Inside Burma's War

Photograph for TIME

On the march
Fresh cadets in the Kachin Independence Army perform drills in front of their academy in the rebel-controlled north

Duct tape holds together his Chinese-made assault rifle, and the mosquito net in his rucksack gapes with so many holes that it practically invites dengue- and malaria-carrying insects to feast on his body. Felix has never fought in the jungles of northeastern Burma, where a rebel army is preparing for war with one of Asia's largest militaries. With no heavy artillery and little more than flip-flops and used flashlights to give their recruits, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) can only depend on guerrilla tactics to deter soldiers of the Burmese military regime. The 24-year-old cadet at the KIA's military...

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