Myanmar junta's military plans reveal the number of rebels fighting.  Analysis

Myanmar junta’s military plans reveal the number of rebels fighting. Analysis

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Last year, Ye Myo Hin, citing interviews with military deserters and defectors, analysis of military documents, and casualty figures, estimated that the Myanmar army had about 70,000 combat troops.

Anthony Davis, a security analyst at the British-based Jane’s intelligence company, estimated the total strength of rebel ethnic forces in 2021 at about 75,000.

Analysts said the current size of the anti-junta resistance is likely to grow larger as the conflict drags on and more resistance groups emerge.

The Tatmadaw, as the military is known, has not publicly announced the size of its fighting force in recent years.

Miami Winn Byrd, a former US military analyst, said based on interviews with military battalion commanders and other soldiers who have deserted the army, defection has increased sharply in the past few months.

“Myanmar’s military forces are exhausted and demoralized,” he said, adding that basic supplies such as food and equipment were in short supply.

Former army captain Htet Myat, who defected in June 2021 and now helps other soldiers defect, told Reuters in December that some battalions had only 130 soldiers. Htet Myit said he defected because he opposed the 2021 coup.

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