NEWPORT, R.I. - Members of U.S. Naval War College's (NWC) Center on Irregular Warfare and Armed Groups (CIWAG) visited Sri Lanka Jan. 30-Feb. 4, for three days of discussions with members of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces regarding their conflicts with insurgents within their country.
During the visit, Strategy and Policy Department professors Marc Genest and Andrea Dew and Joint Military Operations professors Paul Povlock and Thomas Sass interviewed senior members of the Sri Lankan Army and Navy regarding their service's respective roles and missions in their nation's counterinsurgency efforts and postwar reconstruction.
Acording to Povlock, the Sri Lankan Army and Navy provided the NWC team a great level of access to their senior leaders. This allowed NWC faculty members to gain greater insight into the character of their conflict that may help understand how U.S. forces might respond during similar circumstances.
"NWC team members took from the firsthand experience the importance of operational factors, such as time, space and force, in the course of the Sri Lankan civil war," Professor Povlock said. "Sri Lankan officers also shared the effects of the strategic decisions of the Sri Lankan armed forces and the insurgents on the final outcome of the conflict."
Povlock said the Sri Lankans explained the strategic decisions that led to victory for the government forces and defeat for the insurgents as well as the role maritime and Special Operations Forces played in irregular warfare there.
"This knowledge will inform the faculty's approach when discussing the results of this insurgency in class and developing syllabus for the departments and CIWAG," said Povlock.
NWC faculty members also had the opportunity to take a staff ride on a Sri Lankan Navy Patrol Boat in Trincomalee Harbor where they saw major points where the Sri Lankan Navy fought insurgents followed by a panel discussion with Commader, Sri Lankan Eastern Naval Area, RADM Jayanath Colombage, and his staff.
Edited and posted by Brie Lyons