Professional Homemade Cherry Bombs by Joseph Abursci

By Joseph Abursci

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The Cyprus Police Commission, composed of several senior police chiefs in Britain, visited Cyprus in February and March of 1956 and came up with a detailed and critical study of the police. Many of the criticisms concerned the poor conditions and low pay that had pushed the Greek Cypriots out of the force. ”82 The Commission also expressed concern about the low personnel quality and training of the hundreds of special constables—almost all Turkish—recruited since the start of the insurgency. 83 Ignoring such advice, Harding even expanded the Auxiliary Police, a force that reached a peak of 1,594 men in 1958.

The Cyprus and Malaya case studies dramatically demonstrate the central role of police in counterinsurgency. In Malaya, a key element in turning the situation to the government’s favor was the program to reform and retrain the police and make it a more professional body that could interact with the civilian population more effectively (and thus gain good intelligence), and act efficiently on the intelligence it received. In Cyprus, the British failed to address the serious flaws in the Cyprus Police.

In Malaya, a key element in turning the situation to the government’s favor was the program to reform and retrain the police and make it a more professional body that could interact with the civilian population more effectively (and thus gain good intelligence), and act efficiently on the intelligence it received. In Cyprus, the British failed to address the serious flaws in the Cyprus Police. As a result, the relationship between the police to the civilian population was poor. Consequently, British intelligence on the Cyprus insurgents was consistently weak.

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