National Army of Democratic Kampuchea

The National Army of Democratic Kampuchea was the successor to the Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea. It was the armed wing of the Communist Party of Kampuchea from 1979-1982 and for the Party of Democratic Kampuchea from 1982-1992.  It was the strongest armed element of the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea.  It was directly and indirectly funded and armed by both the United States and China.

To reboot American support for the Khmer Rouge click here.

The Khmer Rouge into the 1990’s

In 1992 the Party of Democratic Kampuchea was replaced by the Cambodian National Unity Party. The National Army of Democratic Kampuchea remained its armed wing.

After boycotting the 1993 elections the Khmer Rouge and its armed forces fled to their strongholds of Pailin and Anlong Veng. Here they formed the international unrecognized Provisional Government of National Union and National Salvation of Cambodia.

The National Army of Democratic Kampuchea insurgency

Officially the NADK was aligned with Royalist and Republican forces, but in actual fact was by far the most superior military force. With its allies admitting that without them there would be no insurgency.

During the 1980’s the backbone of the army changed from the previously battle hardened veterans to new younger recruits. These recruits still came from the lower rural classes and were adept at guerrilla warfare. It is estimated that the Khmer Rouge received up to $100 million a year from various outside sources.

Strength of the National Army of Democratic Kampuchea

At its height in the 1980’s it had a fighting force of up to 50,000 men. Following its refusal to take part in elections the forces dwindled as senior KR leaders defected to the government.

By 1999 and the capture of Ta Mok he was being protected by a mere handful of loyalists.

The National Army of Democratic Kampuchea and the Cambodian Civil War

In the mid 1990’s and during the brief period of unrest between the CPP and FUNICIPEC, the force soft the Khmer Rouge were courted by both sides in the conflict. This was a huge reason for the defections and freedom of many pf the leaders of the Khmer Rouge for so long.

Integration of the National Army of Democratic Kampuchea

Following the various defections from the Khmer Rouge, the former NADK troops literally just changed uniforms and continued as soldiers. This was done as part of the Win-Win policy of Hun Sen, in order to end the civil war by reintegrating the Khmer Rouge into society.

In places such as Anlong Veng  places such as the Pol Pot bunker are guarded by former KR soldiers now integrated into the Royalist army of the government.