The Chronicle of a People's War: The Military and Strategic History of the Cambodian Civil War, 1979-1991

The Chronicle of a People's War: The Military and Strategic History of the Cambodian Civil War, 1979-1991

by Boraden Nhem

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781351807654
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 07/28/2017
Series: Routledge Studies in Modern History
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 238
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Brigadier General Boraden Nhem currently serves as assistant to General Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense of Cambodia. He previously served as Deputy Director of the Institute of Military History. He is also an adjunct lecturer at the Department of International Studies, Royal University of Phnom Penh. He received his PhD in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Delaware (United States) in 2014 after previous studies in Cambodia and France. He is a graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College, class of 14–02, where he also graduated with an MMAS in Military History. He has authored a previous book, which examined the entire military history of the Khmer Rouge (1950s–1999).

Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION: THE CHRONIC WAR

1.1 The living chronicles of a People’s War

1.2 What makes this book unique

1.3 Notes on sources

1.4 Military jargon survival kit

1.4.1 People’s War

1.4.2 Politics and war

1.4.3 The role of the tank in the Cambodian civil war

1.4.4 A note on modern military organization

1.5 Plan of the book

1.6 Acknowledgments

2. ROAD TO WAR

2.1 The colonial heritage

2.2 The Radical Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK)

2.3 Cambodia leaned right: policy shift towards the US

2.4 Full-scale war: the coup of 1970

2.5 Democratic Kampuchea: Cambodia’s dark age

2.5.1 Prince Sihanouk: much vanity but no power

2.5.2 Disaster of the Four-Year Plan (1977-1980)

2.5.3 Comrades at war: Vietnam’s southern march must be stopped!

2.6 Kampuchea Solidarity Front for National Salvation: birth of a revolution

2.6.1 The East Zone put to the sword

2.6.2 Prince Sihanouk became useful to the Khmer Rouge once more: adding one more insult to injury

3. THE COALITION GOVERNMENT OF DEMOCRATIC KAMPUCHEA: THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY IS NOT NECESSARILY MY FRIEND

3.1 The Khmer Rouge: from guerrillas to regulars, from regulars to guerrillas

3.1.1 The post-1979 reorganization: strategic and operational doctrine

3.1.2 Logistics

3.1.3 Tactics: military and political concept of guerrilla war

3.2 The non-communist resistance (NCR)

3.2.1 "What have we to lose?": life of an ordinary Cambodian amid chaos

3.2.2 Non-communist resistance 1: Khmer People’s National Liberation Front

3.2.2.1 Revenge of the Khmer Republic

3.2.2.2 Organization

3.2.2.3 Thailand’s check-and-balance policy bites its tail: KPNLF’s internal rift

3.2.3 Non-communist resistance 2: Samdech Oeuv’s (king father’s) army

3.3 PAVN’s response to the one-country-two-administrations: the 1982-1983 dry season offensive

3.3.1 One country, two states: military angle

3.3.2 One country, two states: political and diplomatic angles

3.3.3 1983: The PAVN flexed its muscles

3.3.4 PAVN’s 1984-1985 dry season offensive: The 16-Camps Campaign

3.3.5 Aftermath of the PAVN’s 1985 dry season offensive

4. THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KAMPUCHEA: WHEN IN DOUBT, APPLY PEOPLE’S WAR

4.1 The PAVN’s Cambodian contingent: the Vietnamese Volunteer Army

4.2 The Kampuchea People’s Revolutionary Army (KPRA)

4.2.1 Mobilization strategy and concept of operations



4.2.2 The armed propaganda units and the dual-duty companies



4.2.3 Indoctrination



4.2.3.1 Indoctrination in action

4.2.3.2 1980: the military governed

4.2.3.3 1985: war on the fringes, indoctrination in the interior

4.2.3.4 1989: time’s up for indoctrination

4.2.4 Result of indoctrination 1: the KPRA’s provincial military commands (PMC)

4.2.4.1 History of the Battambang PMC

4.2.4.2 History of Banteay Meanchey PMC

4.2.4.3 History of Kampong Thom PMC

4.2.5 Result of indoctrination 2: Region 4, Military Region 4 and 5

4.3 Territory-centric versus population-centric strategy

4.4 The KPRA mobile divisions went to war along the border

4.5 Summary and discussion: a war of numbers

5. WHEN THE SKY FALLS AND MOUNTAINS FLATTENED: THE CGDK MADE OPERATION GRADUATION

5.1 Diplomacy with (huge) armies: prelude to the 1989 CGDK’s combined offensive

5.2 Battambang province: easy picking, hard swallowing

5.3 The defense of Traeng

5.4 Banteay Meanchey: the locals who dared say no to the central

5.4.1 Phase 1, first axis of the KPNLAF onslaught—Svay Chek

5.4.2 Phase 1, second axis of the KPNLAF onslaught—Phnom Srok

5.4.3 Phase 2: "My home, my war"—the KPRA’s counteroffensive

5.5 Kampong Thom Province: "If I flee, where do you suggest I go?"

5.5.1 The political context

5.5.2 Military operations

5.6 Diplomacy without an army

6. PARTING OFFENSIVES: RESIDUAL BATTLES OF THE CAMBODIAN CIVIL WAR

6.1 Counterargument: stealing the KPRA’s thunder—Pailin and the return of the PAVN

6.2 Forgotten victories: the PRK’s pre-emption and counteroffensive

6.2.1 Pursat province

6.2.2 Siem Reap-Ouddar Meanchey provincial military command

6.2.3 The 286th division

6.3 Operation X-91 and Kampot Operation: the KPRA on a rampage

6.4 Peace!

CONCLUSION: THE ELUSIVE PEACE

7.1 People’s War and operational graduation

7.2 Territorial forces, strategy, and morale

7.3 Morale is about location, location, location

7.4 Winners and losers

7.5 Postscript

Appendix A

Appendix B

Bibliography

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