This excellent report has been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. The United States topples an unsavory regime in relatively brief military action, suffering a few hundred fatalities. America then finds itself having to administer a country unaccustomed to democratic self-rule. Caught unawares by an unexpectedly robust insurgency, the United States struggles to develop and implement an effective counterinsurgency strategy. The ongoing US presidential campaign serves as a catalyst to polarize public opinion, as the insurrectionists step up their offensive in an unsuccessful attempt to unseat the incumbent Republican President.
These events - from a century ago - share a number of striking parallels with the events of 2003 and 2004. The Philippine Insurrection of 1899-1902 was America's first major combat operation of the 20th century. The American policy of rewarding support and punishing opposition in the Philippines, called "attraction and chastisement," was an effective operational strategy. By eliminating insurgent resistance, the campaign successfully set the conditions necessary for achieving the desired end-state.
After a brief review of the conflict, this article will examine the strategic and operational lessons of America's successful campaign. It will consider the belligerents' policy goals, strategies, and their centers of gravity. (While neither side planned their campaign using these strategic concepts, these terms will be used in analyzing the campaign to facilitate understanding.) Without addressing the considerations of any particular ongoing campaign, the article will identify lessons applicable for winning today's counterinsurgencies. In order to determine the relevance of the campaign today, this article will consider changes in the international environment that mitigate the direct application of methods successfully employed in the Philippines. To apply some lessons, one must identify alternative ways more appropriate for modern norms that achieve the same ends.