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Tribal Identity and Conflicts with Tribes

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Research paper

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As the United States enters the 21st century, a new enemy has emerged to replace the old. The Cold War is over and many would argue that the need to plan andor prepare for major combat operations is an archaic way of moving forward. While the author doesnt necessarily espouse this view, he does believe that the preponderance of conflicts in the nations future will be against foes of a tribal nature. As such, it is not likely that these tribes will possess the assets or size of a nation-state. Understanding the tribal foe, their culture, and their unique identity will be critical to strategic success for the United States. The United States must be willing to meet the enemy on their terms, and as it evaluates their values and cultural identity, it also must evaluate itself. The United States must not fall victim into believing that all tribal enemies are the same because they speak the same language, look the same, or are located on the same continent. Understanding the enemy to this degree will allow for greater success during the conflict or even the avoidance of conflict altogether. The author examines two cases in which U.S. armed forces engaged in warfare with a tribal enemy the Plains Indian Wars 1865-1891, and the Philippine Insurgency. These case studies illustrate the U.S. militarys vulnerabilities in combating a tribal enemy structure. They also show how the country failed to retain lessons observed in previous encounters. Though neither one of these wars was considered a failure, in todays strategic environment, a 25-year war is not acceptable, particularly if it is fought on foreign soil.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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