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The U.S. Army and Irregular Warfare

John M. Gates
The College of Wooster
Wooster, Ohio









I am indebted to a number of people and institutions for the support that made the completion of this project possible. The creative thinking and work of Travis Vinters and Maria Domoto, both of the English faculty of Obirin College, gave impetus to the fellowship that funded a 1986 trip to Japan and provided the motivation for a series of lectures that helped me see the inherent connections between many of the essays that form the core of this book. While in Japan the kind attention of Masa Adachi, also of the Obirin English faculty, helped to make my stay enjoyable and as trouble free as possible.

Over the years, generous financial support from The College of Wooster and frequent sabbatical leaves have enabled me to accumulate source material and provided the opportunity needed to put that material in perspective. Also of value was a small research grant from the United States Army's Military History Institute that allowed me to spend two weeks in 1989 at its library and archives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

A book bringing together many different projects done over a span of two decades has obviously been influenced by a number of people, either directly or through their published work. The list, even if I could develop it accurately, would be far too long to include here. Many librarians, archivists, editors, authors, referees, colleagues, and friends have helped over the years--some anonymously and a few (unintentionally I am sure) by the motivational inspiration of what I perceived to be their unconvincing but no less provocative conclusions. The courteous and efficient service provided by the excellent staff at the archives of the US Military History Institute was so outstanding, however, that it merits special recognition.

Special recognition is also due to the following editors, publishers, and organizations for their kind permission to allow me to use material published previously:

Asian Studies and its publisher, the Asian Center of the University of the Philippines, for "The Philippines and Vietnam: Another False Analogy," 10 (1972), 64-76 (see Chapter Five--The Philippines and Vietnam).

Cambridge University Press for "Toward a History of Revolution," Comparative Studies in Society and History, 28 (1986), 535-544 (see Chapter Nine--The Changing Face of Revolutionary Warfare).

Military Review, published by the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, for "'Low Intensity Conflict' and 'Military Operations Short of War': The Humpty Dumpty Approach to the Development of Doctrine," 68 (May 1988), 59-63 (see sections of Chapter Eleven--The Continuing Problem of Conceptual Confusion).

Parameters: Journal of the U.S. Army War College for "The Alleged Isolation of U.S. Army Officers in the Late-19th Century," 10 (1980), 32-45 (see Chapter Four--Progressives in Uniform); "Indians and Insurrectos: The U.S. Army's Experience with Insurgency," 13 (1983), 59-68 (see Chapter Two--Indians and "Insurrectos"); and "Vietnam: The Debate Goes On," 14 (1984), 15-25 (see Chapter Seven--Vietnam: The Debate Goes On).

The New Zealand Institute of International Affairs for "The Future of War," New Zealand International Review, 20 (May/June 1995), 2-5 (see sections of Chapter Twelve--The Ultimate Deception).

The Society for Military History for ""People's War in Vietnam," The Journal of Military History, 54 (1990), 325-344 (see Chapter Eight--People's War in Vietnam).

The United States Air Force Academy for "The Pacification of the Philippines," in Joe E. Dixon, ed., The American Military in the Far East: Proceedings of the 9th Military History Symposium, U.S. Air Force Academy (Washington: GPO, 1982), 79-91 & 261-264 (see Chapter Three--The Pacification of the Philippines).

The VMI Foundation, Inc. for "American Military Leadership in the Vietnam War," in Henry Bausum, ed., Military Leadership and Command: The John Biggs Cincinnati Lectures, 1987 (Lexington, VA: The VMI Foundation, Inc., 1987), 185-209 (see Chapter Six--Careerists in Uniform).

For the neophyte computer user, putting a book on the web is not an easy task, and this project would have been impossible were it not for the efforts of Phil Harriman, The College of Wooster's Director of Academic Computing, and three members of his staff: Ben Adair, Chris Olszewski, and Kim Strollo. Were it not for their efforts, you would not be reading this.

Finally, Priscilla, Linda, and Nancy, my wife and daughters, helped to make the difficulties of authorship bearable and provided immeasurable moral support. I give my sincere thanks to all who contributed to this work, and hold none responsible for the outcome.

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Last updated: Nov. 2002
John M. Gates