Plus - Letter to the editor

To whom does the success belong?

Point of view

War is too important to be left to the generals alone -- Clemenceau and the Third Republic (1946)

The LTTE has been defeated and its military capability destroyed by the collective effort of the citizenry, including the head of state, parliamentarians and security forces personnel. Sadly we hear reports of some people in uniform making efforts to claim credit for it. Some even apportion as much as 95% of the success to them. In this context, it is pertinent to logically identify the reasons for success vis-à-vis personalities.

To successfully prosecute a war against a ferocious and ruthless enemy, a country needs a strong elected leader. He/she should galvanize the entire nation to rally around him with a focus to prosecute the war.

In the recent history of Sri Lanka, no leader other than President Mahinda Rajapaksa had the courage and political will to give leadership to a sustained military campaign to defeat the LTTE. If not for his courageous leadership amid internal and external pressure, that major victory would not have become a reality.

Our troops rose to the occasion, heeding the call of the nation and paid the supreme sacrifice in the defence of Mother Lanka. These brave sons and daughters, most of them rural youth, marched to the frontlines against tremendous odds. If not for them, this victory would not have been possible.
Resources made available to the forces and the coordination between the forces also played a pivotal role in the entire operation.

The military language had to be translated and conveyed to the Commander-in-Chief with precision. Nobody else in the recent history of Sri Lanka carried out this task more effectively than the present Defence Secretary. His ability to harness the support of different personalities and organisations for a singular purpose had no parallels in the recent past. The success against the LTTE would have been elusive, if not for him.

Sri Lankans who have been battered and bruised in the past three decades, silently but stoically rallied around the Commander-in-Chief and the Armed Forces. They sent their sons and daughters to the Armed Forces and bore all the hardships. The victory would not have been possible, if not for them.
In addition to these, victory would not have been possible if not for the strategic planning and precision-like execution of war strategies by the commanders of the three services and the heads of police and other paramilitary and auxiliary forces.

Simply put, the commanders had all the resources necessary for them to execute their battle plans. With such backing, any service commander could have achieved success.

In this context anybody who has a professional knowledge about terrorism/war will understand that those who claim 95% of the credit for the victory are only entitled to 4%.

A senior infantry officer who together with his men fought the LTTE for 20 years

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