“Crushing all enemies, on land, underground and at sea, all enemies, we will crush them totally, until they are uprooted, decimated.”
This, poetically put on Armed Forces Day in March 2006, is the Burmese Army’s view of itself: the backbone and protector of a nation besieged by enemies from within and outside its borders.
At 400,000 strong, it is one of the largest and most battle-tested armies in Southeast Asia, still fighting a half-century war with ethnic insurgencies.
But it is much more than a fighting force. A large part of its energies go into a bigger task: running Myanmar. [complete article]