The GPM Global Forecast is a bi-weekly, members-only article series for 2017. It provides analysis and short-term forecasting on key military, political, and economic events around the globe.
Marawi a Sign of Things to Come in South Asia?
The occupation of Marawi in southern Philippines by the largely unheard-of militant group Maute is just the latest case of a local terrorist outfit taking a page out of the ISIS handbook and striking where it’s least expected. Like in Ramadi, Mosul, Fallujah, and Lashkar Gah, local militants launched a flash offensive that caught military and police units off-guard. After capturing the city, they freed criminals from jails and received some limited support from locals who either believe in the cause or fear reprisals should they resist. But most importantly: once the militants are in control of a dense, urban area, the logistics for their removal becomes a tactical nightmare. Now, a military force that is if not undertrained than definitely inexperienced in the art of urban warfare, must dislodge militants entrenched in the civilian population. It will be difficult to do this without inflaming local grievances and all but assuring a repeat performance somewhere down the line.