Friday, November 2, 2007

Countering Force Multiplication

The recent LTTE attack in Anuradhapura is an example of Force Multiplication in 4th Generation War. The 21 Black Tigers acted as a Force Multiplier for the Tigers, shifting the Center of Gravity of the War. If the Sri Lanka Government is to overcome this threat, it must identify and use its Force Multipliers to good effect. They must also transform themselves from waging a 3rd Generation War (3GW) to a 4th Generation War (4GW or Counter-Insurgency).

Let’s understand these concepts and their applicability to the conflict. A Force Multiplier is a factor, person or unit that can dramatically increase effectiveness in war to reverse losses and increase prospects for victory. 3rd Generation war is linear but tactical use of units to infiltrate, bypass and collapse an enemy. 4th Generation War is a tactic used by non-state actors engaged in asymmetric war against a state. Asymmetric war is a war between a stronger military entity and a weaker military entity.

The Beechcraft, UAVs and the Fighter Jets were Force Multipliers for the Military. The LTTE destroyed them because of their force multiplication effect. The Military uses specially trained units as Force Multipliers in 3rd Generation War to infiltrate, bypass and collapse the enemy and attack it from the rear (LRRP). The LTTE counters the Military’s 3rd Generation War through Defence in Depth - meaning the longer the infiltration by the Army, the greater the resistance by LTTE. The LTTE also uses Black Tigers in 4th Generation Wars to attack physical, psychological and moral elements of the Military. This enables them to change the Center of Gravity of the war from Tamil Nationalism and grievances to effective Terrorism or Insurgency depending on the LTTE’s requirement. The state cannot shift its Center of Gravity like a non-state actor does since it is bound by principles of good-governance.

So how can a state win in asymmetric war where the weaker side uses effective terrorist tactics and 4th Generation War? Military History provides examples of states winning such wars through a ‘simple’ formula;

  1. Invest on quality, highly-trained and disciplined infantrymen and not on expensive weapons. (Quality not Quantity)
  2. Understand your weaknesses, the enemy and the terrain (Sun Tsu in The Art of War says know your Enemy, Know yourself. Know the terrain)
  3. Win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the local (Tamil) population for better intelligence gathering by avoiding collective punishment and the risk of damage to civilians.
  4. Separate politics from war, soldier from civilian and peace from conflict.
  5. Move from tactical linear warfare (3GW) to Counter-insurgency and Counter Terrorism tactics (anti-4GW).
  6. Sparing use of Elite units as Force Multipliers. (i.e. Special Forces)
  7. Preservation and proper use of assets with Force Multiplication impacts (i.e. Beechcraft, UAVs etc).


Unknown said...

Nice Article DefenceWire, now I know who is the root course of the war...

Insted talking about how to end this conflict with peacefull mean, your team is talking aout how to win the war???

I like #3 -

"Win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the local (Tamil) population for better intelligence gathering... "

this shows how eveil you people are... you want to win the hearts and minds of Tamil people just for your self-fish intelligence gathering? nice nice... ofcouse you will win the hearts of the Tamil ppl if you go in the path...

There is simply one solution for this... "Tamil Eelam"... a separate nation for Tamils... then together we can develop the nations! How's that?

defenceAnalyst said...

First of all it was written by defenceAnalyst, not DefencWire.

Second of all, don't be nitpicky and select portions from the article that best suit your interests. The argument is to reduce damage to the Tamil people. Why did you miss that? Why are you disturbed by the intel gathering part only? My conclusion is that it is it because you support the insurgency. By the way, insurgencies and terrorism never supported any ethnic group win their rights.

Unknown said...

Kaavalan, whatever 'side' you may be on the war is a reality and this article is just military science, it is the ground reality. Defenceanalyst is merely giving us a good explanation of this particular facet of warfare.

Sam Perera said...


"There is simply one solution for this... "Tamil Eelam"... a separate nation for Tamils... then together we can develop the nations! How's that?"

Keep on dreaming and keep on sending all your money to Velu Baba.

defenceAnalyst said...

If you want to know the root cause of the war, read this article by AP,

asithrimodaya said...

LTTE abducts 3 in Thissamaharama area

asithrimodaya said...

Article from pro-LTTE tamileditors site.
Shifting Strategy: Taking war to the doorstep
Thursday, 01 November 2007
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are clearly shifting their military strategy to include areas outside of the traditional North-East war zone in an effort to take Sri Lanka's war to the Sinhala majority's doorstep, analysts say.

Traditionally, Sri Lanka's civil war has been based in the North-East province. Control of various towns and cities have changed hands several folds during the 25years of conflict between the Tamils and Sinhalese.

Now, as a new phase of war begins, the LTTE are clearly not keen on the same old real-estate war in the North-East, analysts say.

They say this is mainly due to lessons learnt during the last phase of war during the beginning of the millennium.

During this period the LTTE overran a number of Sri Lanka Army (SLA) camps and captured major bases such as the Elephant Pass complex causing heavy casualties to the Sri Lankan military.

Analysts say that these achievements alone were not enough to force the Sri Lankan government into seeking peace with the Tamils. Instead the military launched counter offensives to re-capture lost areas.

However, analysts say, one devastating attack on the Katunayake Airbase right in the heart of Sinhala land, changed the cause of events and brought the Sri Lankan government to peace talks.

Speaking to political analyst Jeyaraj says: "LTTE knows that only attacks on military and economic centres right in the heart of the Sinhala region would bring any political solution.

"If LTTE captures Jaffna, the military would go for Kilinochchi. If LTTE captures Trincomalee, the military would go for Mulaiteevu. This is what has happened over the past 25 years, and now clearly the LTTE wants to change the pattern.

"After the LTTE attacked Kattunayake they came for peace talks. The hope it seems is that the selected targeting of centres of military and economic importance would finally force the Sri Lankan government to accept the Tamil people's right to self determination."

October witnessed three such attacks in Hambantota and Anuradhapura respectively.

Analysts say that if recent behaviour is anything to go by, Galle or Kandy rather than Jaffna or Trincomalee are going to be the districts where the next big battles are going to be fought in.

GoldenEagle said...


LTTE is claiming to have beaten back the army's advance. Is it true?

Unknown said...

Defenceanalyst would the Vietcong campaign be considered 4GW? Or what would it fall under? Thanks

RomeoAlphaFoxtrot said...

Defenceanalyst, great defence analysis, great stuff!

Question - what part does the Tiger Air planes in the role of 4th Generation war and as a force multiplication.

I think they are mere Political tools meant to show an existence of a "air force" but limited in striking capability (they are yet to do deliver a serious blow)

What do you think, their strategy would be in using these aircraft's in this current phase of the war?

Anonymous said...

is it true tamilselvam dead??

shay said...


The radio just announced that Thamilselvam was killed in an air raid? Is this true?

Anonymous said...

Brig. S P Tamilselvan killed in Sri Lanka Air Force aerial bombardment
The LTTE Head quarters announced that the Head of the LTTE Political Division, S P Tamilselvan, was killed in a Sri Lankan Air Force aerial bombardment today at 6.00am. The full text of the announcement made by the LTTE Head Quarters is as follows:

“With deep sorrow we announce to the people of Tamil Eelam, the Tamil people living all over the world and the international community that at 6.00am today, Friday 2nd November 2007, Head of our organization’s Political Division, Brig. S P Tamilselvan was killed by the Sri Lankan Air Force aerial bombing. With him Lt Col Anpumani (Alex), Major Mihuthan, Capt Nethagy, Lt Adchgivel, and Lt Vahaikumaran were also killed.

LTTE Head Quarters”

guys we have to celebrate!! cheeeers!!1

Unknown said...

yep, boys TamilChelii is dead, LTTE peace Sec. confirms it.
Great job No 5 and No. 10 Squds!

Now we should prepare for an international backlash saying the Gov. has taken out the LTTE ability to negotiate and all that type of crap.

And also the LTTE might target Keheliya Ramb, or our peace Sec. Kohona or even the Army spokesman.

just a thought..

tangara said...

I remember I was responding to some one who mentioned that LTTE gets the news of SLAF jets leaving KAB from a company within the Katunayake airport.(anything between 8:00 AM and 10:00 pm is hopeless..)..LTTE can get their leaders into secure bunkers during this period.

There is another thing SLAF can try is to get the birds in the air at the same time when other non-civilian - i repeat non-civilian air crafts leave the KAB..

Early morning raids could undone the LTTE.

tangara said...

Very nice article indeed...

Unknown said...

go go go.........

Great work from our heros.
We will definitely win this war.
We have the courage.

Lets forget politics... Ranil, Mahinda, Golta etc....

Lets think about our country and future

Lets cheer.......

and we have to encourage if there is a temporary setback n the future without blaming everyone.

Srilankan said...

It is a miracle that an uneducated lunatic and a barber(2 coolies) have held a proud country to ransom for a period of more than 30 years on this claim of "tamil rights".As a Sinhalese Slankan where is my right to live in the north,start a business there?

Srilankan said...

For those who want to start tamil about UK and canada..Both these countries will amend their constitutions to include a tamil eelam.Only requirement..speak very softly to them.and say.. can we have a tamil eelam please?.Better still there are say 120 countries in the world about 120 tamil eelams?

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