Accession Number : ADA299904

Title :   War Without Pity. Guerrilla Conflict in the Mexican War.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH

Personal Author(s) : Knapp, Eric W.

PDF Url : ADA299904

Report Date : 10 SEP 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 105

Abstract : Although not a formula for unconventional warfare, this work provides insight into one of America's most successful counter-guerrilla campaigns. A close examination of irregular warfare in Mexico reveals the importance of an innovative officer corps during an unconventional struggle. Officer effectiveness and outstanding leadership allowed the American Army to prevail against a strong and determined guerrilla adversary. The United States Army limited the effectiveness of guerrilla forces during the Mexican War through a procedure of punitive expeditions against Mexican irregulars and a policy of conciliation toward civilians. The American officer corps foresaw the potential problem of unconventional warfare, developed innovative means to counter it, and enforced discipline in their troops to carry out the policy. An important component of American success was the willingness and ability to alter procedures as circumstances dictated. Officers maintained flexibility by combining aggressive expeditions designed to seize the initiative in the unconventional struggle, and a policy of conciliation toward Mexican civilians, which deprived guerrillas of popular support. Flexibility also played an important part in tactical execution, as commanders tailored the composition of their units to their immediate objectives. The procedure of conciliation and aggressive counter-guerrilla operations gave American units the general parameters for the unconventional war. How the two areas balanced in any given area seemed best left to the local commander's discretion. The officer corps led the procedure's development, and implemented the plan, which ultimately limited the unconventional threat to a level of nuisance and ineffectiveness.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), *MEXICO, *COUNTERINSURGENCY, *GUERRILLA WARFARE, LEADERSHIP, THREATS, PARAMETERS, CONFLICT, OFFICER PERSONNEL, ARMY OPERATIONS, MILITARY COMMANDERS, UNCONVENTIONAL WARFARE.

Subject Categories : Military Forces and Organizations
      Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE