The Philippine Insurgency: A Model for Iraq?
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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Over 100 years ago, the United States Army, outnumbered three to one, defeated an insurgency of at least 80.0000 combatants, making the Philippine War one of the most successful counterinsurgencies waged by a Western army in modern times. Today in Iraq, the U.S. military is again involved in counterinsurgency operations with striking similarities to the Philippine War of 1899-1902. In both operations, the United States toppled a disagreeable government with swift military action and minimal casualties it removed the existing governing system in a country where self-rule was a foreign concept and in both cases, a rapid insurgency developed largely unnoticed. While the Philippine War was resolved relatively swiftly, the United States is struggling to develop and implement an effective counterinsurgency strategy to defeat the Iraqi insurgency. Scholars and military strategists alike have pointed to the aforementioned similarities and concluded that the Iraqi War should be modeled on the successful strategy of the Philippine War of 1899-1902. However, the complexity of the situation in Iraq deems this plan severely flawed, and potentially fraught with dangerous outcomes. The strategy to defeat the Iraqi insurgency should not be modeled on the successful strategy of the U.S. Army during the Philippine War due to inherent differences in population, culture, and military capabilities.
- Humanities and History
- Unconventional Warfare