Armed Groups in Cambodian Civil War: Territorial Control, by Yuichi Kubota (auth.)

By Yuichi Kubota (auth.)

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Additional resources for Armed Groups in Cambodian Civil War: Territorial Control, Rivalry, and Recruitment

Sample text

When the enlistment of voluntary participants does not suffice for the replacement of troops, coercive mobilization is often efficient. In other words, armed forces do not have to necessarily pursue hearts and minds to further the war effort, because their power will eventually ensure civilian cooperation. Suppose that a rebel group seizes complete control in its stronghold, and its control weakens near the areas controlled by the government. For the reasons discussed above, civilians within the stronghold would have strong reasons to participate with the rebel forces.

Because perceived safety in war is vital in mobilization, armed forces make every effort to develop this attribute as much as possible within their groups. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in Ethiopia, for example, began its military activities with a small number of core members in 1975 but had been suffering difficulties in mobilizing new recruits from the rural population. 59 Both groups attempted to make their recruits insensitive to the risk of punishment and retaliation by government forces.

Theories of control are advantageous in that they can capture changes in support across regions; whereas a group wins support in areas in which it exclusively controls, it does not in areas controlled by its rivals. The underlying assumptions are not only that civilians are submissive to those who rule them, often through coercion, but also that they react accordingly to minimize the possibility of punishment by their rulers. However, there exist people who join the rebel forces near or within the government’s area.

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