The Siege of Marawi, the impulse to change the capabilities of the Philippine armed forces


In May 2017, Islamists of the South-Philippine Separate Groups of Abu Sajyaf and Maute occupied Marawi City in Mindanao. Five-month fighting was attended by more than 3,000 armed forces against about 1,000 jihadists. Dozens of foreign fighters took part in the fighting on the Islamists side and confirming the pan-Islamic ethos of the Islamic state's ideology in this part of the world. Philippine troops were not prepared for the character of fighting in urbanized environment against motivated and experienced militants. The shortcomings were manifested in the conducting of operations in a heavily built-up area, but also in low-level coordination and limits of capabilities of the technical intelligence. It was decided to create Special Operations Command to which all Philippine special purpose forces are subordinated. The conflict experience has initiated a change of doctrinal approach that focuses on air support to reduce losses due to inaccurate bombing and acquisitions of high-tech reconnaissance and weapon systems.

Colonel Assoc. Prof. Libor Kutěj, Ph.D., born in 1967. He graduated in Mining Engineering at the Technical University Ostrava and in International Relations at the Metropolitan University Prague. He completed his doctoral studies at the University Defence in Brno and in 2021 defended his habilitation thesis and was appointed Associate Professor in the field of Forces and Population Protection. In the years 1996 – 2019, he has worked in Military Intelligence Service. He is the director of the Institute of Intelligence Studies of the University of Defence and his academic work is focuses on intelligence disciplines and security situation in East and Southeast Asia.

ORCID: 0000-0003-0810-5547

Country: Czech Republic


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