Anatomy of a Forgotten Conflict

Q. Sakamaki / Redux

Rebel territory: Despite military efforts, the insurgency in the south continues to claim lives

A Bangkok military seminar in February concluded that the conflict in southern Thailand, now entering its sixth year, "will get worse before it gets any better." In the same week, insurgents gunned down a village chief, blew up two people and shot two soldiers, mutilating and burning the corpses. Some 3,300 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since 2004. Exactly how much worse does it need to get?

British academic Duncan McCargo counters such heartless defeatism with Tearing Apart the Land, an introduction to a scandalously underreported conflict. Most of...

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