The Myanmar Army (Tatmadaw Kyee in local language) is the land component of the Military of Myanmar. The Myanmar Army is the largest branch of the Armed Forces of Myanmar and has the primary responsibility of conducting land-based military operations. The Myanmar Army maintains the second largest active force in Southeast Asia after Vietnam's Vietnam People's Army. 2.
The Myanmar Army has a troop strength around 492,000. The army has rich combat experience in fighting insurgents in rough terrains, considering it has been conducting non-stop counter-insurgency operations against ethnic and political insurgents since its inception in 1948. 3.
The force is headed by the Commander in Chief (Army), currently Vice Senior General Maung Aye. The highest rank in the Myanmar Army is Senior General, equivalent to Field Marshal position in Western Armies and is currently held by Senior General Than Shwe. The defence budget of the Myanmar Military is 7.07 billion US dollars. 4.
Defence Policy of Myanmar Tatmadaw was formally declared in February, 1999. The declared policy outlined the doctrine of "total people's defence" for the Union of Myanmar. Threats to the national unity, territorial integrity and sovereign independence of the Union of Myanmar are the most important security objectives and considered as threats to the security of state. In the process of formulating Defence Policy and Military Doctrine from a strategic perspective, Tatmadaw has undergone three phases. History
First phase (post-independence/civil war era).
The first phase of the doctrine was developed in early 1950s to cope with external threats from more powerful enemies with a strategy of Strategic Denial under conventional warfare. The perception of threats to state security was more external than internal threats. The internal threat to state security was managed through the use of a mixture of force and political persuasion. Lieutenant Colonel Maung Maung drew up defence doctrine based on conventional warfare concepts, with large infantry divisions, armoured brigades, tanks and motorised war with mass mobilisation for the war effort being the important element of the doctrine. The objective was to contain the offensive of the invading forces at the border for at least three months, while waiting for the arrival of international forces, similar to the police action by international intervention forces under the directive of United Nations during the war on Korean peninsula. However, the conventional strategy under the concept of total war was undermined by the lack of appropriate command and control system, proper logistical support structure, sound economic bases and efficient civil defence organisations. At the beginning of 1950s, while Tatmadaw was able to reassert its control over most part of the country, Kuomintang (KMT) troops under General Li Mai, with support from United States, invaded Myanmar and used the country's frontier as a springboard for attack against People's Republic of China, which in turn became the external threat to state security and sovereignty of Myanmar. The first phase of the doctrine was tested for the first time in Operation "Naga Naing" in February 1953 against invading KMT forces. The doctrine did not take into account logistic and political support for KMT from United States and as a result it failed to deliver the objectives and ended in humiliating defeat for the Tatmadaw. The then Tatmadaw leadership argued that the excessive media coverage was partly to blame for the failure of Operation "Naga Naing". For example, Brigadier General Maung Maung pointed out that newspapers, such as the "Nation", carried reports detailing the training and troops positioning, even went as far to the name and social background of the commanders who are leading the operation thus losing the element of surprise. Colonel Saw Myint, who was second in command for the operation, also complained about the...
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