Justin Wike

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

History and Philosophy

Committee Member

Steven J. Ramold Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jesse Kauffman Ph.D.

Committee Member

Richard Nation Ph.D.


After the United States fought irregular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the amount of scholarship on the topic of counterinsurgency and guerilla warfare grew at a fast pace. Much of this scholarship has focused on a single conflict, or on several recent conflicts. This thesis took a different approach and looked at United States involvement in these irregular conflicts from the Philippine-American War onward through the lens of paternalism and the military strategies and tactics employed by the United States. The Philippine-American War was the first war the United States waged to maintain its overseas empire. This war would set precedents for many of the future conflicts fought by the United States. The paternalism that was present in this conflict would be present in many of the future irregular conflicts the United States was engaged in. Many of the strategies and tactics pioneered or implemented in this conflict were used in these conflicts as well. The United States’ use of indigenous populations as an auxiliary or primary military force was started in the Philippines and continued in later conflicts. The concentration of the civilian populace and the positioning of numerous small outposts among the population were strategies from this conflict that would appear in future conflicts.