August 19, 2008: A Thai-style surge campaign, and change in counter-insurgency strategy, has lead to more than 50 percent reduction in violence in the first 6 months of 2008. Terrorism over the previous 4 years was threatening to get out of control, with some areas becoming no-go zone areas.
In 2004, there was a dramatic upsurge in the violence perpetrated by Islamic terrorists in the three southern provinces ("Deep South") of Thailand which border Malaysia. The population of these three provinces is 1.8 million and Muslims make up around 75% of the population whereas the rest of Thailand is 95% Buddhist.
From January 2004 until December 2007 there had been average of 160 terrorist incidents (assassinations, bombings etc) per month in the Deep South, but this reduced significantly to less than 60 incidents per month in the first 6 months of 2008. The number of killed or injured had gradually increased from 120 per month in 2004 to 200 a month in 2007, but this has halved to 100 per month in the first 6 months of 2008.
I think this strategy of a troop surge (say 50,000) that will live and stay in Christian-dominated areas in Mindanao will be more effective because for starters, Christians and Lumads comprise about 68% of the population in Mindanao, 32% lang ang mga Muslim.
I also think the government should break off talks with the MILF, and deal only with the more credible and secular MNLF. I think the AFP and MNLF should do joint operations to help keep the peace in mindanao and launch attacks on MILF sanctuaries wherever they may be found.
One last point, sa tingin ko hindi makikialam ang US sa away ng gobierno at ng MILF kahit na nagkakagulo na sa Mindanao UNLESS the MILF stupidly targets US troops stationed there.
UPDATE: haha... lot's of erap bashing here from FVR.