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Chronicle of a People's War, The: The Military and Strategic History of the Cambodian Civil War 1979-1991
Published by Routledge
The Chronicle of a People's War: The Military and Strategic History of the Cambodian Civil War, 1979-1991 narrates the strategic and military history of the Cambodian Civil War, especially the People's Republic of Kampuchea (PRK), from when it deposed the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in 1979 until the political settlement in 1991. The PRK survived in the face of a fierce insurgency due to three factors: an appealing and reasonably well implemented political program, extensive political indoctrination, and the use of a hybrid army. In this hybrid organization the PRK relied on both its professional, conventional army, and the militia-like, territorial army. This latter type was lightly equipped and most soldiers were not professional. Yet the militia made up for these weaknesses with its intimate knowledge of the local terrain and its political affinity with the local people. These two advantages are keys to victory in the context of counterinsurgency warfare. The narrative and critical analysis is driven by extensive interviews and primary source archives which have never been accessed before by any scholar, including interviews with former veterans (from battalion commanders, brigade commanders, division commanders, commanders of provincial military commands, commanders of military regions, and deputy chiefs of staff), articles in the People's Army from 1979 to 1991, battlefield footage, battlefield video reports, newsreel, propaganda video, and official publications of the Cambodian Institute of Military History.
1. INTRODUCTION: THE CHRONIC WAR 1. The Living Chronicles of a People's War 2. What Makes This Book Unique 3. Notes on Sources 4. Military Jargon Survival Kit 4.1 People's War 4.2 Politics and War 4.3 Role of the Tank in the Cambodian Civil War 4.4 A Note on Modern Military Organization 5. Plan of the Book 6. Acknowledgement 2. ROAD TO WAR 1. The Colonial Heritage 2. The Radical Communist Party of Kampuchea (CPK) 3. Cambodia Leaned Right: Policy Shift Toward to the US 4. Full-Scale War: The Coup of 1970 5. Democratic Kampuchea: Cambodia's Dark Age 5.1 Prince Sihanouk: Much Vanity But No Power 5.2 Disaster of the Four Year Plan (1977-1980) 5.3 Comrades at War: Vietnam's Southern March Must Be Stopped! 6. Kampuchea Solidarity Front for National Salvation: Birth of a Revolution 6.1 The East Zone Put to the Sword 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 1. The Khmer Rouge: From Guerrillas to Regulars, from Regulars to Guerrillas 1.1 The Post-1979 Reorganization: Strategic and Operational Doctrine 1.2 Logistics 1.3 Tactics: Military and Political Concept of Guerrilla War 2. The Non-Communist Resistance (NCR) 2.1 What have we to lose? - Life of an Ordinary Cambodian Amidst Chaos 2.2 Non-Communist Resistance 1: Khmer People's National Liberation Front 2.2.1 Revenge of the Khmer Republic 2.2.2. Organization 2.2.3. Thailand's Check-and-Balance Policy Bites its Tail: KPNLF's Internal Rift 2.3. Non-Communist Resistance 2: Samdech Oeuv's (King Father's) Army 3. PAVN's Response to the One-Country-Two-Administrations: The 1982-83 Dry Season Offensive 3.1 One Country, Two States: Military Angle 3.2 One Country, Two States: Political and Diplomatic Angles 3.3 1983: The PAVN Flexed its Muscle 3.4 PAVN's 1984-85 Dry Season Offensive: The 16-Camps Campaign 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 1. The PAVN's Cambodian Contingent: The Vietnamese Volunteer Army 2. The Kampuchea People's Revolutionary Army (KPRA) 2.1 Mobilization Strategy and Concept of Operations * The Armed Propaganda Units and the Dual-Duty Companies * Indoctrination 2.3.1 Indoctrination in Action 2.3.2 1980: The Military Governed 2.3.3 1985: War on the Fringes, Indoctrination in the Interior 2.3.4 1989: Time's Up for Indoctrination 2.4 Result of Indoctrination 1: The KPRA's Provincial Military Commands (PMC) 2.4.1 History of the Battambang PMC 2.4.2 History of Banteay Meanchey PMC 2.4.3 History of Kampong Thom PMC 2.5 Result of Indoctrination 2: Region 4, Military Region 4 and 5 3. Territory-Centric Versus Population-Centric Strategy 4. The KPRA Mobile Divisions Went to War Along the Border 5. Summary and Discussions: A War of Numbers 5. WHEN THE SKY FALLS AND MOUNTAINS FLATTENED: THE CGDK MADE OPERATION GRADUATION 1. Diplomacy With (Huge) Armies: Prelude to the 1989 CGDK's Combined Offensive 2. Battambang Province: Easy Picking, Hard Swallowing 3. The Defense of Traeng 4. Banteay Meanchey: The Locals Who Dared Say No to the Central 4.1 Phase 1, First Axis of the KPNLAF Onslaught: Svay Chek 4.2 Phase 1, Second Axis of the KPNLAF Onslaught: Phnom Srok 4.3 Phase 2: My home, my war - The KPRA's Counteroffensive 5. Kampong Thom Province: If I flee, where do you suggest I go? 5.1 The Political Context 5.2 Military Operations 6. Diplomacy Without an Army 6. PARTING OFFENSIVES: RESIDUAL BATTLES OF THE CAMBODIAN CIVIL WAR 1. Counterargument: Stealing the KPRA's Thunder - Pailin and the Return of the PAVN 2. Forgotten Victories: The PRK's Pre-Emption and Counteroffensive 2.1 Pursat Province 2.2 Siem Reap-Ouddar Meanchey Provincial Military Command 2.3 The 286th division 3. Operation X-91 and Kampot Operation: The KPRA on a Rampage 4. Peace! CONCLUSION: THE ELUSIVE PEACE 1. People's War and Operational Graduation 2. Territorial Forces, Strategy, and Morale 3. Morale is about Location, Location, Location 4. Winners and Losers 5. Postscript Appendix A Appendix B Bibliography
Brigadier General Nhem Boraden currently serves as assistant to Gen. Tea Banh, deputy prime minister and minister of national defense of Cambodia. He had 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).
Reviewer: Caleb Simmons
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