A Military Defector reports- Low Morale and Defections Has Eroded Junta’s

Mawlamyaing, 4 January

There is no evidence so far that Junta ‘s declared plan to reclaim all the military bases and outposts recently captured by the resistance in 2024, has any serious chance of reversing this wave of military defeats.

So far the coup- regime has suffered the loss of over 450 bases and military installations nationwide. More than 20 towns have fallen under the joint control of ethnic armed resistance forces and the People’s Defense Force (PDF).

In November, coup Junta leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing had made bold threats on two occasions, vowing to launch severe retaliation against the resistance alliance forces involved in ‘Operation 1027’.

Military and political observers have remarked that the Military Council currently lacks the necessary manpower to reclaim lost bases and towns, and implementing Min Aung Hlaing’s ambitions would be an almost impossible task.

Air Force Sergeant Zeya who has actively participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against the military dictatorship told the Than Lwin Times, “The Military Council is currently in a state of decline, prompting a desperate need to fortify defenses to prevent further losses of bases.”

The Air Force defector explained that, “As the Military Council finds itself in a precarious position, the priority now is to staunchly defend against further base losses, rather than actively pursuing the recapture of lost territories. The severe shortage of manpower has forced the Junta to resort to re-enlistment of incarcerated ex-soldiers. Soldiers caught committing theft and other offences are no longer subjected to prosecution; instead they are sent to the frontlines”, he said.

Contrary to its historical practice of treating deserters harshly, the Military Council issued a statement on December 3rd, granting immunity from punishment to deserters, who decided to change their minds and return to military service.

As per the New Year speech delivered by Duwa Lashi La, the Acting President of the National Unity Government (NUG), the count of surrendered troops within the Military Council since the commencement of ‘Operation 1027’ has surpassed an unprecedented figure of over 550.

The Military Council has not provided any official disclosure regarding the surrender of its troops during ‘Operation 1027’.

Military and political analyst U Than Soe Naing remarked that a pervasive sense of distrust among subordinate soldiers towards Junta leaders has become so widespread, that many are no longer inclined to fight to the death, opting instead to surrender easily when confronted with battles.

“The Military Council troops, facing a significant decline in morale, opted for easy surrender over fierce resistance. The lack of trust in their superiors has led soldiers to refrain from fighting to the death. I believe the rapid success of the revolution thus far, is attributed to the enemy’s demoralization”, he told Than Lwin Times.

On October 27th, 2023, the Three Brotherhood Alliance initiated synchronized attacks on the bases and outposts of the Military Council situated in northern Shan State, designating the endeavor as ‘Operation 1027’ in reference to the commencement date of the operations.

During the tumultuous period of the Military Council’s significant setbacks in the aftermath of ‘Operation 1027’, local armed resistance forces in Sagaing, Bago, Chin, Kachin, Rakhine, Karen, and Karenni areas conducted timely operations to capture towns and bases.

The conflicts are still ongoing unabated in these areas, with continuous fighting and ‘Operation 1027’ persisting in northern Shan State, where additional outposts of the Military Council are continuously being seized.

Another military analyst expressed the opinion that, at present, the prospect of the Military Council successfully reclaiming lost camps and outposts seems unlikely, as its desperate focus is primarily on preventing the further loss of bases.

“From the beginning, a notable weakness in the Myanmar Military lies in its need to deploy forces across the country. Since the Military Council staged the coup in 2021, the subsequent loss of manpower among its ranks has been irreplaceable. The prospect of mounting offensives to regain control of the lost military regions and bases is currently non-existent. Perhaps its only viable option is to depend on air attacks and incriminating shelling”, he said.

That is exactly what the Junta’s is currently doing with reports from the frontline that, the Military Council is intensifying airstrikes, and shelling instead of deploying reinforcements to areas experiencing heightened military tension.

In his New Year’s message, coup leader Min Aung Hlaing stated that his regime aims to enhance the country’s economy by 2024 but did not address any military goals. Furthermore, Min Aung Hlaing mentioned that the Military Council will collaborate with the people to attain its national and political objectives.

News -Than Lwin Times

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