Shashank Joshi’s recent post on ‘India’s Incredible Shrinking Air Force’ prompts a closer look at Burma’s armed forces (the Tatmadaw). Since the accession of President Thein Sein in 2011, the Tatmadaw’s continuing political role has been examined closely. Less attention has been given to strictly military issues, yet the Tatmadaw’s combat capabilities not only underpin its domestic position but also help determine the Burma’s strategic influence.
Despite its dominance of Burma’s national affairs for decades, the Tatmadaw remains in many respects a closed book. Even the most basic data is beyond the reach of analysts and other observers. For example, the …read more