Grand Strategic Struggle Management Against the Dictatorship in Eritrea

   By Fesseha Nair

The Eritrean National Conference for democratic change resulted with forming a commission that is assigned to organize a broad national congress among other activities. The need for strategic planning at this congress is of crucial importance.

 In the past, either the political or the civil society organizations have no well adjusted common strategy to fight the dictatorship and the road map after the fall of the dictatorship. In this congress, it is possible to plan a strategy to bring down the dictatorship based on realistic assessment of the situation and the capabilities of the population required to choose effective ways to liberate the people from dictatorship and build democratic Eritrea.

Strategic management of the struggle against the dictatorship and building democracy go side by side. The people fight against the dictatorship and simultaneously lay groundwork for durable democracy.  In this article, I would like to discuss on what and how this strategy should be shaped and designed. What is grand strategy and what are the options to bring down dictatorship?

What is Grand strategy?

If you don’t know where you are going, you might end somewhere else

–         Casey Stengel

The grand strategy is the course of action that helps one from the present situation to reach the desired future situation, in our case it means from dictatorship to future democratic system. The coming congress must be aware what kind of strategy to adopt. The congress should resolve a strategy that strengthens the oppressed and weaken the dictatorship and replace it with democratic system. A strategic decision involves the creation, change, or retention. The opposition resistance forces must create a grand strategy with vision that provides it direction and purpose for strategic activities. The previous activities of the opposition resistance forces were unplanned and have no strategic vision.

Shaping or designation of grand strategy


The designation of grand strategy needs analysis of the external and internal situations of the Eritrean opposition resistance forces.

External analysis involves an examination of the current situation in Eritrea and the internal analysis involves the performance of the resistance forces for democratic change, organisational capabilities and constraints meaning its strengths and weaknesses.

External analysis

With external analysis, I mean assessing the strength and weaknesses of the dictatorship. In most strategic planning the first logical step is to analyse the dictatorships strength and weakness. Understanding of how the dictator works helps us formulate and select the grand strategy, tactics and methods.



Internal analysis

Performance analysis


The coming congress must assess current performance of the opposition forces. The indicator of performance assessment is how much is the opposition attractive, is it delivering hope to the Eritrean people and how can it gain the popular support. The congress might be able review the current performance and plan for a new strategy that would be the basis for disintegrating the dictatorship and strengthen the democratic forces.

Identifying Organizational Capabilities and Constraints


The Eritrean National congress for democratic change must identify the hurdles or the strategic problems that were facing the opposition forces and correct them by endorsing a new strategy accommodating all forces for democratic change. Internal analysis here it means to analyse the internal organization of each member organizations either political or civil society must work hard for sustainable promotion of the common struggle against the dictatorship. The coming national congress for democratic change will provide a checklist of strengths and weaknesses. The first category is innovation of the opposition forces by improving their methods of struggle and producing more than they were doing currently. The second category is capacity building so that increasing efficiency and effectiveness. The third category is to generate or acquire funds to run your activities. The fourth is disseminating information and making the public aware. The coming national congress shall identify the relevant assets and competencies of the actors in the struggle against the dictatorship and transition to democracy. The Eritrean National Commission for democratic change must scale the capabilities and constraints facing them against the dictatorship. The National congress for democratic change is a platform creating advantage, synergy and vision. It is synergetic because it provides sustainable competitive advantage. Synergy means that the whole is more than the sum of its parts, for example,

Alliance + Individual political organizations + civil society+ independents+ Youth org + Women org + etc = Sum

The whole is the organization that will be formed after the congress is more than the sum. This means that operating together is superior to operating of the Alliance or civil society independently.

The congress will result by building alliances and synergy in key operations to defeat the tyranny in Eritrea and liberate the Eritrean people. The congress will adopt a strategic vision based on clear future strategy with a core driving national principles respecting the fundamental human rights and fundamental freedoms.

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Posted by on Jan 26 2011 Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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