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Myanmar Crisis

Shrinking Myanmar military struggles to quash resistance

Active troops down by 21,000, analyst says, as violence escalates

Myanmar's military may have as few as 70,000 combat troops, well below previous estimates in the hundreds of thousands, according to a report in May.

BANGKOK/YANGON -- Two months on from dissolving Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, Myanmar's military remains mired in a conflict with armed pro-democracy resistance groups amid a shifting balance of power that looks less tilted in the military's favor.

"The Myanmar military is in fact shrinking from a severe -- and rapidly growing -- shortage of personnel," Ye Myo Hein, a visiting scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, wrote in an analysis released in May. The report estimates that it has suffered 13,000 battlefield deaths and 8,000 defections and desertions, for a total of 21,000 losses since the coup.

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