The U. S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902

The U. S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902

The U. S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902

The U. S. Army and Counterinsurgency in the Philippine War, 1899-1902

Synopsis

After defeating the Philippine Republic's conventional forces in 1899, the U.S. Army was broken up into small garrisons to prepare Luzon for colonial rule. The Filipino nationalists transformed their resistance into a guerrilla warfare that varied so greatly from region to region in its organization, strategy, and tactics that early American attempts at centralization and nonmilitary pacification were useless. The study offers new insights for counterinsurgency theory and for the study of America's military experience in Asia.

Excerpt

Historians have traditionally attempted to analyze the U. S. Army's counterinsurgency campaign in the Philippines between 1899 and 1902 through an archipelago-wide perspective. Whether they emphasize benevolence or brutality, Tagalog rebellion or national liberation struggle, scholars have viewed the Army's activities as uniform during the conflict. Despite its general acceptance, there are key weaknesses in this viewpoint. Philippine scholars have already demonstrated that Filipino guerrilla resistance varied from island to island, and even from province to province, in its origins, character, and ideology. Faced with such a disparate foe, an obvious question is whether the Army did not adapt its tactics and methods to the war in the provinces. a further weakness is the assumption that the official Army policies, whether benevolent or repressive, were followed by soldiers in the field. Yet in the Philippines the American combat forces were scattered in some 400 small garrisons, often isolated from each other by terrain or lack of communications facilities. Whereas Army headquarters in Manila could draw up guidelines and issue orders, it lacked the capacity to insure they were followed. Finally, the archipelago-wide perspective leads to a tendency to concentrate upon one or two campaigns or incidents as typifying Army conduct without asking whether these might reflect special circumstances not found in the rest of the islands.

This book will analyze the actual conduct of U. S. Army counterinsurgency operations in the countryside. It focuses on the guerrilla war in four districts on the main island of Luzon and concentrates on both military and nonmilitary aspects of pacification. the book covers the leadership, strength, policies, and tactics of the guerrilla opposition as well as the establishment of civil government, Filipino police forces, Native Scout and auxiliary units, and local intelligence networks. However, it is primarily a military history concerned with U. S. Army operations and policies at the local level. the focus is . . .

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