die. They forgot a biggie, though: The New People’s Army, the military branch of the Communist Party of the Philippines. They’ve been waging their futile war since 1969, which makes the group older than the Tamil Tigers (1975) or Peru’s Shining Path (1980). This sad and sobering Time dispatch from 2007 examines how the rebels have managed to persist, despite their archaic ideology and lack of resources. This tidbit makes the NPA sound like a really twisted afterschool program:

About a fifth of N.P.A. fighters are under 18, according to Jane’s Information Group, an authority on defense and terrorism. Most of this 30-strong platoon are too young to recall the purges and, despite embracing communal life, have often joined the rebels for personal, rather than political, reasons. Many are high-school dropouts with no job prospects, impressionable youths whom the N.P.A. recruits and molds into loyal killers for the communist cause. For Joven, 21, joining meant personal salvation. “I had a different lifestyle before,” he says. “I was addicted to marijuana and alcohol. I hung out with a neighborhood gang.” Joven was shot during an offensive four months ago and the bullet rests painfully under his spine. But he says, “I’m happy with the comrades. Even though we come from different neighborhoods, from different classes, we fight as one.”

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