Finding the missing link to a successful Philippine counterinsurgency strategy
PenÌ a, Leonardo I.
Gustaitis,Peter J., II
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This paper analyzes the current Philippine counterinsurgency strategy in relation to the Philippine government past experiences of fighting insurgency nationwide. The Philippine government recognizes insurgency as a national threat that hampers sustained peace and development in the country, but government efforts in counterinsurgency have been less than successful. The thesis examines four historical case studies: the "All Out Friendship or All Out Force" program of President Ramon Magsaysay against the Huk Rebellion in 1950s; "Oplan Katatagan" during the Martial Law Era under President Ferdinand E. Marcos; "Lambat-Bitag Campaign" during the administrations of Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos; and "Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines" in the current administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The thesis demonstrates that successful counterinsurgency operations require a collaborative interagency approach based on a clear and logical national strategy. This strategy cannot succeed at the national level only. The strategy must be pushed down to the local level where effective change can occur. Despite current perceptions, counterinsurgency operations are not the exclusive domain of the military. In fact, the possibility of success is often diminished when the military takes a dominant role in counterinsurgency operations. Finally, the thesis recommends that the Philippine government should internalize and adopt the "correct attitude" that has been missing in most of the early counterinsurgency efforts. Although focused on the Philippines, lessons from this thesis can be applied elsewhere.
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