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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From Lash to Red Star: The Pitfalls of Counter-Insurgency in Ethiopia, 1980-82
Author:Tareke, Gebru
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:civil wars
military operations
Politics and Government
Military, Defense and Arms
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3876045
Abstract:By 1980, Ethiopia was gripped in escalating civil wars. After a series of punitive expeditions had failed to suppress them, the government organized large-scale operations in the early 1980s against the insurgencies in the eastern and northern territories. The operations seemed to have been informed by what is called 'total strategy'. Although the emphasis was on the coercive component, the State also used psychological and economic incentives. The results were mixed. Operation Lash, by and large, achieved its aims, while Operation Red Star, which appears to have been inspired by the first, was a military disaster. The eastern rebels were defeated more easily because they were factious. The northern campaign failed because of the rebels' staunchness and the terrain's unsuitability. In a cold test of wills, the Eritrean fighters not only held the offensive to a stalemate, but also went on to win total military victory. Same strategy, different outcomes: this suggests that no single counter-insurgency strategy can always have the same results as it is influenced by numerous factors that may vary from one place to another. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.