Strategic culture and the failure of command: the Peruvian army struggle against Sendero Luminoso in the highlands, 1980-89 Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Moreno, Ezekiel
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • The military's excessive use force in the Peruvian highlands in 1980s can be attributed to the failure of command and control. The absence of leadership and inability enforce discipline allowed informal rules and procedures to develop and shape the conflict. The validity of this assertion is evident when one considers the evolution of a Peruvian strategic culture. From 1930-1980, the Peruvian strategic culture increasingly associated national defense with internal security, development, and popular support, and this perception continued to influence military discourse during the civil war. Framed within this larger analysis, accepted explanations for the violence, which often center on racism and the use of scorched-earth strategy, are incomplete. The violence resulted from structural failures within the armed forces, specifically command and control, and exacerbated by other factors. Thus, this study provides a more nuanced and additive understanding of the civil war from the military's perspective.
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  • In Copyright
  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of in the Department of History.
  • La Serna, Miguel
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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