Example of philippine – american war (1899-1902) essay


The Philippine-American war was the conflict between the Filipino revolutionaries and the United States between 1899 and 1902, which started when the latter acquired the Philippines from Spain as the result of Spanish-American war. The Filipino revolutionaries made an extensive effort to achieve the First Philippine Republic’s independence from the United States during that period. This war was just a continuation of the Philippine revolution that aims to accomplish absolute independence, which started in 1896. We argue that both sides used their own tactics to win the war in which the Filipino revolutionaries and American soldiers both did well to defend what they are fighting for. However, there may have had some wrong tactics that both sides did, which had a downfall towards the losing group.

Battle Analysis

In this war, the Philippine Combatants were using the same tactics as what they have used during the war against the Spaniards. However, the Filipino revolutionaries fighting against Americans during the American War used the Guerilla Warfare tactics in the latter part of the conflict. This was because Filipinos were lacking guns and ammunition in the long run. The Guerilla tactics may have been a success for the Philippines if it was used primarily (history. state. gov). The guerilla warfare was somehow a losing side for the American troops as they were not able to capture the self-proclaimed president of the Philippines. In fact, when Aguinaldo fled to the mountains of Luzon Island, the American troops were only carrying very minimal amount of supplies for themselves. This is when they are about to attack Aguinaldo and his fellow guerilla troops. On the other hand, Americans have been successful with their tactics when they used their counterinsurgency plans (Linn, 2008).
The counterinsurgency program that the United States Army conducted during the war became their winning act. Specifically, from the highest military position down to the lowest rank had both military and political tasks, US commanding General also act as a Governor General, captains and lieutenants were also serving as mayors of the town, tax collectors and even customs officials. The United States armies were able to serve both their military and political duties at the same time, solving people’s problems. This counterinsurgency tactic was used to gain trust from the local villagers so as to capture the guerilla-turned revolutionaries.
In terms of the United States Army Doctrine, the counterinsurgency tactic is one of their important coin tasks. However, US Army forces can and must use their counterinsurgency capabilities to resolve and sustain the local population’s basic needs. Additionally, the US forces’ initial concern is to protect people in the local population (army. mil). The counterinsurgency tactic used by the US Army during the war was able to gain more villagers’ trust, which helps them seize more rifles and ammunitions from the guerillas while providing the local population’s primary needs.
The Filipino guerilla warfare tactic, which was misused by their troops as it was just used on the latter part of the war, still continues while the American Army keeps on hunting them down through their counterinsurgency plans and programs. Along with it more garrisons were built on the island for the purpose of blocking the Filipino troops to cross inter-island communications (fpri. org).
United States Army built more garrisons within the islands as part of their tactics against the Guerillas. Wherever the American forces were garrisoned, they also built clinics, schools as well as roads for the people (militaryhistoryline. com). Additional reason for the American forces why they built garrisons throughout the country is for the purpose of intelligence gathering. As the forces became closer to the local villagers, the more opportunity they gain to gather more information about the Filipino troop’s presence in the area. A stated in the United States Army doctrine regarding intelligence tactic, a military operation that fights insurgencies may not be a successful one without a good intelligence tactic. The doctrine added that military mission will be put on waste adding more unintended harm to the forces that will not be able to see their opponents (army. mil). This is another tactic that the US Army did well during the war as they were on the winning side by implementing a good intelligence.


During the Philippine-American war, both the Americans and the Filipino troops exercised their own winning and losing tactics. Filipino revolutionaries who turned to use a guerilla warfare tactics put them on the winning side when the Americans were having trouble capturing Aguinaldo along with his troops. This is, however, the losing side for the Americans initially not until they were able to learn the technique is conducting guerilla warfare. On the other hand, and in an obvious result, American troops were able to win the battle in general as they were able to exercise their tactics based on the written military doctrine. Finally, the result showed that those tactics were effective in aiming one another’s goal and learning new ideas from wrong tactics that were used.

Works Cited

Linn, Brian M. ” The Spanish-American War and the Philippine War.” Foreign Policy Research Institute 13. 22 (2008): n. pag. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
Starron, James G. ” Military History Online-Intelligence in the Philippine Insurrection.” Military History Online. N. p., 5 July 2010. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
U. S. Army. ” US Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth Public Home Page.” US Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth Public Home Page. N. p., n. d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
U. S. Army. ” Counterinsurgency.” US Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth Public Home Page. Department of Army, Dec. 2006. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.
US Department of State. ” Milestones – 1899-1913 – The Philippine-American War, 1899–1902.” Office of the Historian. Bureau of Public Affairs, n. d. Web. 10 Oct. 2013.