View Single Post
Old 03-29-2012   #12
Ken White
Council Member
 
Ken White's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,060
Default The more things change, the more they remain the same...

Quote:
Originally Posted by carl View Post
Once upon a time, we knew how to fight small wars.
Mmmmm. Don't disagree, I agree with you and so does the author of "Savage Wars of Peace: Case Studies of Pacification in the Philippines, 1900–1902" (LINK) from Leavenworth. He ends:
Quote:
"As the most successful counterinsurgency campaign in US history, it is the logical starting point for the systematic examination of military intervention, civic action, and pacification operations."
However, before he gets there he also notes:
Quote:
"When the guerrilla or ladrone problem persisted, the American Army sought to do what it was trained to do—destroy the armed insurrectos."
Notably, as shown below and unlike today, with few restrictions. Also:
Quote:
"As a Philippine veteran noted, “The American soldier in officially sanctioned wrath is a thing so ugly and dangerous that it would take a Kipling to describe him.”
Comment similar to that were often made by other opponents -- until the mid 1970s. We used to be not noted for good behavior. Today, we're the good guys (By Order Of...).

From the Wiki (LINK):
Quote:
"The use of concentration camps or "zones of protection" theoretically prevented an undue loss of civilian life that would have occurred had the US Army engaged in total war on the Filipino population. However, due to unsanitary conditions, many of the interned died from dysentery."
Why were we there?
Quote:
"Support for American actions in the Philippines was justified by those in the U.S. government and media who supported the conflict through the use of moralistic oration. Stuart Creighton Miller writes "Americans altruistically went to war with Spain to liberate the Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Filipinos from their tyrannical yoke. If they lingered on too long in the Philippines, it was to protect the Filipinos from European predators waiting in the wings for an American withdrawal and to tutor them in American-style democracy." (emphasis added / kw)
My, my. We're still quite moral -- in that respect...

On Armies as servants:
Quote:
"General Otis gained a significant amount of notoriety for his actions in the Philippines. Although multiple orders were given to Otis from Washington to avoid military conflict, he did very little to circumvent the breakout of war. Notably, shortly after fighting began he turned down a proposal from Emilio Aguinaldo to end the fighting, stating “fighting, having begun, must go on to the grim end.” Otis refused to accept anything but unconditional surrender from the Philippine Army. He often made major military decisions on his own, without first consulting leadership in Washington at all."
Pesky servants just won't behave. Difference between then and now is that public attitudes have changed. A combination of Otis, some WW II incidents and MacArthur changed the rules.

The Army in the Philippines in 1900 (and up until the mid 1960s...) believed in doing something even if it was wrong. Since Viet Nam the attitude is to do nothing; particularly if it even might possibly consider going wrong. That's not the Army, that's the society from which it springs. Picture trying to do this today:
Quote:
"The shift to guerrilla warfare drove the US Army to a "total-war" doctrine. Civilians were given identification and forced into concentration camps with a publicly announced deadline after which all persons found outside of camps without identification would be shot on sight. Thousands of civilians died in these camps due to poor conditions."
Hundred if not thousands more were shot for being where they would have been better off not being. We followed much the same rules in Korea and early on in Viet Nam. Different times, different rules. Can't do that or anything approaching it today.

Then there's this:
Quote:
"On July 2. the U.S. Secretary of War telegraphed that since the insurrection against the U.S. had ended and provincial civil governments had been established, the office of military governor was terminated. On July 4, Theodore Roosevelt, who had succeeded to the U.S. Presidency after the assassination of President McKinley on September 5, 1901, proclaimed a full and complete pardon and amnesty to all people in the Philippine archipelago who had participated in the conflict."
Oops...
Quote:
Beginning with the Taraca, which occurred on April 4, 1904, American forces battled Datu Ampuanagus, who surrendered after losing 200 members of his people.[1][78] Numerous battles would occur after that up until the end of the conflict on June 15, 1913..."
Took a while...

Back to the original link:
Quote:
"In his 1902 annual report, Chaffee wrote of the need for language skills:

'An important duty as yet not taken seriously by the officers of the Army serving in the Division, but which ought not be longer neglected if they would meet to the full the demands which the situation requires and may be reasonably expected of them as enhancing the efficiency when serving here, is the acquirement of a workable knowledge, both oral and written, of the native dialect where stationed. . . . I believe that the interests of the government are deeply involved in this matter. . . . I recommend . . . a bonus of two hundred dollars to each officer and intelligent enlisted man who shall attain a state of proficiency in a native dialect, and one hundred dollars additional for proficiency in Spanish.' "
Lot of things changed, some did not...

We still know how to fight small wars -- we just aren't allowed to.

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-31-2012 at 11:44 AM. Reason: Moved here from the Toulouse thread as it sits here far better
Ken White is offline   Reply With Quote