First of three parts
Military planners often talk of the tyranny of distance and time when it comes to planning tactics for expeditionary forces.
This, in plain talk, refers to problems in logistics and economy created by distance away from the base of a military force.
A simple example is problems for US forces when carrying out military operations in faraway lands like Iraq, Afghanistan or the West Philippine Sea.
The simplest explanation is the longer the logistical tail, the bigger the problem.
This could very well be the problem culturally speaking to State security forces as the war on terror shifts heavily to urban and town centers with the full implementation of the Human Security Act of 2020 or the title that I like: the Anti Terror Law.
The tyranny of distance is a major problem for security forces, particularly the Army that had been the tip of the spear and the constant, reliable foundation since the Duterte government’s whole of nation approach to fighting the insurgency.
The Army has apparently crippled the countryside operations of the New People’s Army waging its so-called protracted people’s war though actually a terrorist leverage to further its extortion, intimidation and infiltration campaign in urban and town centers.
While the claims of the Army and the task forces of the End Local Communist Armed Conflict councils are biased to say the least, the measures are self-evident.
As both a reporter and former Communist urban infiltrator doing urban work in the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, the indicators are too glaring but often unobserved and glossed over due to the lack of active counterpropaganda and information warfare operations by government forces.
There has been no major “sparrow” operations for the past decade or, more recently, since 2018 when the Duterte government launched a renewed counterinsurgency campaign through the NTF-ELCAC’s whole of nation and whole of government approach.
This alone underscores the reach of terror of the Communists, a vital indication of how “red political power” – which Communists want to project – has become ineffective.
Too, there has been no significant TOs or tactical offensives on “hard targets” i.e. mikitary or police detachments.
Even in Bacolod City, the provincial capital of Negros Occidental, the weakening of the CPP is evidenced by the failure of its legal fronts to mobilize tens to hundreds of thousands of people on key mobilization issues.
What is meant by the tyranny of distance in the urban and town center operations is the fact that the military and police are at a disadvantage to the Communist infrastructure that had long been entrenched or integrated into the political, economic, and cultural fabric in urban centers.
It is important to take note that the Communists operate on the seemingly separate but actually integrated concepts of the CS and urban or “Red and White” area operations.
It is in this aspect that the State faces the tyranny of distance in a figurative sense as the Communists have outdistanced them by more than two generations or 55 wretched years since the terrorist movement sowed hate, distrust, and fear among people in urban areas and town centers.
Long before President Duterte called for a whole of nation approach against the terrorist Communists, Jose Maria Sison’s strategy that he imagined on the run in the 1960s called for a people’s war that relied on building cells in various sectors of society, especially those the CPP classifies as the leading and motive forces of the revolution.
To demystify this goobledygook, the CPP agitates thoae who are already disgruntled with current society, instigating them to bring their so-called legitimate demands and grievances and judge government as a failure on its own terms.
Frank Fernandez sums it up clearly in the 2002 plenum inside the Umas complex in Sipalay City that the purpose of the “legal democratic movement,” that is the fronts like Bayan, Gabriela, Karapatan, Bayan Muna, and even Kalikasan is to “amplify” the strength of the revolutionary movement in the cities.
I know so because I was secretary of the Party collective that was directly under Frank Fernandez who headed the Regional Party Committee in the 2000s.
To be continued