U.S. Counter-Insurgency in the Philippines: Lessons for Iraq?
Kingston and Toronto, Ontario, Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow Brian McAllister Linn traveled to Canada on March 7-8, 2005 to give two talks organized by the Canada Institute. On March 7, Dr. Linn spoke to a group of cadets, Ph.D. candidates, and faculty members at the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. In his presentation, "U.S. Counter-Insurgency in the Philippines: Lessons for Iraq?", Dr. Linn shared the results of his research on U.S. military actions in the Philippines at the beginning of the 20th century and the policies adopted to deal with the popular insurgency encountered there. He drew parallels between the challenges the U.S. military forces confronted at the time and those they are encountering in Iraq today. The ensuing discussion focused on the difficulties the U.S. military faced in their efforts to rebuild and engage civil society in the Philippines, the relevance of religion in the two wars, and the impact of differing styles of military leadership. After the program, Dr. Linn had a private lunch with Dr. Joel Sokolsky, Professor of Politics and Economics at RMC, and Dr. John Cowan, Principal of RMC.
On March 8, Dr. Linn joined the Canada Institute program "Security and Sovereignty: Renewing NORAD" at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. This event was an interactive video-teleconference linking the Woodrow Wilson Center, the Munk Centre in Toronto, and the Bi-National Planning Group in Colorado Springs for a discussion of the latest publication in the Canada Institute's One Issue Two Voices series. In the tradition of the Center, Dr. Linn was an excellent ambassador of the fellowship program, conversing with audience members, including former WWICS fellows, and learning about the ongoing, complex defense military negotiations between Canada and the United States.
That evening, Dr. Linn presented his paper on the U.S. Counter-Insurgency in the Philippines at the Royal Canadian Military Institute (RCMI). RCMI is housed in a historic building in downtown Toronto, complete with a world-class collection of Canadian military weaponry, a military library, and comfortable rooms decorated with maps, medals of honor, photographs, and drawings. It was the perfect venue for Dr. Linn's views on the importance of military history to today's world. Audience members included diplomats, former and current military personnel, academics, and military historians. Dr Linn's presentation was well received and raised many controversial issues, including questions about the U.S. response to Philippine and Iraqi cultures, the quality of intelligence gathering, and the relevance of history to military decision-making. Dr. Linn was invited to become a member of RCMI in thanks for his talk.
As part of its ongoing programs in Canada in partnership with the Canada Institute on North American Issues, the Canada Institute is committed to informing Canadians about the United States and the complexities of its public policy decisions. Woodrow Wilson Fellows like Brian Linn make important contributions to this program agenda. Last year, Dr. Rey Koslowski spent a week in Ontario talking to audiences about the US Visit program and the implications for border infrastructure. Dr. Koslowski's presentations in Canada resulted in the formation of a virtual Smart Borders discussion group that brings Canadian and American experts together for a sustained dialogue on border issues.
Drafted by Cheryl Hoffman
Program Consultant, Toronto
David N. Biette
Director, Canada Institute