View Full Version : Two studies on U.S. Army COIN vs. the Apache

phil b
05-05-2007, 01:27 AM
<a href="http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA396544&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf">GENERAL CROOK AND COUNTERINSURGENCY WARFARE</a>

LTC William L. Greenberg, USA
This thesis investigates the operational and tactical procedures in counterinsurgency
warfare developed by General George Crook while commanding U.S. Army forces in
southwest and the northern plains. This work includes a brief introduction of General
Crook’s career before and during the Civil War. The study examines the capabilities of
the U.S. Army and its Apache and Sioux opponents during Indian campaigns, which
Crook participated in. Inherent in the study is an in-depth examination of Crook’s
campaigns against the Apaches in the 1872-75, 1882-86, and against the Sioux and
Cheyenne in 1876-77.

This study concludes that General Crook, through trial and error, developed a distinct
brand of operational and tactical procedures to conduct effective counterinsurgency
warfare. Though lacking a coherent strategic national policy concerning the Indians,
Crook was capable of successfully developing and executing a coherent
counterinsurgency policy at the operational and tactical levels. This comprehensive
program produced victories against his enemies in the field and an integrated
acculturation policy for the Indians who resided on the reservation. Crook’s use of
Apache scouts and the pack mule train revolutionized the Army’s ability to track down
the insurgents and defeat them. His use of population controls coupled with economic
development provided his Indian opponents an alternative way of life for their societies.

<a href="http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA273161&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf">THE U.S. GOVERNMENT AND THE APACHE

Many historians contend that the U.S. Government's first real
experience in countering an insurgency came during the
Philippine Insurrection of 1899; and they classify previous
conflicts with the American Indians as limited "wars of
In fact, the long struggle between the government and the
Apache Indians stemmed from complex social, political and
economic factors, and bears all the earmarks of a
traditional, or secessionist, insurgency. This study
evaluates the methods used to suppress the Apache insurgency
by applying the principles of modern counterinsurgency
The strength of the government's approach was in its ability
to conduct a short, decisive military campaign which defeated
most of the hostile bands and induced others to surrender.
The major weakness lay in the government's inability to
develop a balanced national strategy for dealing with the
insurgency. Lack of cooperation between civilian and
military agencies led to failed attempts at pacification, an
ineffective reservation system, and continued conflict.
The experience of the U.S. Government with the Apaches
confirms the validity of much of our current doctrine, and
offers lessons which can be applied to modern
counterinsurgency operations.

phil b
05-05-2007, 01:39 AM
Well, now I know that html doesn't work here. Here are the links (hopefully, if I did it right):

GENERAL CROOK AND COUNTERINSURGENCY WARFARE (http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA396544&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf)

IN COUNTERINSURGENCY (http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA273161&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf)

Steve Blair
05-07-2007, 04:39 PM
I've read both of these, and there are some problems with using Crook as the focus for discussions of the efforts against the Apache. For one, it tends to ignore the fact that there were a number of tribes in the region (Hualapai and Yavapai to name two) that drew on resources prior to 1871. Another issue is that Crook in most cases expanded on practices that were already in place before he arrived in Arizona. Both Thomas Devin and James Carleton before him had used small commands, mule trains, and local auxiliaries (Carleton more than Devin) in their operations. The difference is that both men (and other officers in the region under their commands) lacked the skilled PR machine the followed Crook.

That said, Greenberg's paper is especially balanced in its presentation of Crook and his operations. Well worth a read if you want a quick overview of operations during this period.