Air Command And Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base United States
By late 1901, the American occupation of the Philippine Islands was entering its third year of combat operations. A military and diplomatic policy of benevolent assimilation towards the Filipinos was beginning to wane as the United States Administration was losing patience with the guerrilla warfare being waged by the Filipino insurgents. The massacre of forty-eight U.S. soldiers at Balangiga on the island of Samar by insurgents and indigenous locals ignited a tinderbox of transformation of U.S. military operations and policy in the Philippines. Brigadier General Jacob Smith, a man of reputed questionable moral character, was placed in command of the operations on the island of Samar, and issued the infamous order to his subordinate, Maj Littleton Waller, to punish treachery with death, to kill and burn, and to turn the interior of Samar into a howling wilderness.