This revealing journal of an ex-Papua New Guinea Defence Force Officer, details against the historical background, the inside story of military operations against the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA). The book offers a sensitive treatment of civil war, from the inside. It provides a Melanesian perspective on a Melanesian war. It describes the background to the secessionist crisis (the discovery of copper, the establishment of the Bougainville Copper mine, and early secessionist movements on the island). The reader learns about the PNG military through Liria's description of his own recruitment and training. As an Intelligence Officer, Liria briefed others on the BRA, and it is through his account of one of those briefing sessions that the reader learns about the BRA, and the support for the BRA among the Bougainvillean people. As well as contributing to the history of the counter-insurgency campaign, the book is an entertaining account of life in uniform. Liria's style is that of a natural raconteur.
He shares the opportunities for humour, and is not afraid to tell his readers how he cried to see the burnt out villages of Bougainville, which could so easily have been villages in his own Southern Highlands district. This is not a dry, academic work. It is a good read, and an informative one.
Yauka Aluambo Liria