Archive for the ‘Reading List’ Category
And from NYTimes on December 26, 2009: “Mr. Abdulmutallab was issued a regular visitor’s visa by the United States Embassy in London in June 2008, the administration official said. There was no ‘derogatory information available’ on him at the time he applied, and he was granted a two-year visa, which is still valid, the official said. He had traveled to the United States once before, to Houston in August 2008.”
History can teach but it also can mislead. Scholars and military experts concede that there are crucial differences between the Philippines and Afghanistan.
The Philippines had already been colonized by Spain before its war with the United States, while Afghanistan has resisted conquest by various nations for centuries.
The Philippines was, and still is, a majority Roman Catholic country, while Afghanistan is predominately Muslim. And the U.S. military was able to isolate the Filipino guerillas on several islands, while it’s more difficult to isolate the Taliban since Afghanistan shares a porous border with Pakistan, experts say.
Yet the U.S. still can learn several lessons from its war in the Philippines, scholars and military historians say.
One is what not to do. The U.S. military can’t employ the brutal tactics it once did against Filipinos in a world where there is a 24-hour news cycle, historians say.
“I don’t think we’re willing to do what it took back then and that’s a good thing,” says historian Hinshaw.
“Modern counterinsurgency is focused on winning the support of the population,” says Silverman, the Iraq war veteran and counterinsurgency expert. “The Philippine counterinsurgency strategy was to ‘kill them all.’ ’’
Perhaps the primary lesson from the war in the Philippines is that the United States must be willing to settle in for the long haul, said Dan Roberts, a Vietnam veteran and host of the public radio history program, “A Moment in Time.”
Though the war was declared over in 1902, American soldiers continued to die in the Philippines for 46 years – up to the onset of Word War II, Roberts says. The United States granted independence to the Philippines in 1946.
“I don’t think the U.S. wants to stay in Afghanistan for 46 years,” Roberts says. ”But that’s the way you do these things. You have to be willing to stay there and shed blood decade after decade.”
The Crixus style “Kill them, KILL THEM ALL!!!” no longer works or is acceptable.
Tonight’s late night reading features: